I had the privilege of being with a unique group last week: Christian CEOs. They’re part of a ministry that began within the walls of Focus on the Family. They’re now an independent and self-sustaining fellowship, regularly meeting to pray together and encourage one another in both their faith and careers.
Corporate America can certainly be a challenge for Christians to navigate.
Of course, navigating a secular workplace isn’t unique to just Christian CEOs. Believers who strive to live out their faith at their places of employment must sometimes steer through choppy waters.
After all, let’s face it: when contrasted with the habits and norms of popular culture, Christians can sometimes be viewed as pretty unusual. At worst, people assume we’re narrow-minded and judgmental – not always because of what we’ve said, but because of cultural stereotypes attached to people of faith.
For example, perhaps when you’re on the road, you decide to go back to your hotel room and Skype with your family instead of going out for drinks with the team. Or maybe you invite co-workers to a lunchtime Bible study. Or maybe your vacation is a missions trip.
It’s not hard for a Christian to stand out these days, especially if you’re intentional about your faith.
A recent video clip from a British comedy show pokes fun at the mainstream’s perception of Christians. In the skit we see a woman with a very impressive CV (résumé) during a job interview. She’s the ideal candidate – except for one little thing:
It’s the type of skit that makes you chuckle and cringe at the same time, isn’t it? It portrays a truth that hits too close to home.
One can even understand the reaction, up to a point. We live in a society that prides itself on its technology and “progressivism,” yet we’re trying to follow in the footsteps of a humble Jewish carpenter who walked the earth 2,000 years ago.
So, what are we to do?
Well, from my point of view, we need to lean in with a smile, engage the culture – at work, with our neighbor, or at the grocery store. We need to remember that it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), so we should reflect that kindness to those who don’t have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Have you encountered the slings and arrows of secular culture at your job or in your neighborhood? Maybe even from members of your own family? How did you handle it – and how did it go? I would like to hear your story.