Embassy, by Sam Drake


This is maybe less of a LinkFest than an opportunity to share a particular link with you. First, I'll give some backstory.

I am a big ol Japan Fan. I enjoy Japanese media, but in particular I love Japanese stuff. Notebooks, pencils, knives, teapots, cars, consumer electronics, it seems like everything (at least, everything made for export) is the absolute best quality, even if it's a simple, mass manufactured glass teapot. I'm not an expert on Japanese culture, but there is, I think, one important part of it that contributes greatly to their reputation, and that's the word “Shokunin”, or the mastery of one's craft.

In the broad strokes, the shokunin spirit says that mastery of one's craft is not only important to the health and happiness of the individual, but that everyone in your community is counting on you to do your best, just like you're counting on them. We all like to hope that the auto mechanic treats our car as well as their own, or that the person at the grocery store is as kind and patient with our grandmother as we would be. Shokunin, among other things, takes that vague hope and makes it a personal responsibility. I need to take care of this person because I need care in other ways, and we can make a community that can count on eachother if we all take ownership of that possibility.

I was reminded of it while writing last week's blog, “We Are Christ's Ambassadors”, and how well I think it dovetails with the knowledge that Kingdom people are participating with the Holy Spirit in making creation new. More than our community relying on us to do our best, God is encouraging and exhorting us every day that being the best bookkeeper we know to be is Kingdom work, and not just because it creates a good reputation/“witness” with our coworkers. I'll write more on that later, but for now, give this article a read. I'll see you next week.

“Shokunin and Devotion” at Kyoto Journal

This post is part of #100DaysToOffload, a challenge to blog a hundred days in a year hosted by Kev Quirk. This is post #12

#Christian #Ministry #WorkplaceMissions #Embassy #Japan #Shokunin #Craftsmanship

So, I've got a bit of a pickle on my hands here.

Taylor, Embassy Industrial's Lead Creative and Chief Messaging Officer, has been a wealth of good input on the blog here. He's been much more positive about the pieces that have a looser, more conversational feel. Pro Bono ranks pretty highly for him. I wouldn't weight his perspective so highly if I didn't enjoy writing those kinds of pieces so much more as well. The problem comes where I want to write more about, ostensibly, the topic of the blog, “Embassy”, workplace missions, and every time I sit down to write about it, the tone becomes much more serious and structured.

I'm proud of the work I put in and the pieces that have come out of that brainspace, but I also don't know how great the self-serious tone is, even if the topic is really important to me. All the workplace missionaries I know (people you might call “Regular Ol Jeff from Church”) don't really go in for the stuffy, academic and somber stuff unless someone is leading a book study at church on the topic. Even then, when they have the chance to talk about it themselves, the self-serious and analytic tone of the book isn't really transferred over to the conversation. If I can, I want to write on the level. Saves the hassle of translating back and forth.

So bear with me, a bit. This might be a bumpy landing. Today, I want to pick up where I left off on the Ministry of Reconciliation, which means I want to talk about what I mean when I repeat what St Paul said, that “We are Christ's Ambassadors”.


I don't know if you ever watched a classic of network television called The West Wing. There's an episode early in the first season (I think) called “Lord John Marbury” where the plot revolves around the eccentric Ambassador to The United States from the United Kingdom, the aforementioned Lord John Marbury. Dude gets a whole episode named after him and he's got basically three jobs the entire time:

  1. Be around when the President asks for him
  2. Represent the interests of the United Kingdom during these conversations
  3. Be a pain in Leo's ass whenever allowed

... And he does the third one for free! It's not that far off for any other Ambassador, in the present or in history. Person is supposed to be there, and to accurately represent the interests of their home country. This can look like a lot of different things, people get bored and think of all kinds of things to occupy the Ambassador's time. You might see the French Ambassador attending a middle school performance of a French musical composition, to encourage and support the love and learning of French culture in their host country. The Lebanese Ambassador might be a guest at a prominent social event for Lebanese expats living in America, to strengthen and maintain ties between the elite abroad and their home country. You get the idea. Dude has a simple job, but has latitude to get creative about how they go about it.

The connecting through-line between all these things is that Ambassadors are in the business of personal relationships. Networking. They physically go and spend time with people who are different from them in the hopes that the proximity, hospitality and friendliness will create a personal relationship that can then be used to strengthen the relationship between the organizations the two people represent.

So lets say you're gonna take my word for it, lets say you're gonna accept that you are Christ's Ambassador, sent to your workplace on behalf of the Kingdom of God. If you're anything like my wife, your next question is probably in the shape of “Yeah, ok, but what does that mean? Gimme practicals, man!”

1. Your boss is not your boss

Now, I understand, your boss may be very convinced that they are your boss, and they may be similarly convinced that they have the authority to boss you around, to lord their authority over you as the gentiles do. Been there, believe me. Often we are sent as Ambassadors to places that don't recognize the authority of the King that sent you. That's fine. They can be wrong all by themselves, and it might be a barrier to some things you could do, but it doesn't change the job. You are there to represent Christ and His interests, and be available to talk when the Head of State, or anyone really, wants to speak to The Kingdom.

That might make for some interesting decision matrices when it comes time to decide when to stay, when to go, when to go for that promotion, when to let that transfer go by. You might make decisions that are confusing to some of the people you work with or live with. Bottom line is the King sent you there, the King decides when you get a new posting, and your boss does not. Corollary point, when you ask God for a new job, you're asking your actual boss, the person who can actually do something about it, and the person who would have to sign off on any transfer in the end anyways.

For biblical inspiration here, study the Book of Daniel. Young people, faithfully serving God in an environment where the king of Babylon was very thoroughly convinced that he was the one in charge. Might remind you of some assistant managers you've had. I won't name names. Except for Charlie. I'll name that one.

2. Your Job is not your Job

Now, I understand, your boss might be very convinced that your job is your job, and they might be similarly convinced that people who don't do their jobs will be fired, cast out into the outer darkness (where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth) on their authority. Just like I'm not telling you to challenge the authority of your boss (without the call and cover of the Holy Spirit), I'm not telling you to not do your job. Just understand, if your boss is not your boss, their idea of what your job is could probably use some work. I'll give you an example.

I currently work in the retail space, and my job is, ostensibly, to sell backpacks. There's a lot that goes in to it, but that's the gist. There come occasions where the Lord has made a way for a deeper conversation to happen with a coworker, either just a fun convo on cameras (#FujiFam), or a harder talk about how your early twenties JUST SUCK, especially for young men. In that moment, my job is not to sell backpacks, it's to be the present Christ to that person. If someone wants to buy a backpack, I'd have no idea because I'm just not paying attention. If you're reading, sorry boss! I promise, I'm paying attention the rest of the time!

My God Given job is to be Christ's Ambassador, speaking for Him (faithfully!) to people who want to speak to Him, and hopefully making my workplace work a little bit more like the Kingdom of God, to work better and be more humane. It's definitely part of that call to contribute to the success of the team there, when you're able. Just don't get it backwards. Your boss is not Your Boss, and your job is not your job.

3. Your Goals are not Your Goals

Now, I understand, your goals... Just kidding! I couldn't figure out a way to make the pattern work here on the third point. We all have goals at work. They probably involve making some money to spend on the weekend and not getting in to catfights over office BS with that person, because there's always a person who wants to get in to catfights over office BS. They're like my brother, a messy bit....boi who lives for the drama. Hot Mess Express. You get it. I need a new paragraph.

You have goals. Simple goals. Those goals are often not incompatible with Christ's goals, but they're not the same as Christ's goals. I believe with my whole heart that the Holy Spirit is *currently engaged in the work of making all of creation new.* One of the main privileges we have, as Kingdom people, is the pleasure of participating in that work, the way a toddler participates in making breakfast. We're mostly there to watch, and occasionally we'll be asked to mix the blueberries into the pancake mix. Rowan Williams, in Being Disciples, describes this mindset of being like birdwatchers, waiting in a still, attentive way, until we see at last the flash of the Kingfisher's wing (described in TS Eliot's Four Quartets, Burt Norton IV). We don't know when we'll see the Holy Spirit working in our workplaces, but He is working.

If God is currently engaged in the work of making all things new, that includes a lot of things that we don't talk about as being in the purview of Kingdom work, and it means that *God is both interested in your job and is invested in it working better*. God is invested in such things as;

  1. Reducing the paperwork load on a hospital admin
  2. Using math to help a field scientist cover more ground in a day while taking samples
  3. More efficient battery technology
  4. Pleasant customer service interactions at the register of a coffee shop
  5. Paid Parental Leave
  6. Efficient use of public funds while designing our cities, roads and infrastructure
  7. Taking the time in the morning to appreciate the sunrise and greet the squirrels
  8. Clear, intelligible and balanced accounting books

Et ceteraaaa, et ceteraaaa, et cetera. The work is the worship. The mechanical engineer designing that engine mount that might outlive the car? The efficiency engineer might want to cut the service life down to 100k miles, but the mechanical engineer knows that it's worth it to keep something in service and out of the crusher. Resources are valuable, and an account will have to be given to the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills about how His wealth was spent. The human resources worker who advocates for buying more healthcare coverage for their other employees? The general manager might want to cut that benefit to return the money to the piggy bank, but the HR person understands that they're accountable to the Father for how well they took care of their fellow people when they had the chance to make a difference, and that “their” piggy bank is really His piggy bank, in the end.

Everyone working to make the world better is working in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, whether they know it or not, and how much more effective could a person be when they can hear the voice of the person they're cooperating with? We are gardeners in someone else's garden, and the people of God have the benefit of knowing who's garden this is and what the owner wants. Oh, also, we know the owner is the guy who invented gardens and gardening in the first place and we can ask Him any question we want, like “WHY DON'T WE HAVE PAID PARENTAL LEAVE?”

Maybe you'll have a different question. You'll probably have a different question. My question for you is what is the Holy Spirit doing in your workplace? How could you help? Where should you be looking, waiting for the flash of the Kingfisher's wing?

I can thoroughly and heartily recommend Rowan Williams' “Being...” series of books, Being Christian, Being Human and Being Disciples. It takes a true master of many disciplines, a master theologian, communicator and pastor, to make this kind of dense and incredible teaching so accessible and so brief. I love theologians, but they, typically, never use a word when a sentence will do. Doubly recommended to anyone looking for their next small group study.

This post is part of #100DaysToOffload, a challenge to blog a hundred days in a year hosted by Kev Quirk. This is post #11

#Christian #Ministry #WorkplaceMissions #Embassy

One of the most important things to do when you get a new car is (I'm told, having never owned one myself) to treat it like a new car until it inevitably receives some kind of blemish, it's first scratch. Once it's acquired its first injury, you can stop treating it like a brand new car. Gladly, after an exhausting weekend and one of those little head colds that I get every other week now, courtesy of my infant daughter's daycare cohort, we have received our first scratch on my perfect record. I wanted to get this topic down on “paper” though, so we can start to develop it in relationship to the previous two pillars, Embassy and Mission. Let's proceed with the quotation from St Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians that this specific phrase, “The Ministry of Reconciliation” is pulled from:

2 Corinthians, Chapter 5 (NASB95)

  1. For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 
  2. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 
  3. inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 
  4. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 
  5. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. 
  6. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 
  7. for we walk by faith, not by sight— 
  8. we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 
  9. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
  10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 
  11. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. 
  12. We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. 
  13. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 
  14. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 
  15. and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 
  16. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 
  17. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
  18. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 
  19. namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 
  20. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 
  21. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The Word of the Lord, Thanks be to God.


Ok so one of my favorite theologians writing and speaking today is a man named Chris Green, and during a recent talk he gave at my church he made an observation that stuck with me. He pointed out that a lot of times, our approach to Scripture is to first, regard it with fear and trembling (good), but to then go find out what, for example, the book of Jonah is “supposed” to mean, else fall back on a simplified interpretation we received as young people, maybe in Sunday School, maybe in the culture at large. We then take that interpretation, then we apply it to the scripture as we read it, sometimes blowing past what the scripture is telling us, what it actually says there on the page. He advocates for recovering a very careful and deliberate reading practice of scripture, to let the text speak for itself before we speak for it.

I mention this, not only because of its influence on me and my study practice, but also to say that there's a way in which the Church can coin jargon like “Being Reconciled to Christ” out of the scripture, say that it means “being saved” or “being a Christian”, and then we can let that good natured smoothing over to prevent us from getting every ounce of nuance that's available to us in the scripture. Hopefully this example will make what I'm trying to say more clear.

Consider the selection from above: v20. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

That last phrase, “be reconciled to God,” in our jargon, if we translate it as “Become a Born Again Christian”, then the point of this passage is to say that to be an Ambassador for Christ is to beg people to come to the altar, confess your sins and accept Christ as your savior. Simple. And don't get me wrong, this absolutely is part of the mandate of the Church, but going back and reading more carefully is going to give us the whole picture on what exactly Paul is saying here.

v18. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,  v19. namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 

If I was doing five points and an hour and a half on this section we'd go back even farther, but I think this will do. Verse 18 refers to “all these things”, that is, the person of Christ, what He did and the effects of what He did, are from God, “who reconciled us to Himself through Christ”. That word, reconciled, what does it mean to you?


I'm not going to copypasta a definition from the dictionary for reconciliation, but it's a relatively specific word that belongs adjacent to ideas like “repair”, “health”, “renovation”, or “setting right”. It means the repair of interpersonal relationships. When Jacob reconciled with Esau, they repaired the brotherly, familial relationship that Jacob broke when he tricked the blessing out of Isaac and took off before Esau could kill him. When you reconcile with a friend, you're fixing a relationship after an injury. You can't be reconciled with someone you've never met, we don't use it for the creation of a new relationship. We also don't really use it for situations where maybe justice has been done, but the friendship remains broken. If you were forced to pay me for the cow that your dog killed by the local magistrate, but you still refused to talk to me, that's not reconciliation. You may be justified under the law, but we are not repaired to the way we were before.

So reconciliation has a pretty specific meaning here, that through Christ, God repaired the relationship between us and Him, and “gave us the ministry of reconciliation”. The Greek word here translated as “ministry” is diakonia, and “ministry” is a pretty good translation for it, in one way. The connotations are those of service, like waiting tables or tending to the needs of others, and also to the work of a government official, particularly one acting on behalf of a superior. This use of “minister” is more common in British English, I think, than in American English, but it's beginning to paint a picture for us. God repaired the relationship between us, and then he gave us a job.

Paul clarifies that we're given this job because it's the job that Jesus had/has/will have, “Namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself”. We, being in Christ, have the same job that He has, this Ministry, this Word of Reconciliation. Reading “Ministry” in it's governmental mode helps us see how connected this idea is to the phrase in v 20, “We are Ambassadors for Christ”. We aren't just any kind of governmental minister, we are Diplomats.

Ambassadors of the Kingdom of God

And we come back to the Embassy that we started with, that I titled the Blog with. We are Christ's Ambassadors, Diplomats of the Kingdom of God, that Kingdom that would reconquer the world not with force, with power, with the sword, but instead would reconquer the world with the kind of love that has no fear of Death, for the Love we follow and emulate has conquered Death.

This is really the core metaphor, word picture, that I'll be drawing on for the remainder of this work. We have been adopted out of whatever citizenship we held before, whatever full faith and allegiance we offered before, to give that full faith and allegiance to the Kingdom of God and it's King, Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ. He is so happy to have us that He makes us part of his government that is responsible for repairing the relationship between his Kingdom and the surrounding Nations, whether those are Nation States, Local Governments, Ethnic Groups or, indeed, those petty feifdoms we often spend eight hours of our day interacting with. He sends us into those places with the calling and mandate to be prepared for any opportunity to improve relations between these two kingdoms, and to do it the way Jesus would do it. We don't come to be serve, but to serve. We don't govern with Power, but with Love. We don't engage in inhumane shortcuts, but insist on the dignity of every human being in our charge.

My friend, you may be working in a job you didn't want, didn't ask for, and don't have any respect for. Let's say, for example, that you're working in a discount hardware store because you need a job and your friend at church was able to get you a job pretty quickly there. You asked to be sent, and the Lord sent you to the back end of the cruddy part of your town. The Lord has work for you there.

My friend, you may be working hard in a job you did want, you prepared for, that you love. You've been doing your best to be nice, ethical, but you never really thought of yourself as the missionary type. You wanted to change the world as a young person, but these days you're just happy to be able to feed your family, give a little extra when the pastor asks for it, and go on a vacation every once in a while. You never asked to be sent, but the Lord sent you anyways. The Lord has work for you there.

You are Christ's Ambassador.

We'll be exploring exactly what that means next time.

This post is part of #100DaysToOffload, a challenge to blog a hundred days in a year hosted by Kev Quirk. This is post #5

#Christian #Ministry #WorkplaceMissions #Embassy

So, a meaningful barrier that I've hit early in this process has been a disagreement in what words mean what; I plan on subtitling the book “A Workplace Missiology”, or something to that effect, and everyone else is using Missiology or Missions as a term to mean work that is directed over there, towards “other” people. The proper term, at least in America today, for work directed here, towards “our” people, is Evangelism. I'm going to be using the words differently, in part because of the shape of my brain but also in part because I think the church has missed a really important facet of engaging with the workplace as The Church, by limiting their creativity to this one theater of operation.

Evangelism, for the purpose of this work, will be the work of sharing the Good News (euangelion) of Christ, that The Kingdom of God is at Hand, for people who are prepared and willing to hear it. There are always people in our lives who are feeling a sense of lack, of being without, of being needy, and are looking for a thing to fill that void in their lives. They are the Seekers that are imagined by people wanting their church to be more “Seeker Friendly” or “Seeker Sensitive”. They could be a person who is currently attending a church that is in decline due to poor spiritual health, and they're looking for a more healthy church expression to belong to. They could be someone who is in a period of broad spiritual exploration, choosing to leave behind a secular or rationalist frame of mind, and who is open to hearing from believers of many different religions. They could be someone who is in a hard period of transition or grief, and just needs someone to incarnate Christ to them in the room, to be that presence of God for someone who doesn't know how to find him. Evangelism is many things, but the broad thrust of this blog is an attempt to convince you, the reader, that your responsibility and calling is not limited to these kinds of things.

Missions, Missiology, for the purpose of this work, will be Representing Christ (as His Ambassador) to people, institutions, or communities that, by contrast, are not seeking a new religious practice. They are not impressed in their heart by a conviction of their own lack. They live a life, separate from the fellowship of Christ and the Church, that is relatively stable and makes sense to them. You likely have many coworkers that, even if they self-identify as Christian believers, do not practice Christian spirituality (through the attendance of services, performance of personal devotions, etc etc) and do not consider the Lordship of Christ when making decisions about their life. You likely have many coworkers that profess no faith at all, and live life in a very similar way to the people who culturally identify as Christians. If you're reading this in English, the professional culture of your workplace is probably marked by a deliberate embrace of Western Liberalism, that people should be free to believe and practice (or not believe and not practice) any religion they want, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else (or interfere with work too much). Maybe you belong to a club or association, like a Rollerskating Photography Club, where the purported point and purpose of the group has “nothing to do” with religion.

Western Liberalism believes in and defends the seperation of spheres, the fundamental difference between personal life (where religious belief, home life and structure, romantic/life partner relationships, sexual ethics, etc reside) and public life (professional/workplace culture, civic culture/politics, “the discourse” etc.). People, of course, occupy both spheres at various times, but central here is the belief in the ethic that you should not impose or involve me in your personal life without my consent. If I don't want to talk about your personal life at work, I should be able to say “no” and have that request be respected, while if I don't want to talk to my coworker about a task we've both been assigned at work, I should not expect to have that request be respected. This cuts both ways, it's common for coworkers who are also personal friends to express a desire, if they go out on the weekend together, to not talk about work things at the karaoke bar, for example.

We all know that this is, at best, a fuzzy distinction. If I'm having an extended disagreement with a coworker at work, it can (and does, at least for me) affect my mood and my ability to help with household chores or serve at church. If someone, known as a crabby and impossible manager at work, finds a romantic partner and becomes a much happier person, they might become much easier to work with, at least for a season. The spheres interact, and we know this, yet we are often asked to uphold the boundaries that can exist for as long as we can. The important term, particularly in this cultural moment, is that of consent. If I don't want to, I shouldn't be forced to.

This dynamic, of being allowed some access to a space but having to work under constraints (or risk expulsion) is a major defining factor of missions work, and this is easier to see when we examine missions in an international context. Would it be wise for someone called to spread the gospel in a country that is both hostile to western countries, politically, and inhospitable to Christian spirituality to book a plane ticket, grab an apple box and engage in “turn or burn” street evangelism on the corner of Main and First Street? Of course not! Though many would argue street preaching isn't appropriate anywhere, the fact that the missionary must consign themselves to doing the most work they can do within the constraints given to them is Missiology 101. Maybe the hosting government is unwilling to accept foreign groups who are only there to proselytize new believers, but they are willing to accept foreign food and medical aid. In that case, if you're called to that place, it looks like you need to learn how to get food where it needs to go! Maybe the hosting government is a country that has tense political relations with your home country, and while you're there you must keep a low profile to avoid being expelled. That country, however, is pretty open to foreign economic investment, hoping to grow their economy and improve the quality of life for its citizens. You'll have to find a way to be a missionary who, as far as the government is concerned, is simply a foreign businessperson.

This dynamic is also familiar in home missions, or missions to places inside your home country, not outside of it. I served for years in college campus ministry, and a regular feature of our day-to-day was navigating our relationship with the University administrations on the campuses we worked on. The Administration, particularly the student affairs offices, were concerned with outside organizations using the resources of a student union to the detriment of the student body, either to harm students or to deprive them of money, rooms, etc that would otherwise be available to them. Therefore, if we wanted to meet on campus in one of the empty rooms, we had to follow all the rules (getting a faculty sponsor, have enough students willing to sign up as members, have rules and bylaws that conform etc) and maintain a healthy and friendly relationship with the school admins, people who were sometimes unenthusiastic about religious practice of any kind. Similar concerns exist for missionaries in disadvantaged urban or rural regions who often interact with city/county governments of various persuasions, or missionaries active in Native American/First Nations reservations.

These environments, these mission fields, will not tolerate a ham-fisted or uncareful evangelism-focused approach, and any of the activities that believers in the workplace have long been encouraged to do from the pulpit (invite your coworkers to church, organize a bible study, be prepared to give your testimony to anyone and everyone) may, in a particular workplace, catch someone a reprimand or an instruction to keep the workplace professional. In the past, the church's response to this has often been to either leave our job and find a new place to work with management that is permissive/encouraging of the above activities or to subsume our christian identity at work and say to ourselves that the most we can do is passively live a life of public witness, being both a christian and the best employee, the most helpful coworker, the nicest person etc.

This project is to make a case for a more active approach to being called as a missionary to the workplace and a more expansive view of what kind of activities constitute “kingdom work”. To be Christ's Ambassador at your job could mean all sorts of different things. When you're sitting in a meeting and you ask to hear what another coworker had to say after they were interrupted, that's giving a voice to the voiceless. When you offer to take over a difficult client for a coworker, both to give your coworker enough space to calm down without causing any trouble and to take care of a person who is obviously upset and worked up, you're engaged in the ministry of reconciliation. When you put your position on the line because the team you manage needs more time to do their job well, even when your boss doesn't want to give it to them, that's giving power to the powerless.

These kinds of things are pretty well covered in our imagination as, broadly, “being nice”, but the importance of digging deeper and finding the “why” behind the “why” is one of sustainability, the ability to persevere. I don't think I'm alone in saying that I don't want to be nice to people all the time! If the only thing I have in my gas tank is the knowledge that “I should be nice because Jesus was probably nice”, then we're good for, in my experience, a couple weeks. We need a reason why that's deeper than circumstances or preference. We need a reason why that's more important than the structural criticisms my black leftist heart has against the structure of making a living in this country today. We need a reason why that's eternal. We need a calling, and a mandate. That calling, for the Workplace Missionary, is the Ministry of Reconciliation.

Coincidentally, the Ministry of Reconciliation is the topic of my next blog post.

This post is part of #100DaysToOffload, a challenge to blog a hundred days in a year hosted by Kev Quirk. This is post #2

#Christian #Ministry #WorkplaceMissions #Embassy