Spirituality at Work

Spirituality at Work

CD regards Spirituality in the Workplace as being not just about spiritual activities such as prayer and devotions, nor just the demonstration in isolation of principles such as forgiveness, but also about the integration of our beliefs and values into how we do things – into our professional excellence. Our understanding of Spirituality in the Workplace therefore resonates closely with our views about Christian organisational identity.

Some Christian agencies may be professionally excellent but at the same time they may have lost sight of their spiritual roots and passion. Examples are:

  • The long-standing Christian organisation that has over time been losing its emphasis on Christ-centredness due to either a loss of focus or external secular pressures
  • A lack of integrity – the inner workings of the organisation are not consistent with the image portrayed to the outside world
  • A lack of care – the culture of the organisation does not reflect overarching attitudes of unconditional acceptance, care and forgiveness.

Other agencies are very spiritually passionate but not professionally excellent, for example where there is such a strong focus on the spiritual that the organisation loses touch with people issues. Both aspects – spiritual passion and professional excellence – are needed in balance.

In our view an organisation’s spirituality can be enhanced by the spiritual activities it encourages and enables. In the same way that an individual Christian may pray, read the Bible and attend times of worship with others, these are also important ‘enablers’ for retaining the “corporate” spiritual life of a Christian organisation through group devotions.

Spiritual activities within the workplace may include such things as prayer, group devotions, having a chapel or quiet room, running Alpha or ‘Christianity Explored’ courses for staff to access. While important, just having spiritual activities like these will not make an organisation distinctively Christian. They are, but the results of such spiritual activities will need to be in alignment with its leadership and supervisory behavior, the work that is done, and internal relationships.

An example is how some organisations use prayer and devotional times in the workplace. Joint devotions provide a platform for unity and reconciliation in the bond of love. One purpose of corporate times of prayer can be to seek God and hear from him – to find guidance and direction for the work. Whilst we acknowledge that the act of prayer does impact and change situations, we have found that a conscious connecting and integrating of the outcomes into the relevant part of the organisation can further increase impact. CD’s research suggests that many organisations have seen a need for help in this area, and have experienced profound impact after workshops focusing on listening to God.