Living missionally is about living like a missionary every day where we live, work & play. As our friend Andrew likes to helpfully say, it is “mission in the mundane” – as we go about our lives showing and telling about Christ everywhere in our attitudes, words and deeds.
As I have wrestled with what this looks like and means for my own life, I have wrestled on lots of levels. One area in particular I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is WORK. What kind of employee and leader am I? What does it mean to live missionally at work? At work I desire to be salt and light. I’d hope my faithfulness to God would show and shine. (Yes, it certainly is easier that I work for a Christian organization, but somehow I still manage to mess up!)
I made a mistake about two weeks ago at work.
My boss heard about something new I was doing, and was surprised by it. He wished he’d heard about it from me instead of someone else.
All I could do, and you can do, when we realize we mess-up in that kind of way is say “sorry” and make sure we try not to do that again.
But, it got me thinking, how do I make sure not to do that again?! How do I be more faithful in the area of communication with my team and my supervisors?
Enter the decision tree, something I picked up a few years ago when I was on the Arrow course. Have a conversation about this tree with your supervisors to clarify the authority you have and the communication that is needed around different decisions. What are leaf, branch, truck and root decisions? Have the same conversation with the people that report to you.
Leaf – Make the decision. Act. Don’t report back.
Branch – Make the decision. Act. Report on action.
Trunk – Make the decision. Report before you act.
Root – Make the decision jointly with input from many.
The smaller or newer your church or organization, the more decisions will be root decisions. I hope this tool opens up helpful clarifying conversations in your workplace and saves you my blunders. May your tree conversations allow you to live more faithfully in your workplace.
“Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free.” Ephesians 6:5-8 The Message