“Jesus has changed our life; obviously we want to tell others,” said Brandon Watson, Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock young adult minister and podcast leader. “Sadly, Christians aren’t engaged in a lost world,” he said. “We’re hanging out with other Christians.”
For most, the workplace is an opportunity to interact daily with non-believers. God has put people in their specific jobs for a reason, said Brandon. Unfortunately, people compartmentalize their faith, he said, quoting a Barna statistic which stuck with him because of the low numbers. “It said that less than 5 percent of Christians share their faith. That’s devastating to the Church universal and something we should be ashamed of.” Hopefully, that number has grown because of the emphasis on discipleship, he said.
“I think the biggest need we have in the U.S. and throughout the world are Christians who live out their faith on the job,” said Baptist Collegiate Minister Jeremy Woodall. The former bivocational pastor encourages those entering the workforce–the college students he ministers to at the University of Arkansas in Monticello- -to live missionally. Some define living missionally as an experience such as going on an international mission trip or a spring break mission trip or a summer mission trip, he said. He’s seen firsthand people who share their faith only when on mission trips like these and ignoring God-given, daily opportunities.
Prayer is a key to changing that trend, said Jeremy. “I know (prayer) is the Sunday school answer, but we need to identify fellow believers in the workplace and those who are lost. We need to pray daily for boldness and encouragement for Christians and for salvation opportunities for non-Christians.” “I would suggest connecting with a Christian co-worker for prayer, encouragement, and lunch once a week,” added Lynn Loyd, Mission Consultant on the College+Young Leaders Team. “Our work matters to God and our work is an extension of our personal relationship to Jesus Christ.”
Both Brandon and Jeremy also suggested inviting coworkers home to, (as Jeremy put it), “let them see what a Christian family looks like.” Brandon’s hospitality suggestion comes with a caution though: “Sometimes ‘I have to share the Gospel’ becomes our end-all. People aren’t projects,” he said. Instead, Christians should love others, look for bridges to engage in spiritual conversations and earn the right to share Christ.