Imbalance teachings on success in the last couple of years have dwell on the notion that you can only be a success when you are the number one person. Topics such as ‘how to be your own boss’; ‘how to sack your boss’; ‘being the head and not tail’; ‘starting your own ministry’ and ‘how to work under nobody’ have all gained ground and many youths that should still be serving successfully under leaders have all became their own boss, church CEOs and Apostles to the world!

Unfortunately, these imbalance emphases have rather helped disloyalty, breakaway and rebellion in churches and ministries. It’s now time to bring the needed balance and emphasize that you can be successful as a number two.

A.​Biblical Basis and Definition – II Kings 5:10-14; I King 18:1-6, I Peter 2:18-19; Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-24. 

There is dignity in being a number two person. While leadership is a calling, followership is also a calling. I Cor. 7:20-24. God has not called all of us to lead from the front. All cannot be the head. Great leaders are followers – they follow the Lord and good leaders.

To be number two is to be a subordinate, associate, helper, assistant, staff, worker, adviser and to work with or for a leader. The servants of Naaman helped him to attain His miracle. Obadiah was also a good associate to wicked king Ahab.

​ü​Being number two is a good and difficult position to be

​ü​You can help your leader to find success and achievement

​ü​You can influence your leader towards good works

​ü​You have power for good and bad

​ü​Your leader is not your problem but the spirit within you

​ü​God always wants His leaders to serve apprenticeship. I Sam. 18:5

B. ​Why Many Associates are Finding Success Very Difficult – II Tim. 4:10; III John 10-11

I have known many associates who are suffering today simply because they are number one in their own plan, whereas they should have been number two in God’s plan. Why do many associates fail as number two?

​z​Wrong spirit and ‘bad belle’ within them

​z​Covetousness and greed – a Judas

​z​Personal problems with sin and ungodliness

​z​Instigations from wife, friends and counselors

​z​Impatience and hurry spirit

​z​Wrong motives and secret agendas

​z​Failure to see good and merit in your leader

​z​Pride, rebellious spirit and looking down on your leader

​z​Disrespect, ungrateful spirit and unthankful

Too many associates are breaking away, stabbing their leaders in the back and incurring curses simply because they could not overcome these factors. Many of them are struggling financially in ministry after the euphoria of a flying start simply because they should still be number two somewhere.

C.​How to Become An Asset to Your Leader – Phil. 2:19-22; 25-30, Rom. 16:1-4; Philemon 1:10-11.

Timothy was a valuable asset to Apostle Paul in ministry. So also was Ephraphoditus, Phoebe, Aquila-Priscilla and a host of others. They serve with commitment, self-sacrifice and were ready to lay down their life for their beloved apostle. 

Mark was formerly a liability to Paul, but over the years, he became profitable and Paul had to send for him. II Tim. 4:11; Prov. 25:13. An asset displays the following:

​Ë​Makes the vision of the leader his vision

​Ë​Faithful in all things

​Ë​Obedient and teachable

​Ë​Runs from sin and shameful things

​Ë​Imbibe the spirit of his leader

​Ë​Takes initiative for progress

​Ë​Brings something to the table

​Ë​Serves without grumbling and murmuring

​Ë​Productive and result oriented

​Ë​Honest and transparent with the leader

​Ë​Increase and add to the leader

​Ë​Trustworthy and refuses to break trust

​Ë​Not after gain and profit

When you are an asset to your leader, you can never serve in vain. God Himself will reward you. Your blessing, favour, open door and promotion lies in being a true asset to your leader. Proverbs 27:18

D.​How To Be a Successful Number Two

1.​Be convinced to follow and work with your leader

​If you are not convinced by God, go and pray again

2.​Value your calling as a number two

​Cherish your calling, value it and determine to succeed with it. Rather, be a Jonathan ​than an Atiku. A Joshua than a Joab.

3.​Work on yourself

​Improve, grow and change where necessary. Don’t be an ignoramous associate. Be ​current and informed so as to assist your leader.

4.​Make His dream your dream

​Having another vision is tantamount to di-vision

5.​Start leading from where you are

​Lead up – wisely influence your leader right
​Lead down – help your subordinate to rise up
​Lead sideways – contribute to your colleague’s success

6.​Show necessary respect and honour

​If you honour your leader, God himself will honour you

7.​Show and demonstrate loyalty, honesty and a full dedicated heart

​If your heart is right, every other thing will become right

8.​Show that you really want your leader to succeed

​As your leader rises, so also you will rise. His success is definitely your success.

9.​Bring something to the table

​Contribute ideas, advice and support for the vision. Speak the truth and laid bare the ​facts when your leader is receptive. Be a funnel not filter.

10.​Defend your leader always

​Don’t wait around to hear unpalatable things being said about him. Build a good ​relationship with him and pray for him unceasingly.

11.​Take care and protect your leader – I Sam. 26:12-16

​Abner failed to take care of Saul and David said he is worthy of death. Take care and ​keep your leader spiritually, financially, materially and by nurture.

12.​Receive ongoing blessing from your leader – I Sam. 26:17-25

​David behaved well until he received blessing from King Saul.

You must also behave ​well until your leader will bless you. Don’t leave without his heartfelt blessings.

Dr. Bola Akin-John Started Church Growth Ministry in 1994 after hearing God said “go and strengthen pastors and support churches to grow and be healthy”. Has held hundreds of conferences across Nigeria, Africa and Europe with combined attendance of over 30, 000 church leaders.

Has written over 35 books that has sold thousands of copies

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