Have you ever had one of those days in the second chair when all you were doing was jumping from one meeting to the next and dealing with problem after problem? As a result, you might find yourself at the end of a day wondering what contribution you made that day. If this persists, you can find yourself frustrated, burned out, and wandering through a maze of emotion and confusion about how effective you are in ministry.
This can be a difficult place for those of us in the second chair. It can also be a place where we commit to going deeper to see what God might be saying to us. For me, I believe that God wants me to listen more intently for the most important things.
I don't always listen well in my meetings, as I am often thinking about the next meeting, the emails and phone calls that keep hitting my blackberry, and the struggle of balancing the demands of the second chair. In the last week, I have had to reschedule three appointments because my pastor called me into meetings that I had to be attend. This is a struggle, as I don't always get to handle my calendar proactively. Instead, I find myself reacting to get it all done and the pressure to get it all done makes it difficult to listen to what is really being said.
What is really being said is the key component of what second chair leaders in the church must discern. If we miss what is really being said, we can't advise the first chair, coach our subordinates, properly pray for the spiritual needs of those in our congregation, or see the whole picture clearly. The wide gets confused with the deep and the counsel or assitance that we should be able to give loses its potency because we haven't truly identified the issue--the deep spiritual issue.
I must confess, I haven't been hearing the eternal issues as clearly as I should becuase the noise of the temporal screams out at me for attention. So, in a meeting today (no blackberry in attendance) I jotted this thought: So bombared w/the temporal you can't see or hear the spiritual.
Guilty as charged, but thankful for the Grace of my loving Jesus and the still small voice of his Spirit.