Take Your Pastor to Work Day
I showed up at his office and waited in reception. My host rushed in and greeted me. Was he nervous, excited, or weighed down by some new work crisis? The answer was some version of “all of the above.” He’d been working for several years on this project and now he had the opportunity to show me. He took me around, gave me a tour of the whole facility, showed me the systems he designed, and introduced me to his colleagues.
I was not there as a government inspector, representative from corporate, or vendor. I was there as his pastor and he had invited me to work.
Opposite sides of a Canyon
For many of us, our work-lives and church-lives are separated by a great chasm. On the work side we face the stress of politics, producing results, and market shifts that jeopardize our futures. On the church side the talk is of family and heaven and love. It’s as if we teleport from parallel universe to parallel universe, forced to bounce between the specialized vocabulary and emotional ups and downs of each world. But when our pastor visits us on the job, we build a bridge between the two realities. We take a step towards a more integrated life.
Making it a Good Visit.Here are six pointers to having a productive visit with your pastor at work.
- Be clear on the agenda: the point is to help him/her understand your world, nothing more or less.
- Make the ask and offer lunch. Pastors like to eat!
- Show them around, give them a feel for what you do, and explain what kind of industry the company you work for is in.
- Be clear in your own mind how you will introduce them. It would be great if you were ready to say, “This is my pastor.” It would not be wrong to say, “This is a friend of mine.”
- Share with your pastor a workplace dilemma and see what they think. Be prepared for these questions to take your pastor off –guard and give them time (maybe days) to get back to you.
- Invite them to pray for you and for specific challenges you face at work.
Someone has to Go First
As a pastor for 20 years who has visited people at horse hospitals, constructions sites, and office buildings, I’d like to hope your pastor would go first. But I’m not counting on it. Most pastors I know are overwhelmed with the burden of speaking, leading, and caring for people in crisis. They need someone to help them out of their bubble and see what the members of their congregation do each day. So I’m asking those of you in the workplace to go first and extend the invitation. It only takes one person, reaching out, to bridge the divide.
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