Balancing Faith and Work: How to live out your Christian values in the workplace while achieving professional success.

Uncategorized May 30, 2024

"Your life as a Christian should make non-believers question their disbelief in God." These words are attributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor who boldly resisted nazism and spoke out against Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer's quote restates a principle in scripture about living boldly for Jesus.

“But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:14–15, NLT).

The implication behind this passage is that unbelievers should notice the lifestyle of a Christian. It should be noticed because believers have hope that nonbelievers do not have. Living with unwavering hope is designed to provoke questions from unbelievers. We are told that when Christians are asked about our hope, we should be ready to explain it.

It sounds good, doesn't it? But Christians often face challenges when trying to live out their faith in such a bold manner. Nowhere are these challenges more evident than in the workplace. Believers consistently struggle to integrate faith and work without being perceived as intolerant or breaking company policies that might discourage them from even talking about religion.

If you have been praying and wondering how to be a better witness for Jesus at work, you are not alone.

Understanding the Challenge

A 2018 study by the Barna group indicated that the current generation is more inclined than previous generations to believe that Christians must mold their culture (40% of Millennials compared to 35% of Gen X and 33% of Boomers). However, the study also revealed that this generation struggles with core values like speaking the truth, demonstrating morality, acting ethically, and withstanding temptation. And as an indictment against the church, less than half of millennials feel that their church gives them a clear vision of how to live out their faith at work (46% compared to 57% of Gen X and 53% of Boomers). (1)

My heart's cry is that pastors and Christian leaders begin to address this deficiency. Permit me to share a simple framework for living out your Christian values without sacrificing professional success.

Building Relationships

First of all, Christians must build relationships in their work environment. So often, our culture has told us that our work is the source of our significance and security. We have tended to derive our identity from our work. This mindset has caused us to view the workplace as an environment separate from our Christian role. We tend to think of ourselves as workers who are also believers rather than believers who are workers. But the truth is our identity transcends our work. Because our identity is rooted in our relationship with Christ, the workplace is the perfect location to demonstrate God’s glory up close and personally before nonbelievers.

Our coworkers need to see our relationship with Christ in action. More specifically, they need to see our relationship with Christ in action while also in relationship with us. The way that we interact with colleagues and coworkers should indicate that there is something different about us. Our interactions should give nonbelievers a picture of that hope that the Scripture speaks about in 1 Peter 3:15.

Redefining Success

The second crucial part of this framework is the importance of redefining success. Work is often associated with the quest for significance, provision, esteem, and purpose in our culture. These priorities can become misconstrued when believers fail to realize that God, not our work, provides these things (1 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:19). Our ultimate job description is to glorify God. Revelation 4:11 reminds us that we were created for the pleasure of God. There is no higher success for the believer than to live in such a way that God is made bigger and more beautiful through our daily activities.

On top of this, our penultimate job description is to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Instead of viewing work as a necessary burden, see it as a platform to demonstrate kingdom values and share the Gospel with others. When we redefine success in these terms, it changes our perspective on work. It frees us to pursue job objectives and deadlines with a greater purpose - namely, as a platform to demonstrate the glory of God and the hope of the Gospel in real life.

Maybe you're thinking how do I find opportunities to share the gospel when I'm at work? Becky Thomton, in her article “How to Incorporate Your Faith at Work” (, May 25, 2024), suggests several practical ways to do this:

  1. Start with Prayer: Pray specifically for each of your co-workers by name. Ask God for opportunities to demonstrate your faith and engage in spiritual conversations.
  2. Get Connected with a Faith Community: Seek support from your church and find others in your field who share your faith. 
  3. Start Conversations: Ask about your colleagues' spiritual backgrounds and share aspects of your faith journey. Look for natural opportunities to mention your church or prayer life.
  4. Invite and Include: Invite colleagues to church events, Christian concerts, or services. Offer to pray with them and share evangelistic tools or personal faith stories.

Demonstrating Character, Conviction, and Integrity

A final perspective of this framework is the importance of demonstrating character, conviction, and integrity. When we see our workplace as a platform to glorify God and fulfill the Great Commission, we automatically become more mindful of how those around us perceive our character. While it is true that we will never be perfect, this paradigm shift causes us to be more God-conscious in our language, our decisions, and our work ethic.

This perspective also improves how we deal with our customers and clients. It is not only coworkers but also the public with whom we interact who must see Christ in our daily lives. When we view our customers and clients as individuals who need Jesus, we are less likely to manipulate or use them and more inclined to minister to them.

By the way, do not mistake this paradigm shift for negatively affecting our job performance. When we work as unto the Lord, seeking to do our best as a reflection of His glory, the quality of our work improves. Our motivation for excellence becomes sustainable because it is rooted in a higher purpose.

Impacting the Workplace Culture

Build relationships. Use the workplace as a platform to glorify God and share the gospel. Demonstrate character, conviction, and integrity. And in the process, improve your job performance. Working with such a framework in mind would powerfully impact the workplace culture. Imagine what this will do for morale. Imagine how this will affect interactions between employers and employees. I'm not being idealistic. I'm sharing a practical framework that has the potential to bring genuine change to the workplace.


Integrating faith and work is not impossible, and it is not contrary to professional success. I encourage you to take some time today to pray about how you might transform your workplace by living so that nonbelievers will ask you about the hope in you and question their disbelief in God.

 (1) What Faith Looks Like in the Workplace.” Barna Group, October 2018.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.