What It Means to Lead From the Second Chair

Dr. Jon Chasteen talks with Gateway Church Executive Senior Pastor Todd Lane about what it means to be a leader who serves the vision of another leader.

Todd Lane is the lead executive senior pastor and an elder of Gateway Church. Under Pastor Robert Morris’s leadership, he leads the organization in executing Gateway’s vision and developing strategies to effectively minister to as many people as possible. As one of the elders, he helps provide spiritual and fiduciary governance.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Todd’s an amazing leader. He is come out of the marketplace. He was in the business world, led a company in New Zealand for years, transitioned to Gateway back when it was in its infancy so to speak and has really been a part of Gateway for many, many years and has watched it grow and grow and grow and become one of the leading churches in America and we’re just pumped to have him and really the idea of today’s podcast is we want to talk about the role that he sits in because even as a lead pastor myself, sometimes there’s a first leader and then there’s this other group of leaders and there’s amongst our listenership, 95% of you are probably not lead pastors or senior pastors or CEO’s or presidents. Most of us are VP’s, most of us are associate pastors or executive pastors or care pastors or kids pastors. The way I want to identify with that person today is by talking about the unseen leader. Everyone sees the first chair. Everyone sees the person in the corner office, everyone sees the person on the stage every week preaching and it’s almost as if the person in that role is assumed to be a leader. That everyone just kind of has this safe assumption. Well, they’re on a stage, they must be a good leader.

They have a corner office, they must be a good leader and 90% of the time that’s probably true but this other role that we’re talking about, this unseen leader, the leader that has no stage, the leader that rarely is on the stage with a microphone, the one who doesn’t have the corner office, it’s as if this person must earn their role of leadership with no light shining on them. I think that we couldn’t have picked somebody better to come in and talk about how do you do that because even in our… How do we overcome that? How do we overcome the insecurities of that and how do we lead well when no one’s watching? How do we lead well when no one is noticing us? Todd, I’ve talked way too much already. I’m pumped to listen to you talk about this. First before you do just talk to us about your role at Gateway, kind of tell us what you oversee, just kind of give us a framework so all of our listeners know kind of who we’re dealing with here.

Todd: Sure. Well, I’m honored to be on the podcast. Thanks for having me. My role is really to take the running of the church off of and out of the minds of our senior pastor and lead senior pastor Robert Morris and Jimmy Evans and so my role here at the church is to oversee our staff. We have around 600 on staff at Gateway church and I give oversight and direction to that team, making sure that the vision that God’s given Pastor Robert, our elders, Pastor Jimmy gets worked into execution and so when I think about just even my own evolution as a leader and for everyone out there, the idea from leading from a second chair or any chair that’s not the first chair and managing any insecurities and all of that, it really has to start with a very fundamental question that is what’s your motivation? Why are you wanting to lead and for those who are listening that are in ministry, I know some people listening may not be in ministry, you’re in the marketplace but if you’re in ministry, what’s your motivation? Jesus modeled… Leadership to Jesus was serving. That’s what he said, “I came to serve and not to be served.”

For any leader and so first chair at any chair but if I’m talking about behind the scenes, the only thing that makes it possible in a… Let me just talk about the church as an industry. A lot of people won’t want to hear it like that but in a line… You’ve got the marketplace, you’ve got education, you’ve got healthcare, these are industries. The church is an industry. I’m not trying to make it non spiritual but in this world you have preachers and pastors so you have the visible people that are out there and they are responding to their calling. God’s given them a calling, he’s given them a gifting, he’s given them a burden, an anointing and the question is has he done that for the rest of us?

Jon: That’s really good.

Todd: Has he given us a burden, an anointing, a gifting and of course the answer’s yes. What I have wanted to respond to my whole life was God, what’s your calling in my life? I want to serve you and I think anybody is trying to find those two things. God what’s your purpose in my life and how do I serve you and best accomplish that and so everybody has to ask this question. If I’m serving the Lord and God’s granted me the possibility to do that vocationally or even if it’s non vocational, I’m responding to God and I want to serve him. Is my motivation serving? Therefore, whatever chair God puts me in, I’m happy because I’m serving him. I know there’s aspects to it of then in our humanness, how do we work through the man, okay I have to learn how to lead in an organization or an industry where so much is put on the person whose seen. The senior pastor carries so much and again depending on people’s expectation of church so if they grew up in a church of 100 people the senior pastor did everything.

Jon: Did everything.

Todd: They were not just the person who was seen, they were seen on the stage, they were seen at the hospital, they were seen doing the weddings and the funerals and all that kind of stuff.

Jon: Some of our listeners are the first chair, second chair, third chair and fourth chair.

Todd: Exactly. They’re like, “Wait a second? There are more than one chair?”

Jon: Right, right.

Todd: There is one chair. As churches grow at various stages obviously there’s any number of chairs but for Gateway what’s happened over the years is there’s just a need to spread out how we serve people and that can’t all be carried by Pastor Robert or Pastor Jimmy, the person on the platform. All of us stepping up into serving and how God’s called us, he’s wired us, that’s I think what we’re all trying to do and what my response has been.

Jon: Each leader kind of has this mantle, this weight, this burden, that’s placed on them. I remember when I used to be a campus pastor, I remember sitting back and going, “Man, I wish I was a senior pastor. All you got to do is show up and preach man. That’s all you do.” Then I became the lead pastor. I was like, “Wait a minute. This is heavy.”

Todd: That’s not all they do.

Jon: This is heavy. I’m not discounting the weight of any leadership role but it is a different weight. There’s a different weightiness to it and so there’s a weightiness to lead pastor. Talk about the weightiness to this second chair, to this executive pastor role and just for a second let’s kind of get specific because I know there’s lots of chairs but let’s kind of talk to that second chair, that executive pastor for just a second. What does that weight feel like? What is it like?

Todd: Well, in our context and so let me just give a little bit of history for Gateway because I’ve been at Gateway since 2002 and so the point in saying-

Jon: And it started in?

Todd: It started in 2000 so Gateway was about two and a half years old when I got here and the structure was really already in place that provided the opportunity for our senior pastor to… Robert Morris to be able to focus his effort on leading and feeding. That’s really how he would summarize it. I lead our elders, I lead our leadership team and I feed the congregation so in that model then how you take all the other things that are part of pastoring a congregation and all of that kind of stuff, you put systems in place and you have to know how to organize, administer, pastor, develop people and do all of that under a very clear empowerment where a senior pastor is able to go, “These are all the stuff that need to get done and in various seasons of life Pastor Robert would be engaged at different levels but as his responsibilities grew and what his role in leading the church and a growing ministry outside of Gateway, that causes other people to have to stand up and step up and lead in the areas the church needs to be felt in the lives of people, how we’re serving people.

Specifically, I think one of the greatest challenges that any second chairperson has is being able to lead effectively but submitting their vision to what the vision of the senior pastor is. If there’s any stories of train wrecks, it’s usually the second chair person whose been empowered but suddenly thinks, “Wait, I’ve got a vision here.” And they take that empowerment and maybe it doesn’t ever start out with that ill intent but suddenly a little… The weeds are there and they begin to grow in their heart and suddenly go, “Well look at the leadership responsibilities I’ve been given. Look, people are following-“

Jon: Looking to me.

Todd: And they’re looking to me and maybe I’ve got a little bit different vision and especially the larger you get and the more empowerment and responsibility that’s given to the second chairperson because the senior pastor has so many other responsibilities and weight that he’s carrying. He needs the weight of running the staff to go to someone else. Then the real, the danger and where the enemy wants to come in is to say, “Look how people are following you.” It’s a constant submission, constant submission and again, all of us should be doing that. We’re submitted to the house, we’re submitting to leaders that we’re under but I think the particular challenge as you grow in leadership in an organization where you are not the visionary and God didn’t anoint you to be the leader of that house then always check in your heart to make sure am I fully submitted to the senior pastor and as I’m wanting to execute. My role is to execute the vision that God’s given him and so if I find myself down a road where I go, “You know we haven’t really talked about this,” and I’ve got a vision for this now in a particular area then I’m going to take and run this, to me it’s always been, “I got to go back and double check.

Pastor Robert, is this your heart? If I go down this road how does this feel to you and constantly submitting that and that’s to me probably the biggest challenge and really when I’ve seen train wrecks it’s been second chair guys who really in their heart want the first chair or maybe it didn’t start that way but as it grew they went, “I could be doing this,” and boom, it derails.

Jon: Yeah, it’s almost like the difference between how David submitted to Saul and then you turn around and you see Absalom and what he did to David.

Todd: Yeah, that’s right.

Jon: It’s totally, totally different in the direction of that.

Todd: That’s exactly right.

Jon: If there isn’t a second chairperson, an unseen leader, an executive pastor out there who’s feeling this tug of okay, I got a different heart, different vision, different plan. I disagree with where the lead pastor’s taking this church, what would be your advice to them?

Todd: Keep an open dialogue. I think one of the… Because here’s the thing. There may be second chair guys that God is calling to go pastor a church.

Jon: Absolutely.

Todd: Well, great. Go pastor the church.

Jon: Stop dividing the church and go.

Todd: Go do it but submit it, you know? That’s the thing. Keeping an open dialogue and a conversation and this may be shifting to something a first chair leader can do to help a second chairperson but inviting an open conversation. I will say one of the things that has been the health that Pastor Robert has brought to this house is he just holds everything and everybody with open hands he goes, “You’re God’s. Everything is God’s. Everything I have is God’s. Because of that I,” and I’m speaking as pastor, “I don’t own you, I don’t… If God’s calling you to do something else, great.” What that invites and should invite is an open dialogue. If God’s stirring something in the heart of any leader who’s under the vision of someone else then have a conversation.

Jon: Trust.

Todd: The trust has to be there, and you have the conversation and again, it may just be I need to talk about something that’s… It may just be a seed right now. It’s just a thought. I’m not saying I want to go do it but can we talk about it? Because you may need to get more training in an area, you may need to grow in certain areas and if the senior pastor wants it to happen, great. There may be some senior pastors that go, “You know what?” And because of the danger that I mentioned earlier that can happen in a second chair, that senior pastor may go, “You know what? I want that for you but that can’t happen in this role,” because the danger of it is if that’s in the heart of the second chair, it can divide the church even unintentionally because the enemy’s always looking for ways to divide and so anyway the point being I think all of us, we’re wanting to do what God has called us to do and if you’re sitting in any chair other than the first chair and you feel like God’s calling you to do something else, then go do it but don’t divide the current church. The only way you do that is by keeping the conversation open, transparent, honest.

Jon: Let me switch gears and this is something I really want you to talk about because this is something that you are well aware of, and you’ve walked through this. One of my favorite books of all time for our listeners out there is by Sam Chan. It’s called Leadership Pain but it just talks about pain and pain comes with leadership and one of the things he says is if you’re not bleeding you’re not leading and never trust a leader without a limp that hasn’t been through something and the second chair, this unseen leader, many times is very used to pain, very used to conflict because it’s difficult at the top too. The first chair has to make tough decisions but many times decisions are made in the first chair that are played out in the second chair. The leader cast the vision, the leader changes direction, the leader shifts the ministry and hears from the Lord and makes a decision and then many times the aftermath falls into that second chair.

This is where real leadership happens and Gateway walked through this a couple of years ago, the prune and simplify where you guys laid off a large number of your staff and you can share how many that was and how that was but I wanted to bring this up and let you talk through this because I think it’s important that every leader out there is facing a difficult decision and the difficult part of these scenarios is everybody at the table in leadership knows and understands that the organization will be better if we make this decision but in the same way we know the aftermath. We know the collateral damage. We know that when we fire up this engine and take the boat across the lake, the wake is going to affect people but it’s important for the advancement of the organization. We have to thrive, we have to do this.

Many times, this aftermath, this plays out, these layoffs, this tough decision, this tough conversation falls into your seat as the second chair so share about that man. You’ve obviously walked through some of that. You’ve been at gateway for 17 years now, 17 of their 19 years so you’ve been through lots of pain that’s been lived out publicly or privately and so how do you navigate that? How do you walk through some of that? Just share any of your thoughts on that.

Todd: Sure. If there’s a weight that I can only imagine and have heard of that the first chair sits in because I haven’t been in the first chair so I can’t speak personally to that weight but it’s the front… That’s the tip of the spear. There’s this spiritual attack and all the dynamics of spiritual warfare that the first chair leader takes on and then just the weight of truly bearing the responsibility and the burden that God’s called him to do to lead an organization. In the second chair I think maybe that takes on a much more practical point in that usually at the end of the day and well some days I’ll just summarize for my wife or my kids, “Dad, how was your day? What was your day like?” Just imagine people bring problems to you all day long-

Jon: All day.

Todd: That’s all that happens. You’re only brought problems because basically in an empowered organization if people are running, things are going well you’re not brought the stuff because they’re running, it’s all good. What’s really bubbled up to you are just problems and so I think that would speak to the weight is, yeah is it pain? Well, my wiring, I like solving problems.

Jon: Problem solver.

Todd: Strength finders for people who… My number one strength in that terminology is restoration, restorative so I like to find problems and restore it to good standing. I get a lot of life out of that and so that’s exciting to me but a book that spoke to me about this aspect of leadership was Henry Cloud’s Unnecessary Enemies.

Jon: That’s really good.

Todd: That is just, that book itself is a master class on what it takes to really end things at times and sometimes that’s the biggest challenge for any… You can look outside of the church and how many organizations over time either succeeded because they adapted and changed and they ended things they needed to or they just tanked because they never changed. Now apply that to the church. How many times has the church either through activities that we do or don’t do or just how a church in general hasn’t changed in 40 years and then before you know it, it’s up and gone. How do you end things and how do you do that in an organization that is trying to follow what God’s calling your organization to do.

What is so fundamental, this is the most fundamental thing, everyone understands it, but it is the biggest challenge I think we face and that is to actually hear God, believe what he’s calling you to do and then obey him. That’s a term… We use that here at Gateway. Our purpose is to help people develop an intimate relationship with God and we define and dive into intimacy a little bit more to mean my ability as a person, to hear God, believe him and obey him. If I’m doing that I’ve got a pretty intimate relationship with the Lord. I’m hearing his voice, I have faith to believe what he’s saying to me and then I step out and obey whatever it is he calls me to do. As a person, as a disciple I want to live my life like that. Then how do I take that an apply it as a leader? Well, there’s things in my empowerment that I need to do to hear God, believe him, obey him. It may be how I’m leading a person the way I want to develop him or as an organization. In church there’s usually going to be more than just one person speaking in to that unless the first chair may get… He’s going to get the vision directed from the Lord but that’s going to be affirmed by the elders. There’s other people that hearing God.

Then we want to obey and seek to obey him so for us the pain for us reach… There’s many points throughout the life of any church. Gateway, this has been the case. There’s been many difficult decisions in our journey for sure but I guess most recently it’s now been a couple years now but we felt very clearly God was calling us to do church differently. He was changing our mind, he was calling us to do what we had done for at that point 17 years and begin to do it differently. We had to press in. God, what does that look like? What are you saying? One of the things we felt was we’re just too heavy. Our model had been we had hired a lot of folks and granted we still have a lot of folks on our team but there had just been a way of thinking that got us to where we were and so we needed to make that change. It’s very, very difficult. For us that was about 25% of our staff.

Jon: Wow.

Todd: At that point that represented 200 people and so you’re dealing with people and lives and families and perception of church and all of those things. Obviously that’s… There’s nothing weightier certainly to God. You’re talking about his people and we know that, we understand that and so as a leader when God is calling an organization to that and I won’t go into all of that went into the church’s decision to do that but as a leader what I had to find myself in is a daily submission and understanding that God, I’m yours and this was my… And still is my prayer but I really started praying this prayer every morning during that season. I said, “God, today I submit to you – body, soul and spirit. My mind, will and emotion are yours.”

Jon: That’s really good.

Todd: Simple prayer. It was my way of just declaring to the Lord in that day, I want to declare these things from my body to my soul to my spirit and then I dive into my soul and I go my mind, my will and emotion. Everything about me, my whole body is yours God and so I can’t tell you in the most difficult season we’ve gone through the peace that I had because there was clarity that God was calling us to do something.

Jon: You heard from God.

Todd: We heard from God.

Jon: You believed.

Todd: We believed him and then we were obeying him not knowing at all what the outcome would be any… There’s, well 200 stories of what God did in the lives of the people who were impacted by this and we were very, very careful and cautious how we did those transitions with the care and premier and preeminent thought being how do we care for these people? It was very difficult but also and here’s the other thing that any leader has to know is they’re God’s.

Jon: That’s good.

Todd: Apostrophe S, right? They’re God’s possession not… We aren’t their provider. God is their provider so God has a plan and if God’s calling us to do this then God also has them in mind. Here’s the thing that most leaders think about. What’s going to happen to them? Now you’re thinking you control their lives? Even on a decision that’s difficult if God is calling you to do it then the real challenge is how do you obey him and then trust him with the lives of those people and go they are the Lord’s responsibility, they are God’s people so Lord I can only do what you’re calling us to do and I trust you with them.

Jon: Yeah. I love to hear believe obey. There’s a lot of leaders out there that are in the middle of needing to make a really hard decision. If you’re a leader you have a hard decision waiting for you to make and you know that you need to make it when it keeps coming back around. It’s a cycle. Every month you’re like, “Oh man, it surfaced again and I’ll bury my head in the sand and it goes away for a couple weeks and then oh, here it comes again. Conflict, mess up.” What would you say to the leader out there who has a decision, they know they need to make a decision either it’s lay someone off, maybe it’s to stretch my faith and hire somebody. I don’t have the budget, it’s not there but we need it. It doesn’t always have to be laying somebody off, it’s just that stretch of faith. Let’s get super practical on the hear, believe, obey because I love those three things and those are the… What I don’t like when preachers will shout about, “You just need to trust,” but we don’t ever give people what they need.

How does that mean? Who do I talk to? What do I read? Even my guess would be that most leaders hear because what you’re feeling when you have that sensation of, I need to do this and then it goes away, and then it surfaces back, I need to do this.

Todd: Yep.

Jon: This person is not a good fit, blah, blah, blah. You’re probably hearing the voice of the Lord. If it’s coming back over and over again, it’s probably the Lord. How do confirm that so give us some practical… How do I confirm that and then how do I take a step of faith to believe that to obey?

Todd: This is where again our experience at Gateway, we kind of summarize how we’re structured in that we’re singular headship. Pastor Robert is our singular head but we have a plurality of leadership and at the, I guess highest level that’d be our elders so as God began to speak about this change our elders in prayer one of our elders meetings and this was a discussion topic. We said, “We need the Lord to speak and we can all hear his voice but we also have the scripture so let’s pray and every elder, you ask God to illuminate something out of scripture and let’s just see what theme God. We took time individually, went and prayed. Came back and said, “Where did God take you in Scripture?” Every elder then spoke. Here’s where God took me and we saw a theme. God’s word is connected.

Jon: What a concept.

Todd: Exactly. That’s what I’m saying, it’s like it may seem like, okay great. Of course. No really. His word because here’s where all connected then practically. We all get scriptures, it’s a clear thread and a theme that God’s saying and for me personally what came out of that was God took me to Deuteronomy and Joshua where both God and Moses tell Joshua, be strong and courageous. Be strong and courageous. What illuminated out of that to me, this is where you can go from here to the believe and obey and it’s the partnership in responsibility I have in this relationship with God. God didn’t say to Joshua, I’m going to make you strong and I’m going to give you courage. God said, “I’m going to give you the Promised Land. You be strong and courageous.

Jon: That’s good.

Todd: Think about the responsibility that required because he still had to go in, he had to take down Jericho, he had to go down to… He had to just go through start defeating everybody in the Promised Land but God told him, “Be strong and courageous. I’ve given you this. You’ve heard me, now believe and obey.”

Jon: That’s good.

Todd: I think the many times and obviously I think God does give us courage and he inspires us with strength but I think many times he’s going, “I’m waiting on you.”

Jon: I’m waiting on you.

Todd: Go. I told you what I… I gave you the word, I’ve given you the promise, I’ve told you what I want you to do, now you got to get up and do it.” That’s where the rubber meets the road. Get out and do it.

Jon: That’s what he told Moses was standing at the Red Sea. What are you looking at me for? Tell the people to move on.

Todd: Exactly. Exactly. I’ll say even just in my own journey of just using that season for us of that pruning time. Also recognizing the seat that you’re in, what God is anointing you to do. We were at the very end of that process. We were literally at a place where we were reviewing the folks that were going to be impacted by this and really up to that point a lot of the prayer and the discussion were a lot about how the process was going to go, how we were going to care for the people but we were working through who was going to be impacted by this. We’re finally at the day where I have the list of names. I know the people and I’m praying about it and I said, “Lord, how do we know this is you? How do we know that these names are the folks that you want to be impacted in this? Literally in that moment this is what I felt like what the Lord said to me is, “I’ve put you and the team that’s around you in the seat that you’re in. I’ve anointed you to lead. Now, give those people to me.”

Jon: Right. Wow.

Todd: If you guys have decided these are the folks that are impacted then I’ve partnered with you.

Jon: I trust you.

Todd: I’ve empowered you. Now, release them to me.

Jon: Wow.

Todd: You want to talk about the weight of a second chair? And that’s the weight of a first chair in that situation as well but I’m saying the weight I felt in that moment was, “Wow. You’ve entrusted me. You’ve put me… This, I and others were part of making this decision and I do trust you. It removed a burden at the same time. It gave me a peace and so I could move forward with strength and courage but we had to do it. We had to put that to action but also going, “Lord, we trust you and I know this is what you’re calling us to do.”

Jon: Well, when he says, “Give them to me,” if you actually do that because then when the kickback starts coming a week from now, a month from now, six months from now, whatever it is because I’m sure you guys got some of it, it gives you the ability to overcome it because if you really release them to the Lord. You said, “I’ve given them to you Lord and so when the bad emails or I’m sure you saw lots of stuff. That even gave you the ability as a leader to rest, to find peace in it because I gave them to the Lord.

Todd: Absolutely.

Jon: They’re not mine to hold.

Todd: It’s one of the hardest things and any tough situation and let me bring it back now to a practical point for any leader at any size of church, there may be seasons where God needs to bring new leaders into new positions in your organization. It could even be as simple as a person whose been day one they were with you and they were greeting people at the door and man, they were so essential to you being able to do what you needed to do but today, man something happened in their life and they’re actually kind of grumpy but they’re still sitting at the door greeting people. You know what? You might need to make a change. That may be hard because they were with you from day one but you got to make that change and that’s a very simple, very practical and small point but actually those are the leadership decisions along the way that actually work a muscle in you as a leader to go, “Okay, how do I do it? Did I do that right? Did that person feel valued?” Here’s the thing. I think one of the challenges church leaders have is because we want to reflect Christ. I really do believe most… Wish I could say all. Most church leaders really do want to reflect Christ to people and what they think that means is so I got to be kind. I got to be kind.

Okay, well here’s what that means. Because then when you’re changing somebody that doesn’t feel kind they end up going, “I got to do this quick. I can’t look at you, I can’t talk. Hey, you’re done. You got to go, bye.” Because they go, “I don’t know how to wrestle with this doesn’t feel kind so I don’t know how to do it.” I have this belief that in order to deliver tough news you don’t have to be tough. You don’t have to be harsh, you don’t have to be unkind and so there’s a skill that gets developed in moments where you’re doing it out of maybe a very… I’ll just call it a small level to then at a point where you’re faced with maybe a really big leadership challenge and you don’t have to feel like in order to get through this I got to push all my emotions down and I got to fight through this.

Jon: That’s really good.

Todd: And it’s going to be tough but I’m going to be tough. No, be empathetic, be emotional but yet also be strong. This is what God said and it breaks my heart that I have to do this. I value you so much. Thank you. Whatever the words are that reinforce value to a person because here’s what I think happens. Many times we make a change and the person doesn’t feel valued. You can make a change and the person still feels valued because they are valued. Just because you need to change them doesn’t mean they’re now an invaluable person. This is part of the dynamic that I think keeps… This is where people get hurt by church. You hear on every story about a person being hurt by church, they were hurt by a person and in many of those cases it’s a leader who didn’t know how to have a tough conversation and still make the person feel valued and we have opportunities at any level of size of organization to work out that muscle that it really is a… It’s a strength you begin to build and I’d encourage any leader to look for the opportunities that God might be showing you that you need to make a change and then go down that road with God’s leading and get his word and obey him and then begin to work out the natural muscle that goes along with that.

Jon: That’s really good. I think that might be the quote of the day everybody. That’s the tweetable quote that to make tough decisions it doesn’t mean you have to be tough-

Todd: Yeah, that’s right.

Jon: That’s really, really, really good. As we close here I want you to lean into that mic and talk to all of those unseen leaders and just encourage them. These are guys who… Actually I want you to do two things Todd. I want you to talk to the second chair and encourage them and then I want you to turn around and talk to all the first chairs out there and tell them how they can lead their second chair better.

Todd: Right. Well, to all my second chair partners, check your heart today. Submit it to the Lord, submit it to the house and be strong and courageous. Recognize today that God’s put you in a seat and in a chair to lead and sometimes I remember there’s always been this wrestling between management and leadership and I remember this looking like a fork in the road. Are you a manager or are you a leader? I have always hated that. I mean that. I’ve hated that distinction because I don’t think it’s that much of a fork in the road and it’s devaluing. Usually what it says is leadership, fun. Managing, you’re boring.

Jon: Second class.

Todd: Second class and you’re a boring person and you don’t know how to lead. It’s just not that way. Many second chair guys today, you feel like you’ve been put in a managing spot and I want to inspire you to say you’re leading. You’re leading people. You need to inspire. You’re inspiring a team, you’re leading them and here’s the biggest thing. Are you just making sure you’re doing it under the vision of the person you’re supporting and the house that you’re supporting. If you feel like today you’re managing, maybe you are. Well, start leading. Turn it into… You can lead and you can inspire and motivate, organize teams and people. You can develop people, you can raise them all up but you do it under the vision of someone else and you can exercise every bit of leadership potential in you and you can do that today so just be encouraged and to senior leaders and first chair guys, every person wants to be valued. Every person and maybe the biggest risk is that a first chair person doesn’t speak value to a second chair person. Or, in an extremely unhealthy situation they’re taking advantage of that person. They’re climbing and doing what they want to do on the backs of someone else and the second chairperson may feel that.

Senior leaders, just make sure that you’re… As you’re leading and inspiring a team maybe that point person for you is the second chair person. Just make sure they’re feeling valued and that you have properly empowered them and with empowerment comes clarity, comes direction they need from you but then the other thing they need from you is distance.

Jon: That’s good. That’s really good.

Todd: Then back off.

Jon: Get out of the way.

Todd: Not in a bad way but if they’re going to actually be able to be the leader, I think this might even just be a word of knowledge for somebody but there’s many first chair guys that are going, “My second chair just can’t lead.” Maybe it’s because you’re there.

Jon: Wow.

Todd: Maybe move out just a little bit and let them develop and there may be some mistakes.

Jon: Let them fail.

Todd: There might be failure and as long as it’s not catastrophic it doesn’t have to be a punitive discipline. Let the person develop. One of the things I always hated again was people who go, “That person just doesn’t have any experience.” How do you get experience?

Jon: Try giving them some.

Todd: Yeah, let them do stuff. Get experience and develop and you build that and that’s how you get experience. Maybe a second chair guy needs some experience in an area and they need to develop and the only way they’re going to do that is you giving them a little bit of distance and then watch them develop and then honestly you’re going to see at that point, boom, they got it or it may really reveal what might be in your heart and that is I need to make a change but I don’t know how to do it. Well, give them enough room, see if they can do it and if with time, training, coaching, if that doesn’t happen then you maybe need to make a change. There may be some first chair guys today that I’m telling you, you actually do need to make a change but have you given it the right amount of time to actually see if that’s what God’s doing?

Jon: That’s really good. Pastor, thank you for being with us today and-

Todd: It’s an honor.

Jon: Thanks for what you do man. Seriously.

Todd: Thank you. Thank you.

Jon: Gateway’s an amazing church and I’m confident that you’re a huge part of that and I know Pastor Robert would agree with that so thank you.

Todd: Thank you.

Jon: If you’re out there listening and you want to connect with Todd Lane, let me give you his personal cell phone number. His eyes just got really big. No, what you need to do is just go it Instagram and follow him. You can find him on Instagram ToddLane. Connect with him on Instagram, connect with him on social media, he’s an amazing leader doing amazing things and you need to know this guy. Thank you Pastor Todd for being with us today. We love ya.

Todd: Thank you Dr. John. Love you and thank you and excited for all that… I just want to say to you, you’re an excellent first chair leader. Thank you and you do it in multiple first chair spots. Thank you for how you lead and it was an honor to be here today.

Church InTension
Church InTensionhttps://church-intension.simplecast.com
The Church InTension podcast is a place to have healthy conversations about areas of tension and the intentions of the Church. Hosted by Dr. Jon Chasteen and powered by The King's University and Gateway Church.