Christians are called to insulate, not isolate. Here’s how.

working in exile Apr 24, 2023

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Last week, we saw the first of five biblical principles for working in exile—namely that a Christian’s default position should be to rush into dark workplaces, not retreat from them. This is in line with Jesus’s prayer in John 17:15-18 when he asked the Father to send his followers “into the world.” 

But in the same breath, Jesus also asked the Father to “protect them from the evil one.” You see, while Jesus never intended for his followers to isolate themselves from the world, he has called us to insulate ourselves before going into our dark workplaces and communities.

How? Through study of God’s Word (see John 17:17) and Christian community. That’s what the writer of Hebrews is urging in today’s passage: that we insulate ourselves by “not giving up meeting together” with other believers. That brings us to our second biblical principle for working in exile:

Principle #2: Christians are not called to isolate from unbelievers, but we are called to insulate ourselves through God’s Word and Christian community.

I’m going to assume you’re already in the Word on a regular basis. But if you’re like many modern Christians, the community piece doesn’t come as easily. I’d argue that every Christian professional needs two types of Christian communities.

First, a local church. There has been a lot of debate about the importance of the local church in recent years. Personally, I can’t get around the strong biblical case for committing to a local body of believers.

Second, you need a community of believers who understands your specific work and can help you answer highly situational questions such as:

  • Should I agree to my client’s request to use pictures of homosexual couples in our marketing campaigns?
  • How can I push back on my boss’s vision for a new product that will exploit the poor?
  • How do I go about firing a client for the way they treat my team?

Where can you find a group to help you answer questions like these? If you work at a large company, consider joining or starting a Christian or interfaith Employee Resource Group (ERG). If you’re curious to learn more about how these groups work and why they’re so effective, listen to my interviews with the leaders of Amazon’s and PayPal’s faith-based ERGs. 

If you don’t work at a large company, but still long to insulate yourself with a community of Christians who share your vocation, consider joining The Word Before Work Community led by yours truly.

If you want to serve as a faithful ambassador for Christ in your post-Christian workplace, being in Christian community is not optional. Find one to get plugged into today!


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