In the last decade, there has been a great emphasis on attitude. A quick Google search using the keyword “attitude” will bring up articles from well-known publications like Forbes, Time Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. Many have written about the importance of having a good attitude while interviewing for a job or in the workplace. There are articles on how our attitude affects our relationships. Some articles talk about having a winning attitude. Other articles emphasize having a disposition for teamwork and how our attitude affects our success.
Winston Churchill is quoted saying –
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference!”
We might consider our attitudes to be a little thing. We might even overlook our attitude and therefore not understand the impact it has on others. It is important to ask ourselves questions like: How is my attitude towards certain students? How do I feel about other church leaders? How do I feel about youth group? These questions can help pinpoint where we are and how we feel toward ministry. The answers to these questions will reveal important things about us that impact our ministry. If my answers reveal that I am biased towards some students then I need to recognize this and understand why I have this biases. If I ignore or overlook other students then I need to reassess my motives and reread James chapter 2. If I have a problem with a church leader that remains unresolved because I neglected or ignored the problem or person I need to examine my spiritual life and growth. If I describe youth ministry as a burden or a cross that I have to bear then it might be time to evaluate my role in the ministry.
If thoughts have a huge bearing on our attitude then what thoughts should we entertain to have a great attitude? We can turn to the Bible for the answer.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. – Phil.4:8
We can clearly see that our thoughts are the key to our attitude. What we think about people and the way we approach ministry have a direct bearing on our attitude.
If our attitude is contagious, then we need to recognize that our students will be infected and affected by it. Additionally, they will internalize it and infect others. A student with a bad attitude can be manageable. A group of students with bad attitudes will leave you reaching for the headache medicine. So let us be conscientious of our attitudes and what is behind these attitudes. The right attitude can edify the life of a student and build a thriving youth group. The wrong attitude can destroy them both.