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Work Colleagues

Is your work, your ministry?

Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others. Colossians 3:23 (NABRE)

 

The word “ministry” is from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning to serve. Most of our work has to do with service to people. And as disciples of Christ, we are involved in ministry through work, as we are serving the Lord.

 

During my conversation with a friend who once worked in a church office, I suggested that working in the church may be more spiritually advantageous than working in the secular world. My friend stated it does not matter - working in a church can be viewed as a ministry or "just" a job. It is what one makes of it.

 

Ministry is sometimes misunderstood. Many think it only includes those who work exclusively as pastors, deacons, missionaries, church volunteers, food bank volunteers, etc. However, we each have a vocation; hence our vocation is a ministry. The work of a stay-at-home mom who continuously cares for her family may have little meaning for some, but in God's eyes, it is a labor of love, self-sacrificing, and a prayer in itself.  “Prayer in action is love, love in action is service” 2 (Mother Teresa).

 

According to Francis Fernandez-Carvajal, “Work is born of love, it is a manifestation of love and is directed toward love. We see the hand of God, not only in the wonders of nature, but also in our experience of work and effort. Work thus becomes prayer and thanksgiving, because we know we are placed on earth by God, that we are loved by him and made heirs to his promises. Work should be born of love, manifest love, be ordained to love. We thereby give glory to God and draw closer to him each day. And through our work we assist all mankind, our brothers and sisters”. 3

 

Some may feel that secular work prevents them from having a profound relationship with the Lord. But as Christians, our work must lead us and others to Christ. It must be a path to grow in virtue and the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). In the challenging moment at work, we acquire courage, perseverance, tenacity, unity, and self-control.

We must make the best of our work. We must connect it with our spiritual life. It is in daily living that our Christianity is significantly displayed, and our work becomes more meaningful. Our attitude at work can preach a sermon and bring others closer to God. This evangelization can be more powerful than words.

 

When work is not a ministry?

In this fast-paced, productivity-driven workforce, we sometimes stop fostering fellowship with our clients and coworkers. When this happens, work is no longer a ministry. It is done for self-interest and promotion. God wants us to bring our best effort to work. A work that is poorly done does not reflect God's glory or bear the fruit of the Spirit within us. It cannot be considered a ministry or serving the Lord. 

Some steps to make our work a ministry:

  • Pray for your clients and coworkers and offer the day to the Lord.

  • Honor God by doing your work well.

  • Adjust to work changes without complaining.

  • Always have a pleasant demeanor and try not to grumble when things do not go your way.

  • Be ready to assist your clients/coworkers as needed.

  • Encourage your clients and coworkers, be courteous, and treat them with kindness, dignity, and respect (see Colossians 3:12-13, Ephesians 4:32).

  • Practice fellowship with your coworkers outside of work from time to time (see 1 Thessalonians 5:11).

  • Treat others as you want to be treated (see Luke 6:31, Matthew 7:12).

 

It is an honor to serve as an ambassador of God in this world. Let us work for God's glory and be a witness to His love and mercy. 

 

Lord Jesus, give us the grace to lead others to You in our work's circle. Let us be an instrument of your love and mercy. 

 

   

Reference:

1. trinityoldtappan.com

             https://www.trinityoldtappan.com › ministries

2. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/47026-prayer-in-action-is-love-love-in-action-is-service

3. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal, Through Winds and Waves, pg.84-85

​4. This article was first published in Catholic Women in Business - 8/23/2023​

 

Rhode L. Jean-Aleger was born and raised in Haiti. She has been married to Vorbes, her college sweetheart, for the past twenty-eight years. She is the mother of three young adult children. She received a BS in nursing in 1993 from City College of New York, a MS in Community Health Nursing as well as a MS in Public Health in 2001 from Hunter College, and Post-Master as a Nurse Practitioner in 2009 from New York University. A Certified Spiritual Director, she graduated from Our Lady of Divine Providence, an affiliate of Franciscan University. She is involved in the Homeless and Homebound ministry in her parish and is a retreat leader for the Haitian Community. Rhode founded the Jax Prayer Club in 2013, a community of faithful Christians striving to support and encourage each other in their walk with God. She writes daily reflections intended to make prayer and the word of God alive

others’ hearts. Learn more about the Prayer Club by visiting her website: www.Jaxprayerclub.com.

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