Happy Memorial Day to all our readers in the US!
Even before the pandemic, remote work was becoming increasingly common. Now, after two years of an unprecedented level of Working From Home (WFH), employees and businesses are questioning what the future will look like.
While the answers to these questions will have a profound impact on business productivity, those engaged in Missional Enterprise also must consider the impact of remote work on the other bottom lines they consider – making a difference in the community and making disciples of Jesus.
How does a leader of a missional enterprise succeed in an increasingly WFH world?
First, it’s good to realize that we are not alone. A recent article from the Harvard Business Review highlights the difficulty of striking the right balance between working in-person and remote work. The article acknowledges that more than short-term productivity concerns are involved, and encourages leaders to distinguish between “task-based goals” and “relationship-based goals.” Several insights are included, which could be helpful to any enterprise leader.
When it comes to making a spiritual impact in the workplace, we should remember that our impact on our employees and coworkers will flow out of our own walks with the Lord. As we seek to live and work in a way that honors God, adjusting to new or increased levels of telework presents unique challenges. Author Russell Gehrlein at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics describes several ways God has helped him address these challenges in his article “How to Faithfully Work from Home in a Season of Teleworking”. One key for Gehrlein is the discipline of experiencing God’s presence in this new work environment. He writes:
I still experience God’s presence while working alone. God freely gives me His peace, wisdom, and joy whether I am in the office or at home. However, the way that I bring the presence of God to others when I am not present with them is challenging for me. I have to rest that His presence is continuing to flow through me as I abide in Christ whenever I text, email, or have a video chat.
Finally, as we seek to impact others for Christ in a life-to-life fashion, we must address how increasingly virtual interaction might detract from personal, life-to-life connections that are a key component of helping others become disciples of Jesus.
Author Jordan Raynor, in a series of articles on “A Gospel Perspective on Work in a Post-Pandemic World” suggests that, while we can “spend some time thinking about how to build relationships in a virtual environment,” nevertheless:
“the gospel may compel you to sacrifice your freedom to work from home so that you can be more intentional about building relationships with unbelievers in person”
At the US Navigators Missional Enterprises, while we have appreciated the opportunity to meet in several virtual M3 Cohorts of missional business owners and entrepreneurs over the last year, we are focusing our energies on starting several in-person cohorts this fall. If you are interested in knowing about these cohorts, please contact us at email@example.com.
. . . you should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders . . .1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)
Let’s meditate on these verses this week, asking God for wisdom to know how our “daily life” can be a witness to others, even in an increasingly virtual world and workplace.