Who Does Number Two Work For? (Answer: Nobody, Anymore)

A friend recently described himself as a “Great Number Two guy.” He doesn’t want to be in charge. He wants to be part of a team with defined responsibilities, clear expectations, and secure compensation.

Don’t we all.

But posts like this one (if you’re not reading Jan every day you should be) have me convinced that Number Two guy is a leftover luxury from a disappearing era and that we all now have to be number ones.

Even those of us with jobs on a staff of which we’re not the head need to be number ones. We need to create new projects, own the outcomes, give our best work away, and invite collaboration whether it’s in our job description or not.

My friend Erik talks about the pastor’s “Side Hustle,” the work she does apart from her congregational call. I’m with him on that, for everyone, and not just those who aren’t in a full-time call situation.

The pastor’s Side Hustle is good for churches, too. My Side Hustle has become a mainstay of my congregation’s youth programming now. Don’t churches benefit when their pastors are off experimenting with funky little ministry projects?

The church needs us all to be Number One’s now.


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