How do young people view work? A graduated scale of attitudes toward work might look something like this….
1. Work is something to avoid at all costs. This is an attitude that seems to desire that everything is to be supplied to oneself without any effort. If you withhold it from me or make me work for it, you are being mean and unfair. I deserve it and if others have it, I should have it too.
2. Work is putting in time for money. A job is a way for me to get money. If I show up you need to pay me. This mindset allows me to be on my phone, talk to my friends and stand around not doing anything. It doesn’t matter if tasks are left incomplete or it takes a long time to complete a simple project. As long as I am here, I am technically working.
3. Work is an exchange of time and expertise for fair and reasonable compensation. I will do what is specifically asked of me to the best of my ability as long as I am being paid and feel I am being treated properly. I will work hard, especially if it means I can earn more compensation. If I do not feel I am treated well or paid enough, I will probably look for another place to work.
4. Work is accomplishing the goals and objectives of the employer in an efficient manner. Here the focus is not on me, but on what I am assigned to do. I do not need anyone to motivate me and will apply my energy, creativity and, if necessary, extra time and effort to do a good job and make the business or organization successful. I am a careful steward of time and resources. I feel good about my work when I can see how I am contributing the the vision and mission.
5. Work is God given calling. At this level, I see what I am dong as an assignment from God and will give my whole heart to do it in a way that glorifies Him. My excellent work ethic is part of my testimony. I go above and beyond employer expectations because I am serving God and not man.
Obviously, the ideal situation would be to move each of our mindsets as high up on the scale as possible. Through Streamside’s Service & Leadership Training (SLT) program, we are able to provide first time job experiences for a select group of older campers (ages 14-17). Our goal is to prepare them for the world of work and or ministry by instilling a biblical mindset toward work and giving them practice in both the hard and soft skills of employment while they serve in various roles at camp. In 2017, 13 teens completed the SLT program. We feel that as a result of their experience with us they will be far ahead of their peers when it comes to attitudes and competencies in regard to work.