One of the greatest shames of my life is that never once during my first job out of college did I share the Gospel with any of the people I worked with. While my friends there certainly knew I graduated from a Christian college, went to church, and believed in God, in several years of working together that was all they knew about faith in my life. At the time, my focus was so much on learning the ins and outs of magazine publishing and meeting my earthly achievement goals (after all, this was my dream!), that I failed to see the people around me as lost souls in need of a Savior and instead saw them as people to laugh with and learn from.
Though I know I'm forgiven for this sin, to this day I can't think of certain colleagues without wincing - and praying that they are surrounded by Christians, who, unlike me, dare share their faith at work.
While my self-centered career goals certainly kept the focus off of other people's eternal welfare, it was also that I totally misunderstood what sharing my faith at work would look like. I didn't learn this until I started working at Christianity Today International (GiftedForLeadership.com's parent company) years ago. While suddenly I was surrounded by once-lost people who had found their Savior, the sharing of faith was everywhere. The distinction was that we shared personal faith, rather than the faith. We talked of mighty ways God had moved, of huge disappointments, of doubts, of praise, of unanswered prayers, of our own often rocky journeys through a life of faith.
In my earlier job, I imagined sharing my faith at work would mean I had John 3:16 printed on business cards or had a huge "Repent or Burn" placard posted on my cubical wall. Maybe I'd have to invite a different co-worker to lunch every day and ask - immediately after saying grace loudly - if she knew where she would go if she were to die right now. Any image I'd conjure up just didn't jive with my working environment - or my personality - so I passed.
If only I'd have had the wisdom of John Nunes, a professor at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. I heard him speak recently on "witnessing out of weakness." I love this premise - especially for the workplace. It means that you aren't standing on soapboxes telling co-workers they're going to burn in hell (this may get you burning in the HR department!), but instead puts you in the drivers seat of conversations with co-workers that are less about personal righteousness and more about how Jesus has worked through your weaknesses.