Believers working in a secular job might wonder how they can live their faith out in their place of business in a practical way. A survey conducted by Abilene Christian University and Barna Research Group entitled “Christians at Work” might shed some light on that topic as it showcases how many believers strive to do exactly that.
The “Christians at Work” survey looked at 1,459 self-proclaimed Christians who say they are employed and who testify that their faith is an important aspect of their lives.
“The trend is clear: most employed Christians want to do good in their places of work—but not always in a way that stands out,” the study says.
A third of those surveyed felt it was their place to shape the culture of their workplace.
However, less than a fourth of respondents felt it was their responsibility to share the Gospel of Christ while on the job, citing a “general wariness of speaking explicitly about faith.”
Surveyed millennials were most likely to say it’s their place to mold the culture of their workplace as well as to serve others. Baby Boomers and Generation X members, though, were more likely than their millennial counterparts to feel speaking truth, acting in a highly moral manner and demonstrating their values was applicable to the way their live their daily lives.
Half of the respondents said their church regularly provides them with a vision for applying their faith and living it out in a workplace environment. The Barna report said this particular stat “could be a wake-up call for church leaders to equip the largest generation in the workforce with a deep vocational understanding.”
The survey results show there is still work to be done with regard to believers living out their faith effectively in their workplace environments. The following are some applicable ways all believers can become bolder for Christ, no matter their employment situation:
- Be Like Missionaries: According to C. Peter Wagner, author of “The Church in the Workplace: How God’s People Can Transform Society”, believers must be like missionaries in today’s offices.“We live in two different cultures,” he said. “Christians need to be like missionaries, taking their faith into a culture that is different than the church. Sometimes believers try to transfer their piety of the church into the workplace, and that doesn’t work. We have to adapt to the workplace culture.”
- Be Adaptable: Believers must adapt to their workplace environment while not making important compromises. This means they must live an authentic, transparent life, allowing God to illuminate their workplace.“Learn to draw the line,” Wagner went on to say. “There are times to cut some slack and allow the system to operate. You have to adapt before you have a chance to change them. Otherwise, you isolate, and hide in a cubicle with Bible verses pinned to your wall.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean believers should bend their personal beliefs and convictions. Being insensitive to others, participating in unethical or immoral practices, being dishonest, cheating, and being lazing or inconsistent, are all characteristics a believer should seek to avoid.
- Be Transparent: Of course, being saved and being perfect are very different things. Sometimes, allowing others to see this imperfection is a powerful tool to use for the cause of Christ. Be honest about shortcomings and the way in which Christ has made a difference within these areas. This is a powerful testimony.“It’s okay to talk about your struggles and then others will talk about their struggles with you. That’s when you gain influence,” Wagner explained.
- Understand That it’s Different: Believers cannot expect the methods they use to share Christ in a church environment to work the same way as they do in a work environment as that just isn’t realistic.“Many of the tools we use at church just don’t work in a secular environment,” Wagner said. “Influence in the church is achieved though spirituality, in the workplace, influence is achieved through success.”
Believers hoping to share their faith more in their workplace environment should remember the above points. Hopefully, with more believers committed to this endeavor, the numbers from surveys like mentioned above will show a change for the better in the boldness believers use to witness within their workplaces.
~ 1776 Christian