Witnessing at work can be a little tricky. You can’t use your position as a platform for evangelism, but you are usually allowed to answer questions. Of course that assumes that someone is asking. The Apostle Peter assumed the same. In 1 Peter 3:15 he says: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV11).
Peter assumes that your life and conduct will be unusual enough to inspire curiosity. He assumes that rather than trying to be as like the culture as possible, Christians will be maintaining a strategic gap. Therefore he commends the following strategy: Be weird and answer questions.
But how should I be weird at work?
These five simple things are just strange enough to get noticed. They should stand out, they should invite curiosity and they may just open the door for you to speak to your friends and co-workers about Jesus.
Get Married And Stay Married
A beautiful marriage makes a compelling argument for the goodness and wisdom of God. Investing in your spouse is a form of “pre-evangelism.” Show your co-workers what it looks like to love your wife as Christ loves the church. Let them know that you wash her car and get it vacuumed every Saturday and never let them hear you grumble about those sticky apple juice things that seem to have been designed simply to ruin your life. Suck it up buttercup and serve and sacrifice for your wife.
And when your buddies ask you why you can’t get a new snowmobile explain to them that it is because you don’t want your wife to have to work or you want to make sure she’s got a safe vehicle.
Simple little things can attract a lot of attention.
A healthy, happy, stable marriage is weird and it will get noticed.
Have And Enjoy Babies
A number of studies have pointed out recently that many millennials are not planning on having children. One article I read recently had the title “10 Brutally Real Reasons Why Millennials Refuse To Have Kids.”
Among the “brutally real” reasons were the following:
- The world is a scary place
- We’re all dirt poor.
- There are already too many people on the planet.
- Pregnancy is … not … hot.
- We’ll ruin them with our parenting.
- We want to pursue our careers.
So it looks like kids are out.
You want to get noticed? Have and love your kids.
And be sure to raise them well. Bad kids are not a good argument for the goodness and wisdom of God. But good kids are. Kids that you love and lead. Kids that you provide for and who become contributing members of society.
Do you want to be weird? Raise a family.
Live below Your Means – Tithe/Save/Give
As several studies have recently indicated, Canadians are no longer a nation of savers. We owe $165 for every $100 that we make. We live in more house than we can afford. We drive more car than we can afford. We pay for our vacations on our credit cards and we are completely unprepared for retirement. Do you want to get noticed?
Learn to live on 75% of your income.
Tithe to your church, save 10% a year for retirement and keep 5% in reserve for spontaneous generosity.
If you do this you will get noticed.
If you are already in a huge hole financially, obviously, it is going to take you a while to dig out. The 75% standard is an aspirational target that it may take you 5 years to achieve.
It’s right. It’s wise. It’s good. And it will get noticed.
Your friends will ask you questions and when they do you are on your way to talking about Jesus.
Serve Selflessly, in Your Church And in Your Community
Most of your work colleagues will be spending their weekends on four wheelers or at the cottage. When they hear that you can’t join them because you are doing your shift at the clothing exchange that will get noticed.
There are few things more disruptive than regular service. It pretty much ruins your life – if your life is about four wheeling and cottages. The fact that you do it – faithfully, joyfully, gladly, seems almost incomprehensible to regular people.
They will notice. They might even be concerned. They will certainly ask questions. And when they do you may quickly find yourself talking about Jesus.
Worship is weird all on its own. Some churches try really hard to take the edges off the weirdness but they eventually realize that the crazy is baked in.
Especially if it looks like you believe it.
If you worship every Sunday – if you hate to miss and almost never do – if you legitimately love it and live out of it your friends and co-workers will eventually notice. They’ll be interested, maybe even compelled. They’ll ask you questions and you will very soon find yourself talking about Jesus.
Being weird at work is not about wearing your “Jesus Didn’t Tap” t-shirt. It’s not about refusing to say happy holidays. It’s about living Biblically and accessibly in an increasingly dysfunctional world.
If you do that people will see. They will be curious. They’ll ask questions and when they do, you tell them about Jesus.
And may God alone by glorified.
N.B. This article was originally written for Seven Magazine, which is targeted specifically at men.
To learn more from pastor and Bible teacher Paul Carter be sure to check out the new cycle of the Into The Word podcast. The new production cycle is working chapter by chapter through The Gospel of Mark. You can find it here.