I realize this will be a controversial post. What you're about to read is my best sense of direction for myself, and I'm not saying you need to be like me. This is meant to comfort, inspire, and maybe confirm some things for those who have a similar call to be a bit under the radar in the evangelistic sense.
What I'm talking about is making an impact via your business in the secular arena, without shouting from the rooftops that you're a Christian and scaring all the ones who've been wounded by religion.
What we normally think is that we have to be overt about it, we have to push our agenda or we've wasted an opportunity and someone doesn't get saved. I'll share some business stories that might take some pressure off.
In my main business, Freedom Flowers, I attract a lot of new agers and wiccans. This is an inner healing business and I believe that the more healed we get, the easier it is to see truth. My method of making the essences is straight out of Genesis 1 and everything is prayed over. I and my intercessor have prayed that every customer comes to a greater understanding of who God is.
I had been working with a client on some issues and she had gotten past the things that she had come for help with, so she just wanted some fine tuning. She said she wanted something to help her meditate. So we picked out some flowers together to help her get quiet and present. She got back to me later and was very excited. During meditation, she had, and this is a direct quote, "a come to Jesus moment." She described what I've heard from so many, about waves of love pouring over her and washing away any barriers. She said she had never experienced anything like that.
While we're on the subject of meditation, a Dream Venture student texted me one day and said "They wanna play my music in the Buddhist monastery for meditation! I don't know what to say to that!"
I replied, "You say you would be honored and that it was your intention that the music be used for spiritual pursuits." If Buddhists want to listen to Christian worship music, for heavens sake, let them!
I was cleaning out my house and came across some art supplies that I had collected to do a particular piece that I had a vision about. I'm artistic, but never felt like it was my main thing that I needed to do in life, so this project had been on the back burner. I realized that I had to let it go. If it came up again later for me, I would go buy supplies and bring it to life, but now there was no time.
I know an artist who was making a living doing some demonically inspired pieces. I gave her all my stuff, knowing full well what she would do with it, or so I thought. I didn't pray over it, I didn't attach any conditions on the gift, either verbally or in the spirit. I just gave it. Kinda like Papa did when He gave her the gift, knowing the direction she would take with it. She was happy, I was happy, I forgot all about it.
A month or so later, I see on Facebook that she had exactly recreated the vision I had with the materials I gave her. I never said what I had intended to do, but she did it. Perfectly.
I realized I had to buy this.
Easier said than done. She said "I can't take money. It's too Holy. It's Jesus!"
Suddenly I'm having to have the same conversation I have with so many who are on the edge about using their gifts to make a living. "Yes, you need to charge for this. No, you're not charging for the anointing. You have time, materials and overhead, not to mention what it's taken you to hone your skills. If you don't charge, you'll have to go to work elsewhere and your gift will not be used. It's an honor for me to be able to pay you for what you do..."
I will never be the Christian who doesn't bake the cake for the gay couple.
We get so afraid that if we're not in their face going "Jesus Jesus Jesus" then we're a failure, or worse, we're aiding and abetting. If what you do is a part of you, and you release that by the Spirit, then that piece goes with them and you have a measure of influence there. Jesus in you has a measure of influence there. Your products and services have impact.
The first part is easy. Respect people's free will. Give them what they are asking for. I know you probably will not be able to apply that advice across the board, but for the most part, it's not your business what their intention is with whatever you offer. If you are not the supplier, someone else with less light will be. I used to have a very hard time with this. However, you saying "no" ends the conversation.
Next, don't allow them to put you in a box. Don't allow yourself to be lumped in with every other judgmental Christian who doesn't accept them. If you show your cards too quickly, before you establish some trust, you're going to have a very hard time.
The third part is not so easy and requires a lot of religious deprogramming. You need to adjust your language and your intent so that you can have a spiritual conversation without them throwing up a wall. If you'd like to learn how to present God's heart to people outside the church, I'd highly recommend an internship at Now Interpret This to help dechurchify your delivery and approach. Apply here.