I saw a comment on the company’s intranet website recently by a Muslim inquiring about observing prayer times. It made me think a bit about religious practices at work.
Several years ago I ran into a co-worker at a Christian bookstore. We both stood there for a moment looking confused at each other, and saying, “I didn’t know you were the kind of person that shops in a place like this.” We both resolved right then that we needed to make sure we were Christians first, no matter what the environment required us to do.
But what does that look like? Should we be having prayer meetings in the break room? Should we be directly evangelizing to every one in the building non-stop?
I don’t know that being a Christian in the workplace necessarily means that you have to get the tattoo on your forehead telling everyone around you what you believe.
However, I do know that it means that my spiritual practices as a Christian should not stop when I swipe my badge at the front door to the office. Just like my Muslim co-workers keeping their prayer times, I need to keep my practices active.
It means praying regularly. A funny thing happens when I stop for a minute or two during the day to pray while I’m at work. I pray for my co-workers. I know that I could easily be more intentional when praying for them while at home during quiet/devotional times, but it never seems as fresh as it is when I just get off a conference call with them and offer up a prayer for something that they’re going through.
It also means, wait for it… reading the Bible. I always have a Bible open on my desk. And sometimes over lunch, or while taking a quick break, I’ll read a few verses. It’s amazing how it helps me keep my mind right, and oftentimes I find just the right wisdom that I need for that project that I’m working on. And the version that I have on my desk is the (John) Maxwell Leadership Bible. I love how the extra notes and commentary in it focus on making me a better leader.
I definitely feel like keeping these practices going at work helps me to keep a strong Biblical Christian worldview in the workplace, a place where it’s easily lost in everyday, non-spiritual grind.
Do you keep certain spiritual practices at work? If so, then which ones? If not, then why not?
Well, I’m a SAHM, so I absolutely do these types of things in the “workplace”. But, I wanted to share that my husband also does these sorts of things “in the workplace”. He rides a vanpool to work, where he often reads the Bible on the way. In his actual workstation, he will often listen to “Christian” music-usually groups like NeedtoBreathe or Gungor, who aren’t in your face about Christianity or anything. In one way or another, it has come out that he is a believer and he has met many others at his work that are like minded. And, introduced his coworkers to some good music, too. 🙂
keri, it’s great to hear that both you and husband read the bible in your respective ‘workplaces’. and it sounds like your husband is sort of a go-to guy… our workplaces need solid rocks like that! awesome!
I agree with you… our Christian practices should not stop, no matter where we are. Whatever form that takes, I think we should stand out somehow because we are different… not weird… just different. I do think, though, that we should save the “Christian lingo” for behind church doors, because the world does not understand it and I think it is often the cause of negative opinions about Christians.
ooohh… Christian lingo in the workplace is a WHOLE separate conversation, and i agree that it could be one of the worst things that we can do! that makes it an interesting balance… to be as ‘normal’ as possible, yet as ‘different’ as possible.
Such a great reminder! I too have made it a goal to use my prep period (I’m a teacher) to read my Bible and pray.
Thanks for this!
I keep my Bible open on my desk and I love the Word with my whole heart. I am an intern and I found myself coming here because I was warned twice about reading my Bible in the workplace. To be a Christian is something I am not ashamed of. I love the word but fellow Christians like me will look at me strange while I read it at work. Now I understand I am not alone, just like Elijah and GOD’S 7000 prophets who HE said had never bowed or knelt before baal.
I will not close my Bible, not for anyone.Thank you for this article, GOD bless you.
an hour ago I literally just got reported to HR without my knowledge by Chief of sales for reading my bible at work AFTER she walked up to me and asked what I was reading . I’ve only been here for a month can you say frustrating??! My manager told me that she said I can’t even read it at my desk away from members and that I inly can read in the car on lunch?? idk if that’s a violation or what but I’ve been researching to see if it is .
I bring my Bible to work and try to read when I have some free time. Recently my manager has been telling me to put it up or not to allow certain people to see me reading it. As long as it is not keeping me from doing my work I don’t think it’s right for her to tell me to hide it or put it up. This is a part of my religion. Not to mention during times of fasting this is what I am supposed to be doing.
Yeah, well. When it interferes with work & your co-worker is ALWAYS crying because she’s reading the Bible, it’s a problem.