Paul Ress, A Workplace Missionary

Mike Henry was recently given the opportunity to ask Paul Ress, of workplacemissionary.com, some questions about why he began his ministry and about his experience taking a Follower Of One Marketplace Mission Trip. Read on to discover his answers.

A Workplace Missionary

Paul Ress is a marketing professional who spent the early years of his career chasing money and power. He came to realize what really mattered is loving people like Jesus did. After going on a mission trip to Uganda, the Holy Spirit led him to launch workplacemissionary.com as an inspiration for others to follow Jesus at work.

How and when did you first decide to follow Jesus?

My wife convinced me to go to church after we got married. I was resistant at first because of my perspective of organized religion. What I discovered is that people are broken and that the church is no exception. I became aware that Jesus loves you no matter where you are or where you’ve been. That’s when I decided to follow Jesus.

Tell us about how you decided you wanted to be a workplace missionary.

I came back from a mission trip to Adjumani, Uganda. It shattered my lens on life. I quickly learned that most of the Christians I knew couldn’t relate to what I had experienced and had excuses as to why they couldn’t go on an international mission trip. Then I realized that our workplaces are mission fields. We don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to share Jesus with others. God put us where we are to love those around us for his glory.

What actions do you typically recommend to others who want their work to matter for eternity?

I recommended taking actions that show love to others. Making time to get to know what matters to people outside of work and showing grace when you’ve been wronged are examples. It’s the cumulative impact of small actions done out of love that will make your work matter for eternity.

What was your experience as you have taken those actions at work?

People smile and are surprised at times.

What cautions would you give others who want to become a workplace missionary? What are some of the things we need to avoid?

Most of our workplaces are secure and human resource policies are put in place to legally protect companies. My suggestion is to review your company’s human resource policies and adhere to them. Also, avoid being self-righteous. There’s a reason why Christians have negative stereotypes – don’t be the Christian that reinforces them.

You took part in the Follower of One Marketplace Mission Trip. What did you think as you were going through that exercise?

I was reminded to not relapse into worldly habits. It’s easy to become self-centered. The daily communications and the teleconferences helped put my focus back on Jesus.

What recommendations would you make to people taking the trip?

You’ll fail at being a missionary at work and that’s okay. Remember to fail fast, learn from what went wrong and pray for wisdom.

What final things would you add to energize and equip other Christ-followers to live as a workplace missionary?

Work as if you worked for Jesus. This mindset will energize you and the love you show others will make you distinctive.

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