May 23, 2024

During their time at CBU, students work long hours and experience many late nights to gain the skills and knowledge needed to enter into their desired professions, all through the lens of a Christian worldview. While CBU has a School of Christian Ministries, a large majority will go on to perform jobs that may not directly correlate with their Christian faith. However, this does not mean that CBU’s students must separate their faith and work.

In an interview titled, “Am I Wasting my Life in a Secular Job,” theologian and pastor John Piper asserts that believers whom God places in secular jobs are given a unique opportunity to share the gospel daily. 

“As I read the New Testament, it is clear that the apostles do not intend that all Christians should leave their ordinary employment. The principle that Paul follows in 1 Corinthians 7:20 is this: ‘Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called,’” Piper said. 

However, Piper explained that as Christians remain in their current condition, they are called to do it alongside God. 

“[I]t is possible to be working in corporate America and be using more of your strength, more fibers of your being, more ounces of your strength for the sake of the kingdom than if you were a missionary,” Piper said. “In other words, there is no necessary correlation between where you work and what your assigned task is, on the one hand, and your wholehearted devotion to Christ or the fruitfulness of his kingdom, on the other hand.”

Lindsey Thomas, CBU alumna in graphic design, is an environmental designer at an architectural firm. Most of her coworkers and clients are unbelievers. However, she has many opportunities to share the gospel in her work environment. 

“God has really opened doors to having meaningful relationships with coworkers who have a variety of exposure to the gospel message,” Thomas said. “More often than not, conversations are more subtle, but because of the nature of my job, design intentionality opens a lot of doors to explain how my beliefs and a relationship with God lead me to love others and serve others.”

Thomas has found listening to others and showing love are two of the best strategies for opening doors for gospel conversations. She explained that kindness and grace are the best ways to reflect Christ’s love to the world.

“As a designer and creator, it is so amazing to work unto the Lord,” Thomas said. “The joy in creation is so much more perfected when we understand why we make something. If it is for our own glory, then we have missed our mark. What I do does not belong to me. I cannot credit myself for my talents that God has given me.”

Thomas shared that she feels that God has called her to steward her gift of design well. She not only uses her professional talents in her caree but also to serve God within her church. 

“Relationships with coworkers outside of the office is impactful to them understanding the depth of our care and love for them,” Thomas said. “Whether that is as simple as a text saying we are praying for them when personal emergencies take place or getting coffee with them on my breaks.”

Reading God’s word and gaining new knowledge and insight into the Bible has helped Thomas reflect God’s image and share his good news more effectively at work.

“A few verses that I have loved to reflect on that tie into this huge part of my work are Colossians 3:23-24, which reminds us of our work for the Lord and our heavenly inheritance, as well as Proverbs 3:5-6, which points to trusting in God and knowing he is working in the bigger picture, no matter what our current understanding or perspective is,” Thomas shared. 

Faith Matzel, CBU alumna in entrepreneurship, works at a digital marketing agency, where she always seeks to bring up her relationship with the Lord while interacting with her coworkers. 

“I feel like my current relationship with the Lord tends to navigate those conversations,” Matzel said. “For example, if I am feeling a little farther from the Lord, saying those things may feel more scary. Or if I’m feeling close to the Lord, then I have confidence in the Lord that he is guiding the conversation. In reality, he is always guiding the conversation, but my confidence in Jesus feels stronger when I am sure to be walking closely with him.”

Reliance on the Holy Spirit in her conversations, rather than her abilities, is crucial for Matzel as she shares the gospel at work. Matzel prioritizes God’s will and guidance over her fears or hesitancies that occur when she wants to share her faith. 

“It is very hard to remember every day, but ultimately, all the work we do is for the Lord,” Matzel said. “Whether it be school, work, upkeep of our living space, for example. So, to the best of my ability, I try to remind myself that all the work I do is for Jesus.”

Matzel encouraged students that regardless of the environment that God places them in, he will contninue to prepare them to serve and give him glory in that space. 

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