Sharing your faith with your coworkers can be intimidating, but it’s easier than it sounds! This guide is mostly an account of my own wins and losses with on the job evangelism. Please learn from them! Before we begin, I want to throw this disclaimer out there: I am in no way claiming to be the expert or the Master Splinter of evangelism, but I definitely have some guidelines and words of encouragement worth mentioning. Alright my friends, let’s get to it!
First off, evangelism is not just something you do, it’s a mindset. Don’t think of it as doing things, but rather as you being you in the context of living in obedience to God. So just be yourself and be intentional about sharing Christ with others. Here are some general guidelines you should consider when sharing your faith in the workplace.
Know the policies of your workplace.
Most companies will give you a “Respectful Workplace” or “Harassment” training. So pay close attention during those trainings to get the skinny on what you can and cannot do. Don’t allow your zeal to outrun your discretion and spiritual maturity. Of course workplace rules do not supersede God’s command to evangelize, but you also have to keep in mind that if you are not careful you could push others away from God. You don’t want to lose your job for the wrong reasons either. We must follow work policies by concentrating our efforts during non-work related interactions. Once you build a relationship with a co-worker, he or she may feel comfortable speaking with you about spiritual matters whenever. BUT don’t risk damaging future relationships because you’re too proud to adhere to the workplace policies.
Know your rights concerning evangelism.
Employers cannot restrict your first amendment rights to exercise your faith. However, you must be careful to do this within the bounds of workplace policy. Usually this restricts gospel-related conversations to your lunch hour or break time. Unless, your co-worker initiates it, I would wait until lunch time to begin an outright spiritual conversation. Otherwise your chat can be interrupted easily and could possibly lead to administrative action. Guess what? No job equals no on the job evangelism, right? LOL. It’s always great to ask your coworker to join you for lunch or if you could text him or her later about topics that may take a while to discuss. (I do seize those spontaneous opportunities to share truth with people as well, but I’m careful about when I act on them. I don’t force the topic if I don’t think the person is open or respects me enough to listen. This really depends on the atmosphere of your workplace and who you’re talking to. Just be mindful of who is around you and who may be sensitive to such a discussion.)
Even if you follow all of the rules at your job, you may still experience persecution for sharing your faith.
Christians risk their job security when sharing their faith. As our culture spirals down morally, persecution is becoming more and more frequent. If Jesus was slandered and mistreated, as his followers we can only expect the same. In the end bigger prizes are at stake than our jobs. Lost souls need to hear about God’s salvation in Christ. Sharing the message of the gospel with non-believers should weigh heavier on our hearts than the possibility of losing our jobs. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be respectful and use discretion when evangelizing on job, but under extreme circumstances you can still lose your job even if you’re doing everything right. Jesus promises to bless those who are persecuted for his name’s sake. So if or when it does happen, be encouraged because God is going to provide for you and defend you.
Live out the Gospel.
The first and hands down most important thing you can do to evangelize your coworkers is live out the gospel. Don’t let the enemy deceive you! Everything you do at your job matters!!! People ARE watching you! Do not doubt that! I know everybody and their mama has probably told you: “Your life may be the only Bible that people read.” This is so true. Your faith should speak for itself. What does it look like to live out the gospel? This is obeying God’s word in everyday situations while you’re working. For example, instead of abusing your paid time off, request and use it properly. Have integrity, even when you don’t think anyone is looking. Show grace to others. Instead of jumping down the throat of a fellow co-worker that made a huge mistake, deal with him or her respectfully, and work with that person to come up with solutions for the problem. If a co-worker is struggling, help that individual out in whatever way you can. Always give excellent customer service. When you have a problem with another co-worker, do not spread gossip about him or her! I repeat: Do not gossip about co-workers! When you get a reputation for talking about others, it follows you and it’s hard to shake off! So don’t go there! If you have a problem with someone, go and speak to that person directly.
I know this is hard, but you can do it. I’m a big, fat crybaby, but I can confidently say that by God’s grace I am a brave, big, fat crybaby. Instead of hiding behind closed doors or whispering junk about other people, God has given me the courage to go to my offenders and reason with them. Have patience with people and always be willing to lend a helping hand. These are just a few examples of living out the gospel in the workplace.
Value and build relationships with your co-workers.
You won’t plant any seeds of the gospel without first winning people to yourself. I don’t mean that you have to make everyone like you, but you need to respect everyone you come in contact with and treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Memorize the names of your co-workers. When someone is talking to you, stop what you’re doing, look that person in the eyes, and really listen to what he or she is saying. If you are a part of a team, get everyone’s birthday and put those dates on a calendar or set reminders for them on your phone. You don’t have to get an extravagant gift. You could just give a birthday card and a $5 gift card, or bake them something. Little things like this go so far because it shows that you thought about them. (Husbands can have their wives bake for them and give it to a co-worker.) You could share an encouraging bible verse in the birthday card, or treat the co-worker to lunch, where you could share your own testimony.
Make opportunities to meet with your co-workers.
If you don’t work directly with people like me, on your lunch breaks eat in the breakroom with others. People don’t allow others without any relationship capital to speak truth into their lives. So the best urban missionaries are those who genuinely love people and pursue them in friendship. Friendships are open fields for you to sow the gospel. You will be surprised at how many opportunities come up in conversation where you could share about God. You just have to be alert and bold enough to seize those moments. Whatever you do, you have to be consistent! If your fishing spot is the breakroom, be consistent about when you go. The idea is that your relationships with your co-workers deepen. Inconsistent hangout time makes it harder to build good connections with your co-workers, at least ones that are good enough for them to allow you speak truth in their lives on a daily or even weekly basis, which is a goal in discipleship.
Disciple them without them evening knowing it.
A lot of us don’t get to choose who we spend our 9-5 with. Some co-workers will be super open to hearing about Christ, while others will knock over your coffee mug if you even fix your mouth to say “Jesus.” Nevertheless, these are the people whom we spend a majority of our time with. Some individuals may not be open right now, but who’s to say that you won’t get an opportunity to witness to them in the future. Pray for these people that you’re doing life with. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer and how it will change the hearts of the people around you. Whenever conversations turn towards spiritual things, speak the truth in love. Don’t be afraid to share things that you’re learning from your devotional time, or simply ask someone if you can pray for them. Little things like these go a looooonnng way. Speak up for your faith when someone is twisting the truth about Christianity. If you don’t exactly know how to counter what they are saying, ask them can you do some research and get back with them. And, of course, you can always invite your coworkers to church or small group.
Once I was at my job and this co-worker of mine came up to my desk and started making these outrageous claims about Christianity. His insults centered on the claim that there is no absolute truth (meaning he said there’s no such thing as “truth”). So I challenged him to a debate on the issue (outside of work) in front of another co-worker of mine, which completely caught him off guard. He reluctantly agreed to my challenge in order to save face in front of his buddy, who was looking forward to the whole thing, but in the end he flaked out three times. And you know what? He didn’t come near the front desk again talking that nonsense (for a couple of weeks anyway LOL). I’m not saying that to brag, but I’m saying that you shouldn’t be afraid to call people out when they are carelessly saying crazy stuff about your faith. You can match their intensity without being rude or mean. I have a bit of a confrontational style when it comes to sharing the faith. Everyone is different, so don’t feel like that is exactly how you have to handle that type of situation. (But I think that my style suited that guy.) Back to the article!
Find someone to pour into and don’t give up if you can’t.
“Discipleship” is a relationship you enter into with someone in order to help him or her grow in the faith. (Trust me, you’ll also learn a lot from who you’re discipling too.) You invite that person to do life with you and to study the scriptures with you, teach them how to disciple other people, and hold each other accountable to God’s word. Share the gospel and your testimony with others.
If you find a co-worker or a few that are really interested in the gospel, go all out and ask them if you could meet with them, discuss studying the scriptures together, and get to know each other more. If you come to an agreement, be sure to get a clear understanding of what you both expect to get out of the relationship. You definitely will need to be consistent about when you will meet and for how long. Try to make the arrangement suit both of your time needs. It’s better to focus your time on someone who will be committed to actually meeting with you. Speaking from experience, that person may originally be really excited about meeting with you and then eventually lose interest, but don’t be discouraged by this. Just keep praying for him or her and continue to share with that individual what you can. Don’t quit! Keep pouring into others until you find someone that is willing to grow with you! Pray and ask God to give you such a person, and find someone to disciple you.
Finally, never forget that none of your efforts are wasted!
Satan would have you believe that your efforts to witness to your co-workers don’t matter, but that’s straight up baloney, yo! Everything counts!!! You may not be able to see the fruits of your labor right now, but trust me it’s there! You may have shared your testimony with someone who had the blankest stare on their face, or shared the gospel with a client on the job who promptly ran away (guilty as charged and also very awkward), but you have no idea how God is using your boldness. So don’t quit! Keep on praying for your co-workers and living for God in the midst of them, because you’re making your Savior proud and sowing and reaping gospel seeds like a boss!