If you’re in the workplace, you know how tricky it can be to share your faith. That’s exactly what I’m going to talk about with my guest, Paige Clark. Paige will share her experiences and insights on being a Christian witness amidst the challenges and opportunities that come up in professional settings. For many of us, our work environment can be a space where faith often takes a back seat, overshadowed by the demands of daily tasks and corporate culture. Continue to read as I share with you Practical Ways to Honour God in the Workplace.
And don’t worry if you’re listening to this and you’re not in the workplace, this conversation is still relevant because the truths we share can be applied to any scenario we have an encounter with non-Christian people.
So stick around as we share the ways in which we can bring our faith into our work lives and serve as a positive influence on those around us.
Listen to the episode:
00:00- Integrating Faith and Professional Responsibilities
03:53- Faith in the Workplace
07:01- Responding to Controversial Lifestyle Pictures
08:48- The Benefits of Working in a Company That Aligns with Your Values
08:51- Exploring the Line Between Gossip and Being Informed
11:56- Showing Jesus Through Everyday Actions
18:44- Exploring the Power of the Holy Spirit in the Workplace and Beyond
18:46 Finding Balance and Blessing in Your Career
22:16- How God Can Use Us in Our Current Situations
23:25- Finding Identity in Christ, Not in Career
29:39- The Quiet Quitting Movement
29:42- Work-Life Balance and Setting Boundaries
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Check out Paige’s website.
- You can subscribe to my podcast.
- Connect with Paige on Instagram
- Connect with Anne on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube
- Join a FREE Christian women’s community
Practical Ways to Honour God in the Workplace
Meet Paige Clark
I live in Arizona, in a suburb outside of Phoenix. I’ve lived here for now 10 years, and am originally from California. For my job, I like to say I have many hats. When people ask me what I do, I say how long do you have? Because then I can tell you everything that I actually do.
But for my regular full-time job, I work in marketing as a social media manager for a tech company. I also teach marketing on the side, have one-on-one clients, and I’m also a writer.
I publish a magazine every quarter, and I have a podcast.
Today we’re actually talking about faith in the workplace. I’m sure you’ve noticed this, but more and more it’s hard to be to show your faith just because of the circumstances we live in this day and age.
Navigating Workplace Culture as a Christian
Can you talk maybe a little bit about how Christians can live out their faith while balancing the culture of a workplace that really tries to discourage Christians to show their faith?
I think it depends on a few things. Do you work from home or do you work from the office? Do you commute? Do you not commute? How long is your commute? And what industry do you work in?
Because the answer to that question changes radically depending on what industry you work with, which is crazy.
My first job was at a Christian university, so it was very much accepted to demonstrate my faith. And then I entered the tech space, it was hard.
It’s becoming more and more prevalent. It’s not necessarily a corporate attitude, but it’s more so the prevalence.
It’s more of the individual attitude where you get put into situations and you’re thinking, OK how does God want me to respond to this? What is the Christian way to respond to this problem?
I ran into this issue and I still don’t have the right answer. I had a colleague of mine ask me if I wanted to see pictures of their controversial lifestyle. It put me in a really awkward situation because friendly Paige say, of course, let’s see what you did this weekend. I want to know all about it.
But then also I struggle with this part of me that is also very grounded in my faith and I go, OK how would Jesus respond in this situation? How is Jesus asking me to respond in this situation?
I don’t know the right answer. I never got an answer on that and maybe the answer is going to come some other day.
But through this experience, God has helped me take a minute and ask God for wisdom.
I can say: God, I don’t know what the right answer is here and I’m not going to say anything until you show up and you tell me what to do and that might result in me not saying anything at all.
Christian culture depends on the company you work for
Being able to share your faith at work really does depend on the industry, but also the company you work for.
My husband is a marketing director and he really likes his company because they’re family based company.
Even though maybe his pay is a little bit lower, he doesn’t have to worry that he’s going to be pointed out as a Christian and affect his ability to work well in the company.
So for him, that’s a huge benefit because he doesn’t have to face these scenarios every day. Ones where he might worry he’s going to lose his job because of the way he handles these sorts of things.
His values align a little bit more with this company. But that wasn’t necessarily something he was looking for when he started the job. It’s just something that he’s learned as he’s been on the job.
But it’s one of the reasons why he stays is because he really loves it and they do really treat him really well. But he also doesn’t have that fear of showing his faith more at work.
So it’s understanding that there is going to be a cost if we decide to stay somewhere or leave somewhere.
So for my husband, He can be with a different company that would probably pay him twice as much as he is being paid now, but the cost would be his freedom and his faith versus his current cost. But for him, it’s worth it because of that freedom.
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It’s not just about what you say, but how you act
Faith isn’t so just about what you say in the workplace, but how you act. One thing that I talk about on the podcast, is gossip.
I think I was very ill-prepared for the workplace and the gossip that happens in the workplace.
I would argue to say gossip in the workplace is worse than gossip in high school.
We need to critically ask these questions and be aware of what is going on and then go to God about it because ultimately the Bible says do not gossip, watch your tongue.
But what does that mean in the workplace? What is the line between gossiping and being informed?
These types of scenarios bring up many blurry lines there.
But in the workplace, it’s not so much about what you say, it’s about how you act. If people know you as the gossiper in the workplace, they might see that and might not see Jesus. And I think that when we are able to just show Jesus, I think that changes people’s approach to us a lot more.
If you are spending time with the Lord and you’re pursuing him and your relationship with him, then those things will naturally flow out.
Because I remember at one job – I’d be around my coworkers and they would swear and right away they’d look at me and say, oh, I’m so sorry. And I never said anything about their swearing.
But, I think they realized just by being around me, what my values were. I did have to say swearing makes me feel uncomfortable or I don’t like it.
And so I think there are some things that we just naturally do, that people sense and observe that we don’t necessarily need to be loud about. We can just naturally let it flow out of us and then people do see the difference.
Balancing Faith and Perception
And I struggle with balancing that line between being holy and other people thinking that I had an attitude of being “holier than thou”.
In College, I had some friends that thought I was snobbish because of my faith. So they started hiding things from me.
Some of my best friends lied to me about stuff because they felt that they couldn’t come to me with those things.
And so it’s hard for me because I want my humanity to show, but I also want Jesus to show up even more.
And at work, do I cuss every now and then? Yeah, that’s just authentically me. But then how can I show up in love and in Jesus and be included in the conversations where Jesus needs to show up?
When people talk with me, when people are with me, I want them to feel heard and see where they’re at.
And then it’s just those real indications of how we act and how we show Jesus through those situations.
For some people, it’s having to cross on your cubicle or saying- I’ll be praying for you.
The Delicate Balance of Sharing Your Faith
I always like to drop little Nuggets. When people ask me- what are you doing this weekend?
I have two options for how I can answer that. I can say I’m volunteering or I’m volunteering at my church.
Those land very differently. And sometimes I found myself kind really comfortable doing that.
Because I would be self-censoring that. It’s not trying to brag, I’m not trying to show off. My co-worker asked me what I’m doing. For me, every other week I’m volunteering.
It’s letting people know that if they have questions about the church or if they need prayer about something, they can come to me about that if they need to.
And I think it’s so situational, and I think that’s partly why it’s hard to have very specific answers because it can depend on the environment or even the person that you’re talking to.
Each person at your work might have different standards or they might approach something really differently.
We are the only Jesus they see
One of the things I try to do is be different than what people think they think Christians are. — stick with me.
My brother-in-law and his wife aren’t saved. The only thing they know about Christianity is what they see in the news. And Christians don’t look good in the news these days.
So, I try to give them a different picture of what Christianity is.
And it’s not standing on my soapbox. It’s not shoving it down the throat.
It’s showing kindness, generosity, support, and all those things.
These should all be naturally flowing out of me because of my relationship with Christ.
What is a “good witness”
When I was younger, I thought I knew what it meant to be a good witness. I thought it mean all these things that just add up to good works.
But the older I get, the more I realized that my witness is about getting to know God, and being in a relationship with him, and letting it naturally flow out of me.
I don’t necessarily need to try and do it.
But then, I also need to be intentional in those conversations to say the words church or I’ll pray for you.
Those things help grow those relationships to then maybe have a discussion in the future. I want to make that relationship positive.
Getting to know your neighbours
Another example- I live in a brand new community and so everyone in the community, nine times out of 10, they’re from out of state. They didn’t move from Arizona to another spot in Arizona. They moved from a different state, Nebraska, Ohio, and Minnesota, just to name a few.
They’re new and they’re not connected. Most of them don’t have family here. And so things that I’m doing is dropping little bread crumbs to let them know who I am and what I’m about.
And so that shows up for Easter when I shared my church’s information and I said, if you’re looking for a place to go to Easter, you’re welcome here.
I think it just shows people what I’m about. I’m just merely opening the door. And I think that if we’re dropping those bread crumbs, people are able to come and eat when they’re ready.
We are different
One of the things my daughter noticed is the difference between her and somebody who doesn’t follow the Lord in Jr. High because it is so completely evident.
It’s the same thing in the workplace. Since we’re full of the Holy Spirit, I think people sense it.
Tw that we’re different even without us saying or doing anything, just because their inner spirit knows that our spirits aren’t the same.
My husband and I joke around because we try to take different scenarios to know more non-Christians and see if we can encourage them.
The example that we think about is: before we had our eldest child, we went to prenatal classes. We assumed some participants in the class would be non-Christians. We decided we wanted to be intentional and see if we could make relationships with different couples.
And of course, the one couple we felt more connected to, we learned a few weeks later that they were Christian. To me, this shows how our spirit knows their spirit. It’s not because they even said anything or they did anything. It’s just that we share The Holy Spirit and we could sense it in each other.
No wonder we got along – we’re family.
Should work be a mission field?
One other thing I want to say about faith in the workplace is I feel like there’s this misunderstanding that in order to practice your faith and be a good servant of the Lord, you need to step into using work as a ministry, and that is the furthest thing from the truth.
What I’m learning, especially through the conversations about faith in the workplace, is that God can have you in the position you’re in so that He can give you blessings in other areas of your life.
So it’s not so much so that you have to be in the absolute perfect situation but being able to do more with your time, do more with your money, or be home more.
Certain jobs may give you the ability to work from home and have more time with your family, and your church. It may give you more vacation time.
I’ll give you an example.
When I was in my first job I was commuting 80 miles round trip a day. So it was about an hour and a half each way of a drive. It was killer. It nearly killed my body and my soul like it was terrible.
What happened when I was doing that though was I had zero energy to pour out myself into my church community. I didn’t want to go anywhere on Sunday because I spent. On Saturday and Sunday because I didn’t want to go out of the house because of my long hours.
I wanted to be in my beautiful house. I didn’t want to be in the world because I’d been in the world for the past five days.
Then, when I moved jobs, my job was closer to my house. This magic thing happened, and I suddenly had enough energy and enough vibrancy for other areas of my life.
And it wasn’t necessarily that that job was the end all be all. It was fulfilling for what it was, but it wasn’t my ultimate calling.
What it did was allow me to grow closer to my husband, allowed me to settle us a little bit more in our house. It allowed me to get more plugged in with my church community. It allowed me to know my neighbours a little bit more.
The new job allowed me to have blessings in other areas of my life, and it wasn’t just about my job.
God can use you wherever you’re at, but also He may have you where you’re at, so you get blessings in other areas of your life.
Our jobs don’t need to be our ministry
I have this discussion a lot with my husband as well. He has been in some jobs when they weren’t fulfilling and they were hard. In those times, he was more engaged in church.
But he has the opposite problem now where he really loves his work and so he doesn’t have tons of time for ministry, but he really does feel that the Lord is using this job for him to make a positive impact in that job.
I think it can be either or even both. Tb itself doesn’t necessarily need to be ministry.
We can just live our Christian lives and whatever comes in will come out naturally. The blessings will be in other areas or the Lord’s placed you in that position to be that Christian influence.
Not every single thing we do needs to be a ministry.
The tendency to over-spiritualize things
There’s the tendency to over-spiritualize things. I think that what we should do and what we actually do are probably very different.
But we should always go to God with our request and seek His guidance in our path and life.
I also believe that God is incredibly sovereign and He is going to make His way happen whether or not you choose to take the job, and whether or not you decide to step out in boldness.
Yes, he’s calling you to do that. And yes, you should do that when the Holy Spirit is moving you. But I think that there might be shame or guilt around.
Doing or not doing something because we might not have a clear answer. Does God want me in Job A or Job B? God is still sovereign and there’s nothing you can do to screw up God’s plan.
It’s about How you do a job
My husband and I worked with our youth group ministry for a couple of years. And so we would get to know these kids in high school.
And so you would see them in grade 11/12 thinking about what to do next.
Most of these kids wanted to know what to do. What program should I apply for? What should I be when I grow up?
As graduation came closer their anxiety would increase.
And I would say to them: no offence, but whether you become a doctor, lawyer, nurse, or Carpenter. It’s not about what job you have, it’s about how you’re doing that job for Him (God).
Just giving them that peace, their anxiety went down because it then no longer about making “the wrong choice”.
It just became about whatever choice you make, do it for the Lord.
Do everything for The Lord
And that is such a good reminder for any situation that we’re in.
Whether we do job A or job B. If we’re not getting a specific direction, then it’s not about the job anymore. It’s about how we’re doing that job right.
And one other big thing I learned in these conversations is just to do your job with excellence.
We are meant to reflect Jesus in this world. We’re here to give our all.
Finding Identity in Christ, Not in Career
And I want to draw a really distinct line: just because we give something our all doesn’t mean it is our all.
I find a lot of people have this mindset towards their work that it’s always about what your next step was.
What’s your next step? What ladder are you going to climb? What’s your next goal? What’s your career goal?
My career goals have nothing to do with this job, sorry. This is not why God put me on this earth. And I find it might just be corporate culture. It might be the company culture that you’re at that makes you cling to this idea of always having to be thinking of what’s next.
But my identity is not wrapped in that. My identity is in Christ. My identity is Christ alone, and my career aspirations are whatever he wants for me and my career.
When we started this at the top of the podcast, you asked me what I do. Well, I have my nine-to-five. Do I enjoy it? Yeah, I love my job, love my team. Is it what I’m meant to do on this earth? No, not at all. It’s to support my family and get a paycheck and to be able to have a roof over my head. And that’s OK.
For anyone who needs to hear this, that is okay to collect a paycheck from work.
Do I still do my job with excellence? Yes, do I still put all my effort into my job? Yes.
Do I get my value from my job? No, I get my value from the one who sets my value.
The Impact of Job Loss on Your Identity
I think that’s such a good reminder because my husband actually has lost his job more than a few times. In that process, it’s easy to see how you can completely lose yourself in your work and the identity you have in that job.
Losing your job can be hard because it’s such a big part of your life. So if you’re if your identity is in what you do- then if you lose that.
Once you lose that, it’s so easy to lose faith and lose direction and even any of those things because of where your identity is.
I talk about this not just in our jobs, but as a mom, and as a wife. If my identity is in my children- when they leave, I’m gonna be lost.
So I work on having my identity in Christ, because everything around me may change, but God doesn’t. He is the only thing that is permanent.
That mindset shift isn’t just helping to have a good work-life balance, but it also protects you in case you lose that job or it’s time to move on. Then you don’t spiral because your identity isn’t wrapped up in it. It’s such a good way to protect yourself spiritually and emotionally in all those different areas.
The Purpose of the Quiet Quitting Movement
You saw this conversation come up a lot with the whole “quiet quitting” movement.
For those who might not recognize that term, quiet quitting is not about people just abruptly quitting their jobs, but rather it’s the idea of this generation who will only go until expectations are met.
If their job is from nine to five, they’re out at 5 PM. They’re not checking their email or Slack or anything like that. They’re done at five.
On the other side, there are those who believe that you need to push harder and be more dedicated, going the extra mile, and striving for excellence.
These two opposing views created a divide, with some asserting their independence while others insisted on excelling at work.
As I observed this, I found myself in a position where I didn’t have to have a strong opinion about these matters because
- God’s opinion is my opinion, and I don’t have to have an opinion about everything, which is part of the quiet quitting movement.
- I realized there is a middle ground—a balance between doing your job with excellence and not allowing it to consume your entire life.
In an ideal scenario, this movement aimed to address toxic workplaces where people weren’t responding in a healthy way.
Advice for people starting a new job
If anyone is about to start a new job, I would give this advice: set your boundaries early and firmly.
If you don’t establish those boundaries from the beginning, others will assume they don’t exist.
So, if your boundary is, for example, not checking your phone from 6 PM to 7 AM, communicate that boundary clearly.
It’s okay to express these personal boundaries and limitations. Just say, “Hey, I have set this boundary for myself.”
Of course, it depends on the nature of the job, but if you establish and reinforce your boundaries consistently, people will respect them, and you can move forward in that way.
Following The Lord’s example
I think sometimes as Christians, we feel obligated to be all things to all people, to always be kind and say yes because we think it’s the only way to serve the Lord well.
Guilt often plays into this dynamic.
However, if we examine Scripture closely, even Jesus himself had boundaries. He would separate himself from the crowd to spend time with the Lord and find rest.
Despite his followers sometimes not honouring those boundaries, He still took deliberate steps to separate himself.
What happened with COVID and technology is that when you’re always at home with tools like Teams, Slack, and Messenger, people feel like they have access to you because you’re working from home. It becomes easy to work all the time and remain connected.
But learning the balance between work and personal life, and setting those boundaries, doesn’t mean we’re going against our faith if we decline to answer an email at 8 PM.
It doesn’t make us bad Christians because we have healthy boundaries.
We can still give our all to our jobs while maintaining those boundaries.
Finding this balance is challenging because, as you said, it depends on the job and the work we do.
But ultimately, it comes down to why we do it, how we do it, and who it’s for. I feel like this is a topic we could discuss all day, but we’ve already been here for a while.
Connect with Paige
So you’ve mentioned your podcast a little bit, but if people want to know more about kind of what you share and what you do, where can people find you?
Thank you so much and if you enjoy the show. Please share this podcast with a few of your Christian friends so that we can get bigger and more impactful guests on the show.
Thank you so much for joining me and I’ll catch you next week on the next episode.