19/03/2008

Thank God it's Monday (by Mark Greene)

I had never heard of Mark Greene - apparently he used to work in a big advertising company, and now works for London Bible College. I came across this book because my son needed it for one of the modules he took in a theology degree course. He said it was well worth reading.

'Thank God it's Monday' was written in 1994, and updated subsequently. At the time, it was probably fairly radical in its thesis: that most ministry takes place in offices, and factories, and other Monday-to-Friday workplaces. These days I think more people have realised this, even if churches do seem, sometimes, to consider their full-time ministers and missionaries as having had a higher vocation than those who are in paid jobs.

In a way, it reminded me of the excellent 'Church that Works', although that goes much further - suggesting that Sunday morning gatherings are really unimportant in the scheme of things. Whereas this book looks more at what happens in the workplace - how Christians can and should behave if they are to be 'salt and light' in the world.

I found it a good read - it's peppered with anecdotes about people at work who respond well - or not so well - when confronted with problems. It shows how important it is to have integrity, not to go with the flow, and to have respect for others in the workplace. There are hints about how to share the gospel message directly, but always in a low-key way, after building friendships, and looking for suitable opportunities to bring the topic up, rather than being pushy.

I don't think I learned anything new or challenging through reading this book, but then I don't go out to work, so a fair bit of it isn't relevant to me, although the principles certainly still hold. Nevertheless, I kept reading, which is perhaps a testament to the writing style, which is light but interesting, and the anecdotes and stories which helped to keep it interesting.

I didn't read it in one sitting - I read about a chapter a day for a couple of weeks. It would have been a bit repetitive to have swallowed all at once, but in small portions it worked well, reinforcing concepts day by day.

Recommended to any Christians struggling with ethics or colleagues at work - or, indeed, to any wondering how they can be more of a witness to Christ during the week.

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