Five simple things to do at work this week…
.... and see what God does
Every day in the UK around 2 million Christians go to work and engage with tens of millions of people in thousands of workplaces and organisations. What amazing opportunities to have a transformative impact for Christ – but do we feel confident in making the most of those opportunities?
The team at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, who empower and equip Christians to make a difference wherever they find themselves, have a few suggestions to get you started...
1 - BE NOSY
It’s easy for us to get so used to relating to people at work on a purely professional level that we forget that our colleagues and clients have whole lives outside of the workplace.
So as you go to work today, be nosy! Within the bounds of appropriateness of course. But start showing a friendly curiosity about people’s lives and ask God to heighten your awareness of the state of those around you. Is anyone distracted, under pressure, unusually tired? Simply asking someone how they’re doing – and actually listening to the answer – is a simple way to reflect God’s love that can make a huge difference.
2 - PUT GOD ON YOUR TO-DO LIST
God knows we’re forgetful and has always encouraged his people to use all sorts of practical ways of reminding themselves of his presence and commandments (Deut 6:5-9).
So try using just a few small things to help you remember God at work this week… a particular image on your screen saver, a different ring tone on your mobile, a meaningful laptop password, an unusual but significant object on your desk, even a note on your ‘to-do’ list – sometimes we need to be more literal about inviting God into our everyday practical tasks!
3 - WAVE GOODBYE TO EMAIL
Sometimes it’s too easy to shoot off an email without thinking how it’s going to be received. Emails can add stress, be misleading and be detrimental to working relationships.
So this week, before writing an email, think ‘Do I need to send this or could I make the effort to talk face-to-face with the person?’ Sometimes they’re just down the corridor or at the next work station. Even if they’re further away a quick call or Skype can really help you understand each other, and the task at hand, better.
4 - CAFFEINATE YOUR PRAYERS
If we’re God’s children when we’re worshipping in church, we’re still his children when we’re serving at work. That means we can draw on his wisdom and resources for those workplace challenges we face – but we often forget that.
So why not use your daily trips to the coffee point as a chance to spend a minute praying about a work issue using just one line from the Lord’s Prayer:
‘Hallowed be your name’ - God, help me to remember that ultimately it’s you I’m serving at work today
‘Your Kingdom come’ - In my relationship with that customer; in my conversation with that colleague
‘Give us today our daily bread’ - I really need your help to work efficiently and finish this project on time!
5 - CHANGE THE BOAT’S DIRECTION
What frustrates you about your workplace? What do you moan about to your colleagues, your friends, your other half?
When you’ve identified something you’d like to see changed – unhealthy competition, gossip, an absence of joy – then do something simple to address it: give away a sales lead, talk up your colleagues, buy chocolate for your team. It might feel like a drop in the ocean, but it only needs a shift of one degree to take an enormous ocean liner to a completely different destination.
This article first was produced by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC), and is republished with permission.
For more ideas on how to live out your faith at work take a look at LICC’s new workplace discipleship resource Transforming Work at www.licc.org.uk/tw or download the app (available through Apple and Android)