How God Sees Your Work

July 4, 2017
Darrell L. Bock and Stephen Ramseur

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Topic Time Codes

00:15
Ramseur introduces himself
04:50
Silence from the pulpit regarding faith & work
07:12
Ramseur’s journey to seminary
12:14
Working with the pastor to integrate Sunday into the workweek
16:15
How pastors can relate to the working people in their congregation
19:33
How should Christians view work ethics?
24:04
How can we share the Gospel in the workplace despite our flaws?
27:33
How should we decide between a corporate job and a church job?
31:11
How can we work towards a better work-life balance?
34:52
How can we interact with coworkers of different religious beliefs?

Transcript

Darrell Bock
Our chapel today is going to discuss the most secularized part of the day that sometimes rarely shows up in a significant way in our churches. That is the time from 9:00 to 5:00 from Monday to Friday. Our guest is Steve Ramseur. Steve, I'm going to let you tell people what you do because you are there in San Antonio; you're not with us. So what are you doing in San Antonio from 9:00 to 5:00 five days a week?
Steve Ramseur
Hi Darrell. Good to see you again. I am the – a divisional president of a Fortune 500 company. I have about 4,000 souls that I look after every day; manage about $1.5 billion in revenue. That's what I do during the day.

Usually from 5:00 a.m. until 7:00 a.m. I am a Dallas Seminary student. I'm taking two classes right now and then I'm also a husband, 30 years, with Angie. I have three kids. I think you've met Joshua and Grace and Riley. That's what I do.
Darrell Bock
Okay. We're here to kind of tell your story about; what is a busy guy like you who is managing 4000 people – I can't even… That gives me my hairline. What is a busy person like you who manages 4,000 people a day – how did you end up at Dallas Seminary? And tell us a little bit about your story about the way you see faith and work mixing together.
Steve Ramseur
Sure. I think I need to – the big picture on this is I was saved in the workplace 29 years ago and I'm being saved in the workplace. I worked for a company out of undergrad and one of the men that I worked with, Mark Rieswig, asked me a question one day. He said, "Would you like to hear what the Bible has to say about a certain subject?" That led to about six months of him meeting me at lunches. We brown-bagged it and the Lord was pleased to save my miserable soul. I've been in the workplace ever since.

So I guess my experience really grounds me in the workplace, but I think the key take-away is that I was discipled by this gentleman and others and have had a voracious appetite for the Word of God. The first book he gave me to read was John Owens' "Death of Death in the Death of Christ". I didn't know young Christians were supposed to read that.

Started reading that and started working on works of B.B. Warfield and Calvin's Institutes. So I just had an appetite for theology and for the Bible, but I was kind of out of place. There wasn't really a category for me in the church.

For the first five years, my wife and I were part of a church plant bi-vocationally in Seattle. We had a small congregation up there. They couldn't afford to pay either one of us so we were bi-vocational, teaching, preaching, and working during the week, during that secular 9 to 5 time period. I guess the feeling from my perspective as someone who is in love with the Lord Jesus Christ, who has a passion for the word of God, a hunger for evangelism and discipleship, as there was not really a category for me in the church, because you tell people that in the church, they say, "Well, you need to be in ministry. You need to go to…" I did some short-term mission work, but "You need to be in the ministry. You have that kind of passion."

There's not really a category for me in the workplace either because there is such a passion for the things I listed earlier. So you kind of feel a bit out of place; maybe broken or disconnected. Homeless would be the best way to describe it because you walk into church on Sunday morning and you're entering into a world where they don't really have a category, if you will, for someone who is working 9 to 5. There is a disconnect there up until about 28 years ago. Up until about two years ago.
Darrell Bock
We will talk about that in just a second. So the point you're making here is, is that your 9 to 5 day wasn't getting addressed in a significant way to help you negotiate the life that you are living there, by much of what you are hearing from the pulpit.
Steve Ramseur
There was a silence. It was absent. There wasn't a – the best way I can describe it Darrell, is there wasn't a category.
Darrell Bock
Yeah. When I think about the preaching that I hear on a regular basis, we can talk about how family, we can talk about our neighborhoods, we can talk about our schools, we can talk about the ministries that happen in our churches. There are a variety of slots that tend to get addressed, but helping people think through what they are doing from 9 to 5 and why God has them there; in fact, that's the bulk of the population, specifically that they spend the bulk of their time.
Steve Ramseur
Yeah.
Darrell Bock
To leave that unaddressed is to leave this hole in life that people are living in the midst of and they're asking as good disciples, as I'm assuming you were, "How do I negotiate this part of my life?" What they're getting in response is, as you described it, silence.
Steve Ramseur
Silence and really a sense of homelessness. There wasn't a place where, within the context of the church – and I love the church. I want to make that very clear. But within the context of the church, and understanding that as a leader; I have a megachurch. I've got 4,000 souls I look after. As a leader, during the course of the week I'm dealing with exactly the same thing as my pastor is dealing with.

The gentleman whose office is two doors down from me, and I think you know this Darrell, lost his son, 17 years old, a month ago. You and I are addressing a loss in the family for a mutual coworker. Last night I received a text from a lady that I work with in Chicago asking for some Scripture references to encourage someone that she works with there in Chicago. Dealing with marriage issues, divorce issues, all kinds of – the same things a pastor is dealing with day-to-day, literally, I am dealing with in the context of… As a leader in the workplace.

When I step into the church, what you hear about is how to be a good husband, a good father, and then how to serve within the church. So we celebrate the missionary who goes out or the – a nursery – a person who works in the nursery, we anoint them and send them out, but I've never seen anyone anoint a plumber going out into the work world and when your toilet is stopped up, you need a plumber, not a pastor.
Darrell Bock
I think that's something we can all theologically agree with. Okay. So let's come to about two years ago and I want you to tell the story that you told me when we first met which is; you were contemplating leaving the workplace and coming into ministry because of your passion for the Lord and basically, he stopped you. What happened?
Steve Ramseur
So what happened was I found these podcasts on The Table, about the… A biblical theology of work. I've listened to every one of them at least twice. Some two or three times. I began to research the Scriptures, mainly Genesis 1 and 2, and began to see that there is a theology of work that works. Meaning a theology of work that I can apply every day in my – where I spend 50, 60 hours a week, that has a significant impact on the kingdom of God.

I sat down with Dr. Bailey in his office just having a conversation with him and said, "I want my life to mean something. I want there to be some significance."

He looked at me and he said, "Steve, your life has meaning. What you are doing at work has meaning and what we need are more professionals who minister." So that's why I'm taking classes and doing these different types of things so that I can bring this theology of work into a pagan culture; we are living between the Cross and the Coming. During that interval, make a difference.
Darrell Bock
So if I can get this right, you were toying with leaving. You listen to these podcasts – I'm appreciating the advertising that we're getting and taking advantage of it. You heard a message and that message was more than, "You can be an evangelist at work."
Steve Ramseur
The message brought me to tears. It was like coming home. I'd heard that the gifting that God – I love my job. That's one of the challenges that I faced because you either – if you are going to hear about work at all from the pulpit, you're going to hear one of three messages. Either there is deafening silence. Message number two is that you're giving too much time to work and neglecting your family and church and what really matters. Or message number three is that if you enjoy your work, that's really idolatry.

What I heard from The Table and what I hear integrated into the classes at Dallas Seminary the last 2½ years, is no. A) God is a worker. That's what Genesis 2 tells us and that God has gifted us in a certain way that we can express that image of God in the mission he's called us to, where he's called us through our work. My work intrinsically has value and that was a seismic shift in my understanding of my mission in the workplace.

There are also evangelism… I officiated a wedding six weeks ago with a man who; in Seattle, who came to Christ 27 years ago on the sixth floor of my parking garage in Seattle, Washington. I discipled him long distance for five years. I was with his son who came to Christ through that and his two daughters come to Christ through that. So there is evangelism that comes out of that, but that's not why I go to work. I go to work because I am called to image God, his mission in Genesis 1:26-28, Genesis 2:7, 2:8, 2:15, et cetera. As I do my work, I'm carrying out God's first great commission.
Darrell Bock
And that Great Commission is the Creation Mandate that says we are supposed to manage the earth well and apply our image of God in such a way that the garden is well taken care of, that God has placed us in.
Steve Ramseur
Yes the Oikonomia, that's what we are about. Evangelism today, and this goes back to where Dr. Bailey prayed; evangelism today in the marketplace is by invitation. What I mean by that is when you genuinely love people, when you work with them day-to-day, you get to know them, issues surface; opportunities surface. And out of that invitation comes a very natural opportunity to share and love them with the gospel.
Darrell Bock
Okay. We've got – we need to remind students of something. We've got microphones set up in the aisle so if you have a question that comes to mind, step up to the microphones and in a few minutes, we will be taking those questions. Go ahead and step up whenever you're ready with a question so I know that you have one.

Steve, let me ask you this question. I know that you are working closely with your pastor to address the silence that you felt in the church. What are you doing with the pastor and how are you encouraging him about this time of day and how he addresses it from the pulpit?
Steve Ramseur
Yeah, he and I sat down, give or take about a year ago, and we had this conversation at a restaurant not far from my office, about a theology of work and about my experience. His response to me was, "I need to repent." Now I hear – now you begin to hear – so he said, "Would you be willing to preach?"

So last Labor Day I preached to back to back Sundays. One was “Your work matters to God.” The second one was “Your work matters to the gospel.” Now we are hearing more and more, from the pulpit, there is more and more around discipleship. When I meet with him or other pastoral staff, I ask them – invite them to come into my office. I introduced them around; this is my pastor. Introduce them around to the people that I work with so they can see and feel my work environment because I'm not sure –

You think about the apostle Paul who was a fairly good evangelist, he was bi-vocational and his first epistle, 1 Thessalonians, you find in all five chapters he is talking about work. He worked hard among us and we’re to model him. He understood because he was in the marketplace and then he would go to the Hall of Tyrannus. He would go and he would preach, but he was constantly integrated into the world of work. I think that we – you don't hear much about that model.

So that's kind of the conversation with the pastor. I view it as a partnership, Darrell. So it's integrated and seamless from Sunday to Monday and from Monday – and from Friday to Sunday to where he can move easily into my world and I can move easily into his world and it's exciting.
Darrell Bock
So help us with the secular-sacred divide a little bit, because I tend to think that what we do is we take the workplace and we say – the message often that I hear, or indirectly, there may be not stated this way is; what you do on Sunday in the church, in the church walls, or in the ministries of outreach or in the evangelism programs that happened, that really matters. Everything else that you do is gathering energy for that stuff.
Steve Ramseur
Right.
Darrell Bock
I take it you are saying something else to us; something different.
Steve Ramseur
I'm saying that if you can disintegrate the Sunday-Monday, Monday-Sunday, by a barrier of secular-sacred and you disintegrate your work from your Christian life, you can also disintegrate your sex life. You can disintegrate your finances. You can disintegrate every other aspect of your life. I don't see that in the gospel.

I think the incarnation, the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. Jesus of his 33 years, 16 or 18 years, maybe – you are the New Testament expert – was spent as a craftsman, as a carpenter. All of his apostles were called from vocation; called out of work backgrounds. They knew what it was to put in a full day of work.

I don't see that disintegration in the gospel and I think it comes back to an integrated understanding of the atonement. The atonement is more than just Jesus and me. The atonement is cosmic in scope. It is universal and I think that our limited understanding of that secular-sacred divide is dangerous.
Darrell Bock
One more question and then we got a student who is going to ask a question. It's this; so what advice would you give to pastors, not about how they handle the pulpit, but how they handle their business people? What do they need to do to get to know their business people better and to understand the 9:00 to 5:00 better? I'll be honest, I've never worked significantly in the workplace other than the summer jobs I did when I was in college. So I don't know, in many ways, what your world is like. So how can I, as a theologian or a pastor, bridge that gap in such a way that I end up being a help to you?
Steve Ramseur
Yeah. Well, I'm blessed to have a pastor who is willing to invest the time and ask the questions. He genuinely wants to know the work that I do, how that work affects the community; for me it's around the world given the work that I do; and spending time with me within the context of work.

I think what would be very healthy Darrell, is if my pastor would spend say a half a day with me, or the pastoral staff, and walk through my day with me maybe once a quarter or something like that. That way he has some context for application and understanding what that looks like in real time.
Darrell Bock
Yeah. As you know, Tommy Nelson of Kansas City, pastors at church. What he's done to do this, is he regularly visits a variety of people in his congregation in the way you just talked about; spending time with them where they work, gets to meet the people that they are interacting with. When his contacts are praying for a colleague, in many cases he knows the person they are praying for. He's met them.
Steve Ramseur
Yeah.
Darrell Bock
That kind of thing. In the midst of that networking, he has come to understand the variety of vocations that are sitting in his audience on a Sunday and the worlds that they live in that he is able then to address. Is that the kind of thing you are talking about?
Steve Ramseur
Precisely. After I preached the second sermon, Labor Day, a young man came up to me. And he has a lawn business, but he went to Southwestern Seminary, but he has a lawn business. He said, "I get all these great emails and correspondence on social media about what my friends are doing in the mission field and the pastor et cetera, et cetera, et cetera." He said, "To hear this from the pulpit, that what I do, taking care of lawns, has significance within the kingdom."

He said, let me tell you a story. I will make this 30 seconds. He's been mowing this one elderly gentleman's lawn, who is housebound for about two years. He mows it on Thursday. He shares a glass of tea with him. He won't go near the church. One Thursday afternoon after he mowed his lawn, sitting down there with a glass of tea, the subject of the gospel came up.

This young man looked at him and he said, "What I'm about to tell you is going to change our relationship, but I want to tell you about Jesus Christ." He shared Christ with that man through the two years' worth of excellent work that he had been doing. He had an opportunity that none of the pastors would have to reach that man for Christ.
Darrell Bock
Okay. We've got a student question here. So to the mic.
Audience
Hi. I'm a physician from Brazil and over there my experience in the workforce was that Brazilians didn't have work ethics. So when a brother in Christ knew that I was a Christian, there were some abuses in terms of, "Oh, you not fire me so let…" I was lax about something and you Xerox machines for worship, music, and that kind of stuff.

In America, you have a much stronger work ethic. So Max Weber published about that. How do you suggest the international community at DTS to teach about that and preach about that? The work ethics and how our work can glorify Christ? A second aspect, also in this international aspect, how Christians in the workforce can influence their companies to go to areas that are poor, that are segregated, that are lack of – the two thirds of the world that lives under $2.00 a day?
Steve Ramseur
Darrell, do you want to start on the first one? I have some ideas.
Darrell Bock
Okay. Yeah, the key thing here is having a church, one, that is aware of what theology work is and teaches it from the pulpit, teaches the people in the church about a work ethic. The work ethic that you might get if you just go outside might be, this isn't always the case, but might be: We are here for business. We are here to earn money. You are here to earn a job so please help us as much as you can. That isn't going to take you very far.

There are other companies, and Steve can certainly speak to this, whose approach to business isn't just the exchange that happens between the business, the product, and the customer, but in fact is asking a profound question about: We serve people in this area. How do we serve best? We have people working for us in this area. How do we unleash their talents to work for us best? That's a different kind of question. It's a different layer of discussion. What it does is it gives people value in their work. In the midst of giving them value in their work, you get a better work ethic. People understand why they are there other than to merely be a piece in a cog.

That means not only do business people have to understand that, but theologians who teach in these areas have to understand that and communicate that logical affirmation to the people that they are teaching and preaching to. So that's my theological answer, Steve, but I'm handing it off now to a business person to fill in the gaps.
Steve Ramseur
Okay. Well, mine is simple and I look at my theology of work really around three areas. The first is calling. The second is my commission. The third is community. I genuinely believe that God has gifted me in certain areas around business and I have a calling just as much to business as I did when I was a bi-vocational pastor in Seattle for five years. I come to work with a sense of purpose, something larger than myself. So the calling piece of that.

The commission piece of that is to bear God's image and the fact that he's given me a mind to know him, a heart to love him, a will to obey him, but he's also given me a mission to go out into his creation and cultivate that. That's the commission piece of it.

The third piece, I do that in community. I think this gets to your second question. Third – yeah, second question. I'm blessed in that I traveled globally and we do great projects. We were the project manager on the World Trade Center redevelopment. We did the redevelopment of the Empire State Building. It took billions of tons of greenhouse gases out of the environment. We do redevelopment in communities.

So that's very hands-on for us. It's very real. It's tangible. It's tactile for us. We do that in the context of community and the workplace sets me in a community; I think of Acts chapter 17; that's unique and distinct for me. Darrell is not in this community. My pastor is not in this community. I am in this community with a clear calling, a clear commission, and it's exciting.
Darrell Bock
Okay. We got another student question over here.
Audience
Hello. So after you teach about the theology of work, there is going to be some people that are bound to feel convicted or guilty because some of them already have a certain reputation. For example, in the workplace, being hot tempered or sometimes even being vulgar. How do you…? Is there a way to encourage them to still teach the gospel in the workplaces? Even for ourselves, some of us will have our own flaws like the ones I mentioned. How do you go about dealing with these issues as you are sharing the gospel in the workplace?
Steve Ramseur
You want me to –
Darrell Bock
I do have something. I'll start off Steve, since you're… I think that may be what you're asking. The idea that we share the gospel in the workplace by only when we talk about the gospel is misleading. We actually share the gospel in the workplace by how we do our work, by the credibility that we build for ourselves as a person and as a bearer of the image of God and as a representative of Christ in the workplace.

Before I ever go to share the gospel, that person, particularly if they know I'm a Christian, is probably watching to see who I am and what I'm about. In the midst of how I do my work, I actually lay the groundwork for anything that I'm going to do or say when I actually get to the topic of the gospel. I think many people don't even think about that when they are thinking about how they do their work.

Steve.
Steve Ramseur
Agreed. First of all, I'm the most flawed person in the room right now. So I come with my flaws and sins into the workplace. So first, I would say it starts with humility. It's what Paul says, "Consider others to be better than yourselves."

Second, it starts with an idea and an attitude of servant leadership. It's stooping down. I think that any organization is measured by how they treat the least in the organization. I think Paul deals with that in 1 Thessalonians exhaustively where he talks about the fact that he worked night and day not to be a burden while we preach the gospel of God to you.

So here is Paul. He was in Thessalonica 51, 52. He had a trade. He was a tent maker. He's teaching them eschatology and he is working full-time. He knows this is a nascent church. He doesn't want to be a burden to them so Paul takes that burden by working, he is bi-vocational. Then he preaches the gospel. I think it's a perfect mix. He says, when you get to 2 Thessalonians 3:8, he says, "I want you to model this. I want you to model this in your work ethic and then the proclamation of the gospel is an outcome."

If you enter the workplace with an objective of proselytizing, people will see that as disingenuous. Like I said earlier, the gospel in the workplace is by invitation and it comes through love and through serving others and putting them above yourself.
Darrell Bock
All right. Next question.
Audience
Yeah. I have a question for both of you. My name is Scott. I was a corporate guy for 15 years. Six years ago, my church asked me to come on staff so I've been a full-time pastor for six years. Love my job. Love the church, but I've actually wrestled with; was I making a bigger impact as a corporate guy managing the people that I managed? A.m. I less effective here in the church? Was I more effective there?

So do either of you have advice or counsel on how to – one is not better than the other, but how do we go about deciding which – how we're going to make a more effective contribution to the community?
Darrell Bock
This question actually allows Steve to fill in a gap in the story that he hasn't told yet. That is; you actually were wrestling with leaving your job and coming to seminary to do full time ministry. Why don't you take people through your process and your decision-making in where you ended up?
Steve Ramseur
Sure. I wrestled with this for 27 – the gentleman's name was Scott? Who is asking the question?
Darrell Bock
Yeah, I think so.
Audience
Yes.
Darrell Bock
Yes.
Steve Ramseur
So yes, I wrestled with that for years. I took one seminary class Darrell, from J.I. Packer in Seattle; took pneumatology from him. Just fell in love with it because the family and kids – it didn't happen, but that was gnawing and kind of nagging. It would be the thing I would think about when I woke up at 3:00 in the morning. Am I going against God's calling to be in the ministry full-time? That was the nagging question.

My wife, who is the stable partner of mine, would say, "Let's step back and take a look at what's happened in the workplace." So Matt has come to Christ through that ministry. John, Joe, et cetera, their families; you are discipling these men. This is happening. God has given you skill sets in the business world and these other people are coming to Christ through this ministry and you probably should continue doing what you're doing.

Three years ago, she finally got sick and tired of me and she said, "You keep talking about seminary. Just go." So that's…

Well, that's what she said. She said, "I'm not talking about this anymore. If you are going to go, go."
Darrell Bock
I think we'll use that as an advertisement for future students.
Steve Ramseur
What was beautiful about it though Darrell, as I expected to make that decision to go back, maybe take the route that Scott is taking, but because of the integrated theology and work inside of the classes – I mean, Dr. Kreider made the comment in his ST101 class; I can talk about it if you want me to. It's integrated into the curriculum. I saw, well, wait a minute. Maybe I can do both. Maybe I can actually be in the workplace serving the Lord and maybe this is exactly where he has called me. So I wrestled through that decision.

What I would say to Scott is, you have a unique opportunity to spend time with the men and women in your church and show them how that faith and work is integrated, in a way that would be a much more significant impact that you could've made just in the workplace; and how you weave that into your preaching and your teaching and your discipleship of them. You send them out with that calling, commission, community type of theology of work. That's where you're going to make an impact.
Darrell Bock
Okay. Next question over here.
Audience
High. My name is Logan. I don't recall your name, but I will always remember this chapel as the guy that looks like Matt Damon. You mentioned earlier, Sunday to Monday, Monday to Sunday kind of flowing seamlessly. Is that correct?
Steve Ramseur
Yes.
Audience
In the sense of… Okay. I think I'm tracking with you, but I had a conversation with Dr. Hatteberg a while back, kind of about this and he approached – he gave me advice to approach seminary and all the different compartments of my life as one big box; my quiet time, my marriage, my ministry, and then kind of drawing from that. Is that what you are kind of talking about as seamlessly flowing from workplace with ministry involved? Does that make any sense? Do you understand what I'm asking?
Steve Ramseur
Yeah, I'm understanding completely. I'm waiting for Darrell to…
Darrell Bock
Your go. Go.
Audience
All right. The awkward silence.
Steve Ramseur
I know exactly what – is Dr. Bailey still in the room?
Audience
Yes.
Darrell Bock
Yeah, he is.
Steve Ramseur
Okay. I forget which class it was; he drew up on the board, the circle. The balloon where he had work and church ministry and family. Is he nodding his head or is he – am I crazy?
Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Steve Ramseur
Okay.
Darrell Bock
He's still a happy camper. Keep going.
Steve Ramseur
Okay. What he said… I can't remember which class was, but what he said was, "Sometimes your balloon is going to be pushed this way; more pressure here, but it's going to come back to the center. Sometimes it's pushed to here." I had always heard, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, as kind of a hierarchical order.

That illustration just rocked my world because no, it's not a hierarchical order. It's a unified, integrated reality that flows out of my identity in Christ. It's who I am by grace through faith in Christ alone. It's going to manifest itself differently in those spheres of influence that the Lord places me in. That illustration was as impactful as Dr. Kreider's this semester on an integrated understanding of the atonement which I don't have time to go into, but those types of theological concepts for Logan, take out the hierarchy.

Is Dr. Bailey still nodding or am I no longer a student?
Darrell Bock
There is a smile on his face.
Steve Ramseur
Okay.
Darrell Bock
Yeah, the integration is the point. That your life is not siloed. It's not ranked. God has given each one of us a unique network. There is no one in this room whose sense of contacts and associations is the same with the person sitting next to them. God has you in unique places, uniquely relating to people in unique ways. When you see your life through that lens and say, "That is my ministry," it changes the way you think about your work and your associations.

What I love about Steve is that he talks about having a megachurch of 4,000 people. He's talking about his workplace. So that is an integrated view of life which means that he never takes off his kingdom hat. His kingdom hat is always on the matter where he is, no matter what he's doing, no matter who he is seeing. That is the way I think God wants us to see our lives.

Over here.
Audience
Steve, I've been in the Army for about 30 years in a bi-vocational ministry and just wondering what types of issues, as you're sharing Christ and integrating those things with other world religions – the Army obviously has got a lot of different world religions, denominations in it, but is there any tension there in your corporate workplace? Then when you are abroad, how have you been able to integrate your faith with the customs and religions of other countries?
Steve Ramseur
Thank you for your service. I'm kind of a military brat. My dad was 20 years in the Air Force so I know for an army guy, you don't consider us being in the military, but my dad was.

We were actually in the military, so I appreciate that. So multi-culture; me, I've been around the world for a lot of different reasons.

The answer to your question is, yes and yes. What I find is that love transcends culture. What I mean by that is right now – and I'm going to say this again. I'll probably say it five more times. Evangelism today in the workplace is by invitation.

So when the tragedy occurred two offices down, I was doing my quiet time. 5:30 am I got a text message that one of my coworker's sons, 17 years old, died. I walked in the next morning as the pastor. We called the leaders together. We got in my office. There are five or six of us. We wept, we hugged each other, and we prayed. I closed my door, I spent time in the Word, and I called our office together and had to walk down in the conference room with a backdrop of a secular culture; comfort these people who are dealing with a very heavy, heavy loss.

Love transcends all of that. It transcends the religious barriers, the religious boundaries, and at the end of the day, this comes – is Dr. Kreider in the room? Is Kreider –
Darrell Bock
Yes, he is. He just waved his hand so he says hello.
Steve Ramseur
Yeah, so this really was a big – I mean, the soteriology class this semester rocked my world.
Darrell Bock
It saved you, right?
Steve Ramseur
But his emphasis on the resurrection; that's where I went during this meeting. Obviously, 1 Corinthians 15 was the text, but in that given situation and in the continued ministry opportunities that we have had as a company, to him – because candidly, the pastor and the church and everybody who came together around the family at the beginning, they've gone away. He's going to be working with me, Lord willing, the next 10 or 15 years and I have the chance to minister to he and – I'm not going to say names, but he and his family, through this process.

As I travel abroad, what I find – and this was… Dr. Hannah and I had dinner with two DTS grads; one in Dublin and one in Oxford. The one in Oxford ministers exclusively to Muslims. He is amazing. His name is Dr. Smalls. But he is finding the window way open with the Muslim community in Europe. So that was very encouraging.
Darrell Bock
Yeah. I think we underestimate how important it is to understand and appreciate other religious traditions and the way they work for people. I find if I ask questions about a person's religious experience and get to know them to that lens, I actually open the door to real significant conversations about what drives people in life.
Steve Ramseur
Yeah.
Darrell Bock
Through that, then you have the opportunity. So rather than worrying about, oh, they are in the wrong box, I'm actually in a situation where; let me get to know this person. See what drives them. Why they find this religious experience meaningful, et cetera. Then I'm thinking about; what is it about the Christian experience that can step into that and offer even something more than what they may be getting now? That kind of thing. We're –
Steve Ramseur
There, that's dead on.
Darrell Bock
Go ahead.
Steve Ramseur
May I make one comment on that?
Darrell Bock
Yeah, sure.
Steve Ramseur
That's dead on. Listening is one very critical aspect to evangelism and really hearing where that person is coming from.
Darrell Bock
Yeah. Our time is up Steve. Let me have our group thank you for taking time with us.

We do a faith and work chapel every semester. We do it because we think this part of the day is so absolutely significant and that the silence of the church in addressing people with this day builds a secular-sacred divide that is actually harmful to real discipleship.
Steve Ramseur
_____.
Darrell Bock
So I'm hoping you're catching the bug of what we are… The disease that we're trying to spread here. Some diseases are not worth spreading, but this one is. Let me close this in a word of prayer.

Father, we do thank you that you have made us in your image to image you. To image you in the places where you have us. Not just on Sunday. Not just on Wednesday night, but in the middle of the day from week to week, month to month, year to year, venue to venue. Our prayer is that as we teach and as we preach and as we live, that we will show your presence where you have us. Help us to do this well by your spirit. In Jesus' name, we ask it. Amen.
Steve Ramseur
Amen. Thanks Darrell.
Darrell Bock
Thank you.

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