How to Work as a Christian in the Secular Arena
This is a message I gave at a Fortune 100 company recently on how to be a Christian in a secular workplace. I talk about avoiding the twin errors of spiritual weirdness (such as thinking you need to insert the gospel into every conversation, or call attention to God through strange trinkets like the “Faithbook” t-shirt I came across at a truck stop once) on the one hand and, on the other hand, thinking that our faith bears no relation to our work at all.
Then I talk about the chief way that God intends our faith to inform our work: namely, love. Love is to be the guiding principle for Christians in their work, and I show what that looks like and how even many leading secular thinkers are echoing this truth in very significant ways. At the end I talk about the results of going about our work in this way.
Update: Here’s a timeline of the message that Joshua Van Der Merwe wrote up (thank you, Joshua!):
- (3:53) Error #1 regarding faith and work: Our faith doesn’t relate to our work at all
- (4:26) Error #2 regarding faith and work: Spiritual weirdness, i.e., Work is only a platform for evangelism
- (5:32) Being boring on the Biblical doctrine of work
- (9:03) A Christian work ethic goes way beyond, “Work hard and be honest.”
- (9:57) The solution: Work matters in itself, and is a place where the gospel can spread. Your secular work matters in itself, and it can be a place where the gospel is proclaimed.
- (11:01) Love as the guiding principle and motive in the workplace
- (22:01) Seeing our work as service to others brings great meaning to our work, and serving others is the way to be most effective in our work.
- (26:30) Principle 1: Do your work as service to God, as an avenue of worship
- (28:04) Principle 2: Make the good of others the aim of what you do.
- (28:45) Principle 3: Be on the look out for good you can do. Isaiah 32:8. Make plans for the welfare of others.
- (31:29) Principle 4: Make your work easy for others to use. Care about usability.
- (33:06) Principle 5: Know how to do your work really well.
- (34:06) The effect of all this: God can use your work to change the world — this is redemptive. God is at work in our work.
- (38:15) Q&A time.