4 Ways To Evangelize At Work Without Being Churchy

[ 17 ] August 27, AD 2012 |

So here you are: Catholic, on top of the world, and loving everything about life. You naturally want to share the Good News with those you know, like your colleagues in the workplace. After all, having abundant life in Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church is pretty much the best thing ever!

But often times we hear from the culture that Catholics and other Christians come off as pushy, annoying, and extremist.

While this may be true in a small number of cases, the majority of us are socially normal people.

Acting socially acceptable, however, does not exempt us from sharing the Gospel. In fact, it’s one of the few things we’re actually commanded to do: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” [Matthew 28.19]

There are ways to share the Gospel without being pushy, annoying and extremist. The goal is to create opportunities to share the cause of your joy: the person of Jesus Christ.

The best way to do this is to “make a friend, be a friend, and bring a friend to Christ.”

Try these four “Non-Churchy” tips to open up opportunities for evangelization.

1. Be The Most Joyful, Peaceful Person In the Workplace

People are attracted to others who are joyful.

The good news is that you can be the most joyful person in the workplace without being annoying. Smile more. Be positive. Put on the mind of Christ and see situations with the eyes of faith.

This doesn’t mean you have to be naive either. Bad things happen, like suffering. But for those who see with the eyes of faith and know the Church’s teaching, we know that suffering can be used for God’s greater glory.

Print out the Psalm “The joy of the Lord is my strength” and put it next to your computer at work to remind you often of how you are to be disposed internally. Before long, people will take notice and ask you why you are so joyful.

2. Bend Over Backwards For Others

It can become so cliche or trite sometimes, but it is still a direct command from Jesus: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” [John 13.34]

How many of us can say that we love our colleagues as Jesus loves us?

One word that you can use to reflect on this is unreasonable. What Jesus did for us on the cross was beyond reason: a total crucifixion of self for the sake of the other. Not only should we do the same for our friends, we’re commanded to.

3. Develop Relationships That Matter

I’m going to confine this point to men for just a second, to get my point across.

Many men in the culture don’t have real friends. Let me explain. Often times, a friendship between two men can be summed up as, “Great game on Sunday!”

If the conversation never goes beyond Sunday’s game, you do not have a real friendship.

And yet, men are hungry for friends. They are human beings with goals, desires, and struggles. They are people who are made for friendship.

My point is this: be intentional about developing actual friendships, not just trivial ones. Every single human being, while unique to be sure, has the same wants, desires, and goals. Authentic relationships and friendships are two of those.

4. Encourage People To Strive For Greatness

It is in the human spirit to want to be great. You can see it in sports, literature, and art. We’re all striving for greatness of some sort or another.

Holy Mother Church teaches us the same thing:

  • Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. [1 Corinthians 9.24]

By encouraging excellence, others will be attracted to you and wonder who or what is your inspiration.

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About the Author ()

Ryan Eggenberger is a partner at Little Flower Strategies, LLC. He writes about travel, marketing, and his terrible parking skills. Follow him on twitter at @RyanEggenberger.
  • Perinatal Loss Nurse

    Great post and I so agree with you. In my work, I get chances to evangelize all the time (without being churchy)…people flat out ask me why I do this work and how I can do it without becoming terribly sad. There is no way to answer that question without my faith being part of the answer (and that is so obvious that even people who dont like to “talk religion” are willing to subject themselves to my answer)…but I leave them wanting more answer than I give.

    I once had long conversation with a woman and I only made vague references to my faith tradition and finally she said “What ARE you?!” hahaha

    I will add to your good comments…once they know you are a Christian, try your best not to be a jerk. I once worked with a MD who was a gung-ho Evangelical and wore Jesus tshirts all the time. He seemed fine with being “nice” to families and strangers but to the nurses he was a butt head. He likely discouraged many a nurse in that particular town from ever wanting to meet Jesus.

    • http://www.RyanEggenberger.com Ryan Eggenberger

      Thank you for your thoughts. There is a lot to be said for practicing what you preach…AND preaching what you practice!

  • Jay E.

    I totally agree with your post, so don’t get me wrong here. Everything you describe are great springboards for evangelization. However, I’d just like to mention that this is about the maximum most Catholics achieve as far as being ‘evangelical’ in the work place. Essentially, they just try to be nice people. This is not evangelization. Anybody can be a nice person, regardless of your religion. Being a nice person and encouraging and helping others isn’t going to make people suddenly realize that Jesus Christ is the Savior and that everything the Church teaches must be true. People like to turn the misquote from St. Francis “Preach the Gospel at all times; use words if necessary” into an excuse for laziness.

    So beyond just all of this, we have to be telling people about Jesus. We have to help them through whatever roadblocks obstruct them from meeting and giving their lives to Jesus. We have to show them God’s power in action.

    I think above all though… we need to be sincere. Do we really love and know Jesus and take His command to evangelize seriously? If so, then our actions and words should reflect that in a sincere and direct way.

    • http://www.RyanEggenberger.com Ryan Eggenberger

      Jay, I totally agree with you. I cringe when people use that St. Francis quote as a way of laziness as you mentioned.

      My point here was to find ways to develop an authentic friendship/relationship, because I think people will actually listen to what we have to say if they know, trust, and love us. When we have somebody’s trust, they will be way more open to hearing what we have to say.

      Thank you for your thoughts!

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  • Scott Quinn

    Great post, and you are totally correct. You look young, which means you are wise beyond your years. I wish I had figured this out a long time ago.

  • nancy essard

    Letting people know that you notice their struggles and that you care is important. It gives me a chance to say something like: I’ll add you to my prayer list for today. It let’s them know I care and that I pray.

  • Emily LaPointe

    Geat article Ryan! These are very practical ways to evangelize in the world!! Keep up the good work!

    • http://www.RyanEggenberger.com Ryan Eggenberger

      Thank you, Emily! :)

  • Theresa

    I’m blessed to work with fellow Christians and we are all open about our faith. I admire the ones who attend daily mass at noon and try to join them when I can. There are 5 catholics, 1 methodist, 1 Lutheran, 1 7th day adventist, 2 baptists. Not sure why, perhaps because I teach cce, but people will stop by my office to clarify a church teaching. Eg my boss (methodist) was trying to understand church teaching on abortion and kept raising various scenarios. fortunately,. I had church teaching and our secretary (baptist) had the Bible verses flowing from her off the top of her head. So together both of us women were able to explain the Catholic teaching on abortion which she also subscribes to. That is why I love my job and thank God daily for working with them

    • Perinatal Loss Nurse

      Which brings up a good point…we need to quietly preach the gospel with our actions and non-invasive words, but we also need to be well prepared when someone comes to us with a specific question that we have a reliable, specific answer.

      I once had a coworker come to me and she said that when she (a protestant) married her (then) Catholic husband, the husband was in turmoil about leaving the Church and so he went to his mom (the pillar of Catholicism in his family) with specific questions of doctrine and asked her why his family should be Catholic and she could answer nothing.

      If people get no answer, they assume than none exists. Im sure Im preaching to the choir on this point, but we must be passionate about this as we go out into the world.
      I hope this family finds their way home someday but imagine if that mom had been well catechized. I think we have each heard dozens of stories like that (golly come to think of it, the same happened in my husbands family, he is the only Catholic of his sibs and his parents really couldn’t engage in any meaningful apologetic discussion with the ones who left).

      I have been subject to coworkers screaming and pointing in my face (with spit flying) and peers gently approaching me to tell me that they could see my faith was so genuine, it was a shame that I had been misguided into the Catholic church…it was important to meet each of these situations with strength under control and remember that my reaction would impact how they grew in their path of understanding of the Church.

  • alvien

    Great post!We can use this in everyday life!

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  • Doug

    “the good news” … of what?
    Mt 24:14, Douay: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations: and then shall the consummation come.” Mt 6:9,10 “thy kingdom come”.
    Kingdom? End of all other unsatisfactory governments? Sounds good … but I’ve never heard Catholics preach it.

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  • http://spiritualworkoutblog.blogspot.com Liesl

    This is great! We need so much more to be done I think to help us, young people especially, evangelize in the workplace. While I am definitely not the most joyful person of my co-workers, I’ve found that being very giving – whether it is patiently answering questions or bringing in lots of delicious baked goods – has helped people to be more open about hearing or asking questions about Catholicism. Also, being encouraging in the workplace – too much we deal with critique and what we’re doing wrong, so if my co-worker helps me out with a tough case, I thank him for being so patient and smart and willing to help me! It can go a long way to building up a trusting and respectful friendship that can lead to more deeper discussions. Just yesterday a co-worker was asking me what the rosary was and what a decade was, etc… and he only said the word “crazy!” once! Baby steps :)

  • http://ketchasketch.wordpress.com Mark Ketchum

    Yes and no. We need to learn to be fishers of men… not hunters of men. And it is never about any specific church, but rather Christ. When we make it about the church, we make it about men… because we are the church. And let us not forget that it is God who converts, not us. So we could be very awkward in our presentation, but God has perfect knowledge of His children and will compel them despite us.