It started with a discussion over the duties of a particular committee chair at my church. After twenty minutes of esoteric ballyhoo ranging from “the chair provides order” (not a big worry in my conservative church), and “the chair brings leadership” (we are all leaders), the person who was voted into the role stopped the fluffy debate by finally saying, “We are here for service and the chair is the chief service provider.” Her great answer got me thinking about the other meanings of chair, especially when applied to the world of service. The most obvious meaning is the chair in which you place your bottom!
Some service providers are a lot like an easy chair—inviting and so comfortable you don’t want to leave. The Starbucks near my office is a lot like that. Some are like an outdoor wedding chair—very functional, appropriately presentable, but far from comfortable. And, some are similar to a giant bean bag chair—able to mold to fit every bottom. Or, a folding chair like the one you take to the soccer game—portable, lightweight but not appropriate for your living room. If your customers had to describe your service as a chair, what type of chair would they select?