26 Ways to “Provoke the 1 Peter 3:15 Question” at Work
I mentioned in this weekend’s sermon that the Apostle Paul lived in such a way that he provoked a question. Peter said it this way: “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
Peter is supposing that your life provokes that question—that people are asking, “Why do you do what you do?”
Here is a list of 26 ways we’ve come up with that you can live provocatively at work. (Not, dress provocatively—that’s a different kind of provocatively I would discourage… But live provocatively.) We first introduced this list at the Gospel at Work conference in February.
1. Get to work early so you can spend some time praying for your co-workers and the day ahead.
2. Make it a daily priority to speak or write encouragement when someone does good work.
3. Instead of eating lunch alone, intentionally eat with other co-workers and learn their story. (“Evangelism is doing normal life with gospel intentionality.”)
4. Bring breakfast once a month for everyone in your department.
5. Organize an exercise group before or after work.
6. Start a Bible study (RightNow Media: Work as Worship; 33—The Men’s Series; or Purpose Driven Life)
7. Create a regular time to invite co-workers over or out for drinks.
8. “Put Christ on the table.” (When co-workers ask about what you did over the weekend, mention church instead of intentionally dancing around the topic.)
9. If there is another Christian in your office, meet and pray with them to hold each other accountable to the task of bringing Christ to your office.
10.Learn how to share the gospel briefly (as in, less than 30 seconds), so that you can communicate it in a conversation without hijacking it entirely.
11.Make a list of your co-workers’/clients’ birthdays or anniversaries and send a note of encouragement on that day. If appropriate, ask, “What is one thing I can be praying for you this year?”
12.Make every effort to avoid gossip in the office. Be a voice of thanksgiving, not complaining.
13.Find others that live near you and create a carpool. Blare your pastor’s sermons there and back. Just kidding.
14.Be the first person to welcome new people to the office.
15.Make ever effort to know the names of co-workers/clients, along with their families. Make a prayer list.
16.Offer to pray on the spot for someone who tells you they are going through a difficult time. Pray the gospel over them.
17.Volunteer to clean up for parties. Or that nasty coffee pot.
18.Hire a “corporate chaplain” if you are a business owner. If not a business owner, be the corporate chaplain.
19.Tastefully display Scripture in your office (especially verses that you are memorizing). People will ask about it.
20.Keep copies of The Reason for God, The Case for Christ, The Purpose Driven Life, or Gospel displayed in your office. Give a copy to anyone who asks about it.
21.Visit co-workers when they are in the hospital.
22.Start (or participate in) “life development” groups (e.g. Lamplighters; Raising a Modern Day Knight, YMCA groups, etc.).
23.Go out of your way to talk to your janitors and cleaning people and others mostly overlooked.
24.Invite co-workers into service projects you are already involved in through your church (or company).
25.Organize a weekly forum for local entrepreneurs at a local coffee shop (artists meeting, etc).
26.Lead the charge in organizing others to help co-workers in need.
This list was compiled with the help of various online sources, including: vergenetwork.org, theresurgence.com, 9Marks.com, Incourage.me, and christianitytoday.com.