Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Job, My Ministry

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody" (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

Like most Christians, I do not spend most of my time doing official "church work." Most of my ministry involves serving my family and the people on my job. Here are a few ideas for ministering on a secular job that I have found beneficial:

1. Contact the people at your workplace who are going through difficult times. I have made it a habit to call people who have been suspended for drug abuse and theft, as they await the outcome of investigations. They have appreciated prayers and offers to help. Usually they are surprised that they have been contacted by anyone, especially a Christian, but they love knowing that someone cares about them despite their innocence or guilt. One former co-worker told me, "I always thought of you as a kind of ornery one, for sure, but a pastor anyway." I'm not a pastor, of course, but she was trying to let me know that it meant a great deal to her that I had cared about her and her problems. People need to know that God's people care about them despite their sins. They need to see a God of grace in the lives of his church.

2. Offer to pray for your customers. I have met people who have been going through surgery, cancer treatments, the loss of spouses, and recovery from broken bones. Each one has appreciated the offer to pray for them. It has built a rapport with several of them.

3. Seek help from your local church and other Christians. I have added my customers and co-workers to my local church's prayer list (with their permission). I have sought help from our food bank for someone who was needing help. I have sought help from our recovery minister for those who have had drug and alcohol addictions. I cannot do everything. Often, I cannot do much of anything. I need the help of fellow Christians with many of the situations I have faced.

If you have other ideas about how to serve Christ on the secular job, please feel free to leave a comment. I'm always looking for ways to do it more effectively and consistently. Thanks!

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