This is one sign you will not find on the desk of Second chair leaders. As secondary leaders they answer to a primary leader – a boss or supervisor. Second chair leaders often are charged with making decisions within their orbit but they still take direction from someone who has more authority than they do. Second chair leaders have a choice. They can bristle under this arrangement – constantly bucking against the system that has placed them in a subordinate role – or they can embrace their role – strengthening their ministry or organization by bringing transformational influence to the primary decision makers.
There are several ways that we can bring this influence. Here are just a few:
1. Focus. You may have a variety of tasks and assignments that you are given and you will need to diligently work toward the successful completion of all of them, but don’t jut dabble in several things. Focus on a few areas and learn what you can about them. Become the ‘go-to guy’ on a few things that will contribute to the whole team. It might mean learning a technical skill that is missing from the staff (video editing or web design) or building a network of resources from other churches and organizations to borrow or purchase equipment.
2. Learn. You don’t need to get a Phd. Subscribe to (and read) the blogs of some of the best minds in ministry. There are some great leaders and teachers online that are sharing their best ideas and resources – often for free. It used to be that you would only get these fresh ideas and concepts if you attended a major training event. Not anymore. You can go to school every day. I’ve learned more about small groups in the past two years than I did in the previous twenty.
3. Trust. This is about being a person of character. If you’re primary leaders don’t trust you or the information that you share then you can have no influence. Do your homework. Make sure that the information you present is trustworthy. Then make sure that you are trustworthy. Disagreements and conflicts must be dealt with in a biblically appropriate manner. Keep your word. Be on time and get your work done when promised. Trust is earned and once lost is almost impossible to recover.
4. Serve. Go the extra mile and volunteer to serve in areas that are not directly in your job description. Demonstrate that you support the other members of the team by giving of your time to help them out. Occasionally, you may need to yield the calendar to their event and either postpone or cancel your event.
By doing these – and others – you will help to influence the ministry culture of your church. Your advice or opinion may even be sought from time to time.
What are some other ways that second chair leaders can bring influence to their church or organization?