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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 B), 19.00 to 21.00, Monday 21 June, 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 a state of separation from God, which the Holy Spirit heals, because Jesus is the mould for our relationship with God

So Jesus:

  • disarms the power of sin;
  • deals with the consequences of sin; and
  • sends the Holy Spirit to heal us from our sin.***

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.)

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:

  1. The Resurrection;
  2. The Cross;
  3. The Holy Spirit;
  4. Outline I: A Life Worth Living;
  5. Outline II: No Place Like Home;
  6. Outline III: St Anger;
  7. Our Story;
  8. Our Prayer; and
  9. Our Answers.

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].