Kudos to you for asking this question, for two reasons: First, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, sharing your faith is an obligation inherent in becoming his disciple. Second, the very fact that you are asking the question is an indication that you want to share your faith in an honorable way that does not offend your employer or co-workers.
Bottom line: the answer depends on your employer’s policies and the nature of the kind of work you do. But there are four important things to consider.
1. Walk Your Talk.
Your life must reflect a positive testimony for Jesus Christ. If you are known to be a Christian in your workplace, you will be carefully (and sometimes unfairly) scrutinized. Your integrity, the quality of your work, your behavior in relationship to fellow employees, your language, your attitude—all of these will influence your co-worker’s opinion of Christianity. If you are not respected for the quality of your Christian life, it would be better for you not to identify yourself as a Christ-follower.
A Christian with a negative testimony is much worse in the context of unbelievers than no Christian at all.
2. Prepare to Respond.
If you truly revere Christ as the Lord of your life and his lordship is manifested through your everyday behavior, non-Christians will ask questions about your faith and hope. You need to be prepared to respond with meaningful answers.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)
One of the biggest hindrances that Christians have regarding sharing their faith is the fear of not knowing what to say. Often, we make too much of this fear. Answer seekers understand if you say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’ll get back to you with an answer.” No one, except maybe the most knowledgeable Christian apologists, has the answers to every possible question a Christian could be asked. But the basic essential questions that satisfy most sincere inquirers are really quite simple.
The Good Soil Seminar can help prepare you to know what you need to know to share the gospel competently with confidence.
3. Start Safe and Simple.
Sharing your faith can begin with something as simple as, “Did you ever wonder how this world got in such a mess?” Or, “I was sad to hear of your mother’s death.” Or, “Have you ever read the Bible? If so, what did you think about it?”
The “worldview onion-peeling model” helps to make witnessing easy and simple, starting with human commonalties—safe topics that all people have in common, believers and unbelievers.
4. Honor Your Workplace’s Policies.
Knowing your employer’s workplace policies is a big part of having a positive Christian testimony on your job. If your “Christian activities,” such as reading your Bible on the job or witnessing, detract from your work, that will not honor Christ or contribute to a positive witness.
Generally, lunchtime is a “free zone” as long as you are not offensive with your behavior and you are wise in what you say, and you know when to desist. And after-work get-togethers or pre-work breakfast meetings are always appropriate, if your co-worker friend is interested in meeting with you.
What might be deemed acceptable probably depends a lot on the type of job you have and how much of a distraction you might be if you are talking to a fellow employee about spiritual matters. For example, if you ride in a delivery truck with another employee, you probably have freedom to talk about most anything as you ride. But, if you are in a cubicle with someone, working on a focus-demanding project, that’s a completely different situation.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on the Good Soil blog.