by Ken Braddy
I lead a small group Bible study at my church, and not long ago on of my group members, a man named Michael, told of a situation at work that almost resulted in his termination. Michael reported to our group how he wanted to share Christ with his co-workers. He bought gospel tracts and handed them out in his workplace, having conversations along the way as people wanted to discuss the contents of the tracts. Management became aware of his witnessing efforts and issued a cease and desist order – they did not want Michael to share his faith with his co-workers. Sadly, and reluctantly, Michael complied.
There is a tightrope to walk here in regards to our witness in the workplace. Christians do have rights to speak, of course, but those rights must be tempered against the will of the company’s management team, and the legality of the rules that are imposed on workers. I am not a legal expert, so I encourage you to do your due diligence and discover for yourself just what your rights are in the workplace. A quick Google search will yield hours of reading on the subject. In the meantime, let’s consider some ways you can witness in the workplace.
- Our work is a witness to the Lord. Scripture instructs us, “Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people…” (Colossians 3:22-23). Our work is a witness to our relationship with Christ.
- Our work is a witness to others. Believers in the workplace should be the hardest working, fastest moving, most quality-conscious employees that a company has. We should encourage others and bless them in our speech, and we should look for ways to serve them throughout our workdays.
- Our words form a witness. Christian conduct is one thing, but without a verbal witness, it may go unnoticed or unconnected to Christ and His cause. I heard a story once about a teenager who wanted to be a good witness to his peers at school, so he committed to be the best version of himself he could be. Every day in the cafeteria he hoped someone would notice his Christian character and conduct, and he was thrilled when one girl said to him, “Hey – you’re different.” The young man beamed with pride and thought, “Here it comes – my lifestyle has finally paid off!” The young lady looked at the young man and said, “So, are you a vegetarian?” She had completed missed connecting his good conduct with Christ, and connected it instead to his eating habits. What was lacking? A verbal witness for Christ that removed all doubt and pointed her plainly to Jesus. Our words form a witness.
- Our attitude forms a witness. Jesus told his disciples, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them.” He went on to explain the upside-down nature of His kingdom and how Christians were not to treat others this way. Our attitude towards others is a witness for Christ, especially now in an age in which people judge us by what we do, not only what we say. A charitable, loving, serving attitude towards others can speak volumes to people who have been used to being chewed up by belligerent bosses and co-workers. Your attitude about your boss, your co-workers, and your company’s customers can serve to be a witness to and for Christ.
- Our conduct forms a witness. If you want to destroy your witness in the workplace, be known for sharing course jokes, talking in sexual innuendos, spreading rumors, gossiping, or talking about others behind their backs. People expect faith to make a difference, so if you want to share Christ with people who do not know Him as Savior, don’t ruin your chances of being heard before you speak! Your conduct is already witnessing loudly for or against Jesus.