Starting work in the City as a Christian can be a very daunting and scary experience. Many Christians have struggled to keep living for Jesus as they have been pulled away by the cares of the world. However, wonderfully, there are many Christians who have flourished here in the City, both maturing as Christians and also taking opportunities to share the gospel with colleagues. If you've just started work in the City, we hope you'll see your job and time here as a great opportunity to grow as a Christian and to serve God.
Because we recognise that starting out in the City is difficult, we asked some Christians City workers so share some of their top tips on how to make the most of being a Christian in the City. Please share it with friends and colleagues if you find it helpful! Here is what we came out with....
1. Nail your colours to the mast early!
This was the top tip! Telling your colleagues that you are a Christian might sound like a daunting prospect but many have found that the longer you leave it, the harder it gets. Some advice in how to go about it included:
- think about how you answer when people ask how your weekend was
- think about how you answer when people ask you what you did for the summer
- think and pray about how you can use news topics to speak of the gospel
- keep gospels, flyers for lunchtime talks, your Bible or a Christian book you're reading on your desk
2. Be regularly praying and reading the Bible
In the midst of a hectic start to your job, what is the most important thing you could be doing? Even as you may be struggling with the information overload of induction and training, the most important thing to be remembering is who you live for and what true reality is. The best way to do that is to ensure you keep good and regular times of reading God's Word and praying to God. It's great idea to pray for opportunities to share the gospel with your colleagues.
3. Make use of lunchtime talks
Many Christian City workers over the past 50 years have found it a great help and encouragement to be reminded during the week of the gospel and of the opportunity they have to make Jesus known in their office. All across London there are lunchtime Bible talks. Not only are these great opportunites to be reminded ourselves, many have found it a great place to bring non-Christians colleagues to hear the good news of Jesus explained clearly. If you're thinking it might be hard to get out at lunchtimes have a think about:
- speaking to your boss and explaining that you will use one lunchtime a week to hear the Bible taught - most bosses should be happy for this to happen!
- blocking it out in your diary so that other people won't schedule meetings for you during this time
4. Find a good church and make good Christian friends
It's a common experience for new graduates in the City to be worked so hard during the week that all you can think of doing is sleeping through the weekend. It can be tempting not to get fully involved with a local Bible teaching church because of work. However, the City workers we talked to wanted to strongly encourage new graduates to find a church quickly, get settled and make good Christian friends who you can support and be supported by.
If you are new to London and you aren't sure where to go to church, check out this website.
5. Pray with and encourage other Christians in the office
Many Christians start out in their office thinking that they are the only Christian there and that can be a very scary thought. However, in most offices in the City there are one or two Christians around and in fact, lots of companies have their own Christian groups. Meeting regularly for prayer and encouragement with Christian colleagues is a great way to be reminded of what you are in the office for and to partner together in sharing the gospel with colleagues. Who knows, you might even be able to put on a few evangelistic events together!
6. Think about giving to gospel ministry
According to www.graduates.co.uk, the average graduate salary for 2013/2014 is £29,000 with Investment Banking averaging a £45,000 starting salary! As Christians we know from the Bible that all that we have is given by God and we are asked to think about how to use our resources for the gospel. Now that you are being paid and earning more, it's a great chance to think about what gospel ministry you can be supporting financially. Here's a great talk to get us all thinking about how Christians should view giving.
7. Be godly in your behaviour in the office
Once you've nailed our colours to the mast and let people know that you are a Christian, it's important to show that it actually makes a difference in your life and not just something you are by name. Of course you want to take every opportunity to speak of Jesus to your colleagues but living out the gospel in the workplace is important too. The City is a stressful and pressured environment to be working in and those around you may be clearly living for this world. However, as Christians you'll need to be careful not to be drawn into the same behaviours and attitudes of your colleagues if it isn't worthy of the gospel. Some examples include your use of language, your use of money, your behaviour at work drinks etc...
8. Serve God by working hard
It's great to remember that God has placed you in the City and has provided you with a job. Whilst your primary aim in the workplace might be to make Jesus known, it's important to be working hard at your job as well. Sometimes you'll find it hard to keep the right perspective or balance in this area but make sure that the command to work hard doesn't mean you excuse yourself from regular times of prayer and hearing God's Word!
9. Speak with older Christians in the City
One way new graduates have been spurred on to live and speak for Jesus in the City has been to speak to older and more experienced Christians in the City. There is much to learn from those who have been in your position before so make the most of any opportunities you have to speak to more senior Christians in the City, they'd love to chat things through with you! Some great ways you can do that are:
- come along to the lunchtime talks and speak to people there
10. Fear God, not man!
In the City it is easy to become fearful of our earthly masters - our company and our boss and to let that govern the decisions that we make. However, Luke 12 helpfully reminds us that Christians should fear God and not man - even here in the City! If we end up fearing man we're less likely to be making a priority to hear God's word and to share the gospel with colleagues. Fearing God on the other hand will give us the right perspective of life and of work. It should help us to remember that life isn't about our next deadline or the next big deal we complete. Why not spend some time reflecting on Luke 12 this week?