Serving God at work
On the very warm summer’s day of Saturday 27 June, Christians at Work met together for their annual conference at the Independent Chapel in Spicer Street, St Albans. This was a great venue for our special day of the year.
The guest speaker was Dr John Temple, a well respected Christian businessman and author, who after almost a lifetime in the higher realms of the international business community shared about being a Christian in a world where we are ‘strangers and aliens’.
Dr Temple gave two talks. First, he spoke on ‘Understanding your colleagues’. In just 45 minutes he surveyed secular humanism and behaviourism, relativism, existentialism and post-modernism, as he showed the importance of understanding the world in which we live and work.
He addressed from Scripture the challenges posed by this hostile environment (1 Corinthians 9:22; John 17:15; Colossians 2:8; John 12:32), frequently illustrating his point from his own experience of a life committed to doing business in a godly way. It is impossible in these few words to express the helpfulness of this particular talk. I was glad that the talks were recorded.
After a superb buffet lunch and constitutionally required ‘business session’, Brian Fitzsimons, our deputy chairman, brought together three people from different employment backgrounds to share some of the issues that they faced in their particular professions. These were Andy Lynch, an investment banker from Schroder’s; Dr Ben Dietsch, a doctor working in a hospice in palliative care; and Paul Coleman, working in Human Resources.
All three gave effective anecdotal evidence of the ways in which, by God’s help, they had overcome many challenges to their faith and practice during the past year. Dr Temple concluded our day with his second talk, ‘Evangelising your colleagues’.
Again, he brought an inspiring message as he explained how we should present Christ to our co-workers and friends. It is not enough to base our approach on satisfying such perceived human needs as escape from hell, loneliness, meaninglessness, poverty, illness, insecurity and depression. Rather, our great aim should be to glorify Christ – and then the rest can follow.
Jesus Christ must be lifted up. Man’s greatest need is reconciliation with God. We were pointed to the biblical examples of Joseph, Daniel and Esther as people placed in work ordained by God for his greater purposes.
The broader issues of honesty and integrity, ambition, stewardship and faithfulness, submission and diligence, excellence, motivation and purpose were also skilfully addressed.
All the conference talks have been recorded and are freely available from our web site: http://www.christiansatwork.org.uk or as CDs in mp3 format.