Today I worked my "occasional job" at the Events Center, where there's a Christian youth conference happening this weekend. The kiosk I work there is situated in the hall right outside the doors of the main auditorium, so we could hear the bands playing -- loud and clear! -- and could step inside and hear the speakers whenever we weren't busy.
Being a Christian youth conference, it definitely had the Christian/church atmosphere. That was a lot different from the last event I worked, which was a secular, business event. And today I realized, it's different from what I'm surrounded by lately.
I've grown up in a "Christian bubble," and even the majority of my adult life has been spent in that bubble. Up until this year, I'd never worked a secular job, but always worked at Christian camps. I went to church, worked at camp, went on mission trips, and all my friends were believers. My "mission field" was the kids who came to camp and the people I served on mission trips.
This fall I started my first retail job. Suddenly I find myself immersed in the real world -- the world where people don't go to church on Sundays, where curse words pepper every conversation, where coworkers talk bad about each other behind their backs, where partying and fake ID's are perfectly acceptable.....and where, unfortunately, I don't talk about Jesus.
So today, being at work but in a church-like setting was a bit disorienting. I heard Christian music blaring from the auditorium all day. I saw people -- customers -- walking through the hall singing along to those worship songs. People were friendly and kind and they were carrying Bibles with them. It was the kind of atmosphere where Jesus is "the norm." And it was almost weird to be surrounded by that again, in a place other than church or camp.
So the question is, what is the bridge between these two worlds? In the atmosphere I worked in today, it was normal and expected for everyone to like Jesus and talk about Him and live morally. In the atmosphere I normally work in, at my regular retail job, that's not normal and expected. In fact, that's pretty much just me.
But does that mean I should keep my beliefs to myself and not speak about Jesus?
Does that mean these two worlds -- work and Christian life -- should be so very different?
How do I bridge my faith and my faithless workplace?
How do I bring Jesus to work with me....without being a "typical Christian" and turning people off?