We are all called to do ministry. Some are called to full-time ministry through their vocation as a preacher, teacher, or other occupation within or outside of the church. Others are called to represent the love of Jesus within the hospitals, corporate sectors, or political offices.
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How to Lead from Your Seat
No matter where you find your vocation, as a follower of Christ, ministry should be woven within it. All of us are in our positions for a reason. We are all placed in those positions on purpose, but the sole purpose is to reach others by sharing and showing coworkers the love of Christ.
Faith and work go hand in hand. There are many industries that may prohibit you from speaking openly about Jesus, but it gives you an opportunity to share His love in how you treat His people and the atmosphere you bring forth. For example, you can set the atmosphere of your classrooms by praying over the tiny desks prior to the children ever arriving at class. There are many opportunities to keep Him in the midst.
Before you get out of the car to go into work, pray: “Lord, give me the grace to represent you well today.” And as you start your day, begin to look for opportunities to be a light to His people. Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (NLT). It is not always easy to be the light in a dark world, but remember you are there for a reason and it is to point others to Jesus. No matter your role, Jesus has placed you there to be His ambassador and to lead His people well.
Within the organizational charts of your employer, it can be easy to only look at leadership as being those within the executive levels or those who hold a managerial role, but I want to propose that leadership is woven throughout every position. We can all lead no matter where we sit within an organization.
Let's dive into some important ways to lead when you’re not in a traditional leadership role in the office:
1. See Yourself as a Leader
As you read this today, you may not think of yourself as being equipped to lead. I want to encourage you to remember Who is with you at all times. I always enjoyed listening to worship music on my way into the office. It would help set the tone for the day ahead. It was a way of reminding myself that the Spirit of God was with me. In moments where I felt unqualified, I could remind myself that I have been anointed and graced for this!
You have the Holy Spirit within you. As you go into the meetings, the classrooms, or take the difficult phone calls, the Spirit is with you and has already equipped you. When God told Joshua that he would be the one to lead His people into the Promised Land, God said: “For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous" (Joshua 1:5-6 NLT). As you begin to see yourself as a leader, remember Who is with you. He will not let you down. Your title doesn’t dictate if you are a leader because Jesus has placed you where you are to lead and represent Him well amongst your peers. Begin to see yourself as the leader you are.
2. Lead by Example amongst Your Peers
There are always people watching you whether you realize it or not. As you walk into the office, look for opportunities to serve your peers. Be the leader you want to see in the office. Is there someone on the team who is always by themselves, someone who is always dismissed or shut down in meetings? How can you be a listening ear to those who may need you to advocate for them? Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant" (Mark 10:43). Be committed to serving His people by having eyes to see what others have dismissed. Pray, “Father, give me spiritual eyes to serve those at my employer who feel overlooked, unseen, and dismissed. Help me to be a blessing and advocate for them.”
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3. Lead with Inclusivity across the Organization
When I was in the office, I always felt it was important to be intentional to recognize everyone no matter if I worked directly with them or not. It didn’t matter if it was the lady cleaning the bathroom, the security at the door, or those in executive leadership. I wanted them all to know they were seen and I appreciated them. Who are you overlooking at work and how can you change the way you see them?
The next time you are in the office or on the Zoom calls, take time to notice everyone and check on each teammate. Sometimes, it is good to just know that someone cares about you beyond the work getting done, that they truly care about your well-being. Today's times are hard for everyone, and there is so much destruction in this world, so people need to know that someone cares enough about them to genuinely check on them.
4. Speak the Truth in Love
Every day at work won’t be easy. Sometimes, you have to have difficult conversations, but let your words always be seasoned with love. It is easier to digest difficult words when they come from a softer place. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Jesus modeled this well for us. He didn’t shy away from difficult topics. Instead, He addressed them with love and kindness.
I don’t like having difficult conversations so I always pray leading up to them, and I ask God to allow them to hear my words and know that I’m only telling them because I care and want what’s best for them. If someone has wronged you in the workplace, pray for the right words to address the truth in a way that they can see your heart.
Start Leading Today
There will be so many opportunities to lead in your office (if you work in the business building or work from home). Whether it is showing kindness to an employee who is juggling many projects and even more things at home, or caring for an employee who feels overlooked, forgotten, even unnecessary to the team, leading comes in many forms. You just have to be willing to listen to God's voice, observe those around you, and boldly respond to your calling with both encouragement and grace.
Ask the Lord to prepare your heart for the workweek. Ask Him to allow you to see your employers, and even employees, the way that He sees them. Then ask Him what role you can play to help lead and serve those He has placed you on a team with.
Remember that leadership comes in all forms. Your job function does not have to include leading a team in order to be a leader. God's kingdom doesn't hinge on vocation titles or big, fancy offices. Even if you are new to the workforce, God has already equipped you and placed you on that team for a reason. Lead from the seat you are in and let every conversation be seasoned with the love of Christ. It is crucial to remember that He is always with you and has anointed you for the tasks at your desk, in the conference room, and even on your lunch. Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6).
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Originally published Thursday, 10 March 2022.