02 September 2016
14 tips for sharing your faith in the workplace
Speak Up is a guide put together by the Evangelical Alliance and the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship to help Christians know more about what the law says about sharing the gospel, and the freedoms that it provides.
We spend a lot of our life in the workplace and often with people who have different beliefs to our own, this is therefore a vital place for us to talk about Jesus and the difference he makes. Sometimes the headlines we see in the media suggest that Christians aren’t able to share their faith at work – this is a mistaken view. We have a great opportunity to share our faith in the UK. If you would like to do so at work, here are 14 things to remember.
Remember what you’re there for
Put simply, you’re employed to do a job, so make sure that you are doing it. Sharing your faith shouldn’t be done at the expense of your work, and by working well and doing what we’re there to do we have more credibility when opportunities arise to share about Jesus.
Pray for guidance and wisdom about how to share your faith and for opportunities to do so. Also, pray for the people you work with, those you work for and the people you come into contact with throughout your day.
Choose your time and place
The further removed a conversation is from the workplace the less concern it is for an employer. You might suggest carrying on a conversation about faith outside work hours and outside the workplace.
Don’t abuse your authority
Abusing power is unbiblical and is unacceptable in any environment. If you’re in a position of authority over the person you’re speaking with you need to avoid abusing that authority. It’s also helpful to regularly check that someone is willing to continue a conversation, and make sure they are able to end a conversation if they would prefer to. We should never coerce others into sharing our beliefs.
Offer your opinion
If you are expressing an opinion that’s informed by your Christian beliefs, you have greater legal protection than if it’s simply expressed as your opinion. This means there’s a good reason not to be shy about saying how your faith informs your opinions.
The Christian message is not one of argumentative provocation, but one of loving challenge. A message about Jesus that is delivered in a moderate tone, using non-condemnatory language, will be far harder to criticise.
Share and discuss rather than lecture
Asking questions rather than expressing opinions will help maintain a discussion and allows a person to choose whether or not to participate. It’s also a chance from them to ask questions, and if you don’t have the answer, that’s OK. Jesus asked a lot of questions and if we follow his model we can help people think about their own need for salvation.
Avoid passing judgement on others
We should never be ashamed of our faith nor what we believe, but we are to be wise about how we express the Bible’s teaching concerning people’s behaviour, and always attentive so we are not judging them personally.
Develop good habits
If you can foster a culture of conversation about faith issues this will help. The more such discussions are commonplace, the more normal it will become. Ongoing conversations are also better than forced isolated occasions.
Offer prayer sensitively
Offering prayer is a great way of making your faith public, but it must always be done sensitively. One option is to say you will be thinking and praying for someone, another is to offer to pray outside the formal work environment.
Respect your colleagues
If a colleague makes it clear that faith discussion are unwelcome, that should be the end of it, and this should not affect your working relationship. A colleague who is closed to discussion about Jesus should be respected and shown continued and even greater kindness and love by Christian employees, not least in the hope they will "see your good deeds and give thanks to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
A conversation may be unwelcome even if they don’t say so, or even if you can’t tell from their body language. If you’re in any doubt, ask.
Do not bombard someone with tracts or emails about Christianity, especially if they have indicated such communications would not be welcome. On the other hand if they are open to finding out more, send them invites to meetings or information about Christianity. This should be done in line with your employer’s email policy, and may be more appropriate to do so outside your work hours.
Treat others as you would have them treat you
Make sure that the same respect you would wish to be afforded to you and your Christian faith you give to others and their faith (or non-religious beliefs).
Do what you can
There’s no substitute for telling others about God’s salvation plan for them, but there will be times and situations where this isn’t possible or wise. Pray for opportunities if you continue to be salt and light by your actions, you are laying a stronger foundation for your verbal witness if and when that opportunity arises.
For more information about Speak Up, visit the page here.
For more information about sharing your faith with others, look out for the November/December idea magazine, which will give loads of advice ahead of the launch of our Great Commission project – an online hub for evangelistic tools.