I searched Google for terms like “workplace ministry ideas” and “marketplace faith.” Many marketplace people and pastors work to take their faith into the marketplace. At Follower of One want to help.
However, our first step can’t be that we either 1) tell everyone we meet or that we try to 2) shut our faith off. No one wants to talk to someone who incessantly steers conversations. At the same time, we can’t shut our faith off, either. We can’t be something we’re not.
Integrity means pure. To have integrity means we represent ourselves truly and accurately. We can’t hide our faith and maintain integrity. Our faith should be visible without being obnoxious.
How do we live a faith that isn’t obnoxious? Pray, care and notice.
God works every day to bring people to himself. Jesus said both he and the Father were working (John 5:17). The Father seeks true worshippers (John 4:23). In the parable of the prodigal son, the father was watching down the road for his son. God is actively drawing people to himself. So, we pray, and make ourselves available to do what God wants. Our prayers ask God to work for others, and also to show us how we can take part.
God cares for us, and we should care for one another. Caring for others helps us avoid being obnoxious and it marks us as children of Jesus. But care must result in action. In James 2:14-17 we’re told that our faith must be visible. Saying we care and actually doing something are totally different things.
For many years, Christians just assumed everyone else was OK with living like a Christian. Stores were closed on Sunday. People lived a certain way. But recently, people who don’t follow Jesus also resist acting like those who do. They don’t want to be expected to live like they follow Jesus and I can’t blame them. We need to look closer and harder to see hurting people. The more money our friends have, the easier they can hide their challenges. Ask God to show ways we can help our coworkers, family and friends. Notice both what’s going on with others and what God is doing.
When we pray, care and notice, we become full-time marketplace missionaries. God will put us to work and we will see him work in and around us. Try it for 2 weeks and let me know how it goes. I’m praying for you and for the stories you will be able to tell about how God put you to work!