Prior to receiving a job at a University, I worked in the Financial Services sector. In my previous workplaces there were well established Christian workplace groups who met monthly and shared fellowship together.
When I started at the University it took me a year to find another Christian. We started to meet together with one of her colleagues who was also a Christian. Together we got to know each other, prayed together, attempted to find other Christians and explored how we could set up a Christian workplace group at the University. As time went on and through amazing God interventions we managed to find two more Christians. We decided to meet up monthly after work to pray together and it became such a time of encouragement. We tended to each have pretty difficult days in the lead up to our meetings and always came away encouraged and excited for what God was doing in our workplace. Since then we have grown slowly as we found more Christians to join us. I was hesitant to publicise that we existed despite having some encouraging conversations about the group with our University leaders.
In September 2020, I went along to some sessions of the Thrive Scotland conference online. I was really encouraged to hear about workplace ministry and reached out to Ros from Transform Work Uk to talk about what we were doing but also to see where we could go. Ros encouraged us to be bold and explained how the Equality Act 2010 puts religion as a protected characteristic which means that there should not be a negative response to something like a Christian workplace group. We decided to tell people we existed! Since then I have had great conversations with leaders of other staff networks and promoted ourselves a bit more. We got in touch with the newly formed Chaplaincy and linked in with an honorary Christian chaplain to put together an online carol service for the University which came together well and was well received.
COVID has actually meant we have met more regularly, we have grown in number (we are now 10 people), we have agreed our purpose and told people who we are. I am now on the advisory board of the University chaplaincy and hope that I can help to bring a Christian staff perspective to discussions.
Over the years I have learnt about the importance of Christian workplace groups. They provide a place for Christians to gather and encourage one another to be Christ in the workplace. They provide a chance to pray together for leaders, colleagues and for opportunities to talk about Jesus. They are also a great starting point for reaching out with the gospel and providing a Christian voice in the workplace.
God definitely has a plan for the University I work in. For many years it was the only university in Scotland without a chaplaincy. God has opened so many doors and we are excited to see where He takes us.