Tag Archive: job

The Dangers in Changing Staff Positions


In meetings, the chair may only be 2-3 feet away. From your seat, their chair looks very similar to your chair. Their chair is in the same meeting as your chair. So, why can’t you sit in their chair?

Just because it’s close to yours or looks fairly comfortable, it’s not the same chair.

When you move chairs, you find out a lot.

You find out the person sitting in that chair didn’t share everything with you about their chair. You’ll find out there’s a lot more going on in their chair than you realized.

We desire their chair. We desire the bigger title. We desire their leadership authority. We desire a larger pay check. But moving chairs is difficult. And in a church, so difficult, you shouldn’t do it unless your confident God wants you in that chair.

My anecdotal and experiential guess is that even when you’re close to a situation, and have a good working knowledge of another’s position (chair), you at best, understand about 80% of what’s going on in their position. And that other 20% is the really hard stuff.

(This is why I rarely judge others leaders. Whether it is the U.S. President, the NFL Commissioner, or nationally known pastors, I’ve led just enough to know I don’t have a clue about the realities of their jobs and therefore can’t comment as I do understand.)

Often, when we’re not in the other person’s chair, we desire it. And we want it so bad, we’re willing to judge the actions they’re performing from that chair. “If I were in that chair, I would…”

The physical difference of chairs could be minimal, but the unseen responsibility and work in that chair can be overwhelming.

Practical takeaways:

  1. Don’t covet another person’s leadership chair unless you’re willing to invest and deal with the junk that comes with the chair.
  2. Give you pastor a break. You don’t know what’s going on in his chair that impacts his pastoring.
  3. Pastors, give your staff a break. Your view from the top of the org chart is a long way from reality. Don’t judge to harshly. Just because you did that job 20 years ago doesn’t make you an expert on their or the chair’s current situation.
  4. Don’t be consumed with chair switching. It’s serious business. Serious enough to pray about it a lot and be patience until God chooses to move your chair (if ever).
  5. Be content. A chair move is not always right. God has gifted you for several things, and you may not be able to freely use those things in a different chair.
It’s dangerous to assume you can do another’s job based solely on your seat’s limited perspective.

Get comfortable in your chair. Don’t judge the work from another’s chair. And when God is ready to have you move chairs, move. But move humbly.

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