day 12

CULTURE OF SECOND FIDDLE

I could rattle off scores of people at C3 NYC who embody the culture of Second Fiddle, and after whom I’ve tried to model this in my own life. One of the things I love most about our church is how we champion each other and put the needs of others before our own. I’ve seen this play out in my Dinner Party, in the teams I’ve had the honor to serve on, and in regular authentic conversation that takes place throughout the week. 

My truest example though is Jesus. Philippians 2 paints the most perfect picture of this Second Fiddle culture. Paul describes the attitude of Christ as He “who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead, He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity.” 

These verses tell me that the Creator of the universe did not overstate His position, and instead took on the role of servant. It’s this example that shapes my values and the culture I want to set for myself. 

Last year, the word ‘root’ started to crop up on a regular basis in my life and was paired with Colossians 2:6-7. Growing these roots looked like planting myself firmly in serving wherever possible and helped me to realize that I no longer needed to look for my identity in other people, in a position or a status. Instead, I am free to give of myself whenever and wherever possible and can do it from a place of joy. 

Being surrounded by such a community of servants has made this easy for me. Are there mornings where waking up before the sun to build church from scratch are tougher on the mind and body than others? You bet. But I can do so knowing that others have lived out the Second Fiddle mindset before me. I know that as early as it is, there is a selfless team awake even earlier than I am already loading the trucks. There are those who have poured out hours of their time during the week preparing sermons or designing beautiful creative spaces. Through all this, I’ve learned to lean into any discomfort I feel so that others don’t have to.  

The culture of Second Fiddle and championing others helps me live out Matthew 5:33; when I seek first the Kingdom, I know that everything else will fall into place because He supplies all my needs (Philippians 4:19). I don’t have to promote myself or fight for survival because if my roots are where they are meant to be, I know Heaven will take care of the rest. If the Church is described as His bride, and I’m made in His image, then my calling is to serve and treat the Church in the same way: to love, cherish, and edify its people - something I can’t do if I’m worried first and foremost about my own needs. 

— AARON REYNOLDS

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