We gathered in the empty restaurant on a Monday morning in Hong Kong. The restaurant would open later for business, but now was hosting a special group of key Asian leaders. There around the table were twelve Chinese small business owners. This is one of several groups that meet each week in a carefully orchestrated strategic ministry. The leader is a mature believer. He is supported by the ministry's director who is a skilled facilitator and by another very successful business leader who co leads the group. Both are in attendance but play a minor role on this day. The setting was not that much different than we see in groups all over the U. S. in multiple workplace ministries. These leaders look different, speak another language, and come from a different culture. However, their hearts are the same as we see all over the world.
The apostle Paul enlists the word "stronghold" to define the spiritual fortresses where Satan and his legions go for protection. These fortresses exist in the thought-patterns and ideas that govern individuals in their homes, workplaces and churches, as well as in communities and nations. Before victory can be claimed, these strongholds must be pulled down. Only then can the mighty weapons of the Word and the Spirit effectively plunder Satan's house. As Paul states, The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:4-5). Here is an example of how a stronghold can develop and affect someone's working life. "Jerry" had grown up with a father who was successful and a workaholic. Although Jer
Helen M. Mitchell • Church-Based Workplace Ministry
Sadly, research shows that people today are increasingly less satisfied with their jobs and see little or no purpose to their work life. Yet in Ecclesiastes 5:18 (NIV) we read, "Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him - for this is his lot."
Workplace small groups and ministries impact people where they live most of the week. The workplace is a part of the Great Commission. It provides a way to meet and reach those who are seeking spiritual answers.
I began traveling and speaking about faith and work issues in 1996 after having a career in advertising. God led me to study the topic of faith and work and its role in the average person's life. I began writing and speaking on the subject. Since that time I have been in twenty-five countries and spoken to hundreds of thousands of people about their calling in the workplace and the value it has by God. I have encouraged believers to know that their calling in their working life is a Holy calling, not a second-class calling. Now, twenty-five nations later and ten books later, I have learned one overwhelming fact: Christians do not have a theology of work.
Why do we work? Is there a theological basis for work? Doug Woolley, with extensive research throughout the scriptures, cites the reasons why we work, and the scriptural basis for work. Great for pastors, workplace leaders, and anyone else desiring to know the "Theology of Work and Its Practical Implications."
If I were to ask you to describe the core attributes of a person who exemplifies God's ideal for a Christian in the workplace, what would you say? This is the most common question I get from the secular media. Over the past several years, I have observed four key qualities exhibited by workplace believers who are transforming their workplaces for Christ. I believe these attributes are God's ideal for the Spirit-led worker today. Let's take a look at them.
David was a man who knew pressure. Sometimes that pressure was a result of his own doing. Other times it was a result of the calling upon his life.
Everyone has times when pressure is placed upon them. It can bring the fires of adversity upon us when we least expect it. In the workplace, pressure can come in many different ways. A boss may pressure you for more sales. Conflicts may arise when a co-worker views things differently and you begin to accuse one another. A botched job may bring pressure on you to cut corners or to make allowances for other's failures. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.