12 Steps To A Healthier Staff Culture: Step 3

Posted by Emily Cummins

Step 3For months, I’d been through countless strategic planning meetings, brainstorm sessions, revisions, long nights, early morning coffee runs, and multiple run throughs for a big event at my church. Game time was quickly approaching and over the course of the following 72 hours, my role would include five local campuses, multiple iPhone chargers, a handful of extra camera batteries, and an itinerary of services to capture stories and photos from.

Bring. It. On.

But on that particular morning, I didn’t want to bring it on. I didn’t want to show up. I wanted to crawl right back into bed, eat peanut butter from the jar and binge on Netflix like it was my job.

I’ve struggled to bleed ink stained words onto paper surrounding this idea, this truth, this way of living centered around the foundational, core reality that my attitude shapes the way I not only see this thing called “ministry,” but also the way I live it out. 

But I know it’s true.

The little eight-letter word we lovingly call “attitude” was the game-changing piece for me that day.

Rather than snuggling back under my covers, I laced up my running shoes and hiked a mountain that overlooked my church and the surrounding city. Immediately, my Creator whispered intimately, lovingly, and passionately into the deepest crevices of my beating heart: 

Baby girl, the cars and houses you see below are filled with people who need to experience radical grace. This city you call “home” is buzzing with brokenness, despair, and hurt. I died for them. And I died for you. I haven’t called you to a job description. I’ve called you to be a woman who introduces people to my Son. I’ve called you to more than tasks, more than a job, more than a position. I’ve called you to be someone so that others can meet me.

I left that mountain a different woman. With the bat of an eyelash, I had unknowingly turned the most hope-filled message I have the privilege of proclaiming into a mentality of exhaustion and to do lists. I had honed in on work, on tasks and itineraries and lost sight of the reason why I was doing all of those things in the first place. I do not work for a building, credentials, a paycheck, flashy lights or for a congratulatory pat on the back. I don’t show up because I have to; I show up because I have the privilege to. I work for one Name, one reason, one purpose: to introduce people to Jesus and help them follow Him.

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My attitude had the potential to cripple me from living out my purpose throughout the course of those 72 hours. But the very example Jesus sets for me is marked by a set-apart attitude, a heart posture, a way of living that proclaims, “It’s not all about me, but I’m going to set the pace for change with me.” Check out what Philippians 2 says:

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” {Philippians 2:3-11}

Attitude? I think it’s spelled a little like this: f-o-c-u-s. When I change my perspective from being me-focused to Jesus-focused, I can show up and be my best no matter what circumstances face me. That volunteer who doesn’t show up for the hundredth time this month leaving you short again in the nursery? Yes, we can love with a healthy attitude because our focus is on Jesus. That staff member who blatantly lies about your husband yet hugs you in the lobby? Yes, we can lead with a good attitude because our focus is on Jesus. That church member who feels the urge to share her opinion on your clothing style just one more time? Yes, we can love with a positive attitude because our focus is on Jesus.

My attitude is set according to where I look. And this girl? When she looks to Jesus, she’s not hiding under a pile of blankets with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon. She’s loving as fiercely as she can and risking becoming the woman God made her to be. Because, yes, serving Jesus is awesome.

Food for thought…
We can either fix our eyes on Jesus or fix our eyes on circumstances. What is your tendency? What steps can you take today to make sure you are gazing at Jesus and glancing at your problems (not the other way around)?

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