Five elements of a winning attitude

5 Elements of a winning attitude

If you are a pastor you have experienced the frustrating church attender who seems to need you at just the wrong moment.  More often than not, it is when we are our busiest that people want our time the most.  And if not careful we can develop the wrong attitude towards those God has given us the privilege to minister with.  When dealing with people we need to remember that they belong to God and are entrusted by Him to us.  Having the right attitude can really help us meet people’s needs and honour the Lord in this area of our ministry.  What are five elements that help us do just that?

  1. People are never an interruption; they are the reason we are here – Ministry today is more about doing than ever before.  We have programs, time tables and one thousand other things that demand our time and if we are not careful  we forget why we do what we do.  God called us to ministry to people first.  I have to remind myself as I am being interrupted for the, who knows how many times for the day, that if there were not for people I would not be here.  God is not so much interested in buildings and programs as the people those buildings and programs reach.  Having the attitude that people are important to God helps me to have the right attitude towards them.
  1. Empathy – One of the things that we are often guilty of is getting so busy that we overlook the heart and intentions of our people. Returning E-mails and phone calls ASAP helps people to know that you really do care.  Not returning them, tells them that they are not really important to you and unfortunately it just may be the truth showing up.  My pet peeve, has to be when a business advertises that if you leave an E-mail message they will get back to you.  My experience is,  usually that is not the case.  I sometimes wait for days for a response and don’t know if they even got my E-mail in the first place.  The church and a pastor should never be guilty of this.  Put yourself in your people’s (customer) shoes.  They are waiting to hear from you.  They should never have to guess if you got their Email or phone call or if you just don’t care enough to respond.  Reflect a great attitude by getting back soon.
  2. Seeking to understand before you seek to be understood – How often do we really listen carefully.  Most of us have something else on our mind that we are working on while the other person is talking or we are forming our answer without really hearing what they have to say.  Most of us go into difficult meetings with our people with the answer already figure out even if we are not yet sure of the question or problem.  Seeking to really listen tells people that they are important.  This is something I really have to work at.  I have mastered the art of typing at my computer while people are on the phone or even standing right in front of me and trying to tell me something.  Besides being extremely rude it sends a message I just don’t want to send and that anything and everything else is more important that the people I am trying to serve.
  3. Selfishness vs Servanthood – One of the best ways that you can tell people that they are important is to give them what they need to be successful.  Sometimes we have to get in the ditch with them to show them how to win.  More and more, I see Pastor’s who see certain task as being below them.  Now,  that is not to say that we do not need to be careful with our time, but sometimes the best thing you can do for your team, is not to try to shove them through a problem but lead them through it.   Any pastor who thinks he can lead from a distance is in trouble.  We ask our people to sacrifice but are we willing to do so, as well.  It won’t take your people long to figure out whether you’re driving motivation is servanthood or selfishness and when they do, they will be just like you.  How often we complain about our people’s lack of sacrifice when they learned the behavior right from us.  Learn to be a servant of all.
  4. Privilege to serve- how can I help you?” – We are living in a culture and time when the only thing we have to offer as opposed to other churches is “customer” service. People have many great choices of not only where they are going to go to church but now even, how, if at all.  People want to know that they are welcome and are important.  Having the attitude of, “It is my privilege to serve you” changes everything.  How we answer the phone, our E-mail responses , how we greet people at the door, etc.  are all controlled by this attitude or lack thereof.   We need to model this as pastor’s and church staff, so that our people get it as well.  Every person who walks into church should feel that they are the most important person there.  That you are absolutely amazed that they would come and spend time with you and are thankful for them.

Wining with people is never easy, but is always possible.  Most of the time an attitude change make all the difference in their lives and yours.  You can’t control what people will do or say, but you can control how you respond to them.  Develop a winning attitude to help change lives for the cause of Christ.


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