by Johnny Shiu
As Christians, we are all called to make disciples based on the Great Commission. How does that apply at work? In the workplace, how do we live out our faith honorably without perhaps overstepping the professional line?
In this episode, Henry, Rusty, and William tackle the question should we even evangelize at work in the first place? When it comes to expressing our faith at the workplace, it’s important to discern and hear God’s voice. Our vertical relationship with God affects the horizontal one with our fellow teammates. Henry also reminds us that we would do well to be mindful of whether we are being willful or faithful.
There are several ways that evangelism at work could take place. In an organization, the first thing it can do to evangelize is to express its values and principles explicitly. A company should be clear on “why do we what we do?” Even by simply stating them, a leader in an organization can communicate at the outset what the company is about.
Sometimes, a company’s evangelistic fervor could be interpreted the wrong way though. For example, Henry tells the story that at the beginning of Bandwidth the leaders would hold Bible Studies. Some of their team members interpreted that attending these studies would be viewed highly by leadership. It sort of created an “us versus them” culture, and that’s not what Bandwidth wanted.
Another way to express our faith at work is to simply offer to pray for non-believing coworkers. Like the marketplace, people have pain points, too. As believers, we can address those pain points in a gentle way. The marketplace expects workers to leave their lives and issues at home; we are almost expected to be Super-human. We know that this is not the case. As believers, we can meet our coworkers where they are at and follow God’s leading in ministering to them.
There are other ways to evangelize at the workplace. Rusty gives us the example in this episode of his wife’s friend who works at Dropbox. At Dropbox, employees are encouraged to bring an instrument, form bands, and play music. One of these bands would play worship music as part of the rotation right here in the Silicon Valley!
Within the greater context of evangelism at work, William posed a great question in that “are there any lines?” That is, how far can a leader go? Is it ok to pass out Bibles at a Corporate retreat?
Henry impressed us that it goes back to gentleness and respect. God gives us all an opportunity to speak and prophecy (speak forth). We should pray for discernment in the particular situation. Importantly, we need to listen to God’s voice (and presumably not our own).
When we do speak boldly for God at work, does that really work? That is, do people really react to examples? Or is it an excuse for someone who does not have to be bold in one’s faith?
Rusty observed that from his own experience that it does work. In his own public talks, he will express his faith. The audience then become curious.
Henry added that there is another important reason to express our faith. Here, in Silicon Valley, some are apprehensive to show our faith. We don’t want to come across as exclusive. However, as leaders if we don’t talk about the most important thing in our lives, then some part of our leadership will have a hole. As a result, we won’t be authentic to our identity.