Discipleship is a vital aspect of our lives and is a command from God. When Matthew 28:19-20 calls us to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” it doesn’t leave out the professional lives for those of us who work in a corporate world. In fact, if you like me, work for a corporation, you see the people you work with more than anyone else besides your family. That is a huge mission field in our lives. But it is challenging in an era where we get called out for ‘proselytizing’. So, how can we effectively be a faithful disciple at work?
Throughout my professional career I have found that the most important aspect of discipleship while at work is through consistent and non-hypocritical actions and speech. Through this love, and devotion to Christ and His truth, and expressing servant-hood, patience, kindness, gentleness, and the other fruits of the spirit… many people are interested in what makes you different because they aren’t used to that kind of treatment. As 1 Timothy 3:7 states, “And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” Our witness to those outside the church starts with showing Christ’s love to them in all that we do.
"The corporate world needs to see true, God fearing, non-hypocritical Christians living their lives in obedience to Christ by loving and serving those that are around them."
In fact, in a previous job, I worked in an environment where I had constant contact with a lesbian and gay couple. I spent plenty of time around them, and other non-believers for months. I always treated them with respect and kindness. One day one of the women walked up and said to me, “ Jeremy… I know that you are a Christian as you have made that clear as we have talked and spent time around you. However, you are the first Christian to ever be kind to me, and not say and do mean things to me. Why is that?” The first thing I did was apologize for the actions of the others. I said, “Those other people should have seen you as Christ sees you. He loves you. You know I don’t agree with your lifestyle choices, but Christ loves you the same as he loves me. So why would I treat you any different than how Christ would treat you?” She smiled… said, “ Huh??…” and walked away. My heart was broken that she had never been treated kindly by other “Christians”, but I rejoiced that by God’s grace I was able to share His love and the gospel to anyone, just by how I was living my life and treating them. Colossians 3:17 states, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
Over the years I have gained the trust of my co-workers by seeking to make natural not forced conversations over the gospel. I haven’t, as we would say, ‘shoved my “religion” in their face, or beat them over the head with my Bible’. I have taken every opportunity I can to direct my conversation to God and His love for me and them, but in a caring and casual manner. Because of this, I have been able to have open conversations about beliefs, religion, and many other topics. Gospel conversations have come up through the way I treat my co-workers and respond to external pressures and trials within the corporate environment. We should be striving to live as Christ lives, as 1 Peter 1:15 states, “...but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior...” Many people don’t have eternal hope and have such fear and stress over situations in their life. I have explained why I am calm and can have peace during crazy and stressful times. I have been able to start a Bible Study at work through casual conversations and finding believers that want to gather and learn Christ together, and co-workers that are just interested in hearing more. I have been blessed to use my lunch hour occasionally to meet and fellowship with, and even disciple, other men because of commonalities or shared interests that brought us together. All of these opportunities come from speaking and acting out Christ daily in the workplace. The corporate world needs to see true, God fearing, non-hypocritical Christians living their lives in obedience to Christ by loving and serving those that are around them. I encourage you all that there are so many people wanting/needing Christ around you at work, so show them who He is through your life daily and opportunities will arise. It takes courage through Christ to then act on those opportunities, but the eternal implications are well worth it.