Does Missional Community work in the Workplace?
It’s a question we’ve been asked many times and it’s one that we’re still trying to answer.
When Jesus commissioned his followers to ‘…make disciples of all nations’, we believe that he meant not only ethnic groups, continents and countries, but also all spheres of society, lifestyles and sub-cultures. And we reckon he meant people in the workplace too.
The ‘workplace’ is a generic term, covering all types of people, professions, ages. But Jesus’ principles for mission can be applied in all different contexts and that means they apply to all different workplaces too. We sometimes have to be creative about them, but they still apply all the same.
In trying to be missional in the workplace one particular challenge we’ve faced is how a Missional Community can ‘go’ together, when you can’t take your MC to work with you!
As workplace communities are naturally ‘network’ communities (rather than neighbourhood focused) it’s key that there is a sense of shared ownership amongst community members, so that we feel we’re on a mission together for every single community member’s workplace or context.
Even though it might take a bit more effort than mission in other contexts, we’ve worked hard to create this culture of ownership in our MC. Here are a few ideas that we’ve tried…
- Meeting for breakfast or lunch with other community members who work near each other. A good way to share what’s happening in your day and to pray.
- Taking a moment to call or text each other the prayer requests or testimonies of what God’s doing in your workplace during the day.
- In some cases, a workplace itself can have a great sense of community about it. Instead of inviting colleagues to MC or church events why not take some community members to your workplace social?
- Get involved in supporting something happening at a workplace. We took part in a charity event organised by one MC member’s workplace. Great way to get to know each other’s colleagues.
- Inviting work colleagues as well as MC members to key events, such as birthday parties, to give them a chance to meet each other.
- Sharing and knowing what each other’s jobs involve and who the key people are at work. Then be praying for one another’s workplaces during the week.
- It’s about the job too (not just the people) – we want to see every one of our MC members prosper in their job, to both personally do well but also that the task they’re given would be completed with excellence.
We’d love to hear your ideas and stories of what you’ve tried in an effort to reach your workplaces – comment below!
Jon and Helen Bearn live in Sheffield and are part of St Thomas’ Church, Philadelphia. They’ve been part of and led Missional Communities for the past 5 years and are passionate about seeing young adults released into their missional vision. Jon works for Sheffield Council in procurement and Helen works for 3dmUK, a ministry which trains and equips church leaders in missional discipleship, whilst doing her MA in Global Politics and Law.