Should you share the Gospel at work? The short answer:
But before you answer that question we have to re-consider what we mean when we say “gospel” and “share.” So much of out evangelicalism has bought into the notion that the “gospel” consists of four points merely with a decision called for at the end. Sure, the backbone of the Good News is God, Man, Sin, Repentance, Forgiveness.
Throughout our lives, however, we are called to creatively interweave the gospel in our lives. In other words, we need to think of the gospel as integrally tied to our worldview. We cannot look at the customer buying something from us apart from seeing them as made in God’s image and in need of redemption. We cannot listen to the demands of our manager without considering that we are to revere him as we do the Lord. We cannot respond to a frustrated customer wihtout understanding that there are idols of the heart that must be demolished.
Some people have said that we should not “share the gospel” at work because we are not being paid to “share the gospel.” I think I know what they are getting at. Of course we shouldn’t set up a chair at the water cooler and field questions of faith when we should be making phone calls. Of course we shouldn’t transition from selling a cell phone by saying, “You know how important communication with your loved ones is? Did you know that God wants to communicate with you too?” That would be awkward, it would burn a bridge rather than build it since people can sniff the farce of the sale.
If, on the other hand, we begin to integrate our lives in such a way that the gospel becomes the thread by which we weave the fabric of our lives, we cannot help but share the gospel in every conversation we have (all speech should be “seasoned with the salt of the gospel”). My job is pretty slow by way of customers coming in the doors, so I have the pleasure (sometimes it is a drudgery, honestly) of talking at length with a customer provided there is not someone waiting in line. There are a few folks I see every couple weeks or so. I try to remember their names, their situations in life (college, loss of family member, broke up with girlfriend, etc…sometimes I feel like a bartender!), etc. When they come in I ask them about their life, and they do the same. Whether I am having a hard week or a good week, I share it. Today, I mentioned to a lady how I am thinking and praying through my life decisions that are coming down the pike. At times I get to ask them how they celebrated Easter, Christmas, etc. I seek to be human and treat them as humans. When they are frustrated, I try to help them.
A couple came in a few days ago and they were extremely perturbed, planning on canceling their service with us because they had been told one thing and something else had been done. I looked at them and had genuine compassion on them. I sought to max out their discounts on service and see what I could do to make their lives better. Instead of chaos in their lives, I sought to bring wholeness — shalom in the Hebrew which means a holistic restoration of the broken order. They had been deceived but I sought to bring truth and alleviate their suffering. In a way, this is like offering a cup of cold water to the parched soul.
[Continued in Part 2]