The New Year offers a fresh start. It is a natural time to consider new habits and new ways of thinking. And it is a perfect time for a fresh start to your faith at work.
Every day we wake up and invest our best hours, energy and thinking into our work. Most of us find varying degrees of satisfaction in what we do, but I think we would all find more satisfaction and purpose if we could more consistently and holistically bring our faith to work.
Sometimes an answer is right out in the open.
Consider the values of your company. If your company has values, then at one point in time your company invested some serious thought and energy into creating those values.
As believers we can use our company values as a way to integrate our faith and work.
Here are just a couple of ways:
First, values provide a substantive way to link your faith to your organization and work. Look up your company values (you may know them, you may have to Google them). First ask yourself if your faith aligns with these values (if it doesn’t, you might want to find a job in an organization where it does). Now think through how these values specifically connect to your faith. Think through how to express them in a way consistent with your faith. This will give you more substance and purpose in the work itself, and living the values will naturally put your faith on display.
Here are some examples:
Trust: We respect our colleagues, customers and consumers, and treat them as we want to be treated. We have confidence in each other’s capabilities and intentions. We believe that people work best when there is a foundation of trust.
To live this value you have to love your neighbor as yourself. When you are confident in others’ intentions you are in a position to demonstrate grace (Matthew 22:37-40).
Learn and Grow: Work hard, play hard; develop yourself and others; measure your improvement; share knowledge generously
To live this value requires a habit of excellence and serving others (Colossians 3:23, Mark 10:42-45).
Knowing how consumers feel is at the heart of everything we do
To live this value requires empathy and being servant-hearted, clear expressions of loving your neighbor as yourself (Philippians 2:3-4).
These three values come from Procter & Gamble, Electronic Arts, Inc., and Saatchi & Saatchi, respectively – not exactly Bible-thumping companies. But still there is a clear connection between the organizational values and kingdom values. What about in your organization?
Second, values provide a meaningful way to engage others on a faith and work journey. Values are part of your organizational language. Maybe you have an opportunity to influence your organization to a higher standard using its values. Maybe they provide a way to naturally bridge into a spiritual conversation with a co-worker. In any case, be intentional with the values.
No company is perfect, and no company perfectly lives out its values. But if we take the time to understand our company values, connect them to our faith in a substantive way, and then look for ways to intentionally express them in and through our work, then we will find ourselves more consistently and holistically bringing our faith to work this year.