SEEING WHAT GOD SEES
When I was a pastor, I felt very strongly that everywhere a person goes, lives or works can be considered a place for ministry. I made it a point in my own personal ministry to get involved in people’s everyday lives and to visit them at their homes and work, challenging them to live a life of ministry. This didn’t mean that they had to become a pastor, but living a life of ministry through their personal careers was important.
God has called every physician, nurse, janitor, teacher, businessman, engineer and person to be His ambassador in their lives.
One day when I was visiting my church members, I went to see Owen. Owen was a physician who owned his own clinic and had two other doctors who worked for him. I asked him to show me his clinic and tell me about the things that go on over there. After about 45 minutes of visiting, I asked him if we could dedicate the place to the glory of God. He agreed. After the prayer, I said, “Owen you are a Christian physician. God has called you to minister to people’s needs spiritually as well as their physical needs. Other doctors deal with people’s health only, but you also can deal with their eternal salvation. I challenge you to pray for your patients, minister to them, share your faith with them and if possible invite them to church or a Bible study or any other function you deem appropriate.” Owen looked shocked and stated that he had been a Christian all his life and was the son of a pastor and had never thought about it that way before.
When I saw how Owen reacted, I realized that this is often something that people don’t understand or realize that they can do. He later shared exciting stories with me on his interactions with his patients and how he got to pray with them, talk about God’s power to heal, bring them to church with him and more. He had begun to see his work in a different light. It not only became the stability he needed for his family financially, or a degree, or a title; but he had a deeper purpose involved in his every day work. The change was obvious to the people around him and he became a minister to people’s needs on more than one level.
God has called every physician, nurse, janitor, teacher, businessman, engineer and person to be His ambassador in their lives. God doesn’t say that the workplace is off limits to ministry. On the contrary, God challenges His believers to reach beyond the bounds of the titles of our profession, to minister wherever we are.
How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders, His kingdom is an eternal kingdom, His dominion endures from generation to generation."
DARE TO BE DANIEL
Daniel in the Bible is a great example of living ones ministry. He worked hard and did a good job, but the story focuses more on the reaction of his co-workers. We read in Daniel 4:3, “How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders, His kingdom is an eternal kingdom, His dominion endures from generation to generation.” This is what King Nebuchadnezzar was saying about his understanding of Daniel’s God. One must remember that Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian with many gods. Due to the fact that Daniel ‘lived and breathed’ his relationship with God on a second-by-second basis, people reacted to him and saw God in him through all he did. By doing this, Daniel had a tendency to leave people in awe of God.
DO IT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” This is a verse that reminds us that we are called to live for God in everything that we do. This is not limited to our community outreach hours that we do every month or the hours we put in at church. God calls us to consistently do all things for His glory. When looking at this, we realized that our work is no different. It doesn’t need to be a verbal explanation of why we do what we do, or a scripture quoting competition, but rather a presence that radiates the love of God that is in us. Whatever field we go into, or whatever field we have been in, work is not only a place for receiving a paycheck but also for living out the love that God has blessed us with.
Philippians 1:27 says, “In whatever happens, conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” The gospel is alive and it seems that there should be a joy that goes with understanding what Christ has done for us, and this should be something we desire naturally to share.
SEEING PEOPLE THROUGH GOD'S EYES
Once an individual realizes that their life is a ministry in whatever they do, their perspective changes. We are then challenged to see people through the eyes of our Father in Heaven. This then begs the question, what do we see when we view the world around us? What do we see when we observe people who come to our place of work? Are we concerned about business and profit or are we concerned about the lives of people? Do we see people who are in need of a Savior?
Some years ago, I was talking to the elders of a conference about workplace evangelism. In the evening, we had some time for testimonies. One of the elders stood up and said, “I am a very successful businessman. I own a big car dealership all over my state. But today for the first time I asked myself the question, ‘What is the difference between me and any other successful businessmen? I want a fair profit and so do they. I want to treat my employees fairly and so do they. I want to treat my customers well and so do they. I want to get new customers and so do they. Today I discovered that the difference is that I need to be concerned first and foremost about their eternal salvation. I want God to change my perspective and so that I’ll think of them as candidates for the kingdom of God rather than just customers and employees. I need to pray for them, minister to them and find creative ways to share Jesus with them. My preoccupation should be people and their salvation, not business or profit. I need to see them as Jesus sees them, as His children. He died for them because He is so much in love with them.
Ministry is not limited to a person who gets a paycheck for it, but rather it is a command for all believers to live out.
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
So how do we invest our life into this? When we have invested our lives in another; learning their hurts, sorrowing in their sorrows, feeling their inadequacies as our own, then we are able to meet people where they are. Only when we've experienced the tug of war of life with them to the point where we call them by name and offer them comfort, then witnessing is possible. As Christians we are challenged to be different. We are called to let our light shine among others (Matt. 5:16). Ministry is not limited to a person who gets a paycheck for it, but rather it is a command for all believers to live out.
SENSITIVITY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Nothing we do will be of lasting effect unless it is bathed in and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. We will not be able to live such lives before our fellow workers and neighbors that they will see God and glorify Him, without an intense sensitivity to the Spirit's leading. Our workplace lifestyle should demonstrate our passion to reach people, a desire to do good, respect for all, and an appropriate fear of and reverence for God. Investing in a day-to-day, long-term passion for developing a positive, Spirit-led, Christ-centered life, will ultimately have the best impact in the sphere of our personal workplace.