Work Talk to Gospel Talk
Work Talk to Gospel Talk by Eric So
Whether it’s chatting over coffee, happy hour, playtime at the park or dinner, one thing is almost certain when spending time with people: you talk about what you do.
I’ll be honest, I personally am not a fan when the conversation is dominated by work talk. But it comes up almost all the time so instead of shutting down or getting annoyed, God has patiently helped me realize that it’s not about what I like or dislike but it’s actually an incredible opportunity to get a glimpse into the heart of a person, learn what they value, and possibly share the gospel.
Here is one simple way to take a conversation on work and lead it towards the gospel. It may or may not get there each time but at the very least you’ll learn more about the person. And that’s very important.
Whenever a conversation on work comes up, at some point I like to ask one of these two questions (or both!):
What made you get into your field of work?
What motivates you to do what you do?
Asking these questions does three things:
Reveals what they value. We all treasure something. What we treasure shapes our thinking and acting. By asking what motivates the person in his or her pursuits and goals gives us a clearer picture of what they really value. As we aim to love people well, we need to get to know people well.
Helps us contextualize the gospel to the person. When we uncover what we truly value, we start seeing where we place our trust for hope, security, joy, and peace. By learning what someone values, we can then contextualize the good news of Jesus so it speaks deeply to them and their specific unbelief. This is gospel fluency. Here are a few examples: 1) Value = monetary wealth for security. What is good news? In Christ, we have ultimate security. We receive the blessing of salvation and eternal life that can never be taken away and the promise that we can never be separated from God’s love and care. 2) Value = Status. Good news? In Christ, we become actual children of God and become co-heirs with Jesus, the greatest status ever. It’s not something we have to constantly work to attain (it’s impossible!) but Jesus has actually attained it for us in his life, death and resurrection. It’s a gift to receive if we simply believe.
They ask you right back. It’s not guaranteed but people typically ask right back! If they do, use the opportunity to share what you do and why you do it. Let’s be honest, it’s really easy and tempting to answer in a very surface-level, PC-type of way and leave Jesus out completely. But I want to challenge and encourage you to be bold in answering truthfully and thoroughly by explaining the gospel motivations behind your work. It’s a simple and non-threatening way to share what Jesus has done and how that motivates you in your work for his glory. I’ve done this many times and it’s led to some really heart-felt gospel conversations with not-yet-believers.
There you have it. Work talk to gospel talk.
Important Note: During the entire conversation, I'm praying in my mind for the Holy Spirit to move in their hearts, give me openings to share good news, and to give me wisdom on what and how to share. Can't forget this!
Which neighbor, coworker or friend can you ask these questions this week?
Which Community Group member can you share this tip with this week?