workplace evangelism

Witnesses for Christ: Momentum 4: Workplace Evangelism Seminar speakers (from left) Lee Hui Wen, Leah Tan, Tim Ong and Ps Benny Ho share their experiences on being clear signposts for God. All photos courtesy of LoveSingapore.

Banish the thought of huddles of Christians having a prayer meeting in an office conference room, with no care other than to encourage one another and then call it a day.

“It’s all very inward-focused,” assessed Ps Jeff Chong, the chairman of LoveSingapore and Senior Pastor of Hope Singapore. “Everything is happening inside the office while the people who do not know God outside the conference room are dying like flies.

“If we keep on living this way, we are committing a treason of cosmic proportions.”

In sounding such a stark warning, Ps Jeff was setting the stage for last month’s (August) Momentum 4: Workplace Evangelism, a LoveSingapore-organised seminar headlined by Ps Benny Ho, Senior Pastor of Faith Community Church in Perth, Australia. 

“How can we become clear signposts that will point people to a better Kingdom, and introduce people to a better King?” asked Pastor Benny Ho, Senior Pastor of Faith Community Church.

Under the banner of his question, “Are You a Clear Signpost?” to the audience of some 240 people gathered at Hope Church’s New Tech Park campus, Ps Benny added the sombre weight of his own experience with his father, who had repeatedly rejected Christ because of a colleague’s bad testimony.

Throughout the 50 years of his father’s career at Shell Petroleum Company, his objections to the Gospel were never about Christ but always: “This guy is supposed to be a Christian but he did this and he did that and all kinds of stuff that was unbecoming of even a decent person!”

Exclaimed Ps Benny: “That guy was a terrible signpost for Christ.

“So, we really need to ask our marketplace people: What kind of signpost are you?

“How can we become clear signposts that will point people to a better Kingdom, and introduce people to a better King, whose name is Jesus?”

Referencing Philippians 2:12-16, he stated that work for Christians amounts to working out God’s purpose for us to become more like Christ and, in so doing, to become a distinct people who are effective witnesses for Him in the marketplace.

Marketplace ministry that is inward-looking is “treason of cosmic proportions”, said LoveSingapore chairman Pastor Jeff Chong, Senior Pastor of Hope Singapore.

Four things to do

To be clear signposts that point our colleagues and friends to Christ, Ps Benny offered a framework of four things that can be done:

1. Pray faithfully

“There will be spiritual conflict so we must introduce the power of God by praying faithfully for strongholds to come down,” he noted.

“Evangelism ultimately is a rescue operation – we’re trying to rescue someone from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.”

“Evangelism ultimately is a rescue operation – we’re trying to rescue someone from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.”

We could also ask God for open doors and divine appointments at which to meet a felt need, reach out with an act of kindness or a word of encouragement, or even an invitation to an Alpha session.

Focus on three names, he suggested.

“Take out your calendar, plot in the time that you’re going to invite one of these three friends for a cup of coffee.

“Actually go and have a meal with them, and do something with (the opportunity).”

2. Connect relationally

Despite his predominantly Christian social circle, Ps Benny ended up meeting a real estate broker trying to sell him a property and became friends with him.

He could find no common interests between them, so he drew on an interest in drones that his daughter and son-in-law shared with the broker. 

They would meet together and, meanwhile, he prayed faithfully for all three.

The broker has yet to believe in Jesus, but Ps Benny’s daughter and son-in-law, who had walked away from God for 15 years, turned back to Him after six months.

Bother to pray: The Workplace Evangelism seminar attendees sought the Lord together, that they might feel on their hearts the lostness of man.

3. Love practically

Once the connection is made and barriers come down, people will share their struggles, Ps Benny said. That is the time to speak a word of encouragement and ask how to pray for them.

“Pre-believers don’t mind being prayed for; they don’t like being preached at.”

“I have found that pre-believers don’t mind being prayed for; they don’t like being preached at,” he observed.

“They do not actually demand that their prayers be answered; they’re just grateful that someone they perceive to be close to God – you – actually bothers to pray for them.”

4. Preach the Gospel

When the time comes, share Christ.

While it is true people should be able to see Jesus in our actions, they will never know who He is until they are told. “It is the Gospel that saves lives, not our behaviour,” Ps Benny said.

However, while frameworks, programmes, campaigns, and strategies have their place in a marketplace ministry, Christians first need to feel the lostness of man, he stressed. “We can never effectively communicate this Gospel to the lost until we can feel the pressure of lost souls on our hearts.” 

Marketplace messengers

Sharing the platform with Ps Benny were three panelists from different sectors of the marketplace, who each spoke on how the framework fit into their spheres of influence:

Lee Hui Wen: Hosting God at home

Hui Wen, 42, runs a pottery studio, Studio Asobi, at home with her husband, Kenneth, where they can connect with and love people through the classes they run. 

Before each session, they pray not just for their students but also for themselves on how they can host the presence of God in their studio, and for discernment on the needs of those God brings to them.

“We ask ourselves how we can discern where they’re at in their life so we can talk to them and connect with them.”

“We ask ourselves why they are looking to do pottery, what is compelling them and how we can discern where they’re at in their life so we can talk to them and connect with them,” Hui Wen said.

The couple has been surprised at how open people have been about sharing deep things, possibly because they feel like a welcome guest in their home.

They have had plenty of opportunities to share God’s work in their lives and why they left their stable jobs to go on this unconventional path. That usually that raises a lot of questions and they get to testify, Hui Wen said.

Leah Tan: Winning souls, office by office

The intensity and speed of work in the corporate world present different challenges in adopting the framework offered by Ps Benny, said Leah, who works at DBS, which has a marketplace ministry.  

In her early days of reaching out, she was eager to evangelise and get pre-believers to church and bypassed the prayer and connections steps.

“I was too anxious about this and got the order wrong,” Leah admitted, attributing her eagerness to the KPI culture. “Through the years, I have learned that souls are not a number but we really need to look at our colleagues as one life.”

“Souls are not a number … we really need to look at our colleagues as one life.”

Just as LoveSingapore aims to win Singapore block by block, the marketplace ministry at DBS wants to win souls office by office, Leah said.

The fellowship started with just two people over lunch and grew into a group. They progressed to organising a Christmas event for the office and others as well, inviting senior colleagues to speak over free lunches and dinners. They also conducted Alpha sessions.

The ministry is now more intentional in praying and connecting with both Christians and non-believers, she said. Over time, as they serve their colleagues at work, they hope to earn the right to hear something that is personal and close, and get the opportunity to be there for them and to share Christ.

“We have to be bold and courageous, to be led by God’s prompting,” she said, adding that she has personally been prompted a few times by God to approach an individual who is ready to hear the Gospel.

Tim Ong: Feeding the soul

Tim, who runs a restaurant group, has built a community around food.

The 35-year-old started hosting at his home a group of young adults who had completed the Alpha course but were not ready to commit to a relationship with Christ nor to church attendance.

“What we try to do is bring in Kingdom principles like, ‘What does it mean to be a Christian in your finances, your identity?’ ”

It was a safe space where they could be themselves, regardless of their belief systems, background or creed, and share what they thought. They loved the community so much they started to invite their Christian friends to join them.

“It was this radical inverse-reverse invite by pre-believers to Christians to a Christian fellowship,” Tim laughed.

“What we try to do at the fellowship is bring in Kingdom principles like, ‘What does it mean to be a Christian in the marketplace? What does it mean to be a Christian in your finances, your relationships, your health and your identity?’ ”

The group meets regularly, breaks bread, talks about what they can pray for and practically love people struggling with finances, relationships, career identity, or health.

“We run Alpha and other programmes throughout the year, so we can really show who Christ is,” Tim said.

Five resources for workplace evangelism

Tools and resources curated by the Momentum 4 organisers for pastors and local church marketplace champions wanting to grow a more effective ministry of workplace evangelism include:

• Alpha Singapore
A 12-week course where people can be invited into a conversation about Jesus. The sessions can be run almost anywhere, by Christians of all traditions – from a church to a cafe or online. Alpha Singapore is holding its first “Revival Night” in collaboration with Awaken Generation on October 25, 2023 at the Church of the Good Shepherd.  website.

• B12 Mentoring Groups
B12 is a peer-to-peer mentoring community created by and for entrepreneurs to intentionally build relationships with pre-believing entrepreneurs. Following a structured engagement process, business leaders share best practices and wisdom, and network.

• N5 Industry Group
N5 is a collective movement that aims to inculcate a Kingdom worldview on money, wealth and stewardship. The focus this year is to gather and disciple the financial planning industry to bring the Gospel to their respective companies and customers. The movement emerged from a deep study of Nehemiah 5, highlighting the financial lack that hindered the building of the wall. N5 will hold its third conference October 5-6 at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

• Soul Factor
Soul Factor is a video resource of TED-style talks that relate faith to work. These videos show why work produced by faith, prompted by love and inspired by hope brings glory to Christ. Each speaker is from the marketplace, which enables them to give insights into work topics. Discussion guides, study notes and Bible passages are included.

• Beyond Success
“Beyond Success” by John Maxwell is a complimentary seven-session personal growth and leadership development journey using the roundtable format. Each session comprises a small group meeting designed to help participants learn and live a value related to success, including attitude, personal growth priorities, and relationships. Believers can proceed to an eighth session to be trained as a facilitator to reach out to people in the marketplace who may never come to church.



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About the author

Peck Sim

Peck Sim is a former journalist, event producer and product manager who thankfully found the answer for her wonderings and a home for her wanderings. She now writes for Salt&Light and also handles communications for LoveSingapore.