If most people come to Christ through relationships, and today the place where followers of Christ have the most relationships with non-Christians is the workpace, then the workplace is the most significant venue for evangelism in North America–if not elsewhere.
Unfortunately, Mark Greene was correct in his assessment at Lausanne: “The 98% of Christians who are not in paid church work, are on the whole not equipped or envisioned for mission except in the two to ten hours that they might spend in church related activities every week. 98% have never been envisioned nor equipped for mission in 95% of their waking lives.”
In his challenging book, To Change the World, James Davison Hunter writes this.
- Jesus calls his followers to “go into all the world” (Mark) 16:15). This, of course, has long been interpreted geographically—the call of missionaries to go to faraway places to proclaim the good news and to make disciples. But the great commission can also be interpreted in terms of social structure. The church is to go into all realms of social life: in volunteer and paid labor—skilled and unskilled labor, the crafts, engineering, commerce, art, law, architecture, teaching, health care, and service. Indeed, the church should be sending people out in these realms—not only discipling those in these fields by providing the theological resources to form them well, but in fact mentoring and providing financial support for young adults who are gifted and called into these vocations. When the church does not send people out to these realms and when it does not provide the theologies that make sense of work and engagement in these realms, the church fails to fulfill the charge to “go into all the world” (p. 257).
How can we corect this neglect?
What are the best strategies to equip men and women to take faith to work?
How do we dismantle the wall dividing the secular from the sacred?
How do we help pastors see that the failure to equip their congregation for the workplace is to abandon the spiritually formation of the largest portion of a person’s life to secular culture?
How can we seize the millions of opportunities Christians have every week in their workplaces to nudge people toward a relationship with Christ?