Today I was thinking back to a lesson God taught me in 2009. A lesson that was hard. A lessen that is still hard at times. I say a lesson I learned as if there is no more learning, but the truth is I continue to get lessons in how to “play second chair”. In an orchestra one of the hardest “positions” to play is the second chair. Everyone wants to play first chair. It’s a privilege to play first chair, it shows that you are the best, you’ve worked. But an orchestra can not be filled with everyone playing first. Someone needs to play in the second chair. With out second chair there is no harmony. Each position is needed for the results of the playing to be beautiful.
Well over 10 years ago God called me into Women’s Ministry and I went. I had no idea what I was doing, but God did. God taught me so much about myself and about Him. I learned that through Him I can do that which He calls me to do. I learned that I can lead when I learn to follow Him. I had never thought I was a leader. I never pursued any kind of leadership position, but God showed me that in and through Him I could.
God then called me into something else. But, God did not call me into another leadership position. He called me to support those who were leading. It was a difficult time going from leading to supporting. God wanted to use this time to show me the truth of my heart. He held a mirror up for me to see that my real struggle was no longer being in a leadership role. God wanted to teach me how to play second chair.
It was about the same time that I read a book called Jesus on Leadership and one of the things I learned was that you can’t learn to lead well until you learn to serve well. I remembering reading that thinking, “I can follow or I can lead, it doesn’t really matter”. But that is not really what was being said is it? Following is different than serving. What I really need to learn is to lead by serving.
Jesus led by serving. Leading by serving is about dying to ME. Dying to what I want. It’s about dying to what makes me comfortable. Dying to the flesh. It’s about desiring and doing what Jesus calls us to.
Leading by serving is learning to put others above yourself. It’s about caring for those serving with you and jumping in to help. It’s about a willing to work along side your team. To have a servants heart means that I will care deeply about those I serve with and shepherd them. I will care for them spiritually, emotionally and physically. I will pray with them and for them.
As I think back I have come to understand that whether I play the position of first or second chair I need to have a servants heart. The second chair is still in a lead role and must set the example for all those following in other positions. In fact if the “lead chairs” are harmonizing, making beautiful music the others will follow.
Can you imagine a leaderhip team that is in perfect harmony with Jesus and one another? Oh the things that they might accomplish!
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
Image credit: By satit_srihin, published on 05 December 2012 - Stock Photo - image ID: 100124489
This blog was originally posted on 7/31/2013 over at Beloved Truth.