Do you find workplace ministry a bit confusing ... or scary? What if you knew that the starting point is just being yourself? Check out this little blog. I hope it encourages you.
There are volumes of information about workplace ministry. Shelves full of it. None of it mentions diet specifically. That’s very interesting.
Did you know that a lot of people are reconsidering their grain intake? Or that protein is thought to be one of the best sources of energy rather than carbs? Or that diet may be a more important factor to longer-term health that exercise is? Or that whole foods are far better for you than processed foods? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know that stuff. I’m interested in it. But I had no idea that so many of my work colleagues were interested in it too until I had a few conversations about it at work. In the lunch room, whilst making tea, having lunch or pouring a glass of water, people talk about that kind of thing at the moment. I think it’s because all the New Year’s resolution advertising has enticed them to fitness sites and wellness straighten-up-and-fly-right blogs.
And did you know that the way God provided food to us aligns beautifully with what they are all discussing, considering, and acting on in their lives? Neither did my colleagues. Not until I mentioned it. Some of them hadn’t actually thought about God since Christmas. It doesn’t normally occur to them that God is relevant to them or that they are relevant to him. The concept that he provided food for them in a form that is best for them, long before they knew they needed that, has been a bit mind-blowing for them.
The thing about listening and relating is that it builds relationship. Genuine relationship. With relationship comes permission. Permission to be real, to be interested, to share your own thoughts and ideas. To be heard.
Recently I was at the Simple Church Network training day and the word “conversation” was a topic of … well … conversation! My experience at work is common among the Simple Church crowd. Really common. Genuine relationship underpins all of what we do because it is a natural outflow of having a God-centred, love-based life. I love my work colleagues. I love them in a way that flows from simply accepting that God loves them and wants me to hang out with them here for a while. Anyone can carry that concept into any other workplace or into any other environment. It’s not rocket science (unless you work in the rocket science business).
People have said to me “I’m paid to work, not to evangelise” as an excuse for not obeying God in this very simple but important aspect of our faith. Yet I’ve also heard their tales of conversations at work about sport, family events and health issues. I’m also paid to work. I work hard and I’m blessed with much success, very often. But I do also go to the kitchen, as does every other person here, as we are permitted to do, and make a cup of tea or eat my lunch or pour a glass of water. And we have little conversations which build up over time into real relationships. That’s what I’m talking about. To unbind Grace from a specific address on a Sunday morning, as it turns out, is simply about being real, both as a person and as a child of God. God makes the rest happen. He didn’t want to be stuck in a box in the first place. It is Simply Grace.