Don’t Leave God in the Pew

Take Your Faith to Work

Integrating faith and work takes diligent persistence. As the CEO of the fortune 1000 company ServiceMaster, Bill Pollard learned valuable lessons about shaping a workplace with biblical values. He’s written and contributed to several books, most recently publishing The Tides of Life. In the following video, Bill shares his experiences with making ministry a part of his entire life, and he highlights the effect that intentional mission can have on a company. 

Before Bill even set out to develop a mission for the company that reflected the faith values of both the founder and Bill’s own leadership team, he first decided that it was actually an important thing to integrate faith and work. 

Is integrating your faith with your work important to you? Why or why not?
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If your goal is to integrate your faith with your work, what are some things that may prevent your from doing so? Are there any drawbacks? Risks?
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What opposition might you receive to integrating your faith and work? Who would oppose it?
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Bill’s predecessor at ServiceMaster started the journey of integrating his faith with his work by first asking the question, “How?” Later, as Bill and his partners took up the mission of the founder, they continued to pursue the hows of taking God into the work world. For the leadership team of ServiceMaster, they answered “how” by integrating their faith into the mission and objectives of the business. “Honor God in all we do” got top billing, even in their secular business.  

Even if you cannot shape the mission and objectives of your entire business, you can still compose a personal mission for your work. What would your personal mission look like if shaped by your faith values?
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How would your mission statement change the way you worked?
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Bill points out that any mission should be easy to remember and controversial. Controversy, he says, generates discussion which opens doors to talk about your faith. Read 1 Peter 3:15 below. 

1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)

15but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The controversy of Bill’s objectives opened the door for a deeper conversation about faith in the workplace. How have you seen this play out in your own life? Describe a situation of controversy that allowed you to talk about your faith.
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The passage’s encouragement is to be ready to give a reason for your faith when asked. What would you say to someone who asked you about your faith values?
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With ServiceMaster’s international partners, Bill had to adjust the wording of the mission and objectives in order to continue to communicate well. In Japan, “honor God” became “praying hands.” In China, it became “in search of truth.” Bill adapted to different cultures so that the mission could go forward. 

In what ways might you have to adapt the wording of your personal or business mission in order to continue communicating your faith values?
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A company’s mission objectives, or a leader’s personal mission can offer powerful platforms to advance faith in the workplace. As you approach your own leadership, aim toward memorable and controversial missions that can open the door to conversations about faith. And always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that Jesus has given you. 

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