Monday, August 20, 2012

preludes and Practical Theology (or leadership as an orchestra)

Update: Tonight as the woodwind instruments played, the birds outside the chapel began to chirp. Nature’s harmonies in chime!

On Thursday I slipped into the back of a school concert, to listen to one of Team Taylor play oboe in the Senior Concert Band. Exhausted after a long day at work, including preparation for the Eyre Peninsula trip, it was exactly what I needed, a reminder of the power of music to invite, to soothe, to create space in which to be.

The previous weekend I’d been reading Jeanne Stevenson Moessner, Prelude to Practical Theology: Variations on Theory and Practice. She suggests that “theology is like music of religious inquiry.” (67)

Practical theology does not exist in isolation but in an orchestra filled with homileticians, religious educators, spiritual mentors, pastoral care and counseling specialists, liturgists, liberation theologians, missiologists, sociologists, and ethicists. (67)

Moessner notes the mutuality within a musical community and the non-hierarchical role of the conductor as a model for leadership. Here are the 7 principles of orchestration (55).

1. Remember that people, or music lovers, want to hear an orchestra, not an institution.
2. Look for the common solutions even in chaos, for chaos precedes the creative act.
3. Accept repetition as a normal occurrence in the music of ministry.
4. Lead by allowing others to take initiative,
5. Develop leaders (musicians) who are flexible, creative and also collegial.
6. Encourage a free exchange of ideas, or scores.
7. Understand that God is not necessarily efficient, but passionate.

Sitting listening to “Mekong” on Thursday, it all made sense – not logically, but intuitively, artistically, beautifully.

Posted by steve at 08:54 PM

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