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Barriers to workplace fellowship.

There's an oft-forgotten spiritual discipline you may not even realize you are neglecting. I'm not talking about Bible reading or your prayer life. Those things are absolutely essential, but you likely carry around a general awareness of how critical they are for your spiritual health. You know you need to talk to God if it's been too long and you aren't feeling intimacy with Him. You know you need to crack open that Bible when you are out of the habit.

But what about fellowship? Are you nurturing Christian fellowship? What about within the context of professional spaces?

Have I crossed over into the uncomfortable there? Sometimes we seem to be far more comfortable with the concept of fellowship when it comes to church friends than within the walls of our workplace. We keep things neat. Tidy. Separated.

Unless you are one of the fortunate few who have work friends who also go to church with you, it may be worth considering how you can nurture more Christian fellowship throughout your work week.

I firmly believe that we'd all fare much better if we had even one peer professional walking alongside us in Christian fellowship. What if you had someone to pray with at work before a difficult decision or conversation? What if you had a brother or sister who could lovingly hold you accountable? What if you felt a little less alone in your faith at work?

Sounds pretty great, right? If you find you don't have that at work, here are a few things that may be getting in the way.

You are in hiding.

"I didn't even know I worked with so many Christians!" a woman shared with me after she casually announced she'd be starting a Bible study before work hours. "People came out of the woodwork," she continued. Before her invitation, she felt utterly alone. Every Christian in her workplace was essentially in hiding.

You don't necessarily have to start a formal Bible study, but don't be afraid to actively wear the label of Christian. Put it out there in the open with a casual comment about your church picnic or something you read in your morning quiet time. Simply direct thanks to God after something goes well. You don't have to make it a big production. Just stop actively hiding it. You may be surprised who else comes out of hiding.

Denominational walls are up.

I've always attended various non-denominational Christian churches. My Mom grew up Baptist. One of my closest sisters-in-Christ is Lutheran and I have guests on my podcast who attend a wide variety of church denominations within the Christian faith. We all take a high view of scripture and love Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Do we all see eye-to-eye on absolutely every issue under the sun? Nope. Are there secondary and tertiary issues we see very differently? Yep.

Are these people my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ? Absolutely.

Don't let denominational walls get in the way of seeing your Christian co-worker as your brother or sister. Be comfortable disagreeing and respectfully discussing your differences, while also joyfully uniting around the fact that you both love Jesus and delight in the truth of scripture.

I'm not saying anyone professing to be religious is a Christian, of course. I'm simply pointing to the fact that we have many denominational affiliations within the larger Christian faith. We should be mindful of letting those labels and lines get in the way of what could be deep and authentic fellowship with a sibling in Christ.

Competition is blocking connection.

Some work environments are so competitive you feel you need to be watching your back constantly. Whether that competition is coming from a teammate or from your own competitive nature, it can lead to relationships that are guarded, self-serving, and even vindictive. That's often not a good environment for the most basic office camaraderie, let alone deeper Christian fellowship with other Believers at work.

Next time you are tempted to see a teammate as a target or as someone getting in the way of your own success, gently remind yourself of something:

"He's my brother." / "She's my sister."

Sometimes it's all in how we see others. Hold yourself accountable to seeing others in a light that allows you to form a connection with them.

You don't think it's important.

It's possible you simply don't see the value in Christian fellowship, or at least not within the context of your workplace. I'd encourage you to nurture fellowship somewhere in your life, and within a relationship that will provide the support and accountability you need to thrive within the settings you spend the most time. Whether it's a neighbor, a spouse, or a member of your church life group, don't go at it alone.

"Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:25


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