What’s your secret?
You know, the one you find others quietly examining your life about as they try to figure you out.
They’re curious, you know. You’re different, and they want to know why. You and I both know your secret is the indwelling life of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:27). But those with whom you interact every day as you go about your job? They don’t know Him, and they don’t know your secret. They’re trying to figure it out.
To this I say, congratulations. You have been placed smack dab in the middle of the world’s largest mission field: the workplace. Not everyone goes to church on Sunday, but 125 million Americans go to work somewhere on Monday! These millions are full-time workers, on the job 35+ hours a week, and now increasingly connected to some aspect of work almost every waking hour.
The influence you have with your employees, their families, your customers, partners, and suppliers is remarkable. Studies have shown a small business with only 100 employees has interaction and influence with 8,000 people!
COMMANDED AND COMMISSIONED
No one else has the same God-positioned, gifted, anointed, and appointed assignment that you do. To do what, you ask? To be nice and kind to others? To uphold high moral standards? Oh, but our calling is so much greater! The key to revealing our “secret,” the gospel of Jesus Christ, is found in the Bible, specifically these two passages:
The Great Commandment (Matthew 22: 37-40)
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
When we live our lives motivated by our calling as shown above, not relying on our own strength but empowered by the Holy Spirit, our energy and joy ooze out of us. Our influence for Jesus Christ becomes uncontainable. Workplace leaders like yourself, who are humble and ready to serve and do what the Lord calls His people to do, are mighty forces for the Kingdom of God. Now is the time to recapture and gain ground for the Kingdom by catalyzing the workplace to change culture!
When a pastor in a mid-sized city told me he wanted to reach 1,000 unchurched people in a certain downtown area, I didn’t suggest he set up a church or try to hold events. My suggestion was, “Why not find 10 Christian company leaders who run small businesses with 100 employees and start there?” The marketplace is where lives become changed!
I have the privilege of promoting a ministry called Marketplace Chaplains. Our Chaplains make more than 3,600 worksite visits per week to build relationships of trust and confidence with everyday Average Joes, people who seem to have it all together but whose marriages are in shambles, kids are rebelling, alcohol use is out of control, or are broken and walking through any number of other challenges. Nearly 80 percent of these employees do not have a person of confidence to talk to, nor are they connected to a church.
It’s through Marketplace Chaplains that people like Roger are finding hope. Roger was an angry employee. Life had not treated him well, and he took out his frustrations on others. He worked tirelessly at a distribution center for years with not many friends. His outbursts of anger and cursing, and his physical size, intimidated most coworkers and even the Chaplains who served there.
Roger was headed to work one day, late as usual and in a hurry, honking at people to get out of his way. Then, boom. His car broke down only a few miles from work. A few minutes later, Chaplain Mickey was driving in to make his Thursday morning visit to Roger’s workplace. When he saw a truck broken down on the side of the road, he pulled over to help. Surprised to see Roger, and well aware of Roger’s character, he cautiously asked if he could lend him a ride. Roger accepted, got in, and slammed the door while uttering a few choice words.
It was silent in the vehicle for a few minutes. Finally, Chaplain Mickey said, “May I ask you a question?” Roger replied, “Well, if there is anybody I can trust, it would be you, Chaplain!” Chaplain Mickey simply said, “Roger, would you like to find real peace in your life?”
Conversation and prayer followed, and today Roger is a transformed man who loves and follows Jesus Christ. He even leads the weekly devotional and Bible study—not at a church, but in the break room at his busy distribution center!
Every four minutes of each workday an employee reaches out to a Chaplain with a problem or a crisis, and three employees per day come to Christ because a Chaplain shared the gospel. God is moving in the workplace!
LET’S DO THIS
Culture is changed one person at a time, life-on-life, and there are no easy formulas or shortcuts. The key to accomplishing a goal so awesome as the Great Commission is responding to the Great Commandment with a spirit of teamwork. We are all a part of one body. Being unified does not mean everybody does the same thing; it simply means everyone does his one thing well, and all parties are pointed in the same direction.
May you take courage and take heart. Transforming lives is not up to you. It’s up to the Lord, and He will do it. You need only be willing to be used by Him. We find God’s Word rich with His promises, including what David said to his son Solomon: “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God-my God-will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 28:20).
The time is now and the place is exactly where you are. So, don’t move, look around, or wonder. Just start!