Attitude in Children's Ministry

This may seem an unusual article to find in a devotional area of a website. It remains that your attitude definitely plays an important role in your ministry, relationships, and life in general.

There is a lesson I like to use with children when teaching on attitude. First, number each letter of the alphabet. A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Then write the word ATTITUDE vertically on a sketchpad. To the right of each letter write that letter’s corresponding number. Once all of the numbers are written, add them up. 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100 Your attitude makes 100% of the difference.

As pastors and leaders, it makes 100% of the difference in how we respond to difficult situations, compliments, and vision. Though a church may have much potential, a person with a poor attitude will tend to focus on the problems without seeing ways to direct things toward improvement. However, a person with a good attitude will not only be able to find the silver lining in the storm cloud, but also more easily be guided by the Holy Spirit in how to use the storm for growth and vision.

Let’s consider two aspects of attitude. First, lets think about the famous analogy of the glass that is half full or half empty, depending on your perspective. Have you ever come across someone who is constantly complaining or finding fault? Have you ever caught yourself complaining about something that later you realized wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought? Your attitude in daily situations will aid or hinder your overall success in ministry. It will also affect those in ministry around you. So, if you want growth, excitement, and vision to burst forth from your workers, your pastor, your children, then you must have an attitude that enables and empowers that vision.

Second, let’s think about Philippians 2:5-7, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: …taking the very nature of a servant”. Do you consider yourself a servant? A minister is a servant. By his very commission, he is to minister and serve those around him. However, there are some abuses to this concept. Some struggle with the apparent conflict of being a servant and a leader at the same time. Those who try to hoard power over people find it easy to quote this scripture to others without heeding it themselves in order to control a ministry or vision of the church.

Several years ago, someone suggested that I read the book Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend. It’s an incredible book with great insights into setting boundaries in order to have a balanced life at home, in ministry, and the workplace. With a proper attitude and boundaries set for working toward the fulfilling of a vision one can be a leader and servant at the same time.

You’ll find more successes in ministry when you allow yourself the freedom to positively approach difficult situations, take charge, and direct them toward a resolution. You’ll find more successes in ministry when you take a daily check of your attitude. You’ll find more successes in ministry when you minister with a servant’s heart and a leader’s spirit.   

Originally posted in the Children’s Ministry Inspiration Vault. Used by permission.

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Matt Johnson is a pastor at Mars Hill Church and publication manager for Re:lit and Resurgence. He also serves as a leader in Mars Hill's Redemption groups. Throughout the 90s and the early part of the decade, Matt was a traveling musician. Matt met his wife, Rose, at Mars Hill in '97 and they served in music ministry together for over 10 years. In recent years Matt has written music criticism for Paste Magazine, Three Imaginary Girls, Seattle Sound, and Bandoppler. Matt and Rose got married in 2001 and they have two young daughters.