Ministering/Witnessing to a coworker (opposite sex)

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John Ellwood Taylor, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    I have a coworker (female) whom I have become aquainted with who is facing a few challenges:
    1) her job is finishing at the end of the month
    2) she mentioned today that she has a hysterectomy planned for the 31st.

    Given that she felt comfortable enough to share this information with me I feel a burden for her especially that she does not know Jesus Christ.

    Obviously, at work and being a maried man limit my opportunities to share with her.

    I do plan on providing a 'fellowship fund' gift through our church to help out with any financial needs. However, our church is some 30 miles away from where she lives and agian the oportunities to minister to her are limited.

    I do no know of any Christian women at my workplac e that could befreind her but I do know a Christian lady who works next door to our office and was thinking of asking her if she could reach out to this lady.

    I would appreciate any thoughts on how to proceed...
     
  2. Jim1999

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    John, I often think about this and over the years found a personal testimony of God's goodness and desires to be the best witness, without sounding like a preacher and being overbearing. Be friendly and not familiar, and that keeps the friendship on the right plane.

    All the best with your witness, and God bless.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    It's a shame that we live in a world where we have to be concerned about this, but we do.

    Even in Timothy's day, Paul told him to treat old men, old women, and young men with respect, but he told him in the same breath to treat young women with purity and respect.

    Apparently, people could get the wrong idea then, too.

    I would say that there is absolutely no harm in sharing your testimony with her or sharing the gospel with her or sharing a joke with her or sharing a cup of coffee with her.

    Just do in a public place or public room at work where anybody could see you at anytime. Make sure that she understands that you are acting out of Christian benevolence, or concern over a co-worker and that you are not acting for any other reason.

    It's not rocket science, you know...these platonic relationships and brotherly/sisterly relationships that we all as Christians happily experience.

    Make yourself crystal clear to begin with and she won't misconstrue anything.

    Also, include that female co-worker.

    And your wife. Say to the woman at work something like this...."I was telling my wife about your financial and physical predicament and we talked about you and we feel that I should talk you about helping you with your financial burdens."......

    Just make sure that it is true when you say it!

    Peace-
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  4. Johnv

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    First off, I would let my wife know what's going on, and get your wife's permission to do some witnessing with this person.

    Other than that, I think others here have given sound advice.
     
  5. buckster75

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    would your wife go with you?
     
  6. blackbird

    blackbird
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    I'm "dittoing" Sister Scarlett here! Whats wrong with a male being led to lead a female to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ??!!

    Nothing!

    Not long ago there was a young divorced woman at church who "cornered" me after Sunday Morning Worship in the Church foyer and said

    "Preacher! I want to get saved and I want to get saved NOW!!!"

    Mercy---I didn't run go find the "Women's Club" to touch base with them---see if they would do it for me----right then and there---I led her to repent of her sins and receive Jesus as Savour and Lord!

    And I'd do the same thing if I were at Wal-Mart or Home Depot or in the workplace!!

    Thank you, Sister Scarlett for your Godly wisdom!!

    Bro. David
     
  7. shannonL

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    I would ask the lady if she would mind meeting you and your wife for coffee or something. There you can share whatever you like. Otherwise, back off.
    I could not see my wife telling some fellow at work she is having a hysterectomy. Sounds odd to me. Some people are very crafty with their motives be careful.
    Make sure your "burden" is not lust or something like that. I'm not accusing you of anything but dude there is always an alternative to having coffee with a woman when you are a married man. Even in a public place at work your co-workers, if they know your a married christian man might think it odd that your sitting at a table sipping coffee with a single lady.
     
  8. blackbird

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    Yes, you're right, Shannon----coffee is out---but there are other times other than "Break Time Coffee" to get a "word from the Word" in---true--I would make the "witnessing encounter" as public as I possibly could! Five or six co-workers all in the lounge/breakroom---along with you and the other witnessing encounter---nothing wrong with that, you suppose???

    I mean---you don't want to "back off" all the way and not think of somethin' that would be fitting and appropriate, would you???
     
  9. ccrobinson

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    John, I have no doubts about your motives. I do, however, have doubts about hers. Maybe I'm too suspicious, but the hysterectomy comment seems odd to me, especially since you said that she was an acquaintance. This is not something a mere acquaintance will tell. I would be very, very careful here.
     
  10. buckster75

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    We need to always be careful but I don't think the hysterectomy comment is any red flag. Many people need to share things they have concerns with. Surgery of any kind would fall in this category. Make sure she knows where you stand on the relationship. Witnees often share your experiences about church, the Bible, God. If she is needing private consuling make sure your wife is there or don't do it. Not for you or her but for the gossip it could start.
     
  11. Brother Ian

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    I am of the opinion that something seems out of the ordinary with this situation. I would advise extreme caution. I will echo Shannon and ccrobinson. If this woman is willing to meet with you AND your wife, that's great, otherwise, I think you would be wise to steer clear.
     
  12. John Ellwood Taylor

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    John, I often think about this and over the years found a personal testimony of God's goodness [/QUOTE]
    Agreed, to begin to share the gospel we should witness to how the gospel has applied to our lives.

    I have spoken to the Mrs. about this lady's needs and concerns. She know my limits that I will not go anywhere alone with another lady and that it's ok by her to talk/share/witness to this coworker.

    I wasn't planning on 'going anywhere' (See above about not being alone with another woman) this is why I'm asking about how find an opportunity to witness apart from 'going out' somewhere.
    Not a practical reality as my wife who attends university 30 minutes west of our home and I work 45 minutes northwest of our home.
    I admit I was taken back a little when this lady mentioned her surgery when I simply inquired how her job search was going. She stated she hadn't had much time for job searching because.... I don't think I'm being naive by not reading something into that innocuous answer.
    I am well aware of the potential for temptation when dealing with any member of the opposite sex and my attitude is that having crossed paths at work and becoming aware of her job/health circumstance I see this as an opportunity to share my faith if there is a financial need through our church's fellowship fund (for just such purposes).
    I agree even in public places (including work) we, as Christians, must avoid any appearance of impropriety, seeing as people do talk and assume, Again, that's why I'm looking for thoughts on how to proceed. It's a shame but it's also the reality we live with.


    The former co-worker who is a Christian lady actually works in the office next door and I'm hoping to speak to her and perhaps put her in touch with this lady, One, she is a manager who may be in a position to hire her. Two, a same gender relationship may be best for a discipling relationship.

    I just feel that when the Lord bring people into our lives and express needs we who are able should seek to meet those needs if able and the greatest need of all is a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Being fully aware of my limitations I was seeking to discuss the best approach and have appreciated the discussion so far...thanks
     
  13. John Ellwood Taylor

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    John, I have no doubts about your motives. I do, however, have doubts about hers. Maybe I'm too suspicious, but the hysterectomy comment seems odd to me, especially since you said that she was an acquaintance. This is not something a mere acquaintance will tell. I would be very, very careful here. </font>[/QUOTE]I agree I was taken aback by the volunteering about such information but I do believe it was just a frank response to an inquiry about how her job searchwas going. It's not like she asked me to do the operation ;)
    Sorry, a little levity for such a heavy discussion. We do talk during the normal course of our jobs and she must have felt comfortable enough to share this. Whatever her motive may/may not be, my only motive is to share Christ with someone who does not know Him.

    I am at least able to share her need with my wife so that we can pray for her job/surgery, but again
    the greatest job in the world and the best health in the world is pointless without knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

    I don't knock you for being suspicious, we do live in a sin-fallen world where we must walk circumspectly and above reproach on the precious name of our Savior.
     
  14. DeadMan

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    Been there, done that. Let me give you a piece of advice and I sincerely hope you hear me. Don't mix work and friendships, especially with a woman. First off, your employer wouldn't like too much if he knew you were discussing personal matters on company time. But most importantly, developing any sort of relationship beyond that of a working relationship will (and has) impacted your marriage. Trust me, too many of us, even if it doesn't develope into something more, fall into this and the only person who gets hurt is the spouse. Besides, even though you're motives are honest why have any implication of something ungodly hanging out there for others to see. IMHO, your wife deserves your care, not another woman. That said, if you want to meet with her WITH YOUR WIFE PRESENT to minister to her needs and your wife is willing to put in the effort as well then that is a different situation. But avoid this personal stuff at work. It's like twisting the dragon's tail ... sooner or later he'll turn around and bite ya! Sorry if I sound harsh, that isn't my intention. But I know of what I am talking about; It's not worth it!
     
  15. shannonL

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    blackbird,

    I say back off in the sense that if his wife cannot be present when he is witnessing to this lady then he needs to pray and ask God to send a christian,lady co-worker to do it for him.
    God will honor his desire to do right by his wife and open up another door.
    Your situation was totally dif. Your in the hall of your church and your the pastor. If you took that gal back to your study I imagine you left the door open while counseling her or your wife was sitting right beside her while you did the talking. I trust you did the right thing at that time.
    I know when I was in Bible College I used to just flip out when the married dudes would seem to buddy up or sit by single gals when there were plenty of other seats available. Out of respect for my wife I never sat by, fraternized with or flirted with single women nor do I do it today period.
    For me there are some convictions that I have secured in stone since the day I got married. One is don't give single women the time of day unless my wife is present period.
    John, find a christian woman to carry on from where you are and move on.
     
  16. Bob Farnaby

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    Got to admit, it astonishes me just how paranoid so many seem to be about simply talking with a woman you're not married to. Maybe it's an American thing, but is far beyond my experience.

    There are obvious standards of christian behaviour to follow, such as being public and not deveoping it into an affair (euphonism for adultry). Beyond that, why not talk about Christ and salvation to a co-worker/friend? Why not listen to a co-worker with job related or health problems? - suerly part of our witness is listening to others, let them share their needs/concerns/joys/excitement as we share our knowledge of Christ.

    At various times i talk and listen to my co-workers about our kids, our homes, our spouses, our out of work activities. Sometimes I hear very personal things (obviously not repeated to others) some of which I would rather not know, but is part of accepting the trust they put in me. Listening may well be the only help/support i give them, but how I do that is part of my witness to the non-christians at work.

    My advice/comment .. John, do what you belive the Lord is leading to you, doit openly, do it with a joyful heart, share that joy with your wife.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  17. Scarlett O.

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    Yeah....you know us single women....we're all unworthy of being given the time of day by Christian men anyway! You know we just a bunch of homewreckers.

    I appreciate your respect for your wife, but you don't have to offend single women in order to maintain that respect for her. :rolleyes:

    I appreciate the married Christian men at my church who "give me the time of day."

    They greet me with sisterly affection. I have three married men at my church who have a prayer circle. One pulled me aside at church last year and told me in private that they knew that my school was closing and that three of them prayed for me in their private weekly meetings.

    The married men at my church shake my hand, speak to me, hug me and have meaning dialogues with me at church and when I see them out and about around town.

    If I attended a church where the married men "would not give me the time of day"....just because I was a single woman, then it would be grievously wounded.

    There are soooooo many single people in the church today. Divorced. Widowed. Never married.

    Married people cannot imagine what it is like to live life alone.

    And to feel alone in the church, I can tell you, is an experience most miserable.

    I cannot imagine, for the life of me, a married man at my church looking at me and saying to himself, "I am not going to give her the time of day because she is single and I have to much respect for my wife."

    Peace-
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;

    [ January 19, 2006, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: Scarlett O. ]
     
  18. Bob Farnaby

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    Good to hear they are like that Scarlett, may God Bless tham and you for having a positive attitude towards one another.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  19. John Ellwood Taylor

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    Just a follow up with thanks for all the input:

    I shared this lady's need with my other deacons and they were in agreement to offer a 'love gift' to help meet any financial needs the unemployment and surgery may bring.
    I had a chance to speak with her on her next to last day at work. I shared my testimony of salvation by faith in Christ. I mentioned that salvation is the greatest gift God can offer and gave her the envelope containing the Deacon's Fund gift. She had an idea of what it was and after confirming insisted that she could not except it from people she did not know ( our church members)because she did not deserve it.

    I pointed out that a gift is not a reward for something earned, just like God's offer of forgiveness is a free gift that cannot be earned.
    She continued to explain that she appreciated the sentiment, that she really did not have a financial need (savings in the bank, renting a town house under market value from her uncle, etc.).

    She asked if my wife knew about all of this and I said yes, I had mentioned the thought of sharing the gift and the gospel with her and my wife agreed. I also asked if it was okay with this lady that my wife and I continue to pray for her and her daughter. She said that was fine.

    The conversation continued with her mentioning that she was not a 'religious' person to which I replied God doesn't require religion but a relationship with Him through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
    When I mentioned how God had forgiven my sins, she seemed amazed that I could see myself as a bad person. I replied that in God's eyes we all (self included) fall short of His perfect holy standard.

    While I did not press any further I do continue to pray that the Lord will bless the seed of the gospel that was sown and that He will provide someone to continue to water the seed until it produces saving faith in the woman.

    Again, thanks for all the input, ideas, and concerns.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    (edited after proof reading!)
     
  20. gb93433

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    If people spent as much time winning people to Christ as they did pushing them away our churches would be overflowing.
     

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