4 Simple Steps to Expand Eternal Significance (iWork4Him)
Most Christians think that to truly make a difference for the Kingdom of God; they need to quit their jobs and go into full-time ministry with a church. I should know; I believed it too! In fact, I was in my forties before I began to realize that my work could have an impact for God’s glory and that it was possible to walk in eternal significance while employed in the marketplace.
The truth is, we live in a crazy era where everyone believes they have to have a platform or a pulpit to make an impact. But the truth is – you already HAVE a platform and a pulpit, and you CAN make an impact.
There are close to 160 million people in America’s workforce. That makes it one of the largest ministry opportunities in the world!
So, hear me when I say this: you can operate in eternal significance without quitting your day job.
Okay, but how?
In the last year, my wife Martha and I felt God calling us to develop a collaborative resource with other Faith and Work Ministries that would help bridge the gap between the everyday believer’s Sunday morning worship and Monday morning alarm. Essentially, we wanted to create the simple, practical, biblically-based guide we wished we’d had!
Well, by God’s grace, it finally happened!
iWork4Him: Change the Way You Think About Faith and Work is a book chock-full of biblical information, practical how-tos, and real-life stories that will help you activate your workplace mission field.
Because the reality is that God created work, He loves work, and He wants to use you in your work to glorify Him and introduce others to Jesus. Or, as I wrote it in Chapter 5, “God blessed work and makes it possible for us to flourish in our work. He has an assignment for you, a calling. He wants to work beside you every day. Do you let Him?”
Do You Let God Work Beside You?
When God created Adam, he gave him a job: name all the animals in creation. But God didn’t just leave Adam to flounder in his task; instead, He brought each animal to Adam and allowed him to name them one by one. In other words, God joined Adam in his assigned work, and together they accomplished something not only successful but significant!
Similarly, God wants to join you in your everyday tasks – even those that seem mundane and monotonous. It is in this joining together that our work becomes something more, that it becomes something significant!
And I’m not just talking about outward significance.
When we invite God to come to work with us, he also uses our work as a tool to shape us and help us become more of who we were created to be!
In Chapter 28 of iWork4Him, Tracy Matthews expands: “Time spent at work typically consumes the largest share of waking hours and is one of our greatest arenas of character formation and external influence… Whether you work for pay or without pay, in the home, office, factory, store, school, hospital, bank, community, or any other sphere of society, God gives us our work primarily as a way to draw us closer to Him. Our work is a way to become more of who He has designed us to be and fulfill the purpose for which He created us.”
Are you leaving God at home? Or are you inviting him to join you in the everyday tasks of life?
Invite God to Work – Step 1 to Significance
For several years, I worked a job that required commuting 90 – 120 minutes each way. That is a LONG time in the car. Instead of listening to talk radio or calling to talk with a friend, I decided to dedicate my morning commute to talking with God. And, let me just say that one simple choice to invite God into my workday through prayer changed everything!
In Chapter 7, I recalled that “when I started to pray for my co-workers, employees, and my bosses by name every day, along with their spouses and their children, I began to see them the way my Heavenly Father sees them. Praying for others changed my life by changing my heart.”
In other words, prayer is like extending an open invitation for God to come to work and give you His eyes and heart for those you encounter on a day-to-day basis. And it is then that your workday will go from being a drag to an opportunity.
Care About Who God Cares About – Step 2 to Significance
One of the greatest killers of walking in significance is falling into the perceived monotony of the “daily grind.” It is tough to feel like you’re making an impact when every day you go to work, keep your head down, and do the same things over and over again. This kind of complacency kills ministry in the workplace!
Why? Because walking in significance requires you to see other people as significant.
God loves your co-workers! Yes, even the ones that seem unlovable! And when you take the time to not only pray for them but also to go above and beyond your job description to show you care, you are acting as the hands and feet of Christ.
Fostering genuine relationships with the people you work with will open the door for God to move in new ways in their lives!
Share the Truth – Step 3 to Significance
In Chapter 28 of iWork4Him, contributor Joe Carrol wrote, “Unfortunately, most Christians see very little connection and relevance on how the gospel of Jesus Christ can be authentically lived out in the pressures and stresses of the workplace.”
What a scary statement, but Joe is right.
Most Christ-followers hit “pause” on their faith when they go to work. However, it is impossible to live significantly if we don’t prioritize the things of eternal significance. The gospel simply has to be at the center.
And although it may seem scary or intimidating to share the gospel with someone at work, it doesn’t have to be! Once you’ve built up relationships with your co-workers, take the time to really ask about their lives. When or if something difficult comes up, offer to pray for them right then. Most people won’t say no to prayer when they are in a difficult or vulnerable moment.
Remember, there is incredible power in prayer and in connecting someone to the truth of Jesus!
Be the Best You Can Be – Step 4 to Significance
Actions speak louder than words, and your actions at work speak louder than anything else. You could do every other step in this article, but it will undermine your witness if your life shows something contrary to Christ.
To have an impact for Christ, your life must reflect Christ.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; God making his appeal through us.” – 1 Corinthians 5:20
As Christ’s ambassadors to the world and our workplaces, our behavior should reflect who He is. Do your work performance, your attitude, and your mindset look like Jesus’?
In the End, Significance has Nothing to Do with Where You Work. And Everything to do with Who You Work for.
You are part of an elite force of 2 billion people called to positively impact the planet with your faith in God. You don’t need to quit your job to operate in significance; you already are. You just need to shift your mindset and realize that when you leave church on Sunday (either virtually or actually), you aren’t leaving God’s will or calling on your life – you are entering your mission field!
Jim Brangenberg’s Bio:
An entrepreneur for life, Jim has grown several start-ups and mentored many business owners. His God-gifted ability to ask the right questions lends itself well to his role as host of the iWork4Him program, the Faith and Work mouthpiece founded in 2013.
Jim utilizes his networking expertise to arrange interviews with authors, workplace believers, and ministries that are connecting Faith and Work. Jim is passionate about his faith in Jesus and it drives his passion for excellence in everything he does.
His core values are Boldness, Transparency, Vulnerability, Integrity, and Generosity.