Christians at work
On Saturday 28 June, Christians from both the UK and as far afield as Hamburg gathered in Rugby for the annual conference of Christians at Work. The topic was ‘You shall be my witnesses’.
Following a time of small group prayer, our first speaker Roger Carswell preached on Acts16:20-33. Rather than focusing on its obvious text ‘What must I do to be saved?’ he looked at a more subtle question, namely – ‘What must I do in order to be asked the question “What must I do to be saved?”’! The answers to this are well illustrated by the life and ministry of Paul.
Paul, in Acts 16, was in the place God wanted him to be just then – in prison! We must realise that there is no deep divide between the sacred and secular; and where we are now is where God wants us to be. True contentment comes when we stop wishing we were doing something else, and seize our present opportunities.
The frontline of the battle is doing everyday tasks, which will often involve interacting regularly with work colleagues and others. Although much evangelism today is focused on universities and colleges, 50% of people do not go into further education. They too need to hear the gospel.
Paul was doing the work God chose for him; preaching the message that God had given him; rejoicing in the knowledge that God was with him; and experiencing the power of God working through him. We too are engaged in work in which God uses the talents he has given us.
The Lord has given us the message of Jesus Christ and even if people will not listen, they can still witness our joy in Christ. The same power that upheld Paul can uphold us. Only when we realise our weakness, will we rely on God’s power and find him using the ordinary things in our lives for his glory.
Noone would disagree that the church ought to make a difference to the world. Richard Underwood, our second speaker, asked us to consider whether this difference was being made in our society which seems more depressed and directionless than ever.
He pointed out that in the New Testament the gospel opened the door for unbelievers into the church, but today many reverse that order and make the church the way into the gospel.
There was opportunity to discuss how we can become more effective gospel messengers. A large proportion of our waking hours are spent at work, and this ought to provide opportunities for the gospel. Christians should view themselves as ‘the church scattered’ while at work. There is scope for contacting more unbelievers each day in this context than through most organised outreach events.
Roger Carswell then spoke on Ezekiel 37. It was refreshing to be reminded that we have an awesome God who can make even dead bones come back to life. This is the God we worship. No matter how dry the bones around us are, God can still transform the dead into the living – and that is exactly what is needed. Roger reinforced this point by telling us of recent examples of dead bones being transformed.
The 2008 conference was a valuable day of teaching and fellowship. If you feel that you have missed out, make sure you are there for next year’s conference, when John Temple, author of Be successful; be spiritual – how to serve God in the workplace (Day One), will be the main speaker.
More information fromhttp://www.christiansatwork.org.uk