Is it Time for you to have a Courageous Conversation at Work?

Is it Time for you to have a Courageous Conversation at Work?

In 2001, shortly after the 911 terrorist attacks, a man named Allen Kay was inspired to take action and see if he could help prevent another disaster from occurring.  Mr. Kay was the chairman of Korey Kay & Partner’s advertising agency based in Manhattan, so he did what a good ad agency leader will do; he came up with a slogan.  The slogan, “if you see something, say something” became a global phenomenon.  In a 2010 New York magazine article by Josh Duboff, the observation was made that the saying was “the homeland security equivalent of the ‘Just Do It’ Nike advertisement and has appeared all across the world.”  In fact, if you travel at all, it’s likely you will see the phrase displayed on a billboard or a wall poster.  It encourages people to be vigilant and report anything that could be of risk to others.  Christians have a similar responsibility to make sure that what we see, we share.  Unfortunately, in many work environments saying something is the thing many Christians avoid.

In March 2017, CBS news published an article titled, “Why so many Americans hate their jobs.” The main point of the article highlighted a recent Gallup study on the American workplace, noting that “two-thirds of American workers are disengaged to some degree at work.”  That means that 6 in 10 people in your office are likely to feel no real connection to their job.  Christians have a tremendous opportunity among unhappy employees. The workplace is filled with people looking for more. This is why the message of Jesus has so much potential to be proclaimed. People are looking for purpose and meaning in their lives; bringing a bright light to a darkened workplace offers hope and encouragement.

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”  People can’t hear anything if we don’t say anything and God is ready to use our words to bring more people to know Jesus.  Who do you work with that might need to hear a message of hope that Jesus taught in the Bible?  Is there someone you work with that is struggling and can’t find peace?  Is now the time to sit down with that person and share your own faith story and point them towards what the Bible says about the source of peace?  Being willing to say something to someone may be the exact step God wants you to take in your workplace to impact the people around you.

Regardless of the environment you work in, there are appropriate ways to have courageous conversations that don’t have to alienate everyone around you.  When we keep our conversations about our own lives or express a willingness to serve others in what we say, we can invite others into the life changing work only God can do. 

One way to have a courageous conversation is to share a story about a blessing in your life.  Every year, the church I attend sends a group of people to Haiti, taking the message of Jesus to people and helping them build homes, add on to schools, and conduct pastor training. As part of the trip, the team raises money to support the mission efforts. When they reach their goal, they have a powerful story to share about the blessings of God and how He provided for the trip. It’s an easy story to share, and it can open the door for additional conversations about faith.  

Another way is to share a prayer.  When we first moved to Houston, I had a number of people ask, “What brought you to Texas?” That simple question allowed me to explain my new job offer, my uncertainty about relocating my family, and the day I spent on the banks of the Chattahoochee River praying and searching my Bible for wisdom. By the end of that day, I had an unexplainable sense that we should move to Texas. Quiet prayer and time in the Bible were the difference makers.  Sharing that story often opens the door to more faith conversations.  Prayer is something that impacts people in unique ways and when they know you are a person of prayer, the opportunity for more courageous conversations will happen. 

It is likely if you are reading this, then you know of someone who could use the message of salvation, hope and peace that Jesus delivers.  As we head into the Christmas season it’s the perfect time to take a bold step and have the faith conversation you have been putting off.  Who knows what God will do and how He might bring new life to people around you simply through the conversations you engage in!

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Craig McAndrews

Craig McAndrews is an accomplished business executive with 27 years of experience in sales leadership, corporate education and C-level responsibility. Most recently, Craig served as the Chief Strategy Officer at Houston based Mattress Firm, where he was responsible for developing strategic growth plans for stores and online businesses. Prior to that, he served in a variety of senior leadership roles including Chief Merchandising Officer, and Chief Learning Officer. Before joining Mattress Firm, he was a sales leader at Sealy Mattress Company and Simmons Bedding Company. Craig also lived the life of an entrepreneur as co-founder and operator of a retail consulting firm, and a chain of mattress retail stores. Currently, he shares his experience at the University of Houston, as an adjunct professor in the Marketing Department while also operating CMAC Capital Group, a small business investment firm. Craig is passionate about leadership development, writing, and teaching. He has written frequently for publications such as Sleep Saavy, Ministry in the Marketplace, and Coach’s Corner. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin, and lives in Friendswood, Texas with his wife April, and their two boys, Ben and Nate.