Business as mission is widely accepted these days. The workplace is seen as a fertile ground for witness by Kingdom living. But I believe we are going to see a new move, and that is of church in the workplace.
Let me give an example from our own situation. Around 14 years ago, we started a company that works in the area of patient advocacy. God has blessed what we are doing, and we have a wonderful team of around 15 people who work with us. They have released us to the place where I no longer work there but am free to put my time into producing resources for the simple church movement, including this blog and the books I have written, and Tony is able to take as much time off as he needs to involve in what is more traditionally viewed as Kingdom work.
We do not go out of our way to hire Christians to work in our company. We hire those who are best for the job. Over the years, a number of Christians have joined us, but also many of those who were not believers have become believers through their involvement with us or have had their faith revitalized. Every Friday lunchtime those who want to, come together, effectively for church. (Some see it as their church because they don’t get together with other believers on a regular basis). Some of our employees have initiated a daily prayer time before work to pray for the company and our interface with the people we seek to serve through the work the company does. We also make the counsel of a chaplain available to the people we help through our patient advocacy.
If church is no longer an event but a lifestyle, what could happen if Christians went out of their way to be church at work?
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5 replies on “Church in the marketplace in 2011”
I think that this could definitely be a powerful way of expanding the Kingdom through interactions with the people that we spend the majority of our time with. When I was younger, I wanted to be involved in ordained ministry through an institutional church. I thought of a daily 8-5 job as a great hindrance. Now, I see what a great tool it is for spreading the Gospel. The other day, I was talking with a friend who is a pastor in an institutional church. He was stating that he still has to work a regular job. I told him that this was probably for the best.
The idea of church at the workplace makes a lot of sense. A lot of people are not willing to set foot in an instituional church, but they are still hungry for the Gospel. What a great way of making Jesus accessible to them.
Thank you for posting this story about your company. You are right on point when you say that God is preparing to move in a greater way in the workplace. I believe many Christians – who have not found a great fit for their giftings to be used in church and want to serve in “full-time” ministry – are ready to be used by God in new and fresh ways where they work everyday. I also believe Christian CEOs of small businesses have an especially unique opportunity for “stealth” and strategic evangelism and discipleship within their companies.
I pray God’s continued favor and blessings on your business, so that you can be bright light in a dark marketplace.
Paul Wilson Jr
3hrive Marketplace Ministry
Paul, thanks for your comments. I’m passing on your website to Tony, my husband, because I think he’ll be really interested in it, and he’s more involved in the business world than I am.
We have a prayer/bible/discussion group of five people in my working place (major Finnish mobile company…hard to guess). When I joined there was just three of us. Recently we formed a new car pool and these two other guys also started to join. Another is a catholic indian man and the other seems not to be active in any church but he believes in Jesus.
This same company has a Christian club in at least two other Cities in Finland. (There are also many other clubs related to sports and culture etc.) In Salo this is still unofficial. We could gain more visibility by starting a club. And it would be easier to arrange e.g. Christmas gatherings with possible guest speakers & musicians. But I don’t know if that is wise to be too official if we want to be organic.
If I cannot come to our regular Wednesday meeting I try to arrange a lunch together at least with one of the group. Maybe we could do that more often.
It would be interesting to know what do you practically do in your Christian meetings in workplace and how long does it take? It is a little problem that the meetings cannot be very long because we should also work. Otherwise we should work longer hours in evenings.
Jukka, thank you for your comments. I’m excited about what you have shared on what is happening in your company in Finland, and I’m sure as you listen to the Lord, he will show you whether or not you should be official.
Like you, the time we have at our company is brief–around an hour. People bring in their own lunch and eat together, they share what is going on in their lives, they share around the Word together and they pray. All of this is based on Acts 2:42–they devoted themselves to the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, to breaking of bread and to prayer.
Hope this helps