Our January topic was, “God and Business/Faith in the Workplace.” We asked the question: “How do you incorporate your faith into your conversations?” And “Can you express your faith without imposing your faith?”
Our bible verses this month were 1 Peter 3:15-16: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to answer everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
One member says he purposely discusses his life as a religious person and does not worry about making people uncomfortable. In conversations, he will mention CBRT, his church on Sunday, or a conversation with someone else about religious beliefs. These conversations make it more comfortable for others to discuss their faith. We are not meant to live two lives.
Just be yourself when you express your faith, and you can eliminate the concern that you are someone who will try to force your beliefs on others or someone who will behave like the Pharisees. Just have a normal conversation with others and we can get through to a few.
A Light Touch
Several members employ a “light touch” to evangelize or start a conversation at a meal.
When sitting down at a breakfast or lunch meeting, ask, “do you mind if I pray before we eat?”
“I have the custom to give thanks for my food in prayer before I eat, would that be okay with you?”
If permission is not given, pray silently, but either way, it’s a way to test the environment and see if there is an opportunity for a conversation.
A business leader in Naples has historically tried to keep his faith out of the marketplace. He then realized he was not evangelizing, even though he has a passion and intensity for the church and Christ.
Sometimes business associates will want to meet in the early morning, and he will say he cannot as he will be at Mass. He makes it clear to others that he is pursuing his faith.
Test the Waters
One Round Table participant says his biggest customer and vendor challenges have been with those without faith. Now in conversations, he intentionally throws references to faith in conversations with strangers to see their responses, whether positive or negative to determine if they are the kind of person he wants to associate with or do business with.
Listening and understanding an individual’s values can tip you off as to whether they are a person of faith or shared values. One member told the story of a woman on the radio who spoke about how she is spending her retirement helping others and she commented that we are here on earth to help others. Our member felt she was a woman of faith but was uncertain from where she draws her faith.
One business leader recently had a discussion with a woman, and during the conversation, he mentioned that he attends daily Mass. She said she used to attend daily Mass, and now she is going through all kinds of struggles. She told this business leader that he gave her the motivation to begin attending Mass daily again. That little conversation gave her what she needed.
One business leader is very open about his faith, so much so that believers are drawn to him. Not all his staff share his beliefs, but all have expressed in some way that they respect his faith. He has been asked by some to no longer share his faith, which he respects. But they know something is different about him, but they are not attributing it to God at all. His prayer for his staff is that the Lord open their eyes.
Share your Faith at Work by:
- Expressing your faith through corporate mission, values, visions, policies, and procedures
- The way we conduct our lives and our business
- Prayer for and with employees and customers
- Personal life stories and sharing our testimonies
- Sharing how Christ answers their personal life needs and crises
Resources: CBRT is running a series of five articles by Dave Kahle, “How do I integrate my Christian faith with day-to-day business practices?” The first article is on our website at: 2023-CEO-January-Briefing.pdf (thebusinessrt.org). Watch for emails from CBRT each Monday for our Monday Morning Moment and newsletters with more articles from Dave Kahle.
Please mark your calendar for our 10th Annual Summit! This event will feature guest speaker David Robb, Co-Owner and Managing Partner at Express Employment Professionals, and Tracy Brower, Ph.D., MM, MCRW for an in-depth discussion on today’s employment trends and solutions and work/life balance. Special message on hiring and retention from entrepreneur Andrew Crapuchettes, Founder of Red Balloon.