July 24, 2014

Guest Post: Work as Ministry

Hi everyone, I hope you're enjoying all my lovely friends guest posting. Today we have Kelli from A Deeper Joy. She's written about a subject that I really struggle with-work as ministry. I hope as I find a new position, I will use my job to really live out God's word in the work place. Thanks so much Kelli for being here today!

Hey lovely Bound by Love readers!  I'm thrilled to be guest posting for Lauren today - thanks for letting me take over your space, friend!


This is such a huge topic in my life!  Just to give you a little background...I am a CPA.  I work in the tax department at a commercial real estate company with six other women.  Yep, seven accounting women all in one area!  Sounds like drama, right?  This might surprise you, but it's really not.  We do talk about life and such, but we don't hang out outside of work and we don't take things personally.

Work As Ministry

If you are a Christian and have been one since you were young, you might have experienced what I have.  I grew up in a Christian family, attended church camp, was a leader in the youth group and then attended a Christian university.  Shoot...even if you didn't grow up like me, it's likely that you have heard this as well.  I feel like it was engrained in my head that to achieve the ultimate status as a Christian was to "work in ministry".  Many Christians receive this as a calling and I think that is awesome!

What do we define as "ministry"?

Usually ministry is a position in the church such as a pastor, children's pastor, youth pastor/worker, domestic or international missionary, Christian counselor, or working for any type of faith-based organization.  While I believe that ALL of these positions are WONDERFUL and so glorifying to the Lord, I think our view of what is "ministry" is far too restricting.

Aren't we ALL called to ministry?  Whether you're a teacher, a construction worker, a social worker, a lawyer, an accountant, work in retail, work in hospitality, a mother, a father, a student, an administrative assistant, a blogger, a writer, a recruiter or a food server, YOU are in ministry.  Aren't all places a work (with the exception of jobs outright involving sin like prostitution) a place of ministry?

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." ~Colossians 3:23

We are called to work as if working for the Lord.  Working your hardest at whatever you do brings glory to the Lord.  THIS is a ministry!  If you prepare tax returns (haha...me!), prepare them with the best accuracy and diligence that you can.  If you teach children, teach them important information and discipline them with love.  This applies to all areas of work.  

How can you work as if working for the Lord in your career?

Relationships

Be a light for the Lord in your workplace.  Your coworkers are observing you and if they know that you are a Christian, they are developing an opinion of God by your actions.

"Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven."
~Matthew 5:16

We are a reflection of Christ.  I know this is tough because you are human and you are sinful.  You won't be perfect but you can strive to live a Christ-like life through your words and actions at work.  Be open about God's forgiveness but strive to be a good example.  Someone may come to know Christ through you but could also be hindered by your behavior.  I daily have to remind myself of this.  I am often tempted to gossip and complain at work.  Then I remember that it isn't Christ-like and I want my coworkers to see God's love through me.

I know this can be awkward - I know!  I try to develop relationships with my coworkers.  I want them to know that I care about them not just as coworkers, but as friends.  We often talk about personal stuff without getting too nosey.  This can be a tough road to walk but such a rewarding one!  I pray often for my coworkers and am there for them to talk to if they need it.

This has honestly been what has kept me in my profession.  Sometimes I hate the actual work (and have to remind myself of Colossians 3:23) but knowing that so many professionals would never come in contact with a believer otherwise, motivates me to stay there and love them.  It is definitely a mission field!

How can you better show the love of Christ to your coworkers?

17 comments:

  1. Kelli, you nailed it! I catch myself venting to coworkers sometimes and I always hate that that is a reflection on God, but it is. This is so important for people to read!

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  2. Yes!! So good Kelli! It's so easy to forget that we all have a purpose and ministry, whether we are a stay at home mom, work in the corporate world, or are a missionary in Africa! Thanks for this reminder to be purposeful no matter what we are doing!!

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  3. Thanks for letting me guest post, Lauren! Hope you're having fun on vacation! And thanks Cassie and Caroline! :) Such a huge topic that I have to remind myself about daily!

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  4. Hi Lauren! Found your blog through Kelli's and it's so cute! Kelli - you absolutely nailed it on the head. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks Kelly! It's a huge topic for me...one I think about a lot! Glad you stopped by Lauren's blog! :) Love her!

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  5. Great post Kelli! I really try to not gossip too much with my co-workers, but we are a small group so it's hard. You spend so much time with these people! Be a light for the Lord in your workplace. Love that!

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    1. Yeah it is tough...especially when you're really frustrated! I know! I feel like I spend more time with them than my husband. Thanks for coming over to Lauren's blog to read!

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  6. Wonderful words Kelli! Due to a similar church sermon within the past year, I've definitely tried to be more conscious about this recently. Things I'd never really thought about before.

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    1. Awesome! We went to a conference at our church, put on by a seminary, on this topic and it really, really made me think. It's so encouraging!

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  7. Great post, Kelli!! I worked in a salon for 5 years and this was absolutely something I had to 100% keep in mind at all times.

    Now my co-worker is my husband and my job is that precocious 3 year old. I have to keep that ministry in mind 150% of the time :)

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    1. Absolutely! No matter what you're doing, it matters! I used to think it was only in the traditional view of "ministry" but that's so wrong!

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  8. Kelli, this was perfect! Thank you for posting!!

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  9. Absolutely LOVE this, Kelli! It is a perfect reminder that God has placed each of us very uniquely, and we are called to minister to those in our sphere... God needs Christian CPAs, RNs, CEOs, etc... not just Christian pastors! For so long I wanted to be called to more "traditional" ministry, but I know that God has placed me exactly where He wants me.

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    1. That's awesome, Lisa! Exact same thing with me!

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  10. Thank you for this!!! I try very hard to keep Him at the center of my work and to allow Him to use me to minister to the couples and families that I encounter! And I hate to admit it, but sometimes it is easy to forget that my actions and words are a reflections of God's love. Thank you for this reminder to love on God's people no matter what!!

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  11. This is wonderful Kelli!

    When I was working I used to think that I wished I could do something more aligned with my spirituality. I wished that I could minister somehow to those around me. I worked in child care and things are kept very secular in child care... you could get severely reprimanded if you mention God. So, needless to say, I kept my faith under wraps.

    However, as young in my faith as I was, I didn't realize that I could pray for my coworkers and children. That my ministry doesn't have to be outright and overt... it could come in the form of muffins for my coworkers, offering to work late for someone, etc.

    Thank you for this post Kelli... and for the reminder that we're ALL called to do God's work.
    xoxo

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  12. Wow, great topic... very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing.

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