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Take Jesus, not religion, to work, Humphreys says

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP)–When an established vice president of a successful company confided to Kent Humphreys that he felt a call to enter the ministry, Humphreys quickly responded, “You are already in the ministry.”

Since then, the successful vice president has led several businessmen to the Lord as a result of using his workplace as a platform to share the Gospel.

Humphreys, a Southern Baptist from Oklahoma City who has worked in his family business for 25 years, said his job has been his platform for sharing the Gospel to thousands of top executives across the nation.

Humphreys is part of a growing movement among Christian workplace leaders across the nation who desire to use their businesses as a means of sharing the Gospel.

“I have never seen the spirit of God moving like I have seen in the past few months regarding marketplace ministries,” Humphreys said.

“These leaders are rattling their sabers saying that God is at work and we need the leaders in the churches to listen to us. We want pastors and lay leaders to listen to what’s going on so they can equip their congregation to become marketplace ministers,” he said. “There are hundreds of ways people can share Christ in the marketplace.”

Humphreys serves as the president of Fellowship of Companies for Christ International (FCCI), traveling the nation to equip Christian business owners on how to use their companies as a platform for ministry.

“I am just a business guy who never dreamed of leading a ministry. Until I realized that my business is my ministry,” Humphreys said.

With the spirit of God moving in the workplace through Christian workers, he is intent on helping local churches become involved in equipping their members to see their own place of employment as a mission field.

“We are here to take Jesus, not religion, into the marketplace. We will minister to the marketplace by loving the people and serving the people. But first we must educate Christians on how to be marketplace ministers,” he said.

“God has sovereignly planted each of us, where we are, with certain gifts and abilities to represent Him and to proclaim His truth in our world.”

One obstacle that believers in the workplace often face is the connotation that because they are employed in non-church-related occupations, they are “second-class citizens” in regard to ministry, said Humphreys — who wants to combat that mentality and assure Christians they are called to be Christ’s ambassadors and His representatives wherever God has placed them.

“God has given you your spiritual gifts. God has given you your background and abilities. He has equipped you with talents and passions…. [Y]ou need to use those abilities in a way that best advances the Kingdom of God.”

Humphreys published a book in 2000 titled, “Show and then Tell,” detailing how a Christian can present the Gospel through daily encounters.

First, the calling of a Christian is to represent Jesus Christ to people, he noted.

“We are all to be ambassadors and His representatives,” he said. “We need to understand our uniqueness, but the key is our availability.”

Second, the mission of believers in the workplace is to love God and love people.

“The focus of our heart is to be on God alone. Then we will view each person from God’s point of view, not as an interruption, but as an opportunity.”

Third, the vision begins with the people in close proximity.

“[Our vision] is not limited to a building or an organization, but an ever-expanding circle of influence.”

Fourth, this ministry of the workplace seeks to serve people with diversity.

“By dying to self, we express Christ’s love to others by making eternal investments in their lives,” Humphreys said. “We do this by our attitudes, our work and our actions in concert with other believers as we serve together using various gifts.”

Fifth, the mandate of workplace ministries is to redeem people.

“Changed lives,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”

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  • Kelly Davis