Church Blog

Working with Unbelievers

Chad Haygood

Christian employers and Christian employees find a similar joy when in God's providence he allows these two to work together. I've heard it before, how a Christian employer at a small business makes a concerted effort to only hire Christians in their business. Similarly, I have heard Christian employees lament over working for an unbeliever. In some respects, this is completely understandable. After all, as Christians we share the deepest unity imaginable, being united in Christ. We share common beliefs and common commitments. There should be expectations that are shared among both parties, not out of company loyalty, but because of our faith in Christ who is leading us both by His Word. Because of our commitment to His Word, we share an ultimate standard of conduct. It's a great blessing to work for or with other Christians. Anyone who enjoys this blessing should be thankful for the opportunity.

But so should the Christian who works with or for unbelievers. He or she should be extremely thankful as well. Though you'll have to face inevitable challenges, even challenges that may lead you to walk away from a job, there is a tremendous opportunity when we work alongside unbelievers. This is an opportunity that we shouldn't begrudge but we should joyfully accept.

For most Christians, the workplace is our main mission field. There you encounter the same people, day after day, and are provided with countless opportunities to demonstrate your commitment to Christ and share your faith. For most, the workplace is the field we have been placed to labor, not just for a paycheck but for the gospel and the glory of God. This shouldn't be overlooked.

Wherever you work, God has sovereignly put you there. He has also sovereignly put your coworkers around you. You're there to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and a disciple-maker. This is where you are called to fulfill the great commission. It's not the only place, but it is an important one.

How are you approaching this opportunity? Have you lost sight of the gospel in your workplace? Have you allowed yourself to view your job as a place completely divorced from the mission of God? If so, God wants that to change. Work for His Name. Labor for the gospel's sake. Let the light of Christ shine at work by the way that you talk and the way that faithfully serve your coworkers. Speak the gospel as the Lord allows. Be on mission for Christ at work! Think, you will potentially work with your coworkers for the next 10 years, what an opportunity you have to labor for the gospel among them!

If you need some help with being on mission at work, there are two wonderful resources to help you think about where to begin. First, Greg Gilbert has written a book entitled The Gospel at Work. You can purchase the book here. Also, someone wrote a blog post entitled "30 Simple Ways to be Missional in Your Workplace". There are some great ideas about how to be mission-minded at work. You can check out the article here.

Let's view our work, even with unbelievers, as God would want us to. We can be thankful for the wonderful opportunity to work with unbelievers because God has graciously placed us in the midst of a field that is ready to be harvested. We should open our eyes to wonderful realities of that work. God has put you there, not just for a paycheck but to be an evangelist. You are there to promote His glory and advance His kingdom. Don't waste it!