When God Goes to Work

Dec 10, 2004

By George Anderson

God, believers say, is everywhere, including the workplace.

According to a report in The Trenton Times, there are “thousands of workplace ministries – officially sanctioned employee religious groups – across the United States.”

Owners and employees of a growing number of companies openly proselytize to fellow workers, vendors and customers. Churches are developing missionary-like programs to reach business leaders and their employees at places or work.

Rev. Billy Graham has said he believes “one of the next great moves of God is going to be through the believers in the workplace.”

Groups such as His Church at Work (www.hischurchatwork.org) specialize in developing programs for local churches
to help them bring religion to the workplace. The Group’s founder, Doug Spada, sees the missions of churches in this area as being no different than sending out missionaries to
other countries.

Religion has found a home in a place previously reserved for the secular. With this growing movement, businesses are faced with a number of ethical and legal challenges.

While some may take issue with others trying to bring them to Jesus and the practice may result in some employees seeking work elsewhere or perhaps even cost a company business, proselytizing in the workplace is completely legal.

Discriminating against a person because of his or her religious beliefs, or lack thereof, is illegal.

Moderator’s Comment: What is your view on the role of religion in the workplace?

Every time we think about religion in the workplace we can’t help but think back to the story told to us by a former CPG manufacturer sales executive (a
devout Christian, now retired) describing what it felt like to do business with one large retail chain. “You walk in this small room and the buyer is sitting across the table
from you. In one hand he holds a Bible, reading Scripture. In the other hand he holds a gun to make sure you’ve emptied your pockets and put everything on the table.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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