Many of us have a problem with overworking. All of us have a problem with undervaluing the people we work with and for. One of the reasons why this happens is we fail to consider God’s plan for our work.
The average person is going to spend 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. You think maybe, just maybe, God wants to speak into that.
You’re not there just for your job. You’re not there just for a promotion. You’re not there just to make a name for yourself and build your resume. God didn’t just put you there for you. He put you there for others. He wants to reach your workplace with the gospel through you.
Here are five ways that can happen:
1. Pray for divine appointments
This is about realizing that God is at work where you work. It might might sound like a weird phrase—“divine appointments”—but it’s really simple: “Okay, today I’m going into work. Lord, would you connect me with someone who needs good news.” This is the first step in reorienting our hearts and minds to God’s plan for our work.
2. Be available to your coworkers
In prayer, we are making ourselves available to God. But we still need to make ourselves available to others. It’s really easy to confine our spiritual disciplines to a quiet time in the morning away from people, and then never “activate” them, so to speak.
It’s also easy to pray with mixed motives. You can pray for divine appointments with your words, but in your heart, you’re hoping the person God puts in your way is going to serve our needs and advance our position.
It may help to think of availability as a discipline. It doesn’t happen by accident. Anyone who has tried to build some margin into their life knows it takes focus and intentionality. Create margin for your coworkers.
3. Serve your coworkers
At some level, this is built into our work automatically. If you’re on a team, your work is affecting others. So just doing your work well serves them. But you can take it a step further. You can be proactive in this. Engage your coworkers. Be direct: “How can I help you? How can I make your job easier? What can I do?” This applies even if you are the boss.
4. Plan outside of work activities
Go to their post-work third places. Invite people over to a BBQ. Bring them into your holiday celebrations.
“I’m already spending so much time with these people, why would I want to spend any more?”
I get it. I really do. They get on our nerves. They cause more work for us. They draw us into the same conversations over and over again. But listen, sometimes a change in venue can change your perspective. You may discover things about your coworkers that you never knew. It may even make working with them easier.
“Well, I’m an introvert.”
Okay, but sometimes, you’ve got to push through that a bit.
5. Sharpen your gospel sharing skills
Last thing. We can know the gospel, but not know how to speak about it. Sometimes we can articulate it, but not in ways that resonate with our coworkers. Sometimes we see an opportunity to engage them in spiritual conversation, but we struggle to bring the talk around to the gospel.
You may want to grab a copy of Randy Newman’s Corner Conversations. The book is made up of seven fictional, but realistic dialogues. Don’t try to memorize them like a script. God wants to speak through your voice. But do consider the flow of these conversations. It may give you the confidence you need to speak the gospel into the lives of your coworkers.
Someone once said, “I used to get mad at people who would interrupt my work, until I realized that the interruptions were my work.” Maybe God is interrupting your work with the people He wants to work on.