Thames Water Learning at Work Week
by Dave Law (Transform Work UK Thames Valley Ambassador) and Emily Woodhams–Beazley (Thames Water Christian group)
Have you heard of Learning at Work Week? It is an annual event in May organised by the Campaign for Learning, a national organisation which promotes lifelong learning www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk, to put a spotlight on the importance and benefits of learning and development at work.
This is an initiative that a Christian Workplace Group can take advantage of to raise the profile of the group and to share the gospel. Here is what one group, Thames Water did.
Thames Water Christianity Group was invited to participate in the annual company-wide Learning Week on the theme of Networking. This included a workshop at the Head Office in Reading and the opportunity to share our presentation online for colleagues based at other sites.
We began by drawing parallels between our community at work and life as Christian, with both being dependent on communicating, sharing, challenging and engaging with others on a daily basis. Then we highlighted the key difference between following the complex framework of legislation underpinning the water industry and our one eternal source of truth as Christians: the Bible.
We explored the idea that Jesus’ Great Commission was an instruction to network with others and read Bible verses to demonstrate how the Early Church made this a reality in sharing their belongings and talents as they took God’s word out to new communities. We then proposed that Christianity was one of the greatest examples of networking ever seen and reflected on why it had been so successful; the faith shared by Jesus and his twelve disciples is now lived by two billion people around the world.
The workshop then considered how networks thrive on diversity and how Christianity continues to be a living, growing global network through sharing our time and skills in our churches, in prayer and in meeting practical needs. We concluded by looking at the impact of networking on an individual; as we reach out to others and build relationships, God multiplies our love, faith and understanding, further strengthening the networks in which we live.
At the end of the workshop, the presentation leaders were both asked to share their testimony, which enabled us to give further examples of Jesus being real, relevant and powerful for ordinary people. We signposted further sources of information about Christianity and Why Jesus? booklets were available for participants to take home.
We are thankful for positive feedback and interest from non-Christian colleagues and the invitation to run another workshop in October. These encouragements come in the wake of Thames Water Christianity Group experiencing a time of favour, such as in opportunities to advertise our weekly meetings and being welcomed to sing carols at Christmas. We pray that we will continue to shine God’s light across the Business and hear God inspiring us with new ways to reach out to others and be his living network.