01 Oct Why Christians become Indispensable in the workplace
I frequently hear the statement that because I am a Christian I am denied my promotion. In my experience that statement is generally not true, though it is true that we do face difficulties because of our honesty, refusal to say lies and refusal to be involved in the corruption in the world around us. This behaviour does not make us Christians nor defines us as Christians. Many members of other faiths eschew corruption, lies and dishonesty and suffer persecutions at different levels. That is not uniquely Christian. We are Christians because of our faith in Jesus Christ for all of our life. However, most Christians survive in this hostile environment by being the best and making the organisation become dependent on them or making the organisation require their retention. In fact, I often make the statement that the only way a Christian can survive in this environment is to be the best.
Then what happens to the Christian with mediocre abilities? Are they to perish? It is my opinion that christians almost automatically become indispensable in the work place for the following reasons.
Ephesians 6:5-6, Romans 13:4, Colossians 1:16: Based on these verses he believes that his profession and specific place of work is a call from God. Hence, he serves not just diligently, but with a vision and clarity of purpose that others lack. He tries to understand God’s purpose for his organisation and work and sees that he fulfils that with a vision and passion. We need to note that diligence is inadequate. It is working with a vision and passion that makes the difference.
This goes just beyond your work but also your non-verbal communication. You are not looking for another job and planning to bail out of the present job, since you cannot leave till Jesus gives you the okay. This shows up in your non-verbal communication that you are here for the long haul and not just a person passing through seeking his own benefit. You are willing to take difficult decisions which will prove fruitful in the long run.
Romans 1:20: Because you are in for the long haul you acquire as much information as you can on your profession and present role and so are aware of what is going on the world. Since most people have little interest in augmenting their knowledge this makes you a prophet in the organisation. There is no excuse for the Christian to be ignorant. If he believes he is there because God has taken him there it becomes his responsibility to acquire all the information he can. He reads not only about the profession he is in but also the context in which he is operating, the impact of his work on the clients and others they are serving, etc.
This acquisition of information enables him to have a divine perspective enabling him to understand why God has kept him there. This help him to think at a higher level than the others and makes him or her an authentic voice of God to the organisation. Ephesians 5:25-26: Because you are a Christian, you have a genuine love for the people you work with. Love in the Bible is seen through sacrifice for others and empowerment to others. Because of the love we have been given in our hearts by the Holy Spirit we manifest this love to all the people we deal with. So we are committed to our clients, our staff and our bosses.
Our commitment to the clients is seen in our giving them the best deal possible in the present market conditions. This means balancing the interests of the various parties and being honest in our speaking. This leads to a strong and long relationship with clients and the resultant benefits this brings in terms of business.
It is also seen in sharing information with clients and training them so that they understand the issues of their business and grow. We are not here just to do business with them but to see that they prosper through growth in knowledge, networking, etc. Our commitment to staff is seen in training and empowering them to grow in their skills so that they have better opportunities, which may mean their leaving the organisation or your team as they move upwards. When staff see that you are genuinely committed to them, and are helping them fulfil their dreams and ambitions, rather than just using them to fulfil your objectives, they become committed to you. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” This commitment leads to higher commitment to the work and to the team leading to higher performance.
Our commitment to internal client in our willingness to accept their problems as our own and to help them solve their difficulties. Because of this we develop a good network of friends across the organisation and get more cooperation than others do. This again helps us boost our performance and effectiveness. Amos 3:7: God sets us an example where He does nothing without sharing the information with his team members, the prophets. We see this in Genesis 18:17 where God asks, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing. . . ?” Also in John 15:15 Jesus says, “. . . for all things that I heard from the Father I have made known to you.”
As Christians we do not hide information but work in a spirit of discussion and dialogue, making every one a part of the team. This creates an atmosphere of trust and draws everyone into the decision making process making them take ownership of the decisions. This leads to a higher commitment to the decisions and quicker implementation. This improves the overall performance of the team.
Jesus said “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” So if I want them to trust me, I have to first trust them and share information with them. This is what a Christian does naturally, reflecting the nature of the God he serves.
Finally, you see yourself as a servant to the organisation and those working in it whether above you or below you. Your perception of yourself is not as a boss but as a helper assisting your employees to achieve their goals and objectives. Not only does he assist them in the workplace, but also helps them achieve their dreams for themselves by giving them training and opportunities to grow. He is not using them to achieve his objectives but is helping them fulfil their own objectives for themselves, while they are working on fulfilling the organisations objectives.
Standing alongside the team members rather than above them create a great environment for work and leads to higher commitment of the staff. All these benefits have nothing to do with being an excellent executive but with being an excellent Christian, and hence Christians generally do well in their professions and jobs and become indispensable.
PKD Lee The author is an Engineer who worked with the Indian Govt for 20 years, taking an early retirement as the General Manager of the Indian Government Mint. He then worked with Haggai Institute in developing Christian leaders around the world for 20 years. He is now retired and lives in Hyderabad.