When I was almost done with cosmetology school, I remember knocking at the office door of one of the women on staff there. I had noticed from day one that there was something different about her. She always had this light about her. I very quickly discovered that she was a Christian and wasn’t shy about sharing her faith. I told her I was feeling discouraged and needed some advice, so she invited me to sit in her office and I listened intently.
“I know God led me to come to school and to pursue this career, but I’m not sure why,” I said through tears. “I want to live for Him and share His love with others, but I’m not working in ministry… all I’m doing is hair.”
She smiled and put a hand on my arm. “Izzie, this IS your ministry,” she said softly.
Those words completely changed my perspective.
It is so easy to separate your faith and your work into two different categories of life, but the advice I got that day made me realize that they don’t have to be separate. You don’t need to be working IN ministry to share your faith and the love of Jesus with others everyday… your work IS your ministry! Whether you work retail, in an office, or anywhere in between, I KNOW there are opportunities for you to share your faith at work. Here are 5 tips on how to do that!
1. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities
I know for me, talking about Jesus or sharing my faith with others always felt the easiest when I was in church. I think a lot of us can agree on that. But what about when Monday comes? In my experience, it is very easy to focus so hard on the tasks at work that I fail to notice the opportunities to share Jesus with those I come in contact on the daily at the salon.
As someone who works in the service industry, I have lots of conversations with lots of different people throughout my day. Every one of those conversations is an opportunity to share Jesus, and it’s up to me to take them.
Every morning on my way to work, I pray something like this: “Lord, I ask that you guide my interactions with others today. I ask that you would provide opportunities to share your love and open my eyes to those moments.”
I encourage you to pray something similar every morning on your way to work this week and watch God open those doors.
2. Keep it Simple
When you’re sharing your faith at work, it doesn’t have to be a sermon. Oftentimes when I share, it comes in very simple words: “Yeah, it has been a stressful situation, but I’ve been praying about it a lot and I know God is working through it.” or “This very exciting thing happened to me this weekend… such a blessing!” See what I mean?
When you sprinkle things like that into conversation, I believe it’s like planting seeds. When you plant a seed in the ground, you cannot make it grow, but you can encourage it to grow by watering it. God is the one that makes the plant grow. So, when you plant those seeds in conversations, pray that God will allow them to grow.
3. Conversation Pieces
One of my favorite ways to open the door for faith conversations is wearing unique pieces that represent parts of my faith. For example, I have rings that say things like “God is Love” and a sweatshirt that says “The King is Coming.” That has opened the door to questions like “What does your sweatshirt mean?” and “Your ring is pretty… what does it say?” Questions and comments like that are great conversation starters!
I personally have tattoos, and my tattoos represent parts of faith as well. Everyone I have talked with who has tattoos loves talking about the meanings behind theirs and listening to the meanings behind others’ pieces. So, if you have faith-based tattoos, use them as a conversation piece!
4. Invite to Special Events
Inviting someone who isn’t a regular church-goer to church with you can be kind of a daunting thing to do. What if they’re uncomfortable? What if they’ve had a bad church experience in the past and react negatively?
One way I like to invite people to church is when we have a special event going on at church. Talking to co-workers about things like outdoor services or social groups can be a great way to extend an invite to them! If they don’t come the first time you invite them, don’t get discouraged. Try the next time there is a special event. This is a great way to introduce them to your church and what you believe.
5. Be Patient and Fervent in Prayer
Sharing your faith is not an easy thing. I know fear is something that very easily hinders me from being bold and sharing my faith at work. Whether it’s the fear of getting a poor response or of being judged, making a conscious effort to share your faith with others can be a challenge. Sometimes it may feel like your words aren’t being received.
Don’t be discouraged. You may never know the kind of impact your words or your story could have on someone. Be persistent in prayer for your co-workers and continue spreading the love of Jesus to those around you. It might just change someone’s life.