Man bedecked in orange raises his hands in the air

Ideas Blog

Setting up a Christian group in your workplace

Stuart Sadler, who works in the technology sector and is training as ordinand on the Local Ministry Programme, reflects on his experience…

‘Once you find even one other Christian in your workplace, why not very gently suggest meeting for coffee? When two, three or maybe more people from the same workplace meet up, it’s a great opportunity to just talk and pray for your time in work, as well as for the organisation and its leadership.   One danger when you meet is that you end up talking about your time outside the workplace.  Although this is necessary as you get to know each other, it should not be the focus.  Your commonality is this workplace. 

Two other things to watch for:

There sometimes can be issues if the members of the prayer group are at different levels in the organisation.  I have at times known about redundancies and although other have a sense, I need to be very careful of the trusted position I am under.

It’s also important to get a sense of how the organisation feels about a group like this meeting.  Meeting with HR and letting them know that you are meeting is a first step and then you can tentatively discuss how they would feel about publishing this group’s existence.  In my last two companies they have not wanted any publicity at all.  So the group grew through word of mouth, as well as by placing ‘Company Prayer Group’ in Outlook and making our calendars visible by others.  This has led to people saying ‘what’s that at 8am on Mon?’    

How does it work? 

Typically, we would meet at 8am for 30 mins at the start of the week. We’d start with chit chat, followed by a thought/bible passage, and then asking where we’d seen God this past week. We’d end with open prayers and finally by saying the grace together. It was a diverse group: an Egyptian Coptic, an Evangelical Anglican, a Mexican Catholic, an Anglo Catholic and a Pentecostal!

There was an outreach dimension too. One of us was asked to explain the meaning behind the Christmas Carols sung by the company choir, so that people could sing with more understanding.  What an opportunity!’


  • This little brick of mine

    Jul 05, 2017

    Revd Canon Dr Hazel Whitehead challenges us to think more closely about the importance of engaging with people outside of Church.

    HazelWeb 

    At a recent Bishop’s Staff Team meeting, we read Mark 12. 18 – 27 together. The passage describes an incident when the Sadducees, religious leaders of the day, asked Jesus about the resurrection - pointed questions designed to trap him. Just before that incident, the Pharisees  challenged Jesus, asking whether or not they should pay taxes to Caesar. Despite the dubious intentions behind their questioning, Jesus took the time to answer them and hopefully leaving those who asked more illuminated about the faith which Jesus professed.

    Asking questions and allowing others to ask questions is of vital importance in every aspect of human development and is especially true in matters of faith. People need to know that it is all right to ask questions about Scripture, prayer, theology and doctrine (even though they don’t articulate them in that way).  It also means we can answer the questions they are asking – rather than the questions we think they should be asking!  It gives them freedom to find some answers and engage in discussion and debate, learning that very little is simple with only one right answer.

    The danger for those of us who minister in the Church is that we only talk to church people so the members of BSM were challenged to take a purple Lego brick, a symbol of shared episcope, and take a picture of themselves having a conversation with somebody in a place which wasn’t Church. The bricks serve as a reminder that we, as members of the Bishop’s Staff Team, represent God – and the Bishop – when we are out and about and in relationship with people – just as every disciple represents God in his or her home or place of work.  You could try this in your own congregations and you might be surprised to see just how many offices, shops, gardens, factories and other places Christians find themselves. Maybe the brick itself will elicit a question from a bemused friend or colleague...

    Here’s what the Bishop’s staff got up to with their bricks…

At an interfaith event.
+Andrew purple brick
  
Hazel purple brick

Purple brick at Tent week

Paul funeral directors
At the Peaslake Open Gardens event
Hazel purple brick garden
  

 

Tent week purple brick

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

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