On May 5th 2019 the Pastors of my Church (Peninsula Covenant Church) invited me to address our congregation and share how I see my day to day job as a Christian and also about the Stephen Ministry which I recently completed the corresponding training (20+ weeks, ~50 hours). Below are my notes that I created in preparation for the day and some of the areas that I covered:
As a tech worker for 15+ years, how did you see your work as ministry? What was challenging and easy about that? How did God help you to keep focus?
I would say that as a result of seeing my work as ministry I have these two reminders that I make to myself every day before I go to the office and during my day interacting to coworkers:
- In computer science there is a programming concept called ‘pointer’ that storage the memory address of another value, in the same way I want to be a Pointer to Jesus. The pointer concept is something that I use with my Christians techie coworkers.
- Yes, I have a CEO and a Manager in my job, but for me, my real CEO and Manager is Jesus.
So, what these reminders means, and what is the context about them:
- As many of you, right after I was born again, more than 20 years ago, I wanted to convert everybody around me to Jesus’ followers, You can imagine all the challenges this can bring in a secular world, not just in tech, but in any workplace and industry, just by mentioning the name of Jesus, some people get uncomfortable. So, I needed to find ways to bring Jesus to everything I do, yes, sometimes without mentioning his name, and found that the best way for me to bring Jesus to my workplace was based on Matthew 5:16
- Matthew 5: 16 “. 16 … let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
- So, my work ethics, behavior, my aptitude, my interaction with others (up, down and around me), my integrity, and my character would need to be such that reflect Jesus. And this is what I am referring to be a POINTER to Jesus. And every day I am working on it.
- In the same way, I realized, as many of you, that I work around people who has different values and world views, and that we need every day strength, patience and wisdom. And sometimes our workplace is a toxic and stressful environment, including our interaction with our managers. According with some data 75% of the people leaving a job is because their manager. So guess what, I have decided long time ago that my CEO and Manger is Jesus, so regardless of who is in that position in my job, I will work for Jesus when I go to the office, and that’s based on Colossians 3:23:
- Colossians 3:23. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”
- The EASY part about all this is that once you build your ‘Jesus’/Christian or ‘good person’ reputation in your workplace, people will reach out to you for advise, or wanting to talk to you about their problems, and then, those moments are perfect for me to ask if I can pray for them, and them always say yes. And perhaps the door is open to talk about Jesus.
- God has helped me to keep focus putting strong believers around me, and providing strength, faith and hope every day. Finally, God has put me in a great high tech company where I have the example of great Christian Leaders.
What made you enter into the Stephen Ministry/Care Team training?
- I believe there is still a big need of men to care for others, for mentoring, teaching, or just simply listening and I just want to make myself available.
- And, I want to make myself available, not because I am perfect and I know ALL, I am very imperfect man and I don’t know all, but because Jesus has changed me, and I have experienced trials, crisis, and also the power of our Lord Jesus Chrish while in those trials, and in a way, I want to give HOPE to some people out there who perhaps feel they are alone or are giving up. The same way some of you have walked by my side in difficult times.
How is God using it to change you?
Curiously enough, for several years now, prior the Stephen Ministry training, I have been working on James 1:19 to help me with my interaction with my wife, daughter and others. “19 …Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”
- …Well, the best tool and skill we are learning in Stephen Ministry is TO LISTEN, and let God guide the conversation and to reveal the solution
- Additionally, there is a concept of SAFE HOUSE/PLACE in this training that I believe is helping me with my growth:
- The Foundation: Grace-Based Acceptance:
- Being Nonjudgmental
- Unconditional Positive Regard
- The Door:
- The Foundation: Grace-Based Acceptance:
This safe house, is helping me to keep developing those necessary skills to be more assertive in my relationships and in my care for my loved ones.
What are you looking forward to as a Stephen Minister?
I love and I believe in our benediction “to be healed as we participate in the healing of others!”
- So, I am looking forward “To be healed as I participate in the healing of others!” And this means to me to keep growing in wisdom, patience and love as I walk with others in need and depending in our Lord, for strength and guidance.