Art or Craft?

Been reading some stuff about leadership today, amongst all the other things which have been going on. It’s interesting how often it comes back to the sense of humour – as in this on Commitment: ‘A sense of humour and proportion and a certain light heartedness are important here if fanaticism and obsession are to be avoided.’ I find that interesting – on one hand, the single-mindedness and focus which is required to bring about change in an organisation as fuzzy as the church; on the other, the need for a degree of self-objectivity to the point of gentle self-mockery if one is to continue to have the ability to relate to others and the resilience necessary to continue against all the odds.


  1. Ah yes, Terry. Did you not see in my Office the graph on the wall pointing relentlessly upwards? All clergy are summoned in weekly and given their targets… In reality, I don’t worry too much about being commodified – let me know if you see the ‘organisation man’ signs starting to appear. And most of the time the church is too chaotic to be dangerous – in either the good or bad sense. It did, of course, produce the Inquisition – but it continues to produce the occasional Tutu and Mother Theresa. But I am very wary of the church when it is in Christendom/establishment mode and, even worse, when [as in Ireland] morally compromised versions of religion feed off and are fed by bad politics. That’s called sectarianism.

  2. Ah yes, but, are you a free agent once the matrix of the Organisation has absorbed you, David? Despite your best intentions your actions are determined by the trajectory of the Church, so that you become commodified, especially as a line manager. Total quality management, perhaps that’s what the great Auditor wants from you, kai zen as the Japanese put it (or something like that).Yes to the sense of humour and self-recognition but beware of structures. How much can you ‘humanise’ them?

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