On what it means to witness Christ in the workplace (#2), Mary DeMuth (Marketing Without Manipulation) suggests that one way in which we witness our relation to Christ is simply through resting so securely in him that we show that we do not share the values and fears of the world. Whereas others, in their insecure desires for fame and financial reward, inevitably manipulate coworkers or customers in order to get what they want - Christians, resting securely in God's love and provision, can witness to their faith by tending earnestly to the needs of others without aiming to manipulate them to our own ends.
Similarly, William Miller (On Building Trust, Part 1 and Part 2) writes that distrust corrodes the relational fabric at the heart of successful companies, and distrust flows from the self-serving heart. Christians can build trust in the workplace, and witness to their faith, by turning away from their self-serving desires and living by higher values of honesty and integrity. Professor Miller will continue this series, in the weeks to come, by reflecting on the Sermon on the Mount. Galen Dalrymple (Honest Scales) also argues that Christians can give witness to their values by living and working with "honest scales," assessing their work, others' work, the needs of their customers and the benefits of their products with simple honesty. When Christians honestly represent their strengths and weaknesses, and do not exaggerate the strengths and understate the weaknesses of their products, but earnestly seek to serve the needs of their customers, they give evidence of their counter-cultural ethic.
Vicky Wu Davis (Perspective on Workplace Evangelism) discusses a discomfort many feel when workplace evangelism detracts from workflow or comes across as unprofessional or opportunistic. Her approach, in the context of a nurtured and trusting relationship, is to share her own story and who she is, and to do her work with excellence so that others will look to her as someone worth listening to. As she writes, "You should not hide who you are ... you should be the best that you can be at work and promote yourself (yes, another controversial Christian topic) to a position of visibility that lets people ‘opt-in' to know more about your life, your perspectives, and your choices." On this point Marcus Goodyear (interview, Part 1) agrees. Excellence is about credibility, since few at work will care to know more about your life unless they see something compelling in your work and the way you conduct yourself at work. Then one can have conversations that are a sharing of oneself. This too was the tenor of the online discussion. We must first live what we would preach; some suggested building a relationship for at least a year before witnessing, while others thought each relationship should be approached on its own terms, and the ‘witnessing' of striving to live a Christ-like life is constant.
The Second Part of this concluding document will summarize what the Consultation developed on issues #3, #4, and #5.