4 Nov 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
“Have we lost our passion for souls? A silent Christian is a paradox. We are about soul-winning,” said Dato’ Dennis Ignatius, a retired career diplomat and plenary speaker for the 3rd annual ALPHA Workplace Conference 2013 at Penang Christian Centre.
As Christians, we are called to be salt and light to the world but sometimes, we get so mesmerized by the Mercedes Benz, bungalows, and sports club that our saltiness and light fade away. We become the same like everyone else at our workplace.
And if the gospel is invalid in our work, then our faith becomes invalid as well because we spent one-third of our day in working. That is why the marketplace is so important to Jesus.
- 122 out of 132 of Jesus’ public appearances were in the marketplace.
- 45 out of 52 parables told by Jesus had a workplace context
- 39 out of 40 miracles in the book of Acts happened in the marketplace.
“The church must go to them. We must be Christ to them. We must show Christ’s love to them. We must bring healing and hope to them. We must be in the marketplace,” said Dennis.
We are often concerned with the fate of the unsaved nations around us, but what about the people at our doorstep? We have colleagues, staffs, and employers whom we meet everyday. They are the people we are familiar with, whereby no new foreign language or life adjustment is required from us.
“Some people are just trying to reposition the whole nation by transforming our whole workplace (but) it’s not about getting more Christians but to ask the Christians to rise up and be the salt and light,” said Dennis.
This is what the LORD said to me: "Go and stand at the Gate of the People, through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem.
The Lord drops hints all the time for people who are seeking for Him, shared Dennis. If we were to live like Christ, people who are seeking would pick up our behavior and draw near to us, while there are other’s who will just ignore us.
2 Cor 2:15
For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
The Holy Spirit lives in us and we are the closest and most real resemblance of who God is to the people we work with. The question is, “Can we live the gospel we preach?”
Dennis received comments of colleagues saying, “I heard that you are a Christian, (and) now I believe it.” If we want changes in the workplace, we have to be the change. How we live our lives in the workplace will determine whether the people in our workplace will come to believe in Christ.
Dennis shared how he used to be a hot-tempered man. Once, he scolded his staff harshly, to which the Lord rebuked his temper. Repenting for his behavior, Dennis apologized to his staffs, revealing to them that his God has rebuked him. He also promised his staffs never to repeat his harsh treatment again. He has also used the ALPHA workplace course, seeing half of his 16 Ambassadors friends and spouses coming to Christ!
“There’s power in the Word of God. Alpha is a tried and tested and tried way that helps you to be an effective witness,” said Dennis. “We moan and groan for our country but let’s get up and move! Let’s do the main thing as the main thing!”
4 REASONS to share the gospel at work:
1. Every believer is APPOINTED
God has a purpose for us in our workplace. That is why He placed us in different vocations.
For example, when God first called Dennis to be an ambassador in Lima Peru, He did not call Dennis to give up his full-time job to join the ministry because he is already in full-time ministry at work.
Whatever our profession is, we are first and foremost servants of God.
2. Ever believer is ANOINTED
The Lord says that He gives us power and authority over our enemy. Is this all holy and poetic exaggeration? But the moment we step out of our comfort zone and obey God’s command, we will see amazing things happening!
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.
3. Every believer is ASSIGNED and POSITIONED
The Lord has given a platform and a network for you. The platform that God has placed you is the most strategic platform, where He will empower you with skills and strength. Wherever you are, God has positioned you to be the salt and light to your colleagues, staffs, and employers.
4. The workplace is significant
The workplace is an intrinsic part of our lives that we cannot ignore or deny Christ’s influence in. We must have Christ in our workplace to be His disciple. There’s a reason why we are in our work positions, and that is to bring the gospel to them.
Ed Silvoso, author of ‘Anointed for Business’ said, “The marketplace – the combination of business, education and government – is to a metropolis what the heart is to the human body. Through these three arteries flows the life of a city. A city cannot exist without a marketplace in the same fashion that a body cannot live without a heart.”
Holding an ALPHA Workplace course over the lunch hour is easy and adaptable. You can play the ALPHA’s videos in your laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, followed by an easy manual to facilitate a discussion. The course only takes 15 sessions over 10 weeks for colleagues, employers, and staff
s whom you are friends with.
Find out about ALPHA Malaysia and their team training at:
Note: A retired career diplomat, Dato’ Dennis has served in London, Beijing, Washington D. C., Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Ottawa to name a few.
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