Within the Jewish tradition, there is a teaching that suggests “What I do in business and what I do in the house and what I do in the synagogue should be one” (Manz, Manz, Marx, & Neck, 2001, p. 13). This workplace definition is not new, and can be traced back to “The most popular religious book of the 1920s” (Elmes & Smith, 2001, p. 41) Bruce Barton’s (1924) The Man Nobody Knows. According to Elmes and Smith, “Great progress,” (p. 41) said Barton,
Will be made in the world when we rid ourselves of the idea that there is a difference between work and religious work… All work is worship; all useful service prayer. And whoever works whole-heartedly at any worthy calling is a co-worker with the Almighty in the great enterprise which He has initiated but which He can never finish without the help of men. (p. 41)
Schaff (1968) similarly believed that “As every place, so is every day and hour alike sacred to God, who fills all space and all time, and can be worshipped everywhere and always” (p. 476). Building upon the expanded definitions of Barton and Schaff, the term workplace, can include anywhere individuals are utilizing the spiritual gifts they believe they possess (McGraw, 2003a; Neal, 2000) which include individuals’ communities, places of worship, homes, and organizations (McGraw, 2003b).
Fuller (2001) believed (as do I) that young or old, once an individual is filled with God’s Holy Spirit, they are also given (at least one) charisma to use for the betterment of society. Let’s take a look at how we might go about using our gifts in various workplaces.