Last week, I posted, “10 Ways to Know if You’re on the Wrong Seat in the Bus.” Some of you graciously affirmed the post but then asked the follow up question, “What do I do now if I’m on the wrong seat?” Here’s my answer to that important question:
- Make sure you’re walking faithfully with the Lord. If you’re not regularly hearing from the Lord via His Word and then consistently talking to Him in prayer, you’re probably in no position to evaluate His will regarding your vocation. Get right with Him before you seek the right seat.
- Pray for discernment and clarity. It may indeed be you’re on the wrong seat. It might also be, though, that you’re in a short-term tough spot, are dealing with a boss with unknown family problems, have an outdated job description, etc. Something out of your control might be temporarily affecting your seat.
- Keep in mind: the grass always looks greener when you’re not there. Be realistic about your assessment. The role that you are convinced will bring you great joy will have its own mountains and valleys, too. We over-magnify the positives when our current role feels negative.
- Do whatever you’re currently doing for God’s glory. That’s the bottom line, regardless of where you serve (1 Cor. 10:31). If you don’t honor God where you are, why should He grant your desire to be elsewhere?
- Find an outlet for joy while not neglecting your current seat. Find a way to “scratch your itch,” but not to the neglect of your responsibilities. For example, preaching as often as possible in different places helps me to fill the void I feel by not being a full-time pastor.
- Determine if it’s worth taking a risk to talk with your supervisor. You can only guess whether your supervisor will hear you fairly, but it might be worth the risk to have a conversation. You might discover that your supervisor already senses something amiss and wants to help.
- Be willing to compromise. It’s possible your supervisor will work with you to adjust some of your responsibilities to help you flourish. If so, be grateful for what you can get, and work even harder at your adjusted role.
- Serve faithfully and patiently now while also looking for a new place to serve. If these steps above bring no peace, God might be nudging you into a step of faith. Start circulating your resume, but serve faithfully where you are until God brings clarity. Impatience will only create a bigger mess.
What other steps would you recommend?