Four Attributes of an Effective Workplace Witness
Os Hillman • Work As Ministry
Four Attributes of an Effective Workplace Witness
If I were to ask you to describe the core attributes of a person who exemplifies God's ideal for a Christian in the workplace, what would you say? This is the most common question I get from the secular media.
Over the past several years, I have observed four key qualities exhibited by workplace believers who are transforming their workplaces for Christ. I believe these attributes are God's ideal for the Spirit-led worker today. Let's take a look at them.
Attribute #1: A Quality of Excellence
One of the four ways we can make an impact for Christ on our workplace is by doing our work with excellence. In the Bible, Bezalel was a man handpicked by God to perform an important work-to design and build the Ark of the Covenant. He was also the first man described in Scripture as being filled with the Spirit of God: "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship'" (Exod. 31:1-6). The work of Christians should be excellent in every way because we have the Spirit of God operating in us.
Attribute #2: A Foundation of Ethics and Integrity
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once played a practical joke on 12 respected and well-known men he knew. He sent out 12 telegrams with the same message on each: "Flee at once. All is discovered." Within 24 hours, all 12 men had left the country!2 Obviously, each of these men had something to hide.
I call Psalm 15 the "Ethics Psalm." I particularly like the way THE MESSAGE paraphrases it: "God, who gets invited to dinner at your place? How do we get on your guest list? 'Walk straight, act right, tell the truth. Don't hurt your friend, don't blame your neighbor; despise the despicable. Keep your word even when it costs you, make an honest living, and never take a bribe. You'll never get blacklisted if you live like this.'"
Attribute #3: Extravagant Love and Service
Recently, I took a phone call from a CEO of a company who shared about the impact of the TGIF devotionals that I write and now read by more than 500,000 people daily worldwide. A family member had been sending them to him. I recognized that the man was not a Christian. Though I was leaving town that afternoon and was pressed for time, we began to talk, and ultimately the man prayed over the phone to receive Christ. Later, he commented on how impressed he was that I took the time to listen to him even though I had to get out of town. Being a busy executive, this man equated time with love and service. That is what the world is looking for.
Attribute #4: Signs and Wonders
The fourth attribute of an effective workplace witness is signs and wonders. The Early Church made a huge impact on society not through knowledge, ethics, or service alone, but through demonstrating the power of God. "The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people" (Acts 5:12).
When I published my first book I had to take 1,000 copies as part of my agreement with the publisher. It was during a season in my life when I was struggling financially. The internet was just getting going and it was the beginning of my workplace ministry. After months of only selling a few copies of week, I became burdened by this. Then one Saturday I awoke and had the scripture verse from Mark 11 pop into my mind: "So Jesus answered and said to them, 'Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.' Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them"(Mark 11:22-24).
I told Angie that I thought God wanted us to go to the basement and speak to our box of books and tell them to leave the basement! She looked at me funny but agreed to follow me to the basement. I prayed, "In the name of Jesus I command you to get out of the basement and go be a blessing to those in the marketplace! Amen." It was Saturday morning. That afternoon I got a phone call from a ministry in Dallas, Texas that I had no prior relationship with. They called our home office and ordered 300 books-a $3,000 order!
Excellence, ethics and integrity, extravagant love and service, and signs and wonders-these are the attributes of the worker that God is using in dramatic ways. May the Lord allow you to make these four qualities part of the makeup of your own workplace call.
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