The Blessing of Business and Mission Field of the Workplace
“On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate by the river, where we thought there was a place of prayer. We sat down and spoke to the women gathered there. A woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God, was listening. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was spoken by Paul. After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.”
Have you ever considered the power of business in this passage? Lydia’s position as a businesswoman allowed her to use wealth and resources to support Paul and Silas throughout their time in the city. She became a benefactor for their ministry and thus a blessing in her community through her knowledge of sales, supply chains, and employee management. God gifted her with the skills and abilities to fulfill the work He prepared for her, intertwining the work of her hands with the work of her heart for the Kingdom of God!
Our partners at iWork4Him, labor throughout the year to encourage modern day believers to embrace this biblical truth: that an occupation is a way to live in the calling of God, not a distraction away from ministry.
“We are focused on waking up the believer to help them understand that they don’t need to quit their jobs and go into full time ministry, because they already are,” said Jim Brangenberg.
Jim and Martha Brangenburg are the founders and hosts of iWork4Him, an interview-style program equipping Christ-followers in the workplace to be effective missionaries and walk in excellence that glorifies God. As the NDP Task Force focuses on praying for business and the workplace throughout the month of September, we get the opportunity to pray through all sorts of facets of business and the marketplace!
“Business is not a necessary evil – it’s an avenue to bring flourishing to a community,” said Jim Brangenberg.
Business leaders are at the forefront of decisions that have direct impact on their communities. They have been given the opportunity, through profits and resources, to reinvest in their community – it is a way that God gifts business leaders, with the capacity to multiply. We pray that leaders manage their business God’s way, with great consideration toward the whole employee roster and the larger community.
“God is increasing a business leader’s capacity not just to accumulate for themselves, but to be generous and steward what they have been given,” said Jim.
Leaders are charged with stewarding finances, inventory, strategies, relationships, and employees. Out of all these things, the people are the most important. We can pray for healthy work environments, where mutual respect exists between leaders and the rank and file, and that all efforts put forth are compensated and celebrated.
How We Can Pray
“People who know they are loved and appreciated flourish at work and in their community,” Martha said.
We can pray for workers in every sphere, no matter their level, to see themselves as leaders. All it takes is one person, committed to excellence and Biblical values like honor and integrity, to set a precedent and change the atmosphere of an entire group. Even if other workers choose not to rise to the occasion, anyone can lead by example in working with diligence and excellence.
Excellence is more about effort than perfection – giving the best effort and owning up to mistakes with humility. Excellence matters both for Christian workers and Christian customers.
“As customers, our responses and reactions are so important,” Martha said. “We have no idea who’s been impacted by what we say and how we respond, we can be salt and light just by the smile on our face.”
The ministry of being a God-honoring customer can be deeply felt throughout a business. With only a few moments of interaction, a relationship can be built that opens the door for authentic conversation, and the eventual question, “can I pray for you today?”
With so many needs to pray for in the sphere of business and the workplace…
Will you pray with me right now?
Lord Jesus, You understand the needs and nature of business – You were born into an earthly family of a small-business owner. Even from the beginning You set in motion means and ways for a community to grow, multiply, and be blessed through diligently using the gifts and abilities You have given each of us. Today, I pray for business leaders to have Your wisdom when making decisions and view their role through the perspective of being a good steward of all that You have given them. I pray for employees to first honor You with their diligence and excellence. Open the eyes of Christians in the workplace to see their coworkers as their mission field and their work as a way to glorify You each day. Lord, move in the hearts of Christian customers to be salt and light toward every worker they encounter, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in each interaction. Thank you for the many opportunities to glorify You and live out Your promises and precepts in business and the workplace. In Jesus name I pray, amen.