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Starting up a Christian Group at work
Over the last year, our church family has learnt a huge amount about doing things online, and our work by the ‘Giants’ groups in equipping our church did not slow down. Now, as more and more of us return to places of work, we are reminded of our harvest field with the number of close relationships we tend to develop in the workplace.
UK law gives us rights and freedoms and allows us to establish Christian groups at work. We have now had three educational KT webinars on how to start up a group successfully and within the context of workplace protocol and the law.
Our most recent webinar (all three can be found in KTTV, filed under ‘recommended webinars’) was led by our own Elizabeth Ugiomogbe (Workers Aflame!) and guest Dave Law from Transform Work UK. Offering a practitioners’ perspective, both shared of the success they have seen in organisations that started up Christian groups. In fact, Elizabeth displayed an impressive list of recognized organisations that have well established Christian groups. We heard of regular prayer meetings taking place, opportunities opening up to explain the significance of Christmas and Easter, and ventures such as sing-a-longs at the office all being allowed.
The Equality Act 2010 protects nine characteristics, which include religion or belief. What this means is that if an organisation is serious about practicing equality, and has established equality groups, then there should be no reason why they would not allow a Christian group to also be established. But starting a Christian group at work demands much prayer as workplace relationships are defined by contractual arrangements to get work completed and operating in the company’s value system. Anything that introduces discomfort or distractions between fellow workers is likely to be frowned upon.
Dave Law shared his wisdom from overseeing several Transform UK groups, as well as a Christian Group at his workplace (a large, well-recognized brand name). He gave some helpful tips:
– Form the group to pray – pray for one another, pray for the company, pray for your boss, pray for your work colleagues
– Look for opportunities for dialog with people of other faiths about things that may be common. Sometimes this may be possible in multi-faith forums
– Look for opportunities for celebrating special events around the Christian calendar
– Do not do anything that would jeopardise the working relationship between you and your manager and work colleagues, including disagreements over faith issues. Remember the relationships at the workplace are defined around getting work done as the top priority, and organisations are less likely to be supportive of faith groups if the groups are divisive or introduce discomfort in the workplace. The words wisdom and discernment come to mind
– Seek opportunities to develop genuine friendships that could lead to evangelism opportunities outside of work hours and the office
– Let the Holy Spirit do his work. Be gentle, don’t lecture and don’t judge.
For those interested in starting a Christian group, a fantastic on-line resource on the freedoms we have to share our faith is the booklet ‘Speak Up’ by the Lawyers Christian Fellowship and the Evangelical Alliance. Additionally, Transform Work UK is available to help and encourage anyone that may be running into challenges getting a Christian group started (they are not able to dialog with your organization but will share their experiences and best approach with you).
Additionally, don’t miss catching up on the three recent KT webinars. They are in the KTTV archives on kt.org – recommended – webinars
How to take your faith to work – Feb 27 2021
Salt and Light in the City – April 24 2021
Starting a Christian Staff Network Group – May 22 2021
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