Helping Your Coworkers: 7 Ways to Get Things Done (and Share Your Faith)
By Emma Glenn
It’s hard to be a Christian in today’s workforce.
But even when every word from your mouth isn’t lifted directly from Scripture, and even if your usage of Scripture falls on deaf ears, here are ways that I personally try to showcase my faith in the workplace.
7. Show Up / Be There
“As for you, brothers, do not grow weary of doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13
Showing up is doing good. Your presence in your workplace is for the good of your coworkers and the good of your clients or customers.
If you work in food service as I have for the last decade, you know that food service workers are always in demand, but workers who show up actually wanting to work and learn the routines of your particular workplace are few and far between. But as tempting as it is to throw in the towel in the age of “WE’RE HIRING!” and seeing no one stick around, Be There.
6. Lead By Example
“...show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Titus 2:7b-8
You’ve shown up, everything is a disaster, and you’re met with complaining every which-way you turn; what’s a Christian to do?
Jump into the fray! Lead by example. Nothing kills complaining in my kitchen faster than me stepping-to and asking the complainer ‘What are you going to do to fix the problem?’
While walking into a previous shift’s mess is certainly not my idea of a good time, it has to be done. And if not you, who? Encourage others to do the same. If everyone worked as if it wouldn’t get done without them, what could we achieve? What can you do with that?
5. It’s the Little Things
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” -Proverbs 11:25
On the odd chance of being fully staffed for the day, I find I can get so much done, and I thank God for those days. I feel more satisfied on those days, I don’t lose sleep from trying to wind down, I don’t come home dreading the walk up to my door.
What’s something that’s been bothering everyone, but no one usually has the time for? Do them. Little five minute things, things that people are annoyed by? Make someone’s day! Be the bigger person! Dare I say, do unto others?
Before I leave for the day, I try to always make a habit of asking if there’s anything I can do in 5-10 minutes that will make someone’s life easier. This probably will look different across careers, but I pray that you can find a way to implement this, at work or at home.
4. Don’t Give Negativity a Foothold
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” -Proverbs 12:18
If your job is the center of your world, it can get depressing. Maybe even boring at times. What do humans do best when bored? Telling stories, furthering gossip.
Coworkers complaining about each other? Find a way to make the negativity stop with you. Stand up against false testimony about your neighbors. Debate this definition of neighbors if you will, but at my current place in life, they are my neighbors. Be the roadblock to the snowball of negativity, and maybe even be a source of positivity. Nothing kills morale faster than thinking everyone is talking behind your back.
3. Get to Know Them
“To those outside the law, I became as one outside of the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak, I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means, I might save some.” -1 Corinthians 9:21-22
Yes, boundaries are a thing, but knowing surface level things about your coworkers can act as a glue, even with the coworkers you don’t particularly like.
This point is brought to me by one of the highschoolers I work with. She always makes a point of asking me how my week has been since I saw her last. She remembers my answers from shift to shift. She asks me for updates. It makes my day to be asked, and I’m still learning to be that person.The world could use more folks like her.
2. Pray Without Ceasing
“Rejoice Always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Kitchen work is stressful. I’ve been in food service for a decade now, and while the work quickly becomes routine, a tendency to let your mind wander creeps in. Instead of wandering, I’ve tried to use that blank space (or white noise, dare I say?) to fit in a little more prayer.
Know any coworkers that are struggling personally, financially, or otherwise? Pray for them!
Managers becoming more overbearing or overstepping their authority and crossing boundaries? Pray for them, or against them, as the situation demands. Pray for the person buying from you, or the person working beside you. Even if you can’t think of what to say, you know you will be heard. There are worse uses for one’s time.
1. Work as for the Lord
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” -Colossians 3:23-24
We all know that if you’re gonna talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. I can talk about my faith all I want, but if the ones I’m talking to don’t see it in action, what good is it? I can give a pep talk about productivity, but if my kitchen shows no evidence of my work by the time I’m clocking out, what was the point?
If I cannot demonstrate the work ethic I lay claim to, that my work is my calling, why am I even there? Ultimately, all I can do is show up and become an example of the other six behaviors that I have laid out above. All of these become ‘working as for the Lord’. I’m not reaching for the stars. I’m not climbing the ladder for the sake of the climb. I simply want to succeed at the task laid out before me.