A couple of weeks ago, I had the most amazing experience in my life at a workplace, from a spiritual perspective. Here’s what led up to it…
My manager is in a leadership development class and is reading a book called “The Dream Manager”. The summary of the book is that the best managers are the ones that strive to make their employee’s dreams come true, whether it be career dreams, personal dreams, community dreams… whatever kind of dream. My manager has become very excited about this concept and brought it to our team.
She approached me and let me know that we were going to have a team meeting coming up in which the plan was for everyone to share a dream of theirs with the group. Participation was voluntary, but if we would go along with it, the team would brainstorm ideas for how we all could help each other reach our dreams. I was initially reluctant, but I told her I would give it some thought.
I considered what it was I would really like to do or see happen; visit Europe, raise my kids the right way, get a new car. Then it hit me that the most important thing I could dream for was much more selfless than anything else I could think of. I would like all my coworkers come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!
The thought of sharing that at an official meeting of 10-15 colleagues and my supervisor sounded exciting and scary. I consulted with my “Christianity in the workplace” guru, Chris, who thought it was a cool idea, but suggested that I be “less specific” in describing my dream. His thought was that if I was a bit more vague, it would encourage more questions and be less likely to throw up a dialogue-stifling wall. I admit I didn’t agree with the idea, but since Chris is an elder at my church (and has generally proven himself to be smarter than me in most aspects), I decided to take his advice. This turned out to probably be the best advice I’ve gotten from someone in recent history.
The day of the meeting came and I wrote down on a post-it note “My dream is for my coworkers to have the same relationship I have with the one true God”. The butterflies started buzzing around my stomach. I keep a copy of Evantell’s very effective “May I Ask You A Question?” tract in my jacket and started reading it over and over. I was pretty nervous.
We assembled in the conference room and got underway. Examples of dreams were “I want to own my own home”, or “I want to get my degree”, to which we would spend about 5-10 minutes discussing specific ways that person and the team could work to make that dream come true. I started to realize just how weirdly my dream was going to fit into this model. I was still pretty nervous, but it hit me that I really should pray something at this point.
Dear God, I’m an idiot. I mess things up. But I know that you like to use weakness to show your strength. So please just take over, give me Your words, and let your name be glorified. Amen.
So I raised my hand and offered to go next. I read my dream… and you could hear a pin drop. Here’s the conversation that followed with my team leader:
Dave: My dream is for my coworkers to have the same relationship I have with the one true God.
Team Leader: Well… that’s a very sensitive dream… OK, so just to clarify, do you want everyone to have some kind of faith, or the same faith as you?
Dave: I want everyone to have the one true faith that can save them (still going along Chris’ suggestion).
Team Leader: (a tad curtly) Well, how would you define that?
For a half-second, I marveled at the fact that my unsaved supervisor had just asked me in an official, paid, team meeting to define saving faith. It couldn’t have been clearer if Jesus Himself had walked in with a neon sign that said “Insert Gospel Here!”
Dave: Well, The Bible says that all people have sinned, and that the punishment for that sin is eternal separation from God in hell. The Bible also teaches that despite that, God loves the world so much that He sent His Son Jesus to come and die, taking the punishment for our sins. And that if anyone trusts in Jesus, believes that He has paid for their sins, and submits their life to serving Him, they will be saved from hell and have eternal life in heaven with God.
We then moved on to the brainstorming part of my turn, which pretty much boiled down to “if anyone has any questions, see Dave privately”.
The meeting carried on, and everyone got much more comfortable. I couldn’t believe that I had been given such an opportunity and platform to boldly and clearly deliver the gospel to my coworkers. Amazingly enough, my team leader enjoyed the meeting so much as a whole, that she wants to have follow up meetings with us in the coming months to see how we’re doing with our dreams.
One of the things that has struck me upon reflection of this event was just how God answered my prayer. When I was sharing the gospel, I was doing so with a boldness and a conviction that I didn’t have five minutes earlier. I know that the Holy Spirit had more to do with what I was saying than I did. Please understand that I’m not saying I was possessed or anything, it was just evident (as any fellow believers could attest to) that the Holy Spirit was doing what He does best in that moment. And because of that, the credit does not land at the feet of yours truly, but squarely at the feet of our Lord, which is as it should be.
Praise God for His sovereign plans! Praise God for good advice (thanks Chris)! I’m praying that I will get opportunities to talk with some or all of my coworkers on a more one-on-one basis. Overall, the individuals at my work aren’t against talking about spiritual things, but work policies typically get in the way. This experience may be the answer to that obstacle!
Please pray for my colleagues… and help make my dream come true!