About Steeples, Cubicles, and Us …


Office buildingPrologue …

I spent my early career being constantly reminded that church and work do not mix.
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What I did on Sunday morning was separate from the offices, cubicle farms, campuses, and hotel meeting rooms which filled the rest of my week. 
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This message was repeatedly and forcefully by co-workers, supervisors, and in the media of those times, with few voices offering a different view.   Some memorable experiences with overzealous colleagues of various faiths which served to reinforce my view of this separation as necessary. 
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The Times They Are A’Changing …

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Then I got a job with a national social services agency which was directly affiliated with the denomination to which my adult spiritual journey had led me.  Suddenly faith, spirituality, and religion were a vital and positive part of my daily experiences, every blessed day of the week … and it was good.
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While we were a Christian organization, our employees included people from a variety of faith traditions, as well as those who claimed no faith at all.  We were passively multicultural and interfaith.  All in all, this was a very good experience.
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Today, most of us find ourselves in diverse workplaces, where folks with all matter of faith backgrounds work together in organizations which usually do NOT ascribe or affiliate with a particular religion.  The number of articles and even books being written on the subject of faith within the work environment is growing and interest in integrating our personal faiths and our professional identities is growing.
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Recent events remind us that some organizations and people ARE overtly religious, sometimes in ways that slant toward one particular faith or even denomination.  The case law is growing around legal remedies to insure that when faith enters the workplace, it does so in a non-problematic way.
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However, this post is not about legal frameworks or how to convert employees to your beliefs, but about how we all might live our faiths in the workplace constructively, collaboratively, and positively.
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Your Mission, Should You Accept It … 

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Mike Henry Jr.
Mike Henry, Sr a good friend and a dedicated leadership development expert, has made significant and positive differences in the areas of character-based leadership and professional identity for those of us who strive for transformational leadership development.
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Over the years, I have repeated been rewarded for my association with Mike by experiencing through his wisdom, joy, and positive thinking, along with the opportunity to connect with many other fine people and groups through him.
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Mike is conducting research on “Faith in the Workplace and he needs your comments.  Here is Mike explaining why he is doing this:
  
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Is Faith Relevant?

The goal of this effort is to challenge Christians to be more eternally relevant in daily life. Can we, individually, have a greater positive impact in the world.  That doesn’t mean that I hope to convert more people to faith or to even to attempt to convert them. I hope to encourage people to be their best in the world, regardless of their beliefs. I believe our best is what makes us influential, attractive, people others want to support.  Our best is where we have purpose and make a difference. But I also believe, as someone who follows Jesus, my best is tightly connected with my faith in Christ.

Therefore, my goal is that my personal faith would make a bigger positive difference in my corner of the world, and help anyone else with a similar goal.

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FAQ’s …

No, it does not matter where you work now or have worked … varied workplaces and perspectives are helpful.
 
No, you do not have to be a member of a particular faith or denomination … while the focus of Mike’s work is on the Christian faith, your perspective is valuable, whether Christian or another tradition, practicing or not.
 
No, you do not have to jump through hoops or spend hours answering questions … Five to ten minutes to complete the survey, including demographic information and the option to enter a drawing.
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This is an opportunity to add your experiences and thoughts to the creation of useful and needed information about a significant aspect of people working together in our shared workplaces.  
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We can talk about church, religion, spirituality, and faith differ and how they might best appear in the workplace.
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Well, keeping faith OUT of the workplace has not made things noticeably better, so …

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I have participated in Mike’s survey and I hope you will choose to do so as well.  Links to more information and to the survey are below:
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Thinking hopefully about improving workplace environments in the Heartland ….

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John

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