Posted on January 6th, by Jason Elliott in Life, Mission. No Comments

Working Eight Days a Week

According to the United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employed American spends almost nine hours per day on work or work-related activities.[1] That’s approximately 45 hours per week. Even considering that most people take two weeks of vacation per year, that’s over 2,000 hours spent at work every year! If the average person works 40 to 45 years, that means we spend over 90,000 hours of our lives at work or doing other work-related activities.

So here is the obvious question for us: As followers of Jesus, how should we redeem this time and use it wisely to advance Jesus’ mission?

Helpful Tips for Hard Schedules

Many times it’s difficult to find practical ways to be a blessing in your workplace. Rapid pace, mounting deadlines, or conflict can often get in the way of even the best intentions to speak and live out the good news of Jesus. But it is possible to live on mission (“missionally”) while you’re at work. With a little intentionality and some planning, you can use your time at work to serve others and point them to Jesus.

Here are a few practical ideas that make it easier to be on mission at work:

1. Get to work early so you can spend some time praying for your co-workers.

2. If you are in a management position, make it a daily priority to speak an encouraging work or write an encouraging e-mail when someone does good work.

3. Bring breakfast (donuts, bagels, breakfast pizza, etc.) once a month for everyone in your department—no strings attached. The donuts are not bribes to get people to church. Just be generous.

4. Instead of eating lunch alone, eat with other co-workers and begin to build deep relationships.

5. Start a routine of going out to lunch with co-workers. Be sure not to show partiality with the invitees.

6. Make it a priority to invite co-workers over for dinner or out for drinks after work.

7. Make a list of your co-workers birthdays and find a way to bless them or serve them on their birthdays.

8. Make every effort to avoid gossip in the office. Work hard to demonstrate humility and gratitude, while avoiding menial complaints.

9. Find others that live near you and create a car pool. Don’t waste your commute!

10. Offer to throw a shower for a co-worker who is having a baby.

11. Offer to fill in for a co-worker who needs a day off.

12. Ask someone who is typically ignored if you can grab him or her a soda or cup of coffee while you’re out.

13. Keep candy or gum in your office or cubicle. This is an easy way to increase traffic by your desk and get to know people.

14. Make every effort to know the names of co-workers and clients along with their families.

15. Go out of your way to talk to your janitors and cleaning people who are often overlooked.

These ideas might seem simple, but they go a long way toward building genuine relationships with others.


[1] http://www.bls.gov/tus/charts/chart1.pdf

Jason Elliott is the Pastor for Community Groups at Remnant Church in Richmond, VA, where he oversees the spiritual growth of their small groups (Community Groups) and the training and development of group leaders. Other than being a Duke sports fan, Jason is a really swell guy. Follow him on Twitter @jasonkelliott.

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