Blog - Supporting Believers
A Call for HelpFriday, June 17, 2011
Can you help me with a project? I am seeking to identify difficulties believers encounter in living out their faith on the job. What dilemmas, stresses, or unanswered questions do Christians face in the world of everyday work? What do they struggle with?
My reason for undertaking this project? I hope to make these concerns available to pastors and church leaders so that they can better equip believers to serve Christ in the labor force. My goal in documenting these troublesome areas is to help bridge that well-recognized "Sunday-Monday Gap.”
I’d like to hear the concerns of one particular segment of Christians who work: employees in non-church-related jobs. Employers and entrepreneurs wrestle with some of the same issues in addition to many others. They also need to be equipped. But in this project, I want to zero in on just employees—and only on those whose work takes them outside the church and its programs.
What kinds of issues are fair game? They can range across a wide spectrum. These few examples will illustrate:
- Grasping the reasons for working
- Making ethical decisions
- Recognizing legal boundaries
- Knowing the meaning and value of the work itself
- Serving believing coworkers, clients, patients, students, etc.
- Dealing with difficult bosses
- Balancing time demands
- Discerning why and when to accept a promotion or change jobs
- Seeing work itself as ministry
- Coping with isolation (the "Elijah syndrome”)
- Defeating discouragement and escapism
If you wish to respond in the comment section below, please try to do so in the form of a question. Let’s say you’re an employee—or you’ve spoken with Christian employees. Given the opportunity, what would you or they like to ask a pastor or church leader about walking the talk at work?
For example, one question might be: "Under the law, how far can a Christian go in sharing his or her faith on the job?” Or, "How can I remain spiritually engaged when the work demands my full concentration?”
I’ll appreciate any question you send. If you can supply several, so much the better.