Loading

WITNESS@WORK

Witness@Work is designed to help Christians to improve their witness at work.

Click here for more information about the next seminar: Witness@Work (Format C), 10.00 to 12.00, Saturday 3 July, 2021.

“I think the contagious ingredient of the seminar is its practical aspect: it challenges your views of discussing your beliefs with others … The seminar is fast paced, challenging and concludes with a mini adventure – a real growth opportunity not to be missed. Every believer should attend this seminar at least once!” – MP, Marketing Manager.

“[Reducing the Gospel to] a message of private salvation and being with Jesus and going to heaven with your loved ones is [only part of the picture] … The reformation of the church now depends upon an authentic recovery of the claims of the Gospel. And that kind of theology is simply an accommodation to [the prevailing culture]. It simply doesn’t bother anything about how we organise our life.” – Walter Brueggemann, ‘Repentance.

If this course were a car, it would be fizzing with features:

  • begins with resurrection (as per the apostles)? Check.
  • draws on (though simplifies) recent research? Check.
  • addresses both our relationship with God and our relationship with each other? Check.

RESURRECTION

The course begins with the resurrection. Paul writes,

[12] But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? [13] If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. [14] And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith [1 Corinthians 15].

The resurrection demands a response. So we can respond by preparing the world for resurrection. We can prepare the world by adding worth to it.* We can add worth by inviting worthiness. And we can invite worthiness by telling people about Jesus. This is:

[8] … the message concerning faith that we proclaim: [9] If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved [Romans 10].

RESEARCH

But we can tell people about Jesus in more than one way. So Witness@Work employs three different “Gospel” outlines. (You can see these here.) Each outline reflects – but reframes – one of the three atonement types identified by Gustav Aulen.**

TypeOutlineContent
“Classic”A Life Worth LivingSin is the enslaving power of our idols, which Jesus disarms on the cross
“Objective”No Place Like HomeSin has consequences (known as “wrath” or “Exile”), from which God rescues us (Exodus)
“Subjective”St AngerSin is the ledger of (interpersonal) credit and debt that we keep, which Jesus deletes by demonstrating the ledger-free life (forgiveness), and then by sending his Spirit (so we can do likewise)

So Jesus:

  • disarms the power of sin;
  • deals with the consequences of sin; and
  • deletes the ledger of sin in our lives (through the Holy Spirit).***

By drawing on these different atonement types, these outlines are designed to speak into different situations (or to speak into the same situation differently) – much like the apostles, who adjusted their Gospel presentations accordingly.

RELATIONSHIPS

These outlines speak into different situations by teaching that our relationship with Jesus is not one thing, and our relationship with other people (our neighbourliness) a matter for later discipleship; for example: A Life Worth Living lays a foundation upon which systemic sin, such as racism, can be engaged; and St Anger breaks down God’s forgiveness of us in a way that shows us how to forgive one another. (The latter can thus serve as a segue to our Forgiveness@Work course.)

Preview in new tab(opens in a new tab)

THE “FOUR-CHAPTER” GOSPEL

‘In the Two-Chapter Gospel, Chapter One presents our problem: separation from God because of our sin. Chapter Two presents the solution: Jesus Christ has come into the world to bring salvation and reunite us with God through his work on the cross. While sin and salvation are undeniable realities, they are not the complete gospel. In this abridged version of the gospel, Christianity becomes all about us. The Two-Chapter Gospel ignores creation and final restoration. It leaves out God’s reason for our creation […] the Cultural Mandate […] and the Christian’s final destination.’****

Each outline is written with the so-called four-chapter Gospel in mind; for example: the focus on relationships reflects the cultural mandate. This is also why Witness@Work is subtitled The Gospel Full-Bodied.

FORMAT(S)

The course exists in both 9 x 30-minute sessions and 3 x 4-hour seminars. The 9 x 30-minute sessions (which make it ideal for Christian Workplace Groups to run over lunchtime) are:

  • I. The Resurrection – the resurrection fulfils God’s promise to bless the nations, and blesses us with the Holy Spirit so that we can be part of what God is doing.
    DRAFT: Witness@Work (Video 1): Promises

  • II. The Cross – the death of Jesus deals with sin, which is a falling short of who we were made to be.
  • III. The Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit enables us to benefit from what Jesus achieves on the cross, thereby enabling us to be part of God’s plan to bless the nations.
  • IV. Outline I: A Life Worth Living.
  • V. Outline II: No Place Like Home.
  • VI. Outline III: St Anger.
  • VII. Our Story – sharing our story by answering the questions: where am I on my spiritual journey? What difference does the resurrection make to my day-to-day life?
    DRAFT: Witness@Work (Video 2): Stories

  • VIII. Our Prayer – sharing our story by answering the questions: why did I trust Jesus? How did I put my trust in Jesus? What is a Christian? But before we talk to people about God, it is important to talk to God about people.
  • IX. Our Answers – to mitigate arguments, four responses can help: I don’t know; if I could answer all your questions, would you want to know Jesus? Can I pray for you? Love, love, love. Special attention is given to the question of suffering.

Each 3 x 4-hour seminar has its own format:

Format AFormat BFormat C
The ResurrectionThe CrossThe Holy Spirit
A Life Worth LivingNo Place Like HomeSt Anger
Our StoryOur PrayerOur Answers

The 4-hour seminars also include an opportunity for immersive learning. Learning to witness is a little like learning a new language.

First, it’s important to keep learning however good we are. We can always improve. The same goes for witness. That’s why we host three versions of the seminar, each with different content.

Second, it’s important to practice by doing. So the 4-hour sessions include a non-obligatory opportunity to do just that. There’s no substitute for immersive learning – but nor is there pressure for anyone to immerse themselves either. (For those who do, the more experienced are paired with the less experienced. And participants often find that it rubs off during the working week, when they find themselves falling into conversations about Jesus.)

* This is the essence of our Worship@Work course. When we worship something we find our worth in that thing. And when worth is found in God, it is found to give worth out. We can add worth through our work, and invite worthiness in our relationships. Worship thus shapes society, as worth is passed round like a parcel.
** Gustav Aulen, Christus Victor: An Historical Study of The Three Main Types of The Idea of the Atonement (London: SPCK, 1970); see also John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Leicester: IVP, 1989), 228f.
*** These reflect God’s covenantal promises to: fight for his people [Deuteronomy 20:1-4]; rescue his people [Deuteronomy 30:3-5]; and transform his people [Deuteronomy 30:6].
**** Hugh Whelchel, How Then Should We Work? Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work (McLean: IFW&E, 2012), 9.