Book Review: Leading from the Second Chair

Finally finished reading Leading from the Second Chair by Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson. I actually started reading this back in January and just finished it today.  It’s not that it is a hard read, it’s just not one of those books that I wanted to sit down and read in one sitting.  I wanted to soak in this one.  I really felt like God was calling me to read this book.  Does that sound silly to you?  Sounded silly to me too, until I finished the book today.

Here, here, and here are my first three posts about why I wanted to read this book and some of my initial thoughts.  I took a break from reading this book for a while as I was thinking through this particular season in my leadership development.  I’m glad I came back to it!  These are some of my final takeaways.  Be sure to check out those original posts to see my other thoughts at the beginning of the book.

These notes are straight from the text of the book.  If you are in second chair leadership…this book is a must for you.

  • If you are not prepared to be patient while trust grows, you are unlikely to reach your full potential as a second chair leader.
  • You should have a clear idea of the first chair’s strengths and weaknesses, and how your abilities might compliment them.  (notice it says compliment and not compete with!)
  • Hebrew 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority…Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
  • A first chair is not going to expand your duties if you underperform in your current role.
  • God can use a time of prayerful waiting for great spiritual and professional development in your life.
  • A second chair leader is someone with an organizationwide perspective and a passion to see the entire body perform at its very best.
  • Ric Hodgin, of the A.D. Players, says that as a second chair leader you are “always walking the line of being 100 percent supportive of the one person above you, dealing with the needs of everyone below, and making these match.”
  • Contentment is possible if you choose to understand that something more is always at work in your experiences, beyond your needs, expectations, and frustration.
  • The opportunities for ministry are always greater than the time available, so we must prioritize our activities and pace ourselves for the long run.
  • Leave your ego behind; it is God’s dream.
  • Staying in place does not mean being stagnant.  God can grow you tremendously through seasoning and waiting.
  • Any dream that is worth pursuing has a price.  When the pieces finally fit together, Joseph understood the price of a dream that was far beyond his original chair.  He realized God had been at work in a greater way than he could see, but the price was high.

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