My parents used to be full-time missionaries with Campus Crusade until they embraced the full-time ministry of “the marketplace”. In other words, they ventured out into the mundane world of work, and brought the light of Christ into it. I am now in my third year out of university and working in general practice. Over the last couple of years, I have journeyed, experienced, grown and developed my own workplace testimony. It is the strength God gives me when I am discouraged, the joy I have in helping patients to heal, the wonder I see in the complexity of life, and the vision God gives me of His kingdom. At church, we have been going through a series called “My work, my ministry”. Our workplaces are indeed our ministry and like my parents, I want to embrace my workdays with the light Christ has placed in me.
Reflecting on the many stories and testimonies I have heard from those working full-time for the Lord, I see the following aspects of marketplace ministry – P E A C E.
Presence – the presence of the Holy Spirit, the light of God seen through us.
Eyes – to see the opportunities God gives us in the workplace.
Answers – to the silent prayers, fasting, and intercession we commit to God.
Courage – to stand up for God’s ways, and to speak the truth.
Exalt – exalt God, and build His kingdom.
Why P E A C E? – [Matthew 5:9] says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they are sons of God.” In the Scripture, Jesus tells us that He has left His peace with us. He also says we are to share this peace with others. This is the peace that God has given us and told us to spread – peace between God and man through Christ Jesus. This is what it means to build His kingdom here on earth. This is our focus as we live, work, and enjoy the earth God has given us while eagerly awaiting His return.
——————- PRESENCE ——————-
[Matthew 5:16] – “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Our presence in the workplace – whether indoors, outdoors, in an office, or travelling, carries the presence of God. The Holy Spirit within us glorifies the Father and the recognition of this “something different” in us can be one of the most encouraging workplace testimonies. The power of the Spirit here is not in the words we speak, but in who we are – we live as children of God, and the world sees our Father in heaven. We shine His light in the world, and the world experiences His life. Presence in the workplace is when our being there produces love, peace, and joy. It is when our presence in the workplace transforms it.
During my first week of work as a general practice registrar, my supervisor took me aside and told me that both he and the boss noticed I was different from the other registrars. He said I refreshed the atmosphere of the practice and told me, “Whatever you have, give it to the patients because they need it.” When people notice that there is something different, and wonderful about the way we work, or about our attitude towards work, that is presence. [Matthew 28:19] says,
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Let us carry the presence of God through the Holy Spirit alive and visible in us as we work and love others.
——————- EYES ——————-
[Galatians 6:9-10] – “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
There are countless opportunities God gives us in our workplaces – opportunities to encourage a colleague, pray for a patient, pass on a word in season. Jesus says that just as the Father is always working, so too is He [John 5:17]. He also says that “…The harvest is truly plentiful, but the labourers are few…” [Matthew 9:37] Driving to work and preparing for nightshifts, I remember how I would ask God to help me see opportunities and obey His leading as I worked. I now have numerous stories of how I was able to pray, encourage, and be part of the miracles God was doing in my workplace.
God is always at working so let us ask Him what He is doing in our workplace, and partner with Him for the harvest!
——————- ANSWERS ——————-
[Matthew 6:6] – “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
The secret place is between us and God. It is the place where we build intimacy with Him, and He shows us His heart. Sometimes, requests are made in the secret place. We may ask God for direction, for protection, for wisdom, for answers to a situation, or for miracles. [1 John 5:14-15] says,
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know what He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
One of my most memorable testimonies from the workplace involved a period where I fasted and prayed for a couple of patients. The one who was expected to die, recovered and lived beyond expectations. Another young man, diagnosed with permanent hemiplegia, began to move his paralysed side.
We have a God who always answers, so let us ask His will, and make our requests known to Him.
——————- COURAGE ——————-
[Psalm 86:11] – “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.”
While some workplace battles are won in the secret place, some are won through a courageous stand. This might be a word defending God’s truth, a decision not to join in with something that would dishonor God’s name, or just taking the chance to share the gospel. God knows what we can handle, and He has given us strength, courage, boldness and words to speak through the Holy Spirit in us. Silent prayer is important, but so is demonstration of faith in the lives we live. It is all too easy to stay silent when we are unsure what our colleagues will think. However, I have been surprised many times when I have spoken up for God’s truth, and seen people really begin to think about it.
Let us fear God, and not man, as we minister in the workplace.
——————- EXALT ——————-
[Matthew 6:10] – “Your kingdom come, Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.”
Your kingdom come! What a powerful proclamation we can speak over our workplace. Jesus, let your Name be glorified here! We manifest this is in the excellence of our work, and the attitude we have towards it. I study so I can give my patients the best care, so I can stand as a reputable witness for my Lord God, so I can help build His kingdom in my workplace. Worship is not just about words, it is also the attitude of our heart. Do we work to glorify God? Is it because of expectation? Is it because we have to? Why do we work?
[Mathew 6:33] – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Let us worship God in our workplace, and seek first His kingdom!