Welcome to our newest blog feature – Profile. Here we hope to feature some of the faces you’ll see around Harvest City Church and dig a bit deeper into who they are and how they live for Christ in their daily lives.
How long have you been married?
How many children do you have?
We have 3 children: Megan (14), Jotham (11) and Lily (3).
What do you do for a living?
Chris: I’m a Registered General Nurse, working as a Practice Nurse in a doctor’s surgery.
Jason: I’m a Premises Assistant at the Medical Research Council, Leicester University.
How long have you been partners at HCC?
Since the beginning! 12 years and counting…
How did you decide to get into your current profession?
Chris: When I was finishing school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but there were quite a few nurses in the church at the time, so I decided to try that. I started working in a small Christian residential home as a weekend job to see if I enjoyed it, and then worked full time until I was 18, which was the age you were able to start nurse training. After qualifying, I worked in the hospitals, then in the community as a district nurse and finally was able to get a job in a doctors’ surgery and that’s what I’ve been doing for nearly 16 years.
Jason: I’ve been a premises assistant at the Medical Research Council within Leicester University for just over a year now. Before I started my current job I was self-employed and used to doing handy-work, so a caretaker type of job was what I felt I was most suited to. I tried my hand at a few other things which managed to keep some money coming in, but Chris saw an advert for the premises assistant which seemed to be right up my street. The problem was that it was part time. Still, I felt it was right to go for it and I got the job! Within 6 months they offered me a full time position. Unlike other jobs this enabled me to attend all church meetings. Over this last year they have been pleased with my work and have given me a bonus (which in the current climate in the civil service sector does not happen!) and next month we will be able to pay off our first fruits with it! God has really looked after us over this period.
What has been your biggest professional challenge?
Chris: It’s difficult working in a profession that is aimed at being non-judgmental about people’s lifestyles and behaviors. Often you are placed in the role of helping and advising people with health conditions and social situations which their life choices have put them into, but you are unable to say what you would really like to say. You often want to share your faith, and even encourage them to live how God wants people to live, but you are bound by a code of conduct that prevents you being open with people. Occasionally I have shared that I go to church, but you cannot do any more than that unless the person invites you to. It can be very frustrating at times, especially when you know what a difference God would make in their lives.
Do you find it easy/hard practicing your faith within your industry? If so how?
Chris: I have found working alongside non-Christians on occasions difficult. Generally you want to get along with people and involve yourself in the team, but at the same time you want to show you are different in how you live; not gossiping, not falling out with others, working to a high standard, etc. It’s sometimes difficult finding the right balance. I have just come to accept that the best way is to be open about my faith, my church, and my viewpoint, whilst accepting that others generally will not share my views. I’m hopeful that maybe one day someone may want to know more.
Jason: Quite a few people know that I am a Christian at work so I’m always aware of my actions/reactions and sometimes I have to check myself so as not to let God down. I thank God every day for my job because I know that He has placed me there for a reason. Conversations do arise now and then, but I only talk about it if they ask. On one occasion we had to write on a board ‘the person who we would most like to meet’ and without thinking I wrote ‘Jesus’. For about a month the name of Jesus was loud and proud on this board for all to see and every time I saw it, it made me smile!
How do you juggle being involved in church, family and work?
Chris: Work isn’t too much of a problem with the family, as I’ve always worked, even when the children were just a few months old. I do occasionally struggle to get the balance right between being involved in church and being too busy with church that I neglect my family. I have found when things have become too much it is usually because I have stopped spending time with God and I’m running on my own steam. But if I make the effort to sit down with my Bible and spend time in prayer each day things run more smoothly and I’m usually more pleasant to be around as well. I have decided this year to give my all to church and family as much as possible so that my children can benefit from being in a fantastic church, and also so that they can see me as an example at home. Being prepared in advance for things like church meetings, work and school is essential to avoid chaos and stress, but when things don’t go as planned I have learnt to just let things go and try to be more relaxed about it.