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Faith in the workplace

January 17, 2014 by Peter

Some of you know that I spent a portion of my life working on the mission field.  In that place, faith and Christian community were central to life.  People prayed for each other, they were called there with a sense of purpose, and walked together in faith.  When I moved back to the United States, I was presented with several choices for the next steps in my career.  An important part of that decision-making process for me was how my faith and personal ministry would be impacted by the decision.  Do I go work for a major corporation in IT work?  Do I continue working in youth ministry?  Is there another path that I’m not considering?

As I spent time thinking and praying about this next step, a realization came to me.  No matter what type of work you do, the people around you are a mission field.  You may be a farmer sitting on a tractor, or a high-ranking industry executive, but each of us has a circle of influence among the people that are around us.  We all have friends, family, vendors and sometimes customers that we interact with on a day-to-day basis.

I considered my options and went into the IT world.  Through continued thought and reflection, I decided to get involved with the farm again via the seed business.  Both areas have been a blessing and challenge for me.  Each day I challenge myself with these thoughts:  Is my integrity intact?  Am I acting on opportunities to pray for my co-workers and customers?  What type of legacy am I leaving behind?

Is my integrity intact?

There are many ways a person can damage or jeopardize his or her integrity.  I have chosen to surround myself with godly men and women who will challenge me if I’m veering in the wrong direction or provide wisdom and discernment when asked.  I also try to remain anchored in the truth of God through prayer and spending time in His word…some days are better than others on that point but it’s what I go back to when I’m seeking the truth.

Am I acting on opportunities to pray for my co-workers and customers?

I have a customer list and prospect list that I pray for.  Farming is difficult business with many risks and things outside of one’s control that can impact the success or failure of the year.  I pray for my customers and prospects from time to time so that they might be encouraged and hold fast to their faith (or come to faith if they aren’t there yet).  Same goes for co-workers.  We all come to our job with different “stuff” that is affecting our lives for better or worse.

What type of legacy am I leaving behind?

It’s inevitable that I will at some point leave my job and/or business behind.  It may be for a new challenge, retirement, or the final retirement in the sky…but at that point, what will have been accomplished?  I hope more than growing a business to $XX volume or achieving a certain “rung” of success on a corporate ladder.  One article that I have printed out, and go back to often in my life was written in 2010 by Clayton M. Christensen for the Harvard Business Review.  The title of the article is “How will you measure your life?”  This is a fair and valid question.  Is it a question that you’re asking and planning?  What are some of the ways you try to incorporate the above into your life?

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