LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Jason Miller on Leading as an Artist

Yesterday I wrote about the dynamic tension that exists between those wired as artists and those wired as leaders. A good friend of mine is Jason Miller -- he is a pastor at Granger Community Church who regularly teaches and leads worship. He emailed me some additional thoughts last week that I thought were worth sharing (with his permission, of course)...

#1 - The inequity of power that exists between the artist and the leader.  It’s hard for an artist to operate in an environment when they’re always at the mercy of a leader who has more power over their art than they do.  Most real ‘artists’ are able to create whatever they want, whenever they want.  Church artists have to submit all of the raw, naked, vulnerable passion of their art to some leader who they often feel doesn’t understand them at all.  It’s SO easy to feel defeated in that scenario.

#2 - Whoever told leaders that their mission in life was to keep their artists humble?  Anytime a leader makes it clear that their agenda with me is to keep me humble, it feels condescending.  You don’t see me assuming that you’re likely to commit adultery sometime this week, do you?  Why would you assume that I’m likely to be an ego case?  It’s presumptuous.  It hurts.    

#3 - Understand the terrifying, inhibiting, stifling fear that artists face...that is, that our art will not be amazing.  We hold good art in such incredibly high esteem.  Good art has saved our lives.  It has healed our hearts.  And I think a lot of us are completely suffocated by the fear that our art will never be that good.  In my worst moments, I’d rather never create any art ever than create bad art or mediocre art.  Now, that’s just evidence that I need to grow up.  But it’s a struggle.

I thought Jason's words were authentic and insightful. What would you add?