internships,
22M 10S

Episode 55: Workplace Evangelism and Not Being Creepy

May 15, 2018

Episode 55: Workplace Evangelism and Not Being Creepy

Julie helps people be better humans; particularly in the workplace. She also leads a workplace ministry that strategizes ways for everyday people to be more approachable, more trusted, and more engaging for the sake of the Gospel.

EPISODE RESOURCES

GO DEEP INTO THE DIMES DROPPED, CONNECT WITH THE SPEAKER, AND CHECK OUT THE LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  1. Instagram: @julieechunggg
  2. Website: https://saddleback.com/works

Episode Quotable

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Episode 55 Transcript

Mingo Palacios:

Welcome to the Purpose Driven Church Podcast where we sit down with leaders in and around the church to discuss current trends and challenges and how the five purposes of the local church matter today more than ever.

Mingo Palacios:

Welcome to the Purpose Driven Podcast. My name is Mingo, your host today. This episode is coming from the platform at a Catalyst Conference 2018 Southern California Mariner’s Church. And like every conference we find ourselves in, there is so much incredible leadership capital that wanders around the lobby and lawn so many times I think we get obsessive about who’s on the platform and I’m telling you there is gold walking amongst you. And today I’ve got that gold sitting in a seat straight across from me by the name Julie Chung. Great to have you today.

Julie Chung:

Thank you for having me today.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, that’s a big introduction.

Julie Chung:

That was big.

Mingo Palacios:

Uh, Julie, you operate in a very unique role inside of Saddleback Church. Your position is the Director of Marketplace Ministry. Is that correct?

Julie Chung:

Yes, that is correct.

Mingo Palacios:

Would you give our listeners just a like one minute elevator pitch about what that role includes or what that role aims at by way of objective, like when they said, “Julie, we want you to do this role.” What was the job description in an elevator pitch?

Julie Chung:

Sure, absolutely. So, workplace ministry at Saddleback Church has existed for like 12 years within the small group paradigm. So that means that their whole goal was how do you build small groups in your workplace? There was a very low cap to that. Our church is what? Something like, I don’t know, 23,000 people and workplace small groups, I think they were hitting a cap of 400. So they asked me to come on board-

Mingo Palacios:

We would measure that as not successful.

Julie Chung:

Well, considering that most people work and most people have a workplace-

Mingo Palacios:

Yes, they wanted to see more impact.

Julie Chung:

It didn’t make sense, right?

Mingo Palacios:

Ok ok.

Julie Chung:

It’s a small percentage of people.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah.

Julie Chung:

So I got to come on board to answer the question how to believers integrate their faith at work-

Mingo Palacios:

That’s awesome.

Julie Chung:

In a practical way. So my personal background is children’s marriage, family ministry, like that has been my jam, my whole, you know, vocational ministry like decade plus, right?

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah yeah yeah.

Julie Chung:

So for me, when God called me, I was like, really? What do I know about this? But what I do know is practical theology is my jam. So how do you actually express out what it is that God has called you to? So that’s what has been my journey for the last two years. Knowing that really deeply, knowing that God, it matters. Our work matters what we do, how we do it matters. Not the agency or the state or the position that we hold. At Saddleback, I think on paper my title is like minister or something like that.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah yeah yeah.

Julie Chung:

But I asked if I could have the role or the title of director. I think it translates better in the marketplace.

Mingo Palacios:

So excellent.

Julie Chung:

I think it makes sense to people that this is what I get to do. I get to help you. I get to lead volunteers in this super important task. How do you reflect Christ character at work?

Mingo Palacios:

Which is kind of a seemingly taboo space to really bring your faith to the forefront in the marketplace. A lot of people would say, “Well, you know, amongst my community, not at work though, because that can be really what if I step on people’s toes? What if people see me as weird?”

Julie Chung:

Yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

But I’m going to highlight something that you said because very interesting that you self determined that your title would not be what they call all people at Saddleback, the minister or pastor.

Julie Chung:

Right.

Mingo Palacios:

You chose director, and I would offer this out to any of our listeners sometimes who you’re supposed to be reaching should affect the way you call yourself, right? Because while inside the organization, it could be so honorable to be called the highest thing, right? Whether that’s I’m a lead of blah, blah, blah, or I’m a senior, blah, blah blah, or I’m an executive, blah, blah, blah.

Julie Chung:

That’s right.

Mingo Palacios:

If the people God’s called you to reach, do not understand what your title is called by on your card or on your email or in your exchange with them, you should highly consider rewriting your title. You should.

Julie Chung:

Agreed.

Mingo Palacios:

Because it’s more human at the end of the day. And the question is, are you called to be effective to the people that you do church with if you’re a professional Christian working for a church? Or, are you really considering who God’s called you to reach in ministry?

Julie Chung:

Yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

So for you, calling yourself a director is so much more powerful for those that you are aiming at reaching inside the workplace.

Julie Chung:

Thanks for affirming that.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. Well, I think it’s high EQ. I think there’s more people who should look at their titles inside of church and say, are we calling this for the sake of recognition inside this circle or are we calling ourselves what we’re calling ourselves so that they might understand what we have to offer?

Julie Chung:

Right?

Mingo Palacios:

I shouldn’t be a pastor of evangelism and culture. That’s what my job title is.

Julie Chung:

Is that right?

Mingo Palacios:

Well, it is. I actually liked that title.

Julie Chung:

It’s a cool title.

Mingo Palacios:

It has absolutely nothing to do with what I do. But here’s what it is for the churches that I’m aimed at reaching, this is like I’m giving you my playbook right now. So evangelism and culture are some of the biggest roadblocks for most churches.

Julie Chung:

Oh man.

Mingo Palacios:

Culture derails churches more often than not, right? Not what you employ, but what actually you allow to happen amidst your leadership. So when they asked me, what do you want your job title to be, which is so crazy, Saddleback, I don’t know if this is a normal thing, did you get to choose your job title? I’m looking inside the air stream and they’re like, “No, that was not me.” So for those of us that were allowed to like figure out what we ought to be called, consider your audience, not just your peers.

Julie Chung:

That’s right. Yeah. One hundred percent. Thanks for affirming that.

Mingo Palacios:

You’re welcome. That tangent aside. Let’s address why a role like yours is so important in today’s culture amongst the local church.

Julie Chung:

Yeah, agreed. Well to understand today, I think we got to go back 40 years and understand. I think the church has done unintentionally a great disservice by dividing what is secular and what is sacred.

Mingo Palacios:

Wow, yes.

Julie Chung:

So I think that our believers, they feel free to worship God, to say yes to the Lord, to fulfill the central calling of what Christ is and for us on Sunday morning. I think that I did a ton of research in those first eight months. I don’t think, I know, our church family is just riddled with fear. Fear of rejection in their workplace 40, 50 hours a week and they’re dealing with questions of integrity all day long and the things that the world calls them to is different. And I think that any believer could say, “Absolutely in and all things for Christ alone.” There’s theory and then there’s practice. You get into your office and then you get overwhelmed and you get taken-

Mingo Palacios:

Stressed out.

Julie Chung:

Oh my God.

Mingo Palacios:

Stuff gets assigned or some stuff gets attributed to you that may not even be accurate.

Julie Chung:

Right. You’ve got to take his for things that aren’t even yours. And so then I sat in that and as I talked to God, “What do you want me to do with this?” And what I know and what I do, how do I help people really practice their faith? And what does that look like? Before you even share your faith, I believe you need to stand in your faith.

Mingo Palacios:

Hey, can we just rewind the tape just to like replay that one statement.

Julie Chung:

Oh good.

Mingo Palacios:

Because it’s seemingly obvious, but it’s practice I think takes a lot of discipline.

Julie Chung:

Oh my gosh. I think Mingo, it takes so much courage. Like, what does that even look like to be able to stand in your faith? And you know what I think, and I’m going to just say it, Christians man, we get it wrong. We get it wrong. We get weird. We try to put the bible on our desk, it don’t belong there. Ok? And I think-

Mingo Palacios:

Your word is hidden in my heart, not displayed on my desk. Right?

Julie Chung:

Unintentionally, I think it becomes adversarial.

Mingo Palacios:

Wow. That’s great perspective.

Julie Chung:

And yes, in and all things, the word all truth is God’s truth. We heard Erwin McManus say that, “All truth is God’s truth.” The character of Christ matters more than I think you being able to memorize or speak of verse. Good for you. How effective is that sometimes?

Mingo Palacios:

How does it apply?

Julie Chung:

Exactly. So that’s actually been my strategy. You know, taking just low hanging fruit. What can you do today? How can you be encouraged today that what you have in front of you is enough?

Mingo Palacios:

Well, you’re giving people permission to build a reputation and build relationships before building a case.

Julie Chung:

I’m calling you to that. I’m calling you to that. If you don’t have the relationship or even or-

Mingo Palacios:

The rep.

Julie Chung:

Right. Then you will not be successful.

Mingo Palacios:

Julie, when you talk to the people you’re hoping to give courage to, have you figured out an easy way that our audience could go, “I believe this. I want to figure out how to incorporate this.” Is there an easy to remember, did you break it into an acrostic?

Julie Chung:

Well of course I did, I’m Saddleback church.

Mingo Palacios:

Give us at least a version of it so that when they hear it, like they would know, “Oh, this is something I can apply.” And maybe some meat behind each of your points.

Julie Chung:

Gosh. Okay. So I love this so much I really can talk hours. I’m going to do my best.

Mingo Palacios:

Good. Well, I only have 20 minutes. But you can give me as much as you’ve got. Go. Thank you timekeepers.

Julie Chung:

I do. I think that it’s an incredible teaching strategy to make an acrostic. I do have an acrostic. Of course I do it’s Saddleback works, w, o, r, k, s is my pathway and it’s a step. But ultimately I think the bigger goal of that is when you engage a person, how do you let them leave you wanting to further investigate?

Mingo Palacios:

That’s a great start. I want somebody to have an experience or an interaction with me in a way that makes them want to come back and revisit me.

Julie Chung:

Yes. One hundred percent. And I think that that if you even start with that being your goal, it gives you permission to be who you are.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s great. Could it be those like trivial as like keeping candy on my desk?

Julie Chung:

It can absolutely be that. So the first strategy and the pathway actually is to wear your faith safely, right? What is a faith signal? So I’m actually in the middle of developing that and practical things that you use at work like phone chargers and USB adapters and things that are just around, writing post it notes, whatever.

Mingo Palacios:

If you are somebody who always had an extra phone charger that would be a solid hook into my soul.

Julie Chung:

That’s right.

Mingo Palacios:

I wander the halls constantly in our office being like “Chargers for the poor? Chargers for the poor?” Just because I don’t have them. Those are gold.

Julie Chung:

Right? And then it’s a safe signal. How can I practically brand that? So, you’re not trying to say Jesus all the time, but people will go, “Oh, you know, he believes something different” or so nonbelievers and believers alike can actually, it’s a safe signal, you know, easy step.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s really good.

Julie Chung:

The next thing that I’m working on right now is an online resource. We went into insurance company websites and it’s pretty solid the work that they’ve done to distinguish the 12 of life’s major events, whether you are CEO or my hairdresser, you will go through these 12 major life events.

Mingo Palacios:

Really?

Julie Chung:

Yes. It’s statistically accurate. I didn’t make this stuff up man.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good.

Julie Chung:

So, rich or poor, man or woman, young or old, you will engage death. You will engage job transitions, things like that. So we’re actually building a resource right now around those 12 of how do you minister to a coworker going through one of those situations.

Mingo Palacios:

So excellent.

Julie Chung:

Right? Again, all pointed towards practical things. You know, so church leaders too, I think we have such great intention, right?

Mingo Palacios:

Of course you want to see people know Jesus.

Julie Chung:

And it makes sense when it’s your church small group to go, “Oh my gosh, she’s going through, Mingo’s going through something. I’m going to bring him a meal. I’m going to sit with him in his house.” That’s not always appropriate if it’s Wendy in accounting.

Mingo Palacios:

Of course. We love Wendy in accounting. We love her.

Julie Chung:

We love on Wendy.

Mingo Palacios:

But Wendy might think it’s creepy if we’re like, “Can we come to your house?”

Julie Chung:

No Wendy don’t want you in her house.

Mingo Palacios:

So to love Wendy well, we-

Julie Chung:

We take things off her jobs. What job can we take off of you? What can we schedule? Can we schedule people taking off things for her? Can we take on some of her hours? Can we give her some of our vacation hours?

Mingo Palacios:

Bring her like a basket of goods. Apply some of our vacation hours to Wendy.

Julie Chung:

Absolutely. Things like that. Can we support her in her role at her job?

Mingo Palacios:

That’s really great. Wow, that seems like wow rocket science. But then you’re like, “Man, well if we’re not doing that, we get a lot of work to do.”

Julie Chung:

Right and we also want to give you things like what is a note look like? Even putting it on your calendar and anniversary. So say that Wendy lost her husband, right? I want you to put it on your calendar. So next year, come this date, send her a note, “Hey, I’m thinking about you on this date.”

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good.

Julie Chung:

Things like that.

Mingo Palacios:

I love that.

Julie Chung:

So that’s my O. The R is reaching your colleagues. So I think the data shows a lot of our people, they don’t know. I think it’s so ironic, right? Like the Great Commission and the call that to share and make disciples and we don’t know how to talk to people about our faith.

Mingo Palacios:

And it’s getting more so that way, the more technology invades our norms.

Julie Chung:

Oh it’s ridiculous.

Mingo Palacios:

We’re losing the ability to look somebody in the eye and have a conversation that feels personable and not awkward or-

Julie Chung:

Yeah or not prescriptive.

Mingo Palacios:

Or not prescriptive. Yeah, absolutely.

Julie Chung:

So this workshop that we’re building, we’ve actually done a pilot launch of it already. How do you share your faith in three minutes and what does that look like systematically step by step. And I think that a lot of our believers, we’ve only, if even, shared our faith, at church. I think it makes me even sadder because I think people say I don’t have a story because they found God really early or they didn’t-

Mingo Palacios:

Right, they disqualify their experience because it’s not like a book page turner.

Julie Chung:

We all know these people, right? Who didn’t join a gang or didn’t steal cars. They think they don’t have a story.

Mingo Palacios:

John Stole cars. John was in a gang.

Julie Chung:

That was before Jesus.

Mingo Palacios:

He does it now in the name of Jesus. How do you think we got this trailer that we’re broadcasting from? Seriously, I’m spilling all his beans.

Julie Chung:

If you found Christ early, junior high, I mean, yay for you. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have struggles, right? And those struggles are your story. So, how do you share that and let them leave wanting to learn more? So that’s a workshop we’re doing. We’re working on a little three minute quiz of how do you assess what is the best community for your work environments.

Mingo Palacios:

Oh nice.

Julie Chung:

I think culturally right now there’s so many different work environments. Not everybody works nine to five at the desk with a cup of coffee and a water cooler. It doesn’t look like that anymore. So we have a few different environments and what can community look like through this test. And then we’re working on some tool kits.

Mingo Palacios:

Dang, it’s all so epic.

Julie Chung:

I know right? I’m busy. What are the things that we talked, wait K, I need to get to the last one. Oh, S simple learning.

Mingo Palacios:

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Julie Chung:

So work simple learning is a curriculum. It’s based off micro learning strategy. So two minute tops.

Mingo Palacios:

Small snippets.

Julie Chung:

Small, snot. I said snot.

Mingo Palacios:

No snot. Small snippets, big impact.

Julie Chung:

Big, big, quick two minutes.

Mingo Palacios:

That should be your byline for that segment. Small snippets, big impact.

Julie Chung:

I love it. Yeah maybe I’m going to write it down.

Mingo Palacios:

I wouldn’t be interested in it if I was like, okay, small amount of time, but big understanding, big revelation, big application, that would be epic.

Julie Chung:

Yes. And then you know, just the gift of God. Speaking through that and giving you what you can with what you have, right, be encouraged. I think that the freedom is knowing that evangelism has to look different at your workplace. It can’t be, hey, did you hear about Jesus? It can’t on this corner with a bull horn? You know

Mingo Palacios:

You want to know what one of my favorite things that we have seen in ministry is, I think of my friend Louis and his dad and Louis’ dad loves Jesus so much so openly. You know what Luis Dad is? He is a the owner of a car auto body and like restoration shop and Louis’ dad obviously has the ability through his business to create both a culture where people can feel that safety to come to him about his faith. He’s not pressing it on people, but Louis, even though he owns and runs an auto body shop, oftentimes will just open the doors to his place, cook a free lunch for the neighborhood that his auto shop is in. All of a sudden there’s a connectedness that didn’t exist because he’s not waiting for them to like come in for an oil change and then blitz them with like, “Well, I’m going to leave a track and hopefully like they read it and are so convicted, they repent of their sins and give their life to Jesus.” But his relational progression is so solid, both with his employees as a manager to the point where like if there are things are falling apart or if the quality of work isn’t up to par, oftentimes he can assess below the surface is probably something happening personally.

Julie Chung:

Deeper, sure.

Mingo Palacios:

And if you trust that he’s a safe place, he’d love to go beyond what the performance is. And you’re like, “I just want you to know if you ever need a conversation, if you ever need a place to stay, if you ever need to like leave work just a little early, what happens nine to five is irrelevant for eternity.

Julie Chung:

That’s right.

Mingo Palacios:

And that should be the perspective for so many of us.

Julie Chung:

I love what you said too, because it makes me feel like the bigger goal of this is I think validates the journey that we’re on. You know, it’s not another checkbox that you get to do. Okay, well I’ve evangelized in my workplace. They know I’m a Christian. Okay, I have this many salvations. Although that is so important, I think I would love workplace ministry for Saddleback Church and the work that I’m doing to be part of the journey to validate who you are. I’m not okay with how many of us feel alone for 40 to 50 hours a week. I think that having one person changes all of that.

Mingo Palacios:

So good. For the people who are listening, who are very aware or maybe convicted by the fact that like this is them in the workplace or for the ministry leaders who were like, “We’ve got to make space in our church to develop a culture that addresses workplace ministry.” How would you suggest they get started in a very simple, like what’s step one?

Julie Chung:

I think step one seriously is forgiving yourself often. Forgiving yourself of that you’re not doing enough. I think even engaging this conversation even thinking about it is huge. How about even saying hello to the mail person that walks by you every single day that you have never ever even glanced up at. I think I actually said that to a volunteer who was just desperate said how do I engage? And as soon as I said, “Can you say hi to somebody that you know, you want-” “Oh, well, no, no, I can’t do that.” I’m like, “Whoa, what just happened? What just happened?”

Mingo Palacios:

If in you is the desire to be like Christ. How about we just be human first.

Julie Chung:

Right. You know, there’s the fruit of the spirit in Galatians, right? Are we reflecting those? Pick the one that makes you cringe the most and work on that one.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s awesome.

Julie Chung:

If you want something to do.

Mingo Palacios:

Step one, give yourself permission to start.

Julie Chung:

To be okay.

Mingo Palacios:

To be okay that you’re not there yet.

Julie Chung:

Absolutely and courage, it takes a lot, it takes a lot, but the one step is just that one step and let it be one step.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s great. I got a question for you if anybody, because we’re coming to the end of the conversation. If anybody wants to get a hold of what you’re working on or come alongside and shadow or maybe learn from the process that you’ve started, while we were sitting together over Easter I asked, “Hey, we should talk about this on the podcast.” You go, “Mingo. I’m not done with it yet so I’m not ready to go.” And I said, “You know what? So many people are not done. That’s the thing. And everybody thinks, you know what? I’ve got nothing to offer because I’m not finished. It hasn’t been written. It doesn’t have a cover. I haven’t released it yet. And I think like if we had more courage to share while we were in process, we’d have so much more comradery as we figured it out together.” So to be able to give people permission to come alongside of you while they’re in process, knowing that you’re in process, how do they do that?

Julie Chung:

Thank you. Thank you for that. Yeah, I am utterly in process. My webpage, saddleback.com/works. It’s called works, but the acrostic I just shared with you isn’t on there because I’m not done what is on. There is a curriculum you can have access to the curriculum videos on there. And I think you get a really good feel of all the research that I spent a ton of time doing. That first year was all learning, all learning the needs of our people and our church family. So all that’s on there too. Um, my email is on there. If you want to connect with me, I think in the next month I’m going to have the assessment up. So it’s all-

Mingo Palacios:

Can other people come and practice and play with that.? Like can I call you can I email you and say, “Hey, we’d love to see if we can send some of that stuff, some of our people maybe through that assessment” Are you going to make that public?

Julie Chung:

Absolutely 100 percent.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s great.

Julie Chung:

100 percent. I want you to please, please, please do. Tell me how you love it.

Mingo Palacios:

Julie wants you to. So you can get workplace Wendy.

Julie Chung:

That’s right.

Mingo Palacios:

We want workplace Wendy to know Jesus.

Julie Chung:

And workplace Wes. Don’t forget about him.

Mingo Palacios:

And workplace Wes, who has a great pair of Chelsea boots on. Who’s got great designer jeans and a gray pair of Chelsea boots.

Julie Chung:

Wow that would be awesome.

Mingo Palacios:

Julie, I love you. I’m so thankful that you are in the ministry place you are. When you feel like it doesn’t matter, remember that it does. And I think that is for all of us because oftentimes we’re drilling down and we’re wondering, “Is this ever going to finish? Is this ever going to have like an end date? Is this actually going to reach the amount of people in comparison to the amount of time I’ve put into it? Is it going to have that kind of impact?” You are where God wants you to be, so keep going please.

Julie Chung:

Thank you.

Mingo Palacios:

We need you there.

Julie Chung:

Thank you. Thank you so much. You too.

Mingo Palacios:

Absolutely. Thanks for listening guys. If this was a great conversation that somebody needed to hear, please share it. It’s so important to share with others that which is fueling you and your heart. So, on behalf of Catalyst Conference and Purpose Driven, we love you. We’ll talk to you guys soon.

Mingo Palacios:

We’d like to thank Purpose Driven Church for making this podcast possible. If you’ve been feeling burnt out or plateaued in your ministry, we invite you to join us for Purpose Driven Church Conference happening this June right here in Southern California. You can learn more and register by visiting PD.church. We hope today’s insights left you feeling inspired and propelled towards your greatest potential. Thanks again for joining us for another episode of the PD Podcast. Until next time.

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