As a student in CCU’s Graduate Certificate in Leadership program, I’m enjoying the integration of biblical truth and values with outstanding secular research. And as I reflect on the application of my graduate studies to the actual workplace, some questions come to mind. I would love to hear from fellow CCU classmates (and hey, thinking big, wouldn’t it be a blessing to sit down with Bill Armstrong and pose these questions, because I think he truly exemplified how to gracefully live out of Christian principles in an extremely hostile secular work environment: the political arena and the U. S. Senate.
I’m just wondering…
1. As Christians committed to living as Christ would have us live, how do we lead in a secular (sometimes hostile) environment according to biblical principles without giving our colleagues an unfortunate caricature of Christianity for them to deride and mock? Since Jesus assured us we’d face trials and persecutions, is derision and scorn over our faith inevitable in the secular workplace?
2. What “lines” should we draw for ourselves, if any, regarding talking about our faith in the workplace? How can we be “salt and light” to the world without crossing any corporate lines prohibiting proselytizing? What is appropriate and inappropriate conversation regarding spiritual issues and values, especially as we weigh decisions with moral implications?
3. As we seek to honor and glorify Christ in our work, what attributes or character qualities do we want our workplace colleagues to see in us on a daily basis? How do we honor and glorify Christ among non-Christians?
4. Do we commit these desires to Him throughout the day, asking His Spirit to reign in our hearts moment by moment?
I confess that I’ve worked mostly in Christian companies or ministries most of my life, with a few secular exceptions. I also have to point out that not all leaders and employees in the Christian companies/ministries exemplified Christ or biblical values all the time. We have to be just as intentional about living the fruit of the Spirit in Christian environments as we are in the secular. Which leads to a last question (for now):
5. If we’re leading in a Christian enterprise, church, Bible study, etc., what are some of the temptations or pitfalls we might be especially susceptible to? (One that I’ve observed is the tendency to get spiritually lazy or let my guard down…when in fact leading a Christian entity requires more vigilance and stewardship than ever!) What other problems might we be susceptible to?
Thanks for thinking this through with me. I’m hoping our inputs can be of help to all of us as we seek to glorify God in whatever work environment He places us.