22 Jan 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
Are you the only believer at your workplace? Do you feel alone following Christ at work?
Lim Kah Hooi, National Director of FCCI Malaysia (an International Marketplace Ministry) shared about how to live our faith at work in the recent ‘Breakthrough in Business Integrity Seminar’ held at Elim Gospel Hall at Ipoh on 18 January.
Do you feel lonely at work?
Loneliness at work is common among believers, especially when you are working in the top management. From an engineer in the Hewlett Packard Malaysia, Kah Hooi quickly rose to becoming the Managing Director (MD) of a start-up Disk Drive Company. He later became the Regional Chair of Vistage Malaysia, an International CEO Coaching organization.
“There are very few Christians in my position but I would meet up with a few of them. My friend would bring a pastor to talk to us but we found the topic irrelevant to our jobs,” said Kah Hooi. “It’s tough being a Christian at work.”
What if we have like-minded believers and successful Christian models in the workplace with us?
Kah Hooi shared how a gentleman stood up against him in an integrity-presentation he gave at a businessmen fellowship. The gentleman was convinced that practices of integrity would not work in Malaysia. But an elder defended his cause, quoting how Daniel in the Bible did not compromise his faith although he was working in a corrupted world.
“Daniel was able to walk with integrity with the Lord. If he can do it, we can do it. We have the same God like him,” said Kah Hooi. “So, we as Christians must never give up.”
Where are we in the workplace?
There are four types of believers at the workplace (quoting Ed Silvoso in his book Anointed for Business), shared Kah Hooi.
Type 1: Survival
This believer gets drained up for the week, before he or she replenishes his or her spiritual tank in church every Sunday.
Kah Hooi shared how he was in ‘survival’ mode at one time. In the weekend, he was an elder and youth leader of his church. But in the weekdays, he was as quiet as a church mouse at work about his faith.
One day, he decided to meet up with his leading elder to settle his confusion, at a point when he was reaching a GM position in the company. The elder advised him to look forward to retiring from his job and settle for full-time ministry.
“Seemingly, your faith cannot be integrated with your work. I was living a parallel life. On a Sunday, I was living a fantastic Christian life. But every Monday, I go to work and parked Jesus Christ at the car park, left to the office, and came back to take Jesus home,” said Kah Hooi.
Type 2: Biblical Principle Application
This believer follows God’s way at work.
Kah Hooi shared how he would do the right thing and be punctual in every meeting, so much so his latter habit impressed a senior manager. Despite the perpetual lateness of his staffs or colleagues, Kah Hooi was punctual most of the time. “Good attitude at work is a testimony for our faith in God,” said Kah Hooi.
Type 3: Bringing God in the Workplace
This believer brings God to the workplace. He or she acknowledges and remembers God in whatever he or she does, whether in seeing the boss or going to a tender. The best way to bring God to work is through prayer!
Type 4: Transformation
Transformers change the company culture, by the presence of his or her person. All of us can become positive change agents in our company.
Is the calling for a businessman less holy that a pastor?
How many of you wish to become full-time pastors, missionary workers or church staffs? Many of us perceived that a calling only involves positions within the four walls of church. But is that true?
Kah Hooi shared how Rick Warren got a call from the CEO of Adidas after giving his life to Christ. The CEO wanted to know if he should quit his job. And to his surprise, Warren asked the CEO to use his position of influence to share Christ with his executive team, 40000 staffs, and also celebrities who endorsed the brand. In effect, the CEO was appointed as the ‘pastor’ of his company.
“I have a call from God. I am convinced His purpose for me is in the business world. My business is my pulpit.”
Stanley Tam (Businessman owner and Author: God owns my Business)
According to King James, ‘vocation’ in Ephesians 4:1 meant calling. And to have a calling, you must have a caller. This caller is no other than God Himself, shared Kah Hooi.
The offensive ‘I’ Word
Kah Hooi shared that FCCI has a vision to transform our world through Christ, one company leader at a time. But integrity becomes such an offensive word. This ‘I’ word is often scorned for its impracticality and impossibility in practicing in the real business world.
“We want them to realize that God has place them wherever they are, integrating their faith into their workplace. Integrate comes from the word ‘one.’ When you talk about integrity in business, it’s oneness. You’re the same there and everywhere, when life is sweet and when life is tough,” said Kah Hooi.
Testimonies of businessmen who followed Christ
A deacon was living dual lives by paying bribery for his consulting work as a structural engineer. Nevertheless, at one time, he decided to stop giving bribes and prepared for a tightening budget to keep the company afloat. But to his surprise, his clients gave him the project without bribery the following year. Apparently, they were satisfied with his high quality work and reasonable price. When he honored God, God honored him back.
Another brother-in-Christ was tempted to declare less on a land deal, so that he can pay less for the RPGT tax. He was rationalizing that the money saved could be given to the church instead. But Kah Hooi asked if God would be please with this kind of money? In the end, the brother-in-Christ decided to declare the correct amount of the land. He wanted to sign the agreement but his lawyer went for a vacation. A day before the lawyer returned, the Government announced that RPGT has been abolished!
“Can this thing happen without the hands of God? For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth, to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him,” quoted Kah Hooi from 2 Chronicles 16:9a.
How do we become Transformers at work?
1. Preach Jesus… and only if it’s necessary, use words
Quoting St Francis of Assisi, Kah Hooi shared that a believer’s action must speak louder than his or her words.
“People are looking at our lives. When we do the right thing, we are preaching God’s Words,” said Kah Hooi.
2. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt (Col 4:6).
In a business environment, we may be using many bad jokes and bad words but be careful with your words.
3. Offer to pray alongside someone with needs at the workplace (James 5:13).
Kah Hooi shared how most businessmen would accept his offer to pray for him or her. When we pray and offer the word of God, God will open the door of opportunity.
A CEO of a multinational company, whom Kah Hooi prayed for before, called him one day; the company was firing the CEO that day. Kah Hooi shared the gospel and led him to Christ. In the end, the CEO left the company with a good compensation. They did a bible study together and Kah Hooi helped the CEO to forgive his boss. “He (the CEO) said to me that the best thing he did during those difficult times was to forgive his boss,” said Kah Hooi.
4. Build relationships before sharing the Kingdom of God (Luke 10 principle)
In Luke 10, we pray first for the spirit of God to rest in the place and to change the spiritual climate (v. 5). After that, we build a relationship with the person (v. 7) and meet their needs (v. 9a), before finally sharing the gospel with them (v. 9b)
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
Many of us do not realize that our calling lies in our workplace as well, beyond the four walls of the church. Although following God at work is not easy, it is most fruitful, rewarding, and satisfying in the long run. Is it possible to follow God at work in Malaysia? The answer lies in you.
Note: FCCI Ministry is a life-on-life discipleship of company leaders in small groups through love and prayer, honoring God by using their businesses as a platform for ministry. For more information on the upcoming 2014 FCCI International conference, please visit www.fcci.org.
FCCI Malaysia 2014 Retreat will also be held on October 24-26 in Awana Genting Hotels, with speaker and Elder Tony Tay—owner of 38 companies in New Zealand. Please contact email@example.com or Peggy at 012-676-7955 to register.