As Christians, we’re called to follow Jesus and commissioned to make disciples – that applies to us all, whatever our role may be. But what does it look like to follow and live for Jesus in workplaces across the UK?

Living for Jesus at work, a new resource suite from the Evangelical Alliance and the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, seeks to equip Christians in this task. From factory workers to corporate lawyers, from paramedics to pharmacists, Christians have opportunities to speak Jesus into their world of work, but also challenges as they seek to do so. These resources bring together advice, guidance and wisdom to help on the way.

The increasing number of enquiries from Christians looking for support and advice, and frequently asked questions about sharing faith in the workplace, prompted this current piece of work.

The resources build on fresh research into Christians’ experiences, and reflect a desire for confidence in living and speaking for Jesus at work. Hopefully a good mixture of biblical grounding, common sense, and some legal analysis will provide a helpful starting point for this vital task before us all.

From factory workers to corporate lawyers, from paramedics to pharmacists, Christians have opportunities to speak Jesus into their world of work, but also challenges as they seek to do so.

There are two key strands to our approach. First, awareness and realism about the challenges, but not fear. Second, recognition of the opportunities to live for Jesus and make Him known in our workplaces, but not naïvity that it will always be easy.

Aware of the challenges, but not fearful

There are frequent challenges as we seek to live for Jesus in our world. On one level, it has always been this way. Our challenges are perhaps different than in previous generations, but we should not be nostalgic, thinking there was a golden age without challenges for Christians. Yet it is vital that we know the landscape we walk in, and what the currents and shifts are affecting how people will respond to our faith and call to follow Jesus.

Our world is uneasily secular. That is, commitments to religion are, in different moments, considered optional, unwanted, helpful or a hindrance. It sometimes seems that there is a desire to banish God completely from public life, and yet just when this is being attempted, our society is reminded that it’s never quite that simple.

Photo by Daniel Norris on Unsplash
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There are misconceptions about what a Christian is that can make our task harder, and personal and institutional intolerances towards what Christians believe that make it tempting to hide what we believe and who we follow. It’s also easy to see worrying stories in the media about how some Christians have been treated when they do speak about their beliefs and values – especially in the area of sexuality – and want to avoid the same.

And yet we are called not to fear. As we follow Jesus, we are strengthened by peace and grounded in knowing He is with us. We are also encouraged by many who every day navigate the complex worlds that they work in, the competing agendas, the challenging worldviews and pressures and not only continue to do their jobs, but do so in a way that speaks Jesus’ name into places where it is needed the most.

Hopeful for the opportunities, but not naïve

Removing faith from public life doesn’t work, and I have a theory about why. At the heart of following Jesus is a commitment to make Him known. You can limit formal, institutional commitments, and you can neuter language and pass policies, but if there are people in workplaces who are passionate about following Jesus and making Him known, then this will leak out of their daily actions and words.

I’m not naïve enough to think Christians don’t face challenges in workplaces, nor do I want to ignore the tides of secularism which want to downplay Christianity and put it in a box, but I am fundamentally hopeful about the prospects for living for Jesus at work.

It sometimes seems that there is a desire to banish God completely from public life, and yet just when this is being attempted, our society is reminded that it’s never quite that simple.

In producing and speaking about these resources, we’ve met people who have come to know Jesus because someone at work spoke up. We’ve heard about troubled situations eased by the wise intervention of Christians. We’ve encountered Christians who navigated suspicion and uncertainty but gained great opportunities as they engaged with their organisation’s formal structures.

In the very places where challenges arise, there are opportunities. In places around the world that are more hostile than the UK to Christianity, we are regularly reminded that the gospel thrives where its light is needed the most.

A new world of work

Much has been said recently about how the working world has shifted since the pandemic began, whether that’s increasingly hybrid forms of work, the great resignation’ (large turnover in jobs across many sectors), or so-called quiet quitting’ (where workers do what they have to do but mentally check out and don’t go above and beyond).

All of this means that, for Christians, how we engage with our colleagues may well be different than it was a few years ago. For churches, it means it’s vital that there are spaces where we can have the conversations about what those among us are facing and how they can be supported.

The Evangelical Alliance and the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship would love to support churches in this task. Please make use of these resources and order copies, but we would also love to come and speak to churches about how we can live for Jesus at work. Email us at advocacy@​eauk.​org with any questions or enquiries.