How can I make disciples at work?

bizcipleship business discipleship kingdom business repurposing people May 07, 2024

The problem with this question is at least two-fold: first, some readers will equate making disciples with “making converts” or proselytizing, but this is not the question. Some will think that sharing one's faith is illegal, but according to the Christian Law Association there are protections for discussions about faith in the workplace, provided it is not taking time away from getting your job done. “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to prohibit religious discussion or references to religious worship or beliefs among employees at times when they are permitted to engage in other types of non-business discussions. Generally, employees are legally protected in wearing religious jewelry and displaying religious symbols or Bibles on their desk private work areas.”


Second, when some read “make disciples” they think of a program at a local church on a Sunday or weeknight. (Admission: I once created such a program when I pastored a church.)


I was having a conversation with a hotel owner in Lagos, Nigeria. He told me he was good at building hotels but useless at running them so he hired a German hotel manager and described how this manager had turned things around. As I listened to how he ensured employees made no excuses, arrived on time, learned to eat in the dining room (against the owner’s wishes) so that they could better serve guests in the dining room I realized this hotelier knew more about discipling people than many church leaders.


My experience in working with hundreds of companies around the world has shown that business leaders (whether owners or not) have an unparalleled opportunity teach staff and customers (and others in their household) how to work the way God intended them to work. The nature, attributes, characteristics—the ways of God—can be taught to people whether they are interested in God or not, whether they claim to have a faith or no faith in particular. (It takes faith to be in business, of course.) Just as one would not be sloppy about accounting, business development or product development processes, so one should not have a vague hope that disciple-making will just happen if we are good people and “let our light shine.” (If your salesperson was “nice” and simply visited clients but didn’t have a sales method or process and closed no deal, would you accept that?”)


I encourage you to explore with us how to integrate disciple-making (not making converts) into your core business processes. If this does not become a core competence you will not have a "kingdom business." 


Interested in finding out more? Follow these links:

  1. Bizcipleship
  2. Repurposing People