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British speaker: Workplace ministry hampered by secular-sacred mindset

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP)–Workplace ministries are important because “work matters to God,” Mark Greene, executive director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity in England, told a conference on “His Presence in the Workplace” March 31-April 3 at The Cove near Asheville, N.C.

Work is “a purposeful activity, whether we answer phones at the receptionist desk or whether we close in on a million-dollar transaction,” said Greene, a former advertising executive. “… The King of the Universe is interested in the lives of His creation.”

As part of a growing movement to encourage Christians to use the hours of 9 to 5 to win souls for Christ, Greene and other leaders are asking for support from local churches in equipping their members for workplace outreach.

“Work is a fantastic platform for ministry,” Greene said. But, he asked, “If the workplace is so important to God, why do so many people across the world get no support from their church community in how to minister in the workplace?”

The answer, he said, reflects the “great divide” between secular and sacred careers.

“There is not one square centimeter of earth that God does not say, ‘mine,'” Greene noted. A “Holy Hierarchy” mindset, however, places pastors and missionaries at the top of the hierarchy and Christians employed by secular businesses at the bottom.

“This causes a suspicion of the use of money and talent on the part of the Christian professional,” Greene observed before noting, “I believe you can be called to a job and have the same impact as someone in ‘fulltime’ Christian ministry.”

Christian workers are able to share the love of Christ because, “In the workplace, the playing field is the same except for Jesus Christ in the lives of the Christians,” Greene said. “Workers are credible, transparent, connected, cross-cultural, and cross-generational.”

Through their daily contact with those without Christ, believers in the workplace are called to transform the lives of workers around them through their actions, Greene said.

“We are to be active agents of transformation. We are called to be a blessing in the workplace,” he said. “Christians have something to offer. And lots of people are looking for a better something.

“Not taking the Gospel in the workplace is not only tragic for those who don’t hear the Gospel, but for those Christians who don’t realize what God called them to do for His Kingdom,” Greene said. “His presence in the workplace makes a difference.”

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  • Kelly Davis