Workplace Witness

Dan Smith

Dan Smith

Dan Smith is a Christian serving in the US Navy. He blogs at Navy Christian and can be followed on Twitter. He writes below about the sensitive issue of sharing our Christian faith with others in the work environment:

Is it Acceptable to share your faith in Christ with your Coworkers?

Almost every Christian knows, to some degree, that he or she is supposed to share their personal faith with people around them. We know from Matthew 28:19-20 that Christ has given us a command to go and preach the word. Unfortunately, this command to tell others about Christ often conflicts with our feelings of responsibility at work.

So the question then, is it acceptable to share one’s faith with coworkers? The short answer is, “yes.” The full answer is a bit more complicated. For example, some might say it’s alright to share the actual gospel with coworkers on company time, others might shy away from that activity. Personally I even think this is too short an answer, as sometimes I think it is acceptable to do mission at work and sometimes I don’t. It depends on the situation and hard fast rules are difficult to employ. Company policy and regulations often also determine what is allowed and what isn’t. Of course that is also convoluted at times, as we seek to follow Christ above our human masters.

Regardless of whether you feel it is acceptable to share your faith at work or not, you must realize that it is vital to develop relationships at work that will allow for mission later. This is perhaps the most important aspect of mission at work. Without building relationships with our coworkers, it will matter very little whether we think it’s okay to share the gospel on company time or not. Without relationships, there will be no sharing Christ at all, at least not effectively.

Yes, the issue is confusing. What is acceptable and what is not as often up to the individual believer. What do you think? Have you ever share the gospel on company time? Or do you keep your mission and your work separate?

[Editor’s note: Dan has also written about this theme on his own blog. See Work Vs. Ministry and Pray For Boldness.]

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One thought on “Workplace Witness

  1. Every person has the inherent right to talk casually about any topic with any person willing to listen. If two people are communicating in a friendly manner about anything then this is great. It builds camaraderie and allows relationships to be built as well, If one person doesn’t like the direction of the conversation for any reason, then it will be obvious and the conversation can end there.

    We have a traffic light training for “sexual topics”. It can be applied to anything though.

    Green light would be obviously any topic that can not possibly be against regulation. Like someone says what did you do this weekend? And you say went to church or had a missionary over or whatever. There is literally no way this can be against a US regulation.

    Yellow light would be the sort of topic that you probably shouldn’t just walk up to a stranger and start discussing, but if you know your audience it should not be an issue. But there would be nothing inherently improper in it as long as both parties are freely discussing. This would be your friendly debates about nuances of faith or even discussions about different religions.

    And I think we all know what would be red light in a secular work place. Forcing people to attend a meeting and lacing it with any belief structure. Or walking up to people and loudly stating your opinion about their afterlife status or openly mocking a faith of any form.

    Having been on both sides of the religious aisle, I personally think we need to be honest and open about our differences and similarities in this issue and as long as we are willing to listen as well as “preach” our viewpoint then there should be no censoring casual religious discussions in the workplace, unless all non work related conversations are not welcome. If two guys can fantasy football at work for any length of time, which is perhaps the least important thing in the world, then surely two people should be allowed to discuss matters of the universe and the infinite.

    Nice article, btw.

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