Worship Mythbusters: Artists are not true leaders in the church

[Worship Mythbusters is a series of posts debunking possibly damaging thinking about worship, worship leading and art/creativity/music in the church]

MYTH: Artist types cannot lead and what they do is not leadership–especially in the church.

Worship leaders seem to fit the profiling for the most part of being artistic types. This seems to be conventional wisdom in the church world, but for those of you scratching your head because you do not see the bubble of Evangelical Christian subculture please bear with me.

Obviously, in today’s society artists are leaders and what they do leads and for one very clear reason. Artists create culture. What does that mean? Artists express our stories. Artists critique our power structures. Artists build things that are bigger than themselves and if true art last longer as well. Look at Bono of U2 for example. How many filmmakers have influenced people’s daily lives the past 50 years?

Let me define who I think are “artists” today. Musicians, filmmakers, painters and performers of all type fit in this. But, there of course are audio engineers, lighting designers, graphic artists and photographers as well as others. I would even put computer programmers as artists to some degree since they create language!

While working at a very large church, I remember being stereotyped as one who because I was an artist could not lead well or especially manage well. What is interesting is that it seemed it was not the results always in question but the process. “Rich, you get to the right conclusions but seem to think backwards.” Artists think differently. We think globally, rather than everything being in a straight line.

When it comes to classic management, I think some may have a point. Management is a science. Use the psychology of pressure and manipulation and you can move people to a point. Leadership is art. Inspire a vision, picture and direction and you can succeed in moving people to a point as well. You might even inspire lives to change, not just seasonal behaviors.

If we define management as a science or the sociology of getting people to align with institutional goals, then leadership should be defined as influence that inspires not from the outside but works inside out of people. This is exactly what great art does!

This is why artists are scary to church leaders and when in the leadership cause some to shudder. The gift to move people inside out is indeed powerful. The irony is that there is an insatiable hunger to pragmatically employ the powerful gifting of artists in the church while shying away from developing and including them as viable thinkers and leaders in church leadership circles.

Here is a point for discussion. Do you agree or disagree that artists are leaders and why?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

88 comments

  1. This is an interesting topic, maybe something I am struggling with a bit back home. Anyway, I think that artists are leaders, just not all artists are good leaders, or maybe positive leaders. Maybe our artists in the church would be more driven leaders if other leaders artist or not mentored them . . . us?

  2. This is an interesting topic, maybe something I am struggling with a bit back home. Anyway, I think that artists are leaders, just not all artists are good leaders, or maybe positive leaders. Maybe our artists in the church would be more driven leaders if other leaders artist or not mentored them . . . us?

  3. This is an interesting topic, maybe something I am struggling with a bit back home. Anyway, I think that artists are leaders, just not all artists are good leaders, or maybe positive leaders. Maybe our artists in the church would be more driven leaders if other leaders artist or not mentored them . . . us?

  4. This is an interesting topic, maybe something I am struggling with a bit back home. Anyway, I think that artists are leaders, just not all artists are good leaders, or maybe positive leaders. Maybe our artists in the church would be more driven leaders if other leaders artist or not mentored them . . . us?

  5. I believe that artists can lead. I actually think that the quality of “being a leader” is more about the individual though. I don’t think all artists are leaders and that’s okay. But I in no way believe that the artistic temperament disallows artists from leadership. Look at David – he was an artist and a king. We all are gifted – and even annointed – in different ways.
    I do believe that artistic gifts can be very prophetic – what did Randy call it? the herald? – and sometimes artists can foresee and feel what is up spiritually long before others do and that is reflected in songs, in paintings, etc.

    I think that the artist may lead differently due to their temperament. We might not be the Type A kind of leader but we are indeed able to lead with great foresight and sensitivity. I think that is sometimes overlooked though because it can be less forceful and is not seen to be based in logic.

    1. Jan… I am not just talking about temperament. Artists THINK differently. Leadership is thinking, so that is really where I think the rub is. To be honest, I have worked with some pretty power-house leaders and seen that they might actually be more insecure than their worship leader. So, what an artist does and how he/she thinks really is the question. Temperament can be managed and artists have issues with the standard management issues perhaps. But, leadership is influencing and moving people. We lead even if we do not think we are. So, to some degree might all true artists be leaders?

      1. I think so – maybe in a less direct way at times. We are influenced by art and music all the time, so we are in that way led by them as well. If we look around us we see artists leading culture everywhere. People don’t emulate politicians do they? 🙂 The work of artists leads from a place deep in the heart too – so I think it touches something deeper than mere words can. Artists inspire as they do their very work. Great stuff to think about!

  6. I believe that artists can lead. I actually think that the quality of “being a leader” is more about the individual though. I don’t think all artists are leaders and that’s okay. But I in no way believe that the artistic temperament disallows artists from leadership. Look at David – he was an artist and a king. We all are gifted – and even annointed – in different ways.
    I do believe that artistic gifts can be very prophetic – what did Randy call it? the herald? – and sometimes artists can foresee and feel what is up spiritually long before others do and that is reflected in songs, in paintings, etc.

    I think that the artist may lead differently due to their temperament. We might not be the Type A kind of leader but we are indeed able to lead with great foresight and sensitivity. I think that is sometimes overlooked though because it can be less forceful and is not seen to be based in logic.

    1. Jan… I am not just talking about temperament. Artists THINK differently. Leadership is thinking, so that is really where I think the rub is. To be honest, I have worked with some pretty power-house leaders and seen that they might actually be more insecure than their worship leader. So, what an artist does and how he/she thinks really is the question. Temperament can be managed and artists have issues with the standard management issues perhaps. But, leadership is influencing and moving people. We lead even if we do not think we are. So, to some degree might all true artists be leaders?

      1. I think so – maybe in a less direct way at times. We are influenced by art and music all the time, so we are in that way led by them as well. If we look around us we see artists leading culture everywhere. People don’t emulate politicians do they? 🙂 The work of artists leads from a place deep in the heart too – so I think it touches something deeper than mere words can. Artists inspire as they do their very work. Great stuff to think about!

  7. I believe that artists can lead. I actually think that the quality of “being a leader” is more about the individual though. I don’t think all artists are leaders and that’s okay. But I in no way believe that the artistic temperament disallows artists from leadership. Look at David – he was an artist and a king. We all are gifted – and even annointed – in different ways.
    I do believe that artistic gifts can be very prophetic – what did Randy call it? the herald? – and sometimes artists can foresee and feel what is up spiritually long before others do and that is reflected in songs, in paintings, etc.

    I think that the artist may lead differently due to their temperament. We might not be the Type A kind of leader but we are indeed able to lead with great foresight and sensitivity. I think that is sometimes overlooked though because it can be less forceful and is not seen to be based in logic.

    1. Jan… I am not just talking about temperament. Artists THINK differently. Leadership is thinking, so that is really where I think the rub is. To be honest, I have worked with some pretty power-house leaders and seen that they might actually be more insecure than their worship leader. So, what an artist does and how he/she thinks really is the question. Temperament can be managed and artists have issues with the standard management issues perhaps. But, leadership is influencing and moving people. We lead even if we do not think we are. So, to some degree might all true artists be leaders?

      1. I think so – maybe in a less direct way at times. We are influenced by art and music all the time, so we are in that way led by them as well. If we look around us we see artists leading culture everywhere. People don’t emulate politicians do they? 🙂 The work of artists leads from a place deep in the heart too – so I think it touches something deeper than mere words can. Artists inspire as they do their very work. Great stuff to think about!

  8. I believe that artists can lead. I actually think that the quality of “being a leader” is more about the individual though. I don’t think all artists are leaders and that’s okay. But I in no way believe that the artistic temperament disallows artists from leadership. Look at David – he was an artist and a king. We all are gifted – and even annointed – in different ways.
    I do believe that artistic gifts can be very prophetic – what did Randy call it? the herald? – and sometimes artists can foresee and feel what is up spiritually long before others do and that is reflected in songs, in paintings, etc.

    I think that the artist may lead differently due to their temperament. We might not be the Type A kind of leader but we are indeed able to lead with great foresight and sensitivity. I think that is sometimes overlooked though because it can be less forceful and is not seen to be based in logic.

    1. Jan… I am not just talking about temperament. Artists THINK differently. Leadership is thinking, so that is really where I think the rub is. To be honest, I have worked with some pretty power-house leaders and seen that they might actually be more insecure than their worship leader. So, what an artist does and how he/she thinks really is the question. Temperament can be managed and artists have issues with the standard management issues perhaps. But, leadership is influencing and moving people. We lead even if we do not think we are. So, to some degree might all true artists be leaders?

      1. I think so – maybe in a less direct way at times. We are influenced by art and music all the time, so we are in that way led by them as well. If we look around us we see artists leading culture everywhere. People don’t emulate politicians do they? 🙂 The work of artists leads from a place deep in the heart too – so I think it touches something deeper than mere words can. Artists inspire as they do their very work. Great stuff to think about!

  9. Great point on the difference between leadership and management. Many leaders (artistic ones especially) need managers to help them, but leadership has to speak more deeply to people than the levels of behavior and task. I also agree with Matt Anderson: artists need mentoring in leadership. Artists sometimes dismiss the leadership graces that can bring people along rather than alienate. Artists may do well at arousing passion, positive and negative, but as leaders they have other responsibilities too. Thanks for writing this!

    1. Hi Matthew,
      What is most grievous is this lack of mentoring and acceptance that leadership (and even management) does not have to be monolithic! Artists break those rules not by intention but by how they naturally think.

      I think the dismissal of artists in the leadership circle has more to do with shallow, ego protecting reasons since most lead pastors rather not adjust, come 1/2-way or bring their artists toward them with intentional mentoring.

  10. Great point on the difference between leadership and management. Many leaders (artistic ones especially) need managers to help them, but leadership has to speak more deeply to people than the levels of behavior and task. I also agree with Matt Anderson: artists need mentoring in leadership. Artists sometimes dismiss the leadership graces that can bring people along rather than alienate. Artists may do well at arousing passion, positive and negative, but as leaders they have other responsibilities too. Thanks for writing this!

    1. Hi Matthew,
      What is most grievous is this lack of mentoring and acceptance that leadership (and even management) does not have to be monolithic! Artists break those rules not by intention but by how they naturally think.

      I think the dismissal of artists in the leadership circle has more to do with shallow, ego protecting reasons since most lead pastors rather not adjust, come 1/2-way or bring their artists toward them with intentional mentoring.

  11. Great point on the difference between leadership and management. Many leaders (artistic ones especially) need managers to help them, but leadership has to speak more deeply to people than the levels of behavior and task. I also agree with Matt Anderson: artists need mentoring in leadership. Artists sometimes dismiss the leadership graces that can bring people along rather than alienate. Artists may do well at arousing passion, positive and negative, but as leaders they have other responsibilities too. Thanks for writing this!

    1. Hi Matthew,
      What is most grievous is this lack of mentoring and acceptance that leadership (and even management) does not have to be monolithic! Artists break those rules not by intention but by how they naturally think.

      I think the dismissal of artists in the leadership circle has more to do with shallow, ego protecting reasons since most lead pastors rather not adjust, come 1/2-way or bring their artists toward them with intentional mentoring.

  12. Great point on the difference between leadership and management. Many leaders (artistic ones especially) need managers to help them, but leadership has to speak more deeply to people than the levels of behavior and task. I also agree with Matt Anderson: artists need mentoring in leadership. Artists sometimes dismiss the leadership graces that can bring people along rather than alienate. Artists may do well at arousing passion, positive and negative, but as leaders they have other responsibilities too. Thanks for writing this!

    1. Hi Matthew,
      What is most grievous is this lack of mentoring and acceptance that leadership (and even management) does not have to be monolithic! Artists break those rules not by intention but by how they naturally think.

      I think the dismissal of artists in the leadership circle has more to do with shallow, ego protecting reasons since most lead pastors rather not adjust, come 1/2-way or bring their artists toward them with intentional mentoring.

  13. I think it really depends on the person. Some people who are artists, in whatever fashion, are not really gifted to be leaders and others are. Don’t you think?

    1. It depends what you call art or leadership. I think that real artists have power, therefore lead people even if they are not aware of it at the time. Look at the influence Michael Jackson has–no news coverage of Iran or economy, just his art! Good question to chew on…chew…chew.

      1. That’s a great point. In a true meaning of the word, artist are people who inspire and motivate others, so yes, they are leaders!

  14. I think it really depends on the person. Some people who are artists, in whatever fashion, are not really gifted to be leaders and others are. Don’t you think?

    1. It depends what you call art or leadership. I think that real artists have power, therefore lead people even if they are not aware of it at the time. Look at the influence Michael Jackson has–no news coverage of Iran or economy, just his art! Good question to chew on…chew…chew.

      1. That’s a great point. In a true meaning of the word, artist are people who inspire and motivate others, so yes, they are leaders!

  15. I think it really depends on the person. Some people who are artists, in whatever fashion, are not really gifted to be leaders and others are. Don’t you think?

    1. It depends what you call art or leadership. I think that real artists have power, therefore lead people even if they are not aware of it at the time. Look at the influence Michael Jackson has–no news coverage of Iran or economy, just his art! Good question to chew on…chew…chew.

      1. That’s a great point. In a true meaning of the word, artist are people who inspire and motivate others, so yes, they are leaders!

  16. I think it really depends on the person. Some people who are artists, in whatever fashion, are not really gifted to be leaders and others are. Don’t you think?

    1. It depends what you call art or leadership. I think that real artists have power, therefore lead people even if they are not aware of it at the time. Look at the influence Michael Jackson has–no news coverage of Iran or economy, just his art! Good question to chew on…chew…chew.

      1. That’s a great point. In a true meaning of the word, artist are people who inspire and motivate others, so yes, they are leaders!

  17. Rich, Great article! And might I add quite artistic in your writing style! Being artists ourselves, my husband, daughter, and I embarked a prime example of one direction in leadership – not directly in a church but in THE church. We felt God calling us to use our skills and talents to “Bridge the Gap” so to say btwn the younger generations x, y, z, their parents, and God through Christian music, art, and writing. That is what our site http://www.7cubed.org is all about – showing that we all have talents -whether it be in music or art or in personal connections of other forms- that we can use for God’s kingdom. For instance one goal of ours is to “boost” the awareness of Christian’s making music that goes ‘where the people are” that might not ever set foot in a church. We do this by providing interviews, reviews, and such with independent artists who have a talent they want to use for the Lord. Jesus didn’t just eat and mingle with the saved – he went where the need was greatest. So we feel a calling to use our artistic skills to help bring others and their skills to the forefront so that others lives may be changed forever. The many artistic skills being used to lead in some way seems to be in large effect how God is “taking back the airwaves”. Good thing too!

  18. Rich, Great article! And might I add quite artistic in your writing style! Being artists ourselves, my husband, daughter, and I embarked a prime example of one direction in leadership – not directly in a church but in THE church. We felt God calling us to use our skills and talents to “Bridge the Gap” so to say btwn the younger generations x, y, z, their parents, and God through Christian music, art, and writing. That is what our site http://www.7cubed.org is all about – showing that we all have talents -whether it be in music or art or in personal connections of other forms- that we can use for God’s kingdom. For instance one goal of ours is to “boost” the awareness of Christian’s making music that goes ‘where the people are” that might not ever set foot in a church. We do this by providing interviews, reviews, and such with independent artists who have a talent they want to use for the Lord. Jesus didn’t just eat and mingle with the saved – he went where the need was greatest. So we feel a calling to use our artistic skills to help bring others and their skills to the forefront so that others lives may be changed forever. The many artistic skills being used to lead in some way seems to be in large effect how God is “taking back the airwaves”. Good thing too!

  19. Rich, Great article! And might I add quite artistic in your writing style! Being artists ourselves, my husband, daughter, and I embarked a prime example of one direction in leadership – not directly in a church but in THE church. We felt God calling us to use our skills and talents to “Bridge the Gap” so to say btwn the younger generations x, y, z, their parents, and God through Christian music, art, and writing. That is what our site http://www.7cubed.org is all about – showing that we all have talents -whether it be in music or art or in personal connections of other forms- that we can use for God’s kingdom. For instance one goal of ours is to “boost” the awareness of Christian’s making music that goes ‘where the people are” that might not ever set foot in a church. We do this by providing interviews, reviews, and such with independent artists who have a talent they want to use for the Lord. Jesus didn’t just eat and mingle with the saved – he went where the need was greatest. So we feel a calling to use our artistic skills to help bring others and their skills to the forefront so that others lives may be changed forever. The many artistic skills being used to lead in some way seems to be in large effect how God is “taking back the airwaves”. Good thing too!

  20. Rich, Great article! And might I add quite artistic in your writing style! Being artists ourselves, my husband, daughter, and I embarked a prime example of one direction in leadership – not directly in a church but in THE church. We felt God calling us to use our skills and talents to “Bridge the Gap” so to say btwn the younger generations x, y, z, their parents, and God through Christian music, art, and writing. That is what our site http://www.7cubed.org is all about – showing that we all have talents -whether it be in music or art or in personal connections of other forms- that we can use for God’s kingdom. For instance one goal of ours is to “boost” the awareness of Christian’s making music that goes ‘where the people are” that might not ever set foot in a church. We do this by providing interviews, reviews, and such with independent artists who have a talent they want to use for the Lord. Jesus didn’t just eat and mingle with the saved – he went where the need was greatest. So we feel a calling to use our artistic skills to help bring others and their skills to the forefront so that others lives may be changed forever. The many artistic skills being used to lead in some way seems to be in large effect how God is “taking back the airwaves”. Good thing too!

  21. Great post. I appreciate you bringing this up! I’m with you on this, as I think too often artist-types get pegged as unable to function well as a leader. I have to say that, from experience, this is sometimes true. Churches who are interested in artist-leaders need to look at not only their artistic skill but their leadership abilities and administrative prowess. If they don’t have those latter traits, churches need to be able to surround them with people who can administrate…or else they need to look for someone else. But, as you say, it’s definitely not a one for one correlation that artists can’t be organized or have strong skills in leadership. Ultimately, it’s an issue of how a person is gifted by the Holy Spirit. And I’ve met many Spirit-filled leaders who can hang with the best of leaders and administrators. Thanks again for tackling assumptions like these.
    Zac

    1. Zac… take note of the difference between management and leadership that I mention in the post. I believe that is one of the ways the church misreads what leadership is in the first place. Administrators are not necessarily leaders while leaders can lead without being good administrators (management). The details of running process is one thing. The vision of inspiring and moving people in a direction is another.

  22. Great post. I appreciate you bringing this up! I’m with you on this, as I think too often artist-types get pegged as unable to function well as a leader. I have to say that, from experience, this is sometimes true. Churches who are interested in artist-leaders need to look at not only their artistic skill but their leadership abilities and administrative prowess. If they don’t have those latter traits, churches need to be able to surround them with people who can administrate…or else they need to look for someone else. But, as you say, it’s definitely not a one for one correlation that artists can’t be organized or have strong skills in leadership. Ultimately, it’s an issue of how a person is gifted by the Holy Spirit. And I’ve met many Spirit-filled leaders who can hang with the best of leaders and administrators. Thanks again for tackling assumptions like these.
    Zac

    1. Zac… take note of the difference between management and leadership that I mention in the post. I believe that is one of the ways the church misreads what leadership is in the first place. Administrators are not necessarily leaders while leaders can lead without being good administrators (management). The details of running process is one thing. The vision of inspiring and moving people in a direction is another.

  23. Great post. I appreciate you bringing this up! I’m with you on this, as I think too often artist-types get pegged as unable to function well as a leader. I have to say that, from experience, this is sometimes true. Churches who are interested in artist-leaders need to look at not only their artistic skill but their leadership abilities and administrative prowess. If they don’t have those latter traits, churches need to be able to surround them with people who can administrate…or else they need to look for someone else. But, as you say, it’s definitely not a one for one correlation that artists can’t be organized or have strong skills in leadership. Ultimately, it’s an issue of how a person is gifted by the Holy Spirit. And I’ve met many Spirit-filled leaders who can hang with the best of leaders and administrators. Thanks again for tackling assumptions like these.
    Zac

    1. Zac… take note of the difference between management and leadership that I mention in the post. I believe that is one of the ways the church misreads what leadership is in the first place. Administrators are not necessarily leaders while leaders can lead without being good administrators (management). The details of running process is one thing. The vision of inspiring and moving people in a direction is another.

  24. Great post. I appreciate you bringing this up! I’m with you on this, as I think too often artist-types get pegged as unable to function well as a leader. I have to say that, from experience, this is sometimes true. Churches who are interested in artist-leaders need to look at not only their artistic skill but their leadership abilities and administrative prowess. If they don’t have those latter traits, churches need to be able to surround them with people who can administrate…or else they need to look for someone else. But, as you say, it’s definitely not a one for one correlation that artists can’t be organized or have strong skills in leadership. Ultimately, it’s an issue of how a person is gifted by the Holy Spirit. And I’ve met many Spirit-filled leaders who can hang with the best of leaders and administrators. Thanks again for tackling assumptions like these.
    Zac

    1. Zac… take note of the difference between management and leadership that I mention in the post. I believe that is one of the ways the church misreads what leadership is in the first place. Administrators are not necessarily leaders while leaders can lead without being good administrators (management). The details of running process is one thing. The vision of inspiring and moving people in a direction is another.

  25. I really like the idea for this series. There are a ton of myths about worship and worship leading. Great job in taking initiative and tackling these.

  26. I really like the idea for this series. There are a ton of myths about worship and worship leading. Great job in taking initiative and tackling these.

  27. I really like the idea for this series. There are a ton of myths about worship and worship leading. Great job in taking initiative and tackling these.

  28. I really like the idea for this series. There are a ton of myths about worship and worship leading. Great job in taking initiative and tackling these.

  29. This is something that I’ve wrestled with: The idea of ‘trying’ to be a leader, versus being myself…an artist. I’ve struggled with thinking that being an artist isn’t enough…and that I need to ‘try and lead’ in addition to being an artist.
    Leading would be an outflow of being creative & artistic…but would be, and is, misunderstood by people who think in straighter lines. I understand that there is a task to be done…but I rarely approach that task the same way as the next guy would…and this certainly does not make it wrong or bad leadership.

    Sometimes ‘leadership’ is so compartmentalized by people who are quick to say what it is…and certainly what it isn’t. And of course…many artists are hurt in one way or another by this. It kills creativity…and if you’re not being creative, you’re not being artistic…and then you’ve got a predicament on your hands…hmmm…

    1. You can be an artist and lead, rather than thinking the two are mutually exclusive. So, Matt, be creative and also lead from who you are. Not easy, but you can learn to do it just like you can learn a new song.

  30. This is something that I’ve wrestled with: The idea of ‘trying’ to be a leader, versus being myself…an artist. I’ve struggled with thinking that being an artist isn’t enough…and that I need to ‘try and lead’ in addition to being an artist.
    Leading would be an outflow of being creative & artistic…but would be, and is, misunderstood by people who think in straighter lines. I understand that there is a task to be done…but I rarely approach that task the same way as the next guy would…and this certainly does not make it wrong or bad leadership.

    Sometimes ‘leadership’ is so compartmentalized by people who are quick to say what it is…and certainly what it isn’t. And of course…many artists are hurt in one way or another by this. It kills creativity…and if you’re not being creative, you’re not being artistic…and then you’ve got a predicament on your hands…hmmm…

    1. You can be an artist and lead, rather than thinking the two are mutually exclusive. So, Matt, be creative and also lead from who you are. Not easy, but you can learn to do it just like you can learn a new song.

  31. This is something that I’ve wrestled with: The idea of ‘trying’ to be a leader, versus being myself…an artist. I’ve struggled with thinking that being an artist isn’t enough…and that I need to ‘try and lead’ in addition to being an artist.
    Leading would be an outflow of being creative & artistic…but would be, and is, misunderstood by people who think in straighter lines. I understand that there is a task to be done…but I rarely approach that task the same way as the next guy would…and this certainly does not make it wrong or bad leadership.

    Sometimes ‘leadership’ is so compartmentalized by people who are quick to say what it is…and certainly what it isn’t. And of course…many artists are hurt in one way or another by this. It kills creativity…and if you’re not being creative, you’re not being artistic…and then you’ve got a predicament on your hands…hmmm…

    1. You can be an artist and lead, rather than thinking the two are mutually exclusive. So, Matt, be creative and also lead from who you are. Not easy, but you can learn to do it just like you can learn a new song.

  32. This is something that I’ve wrestled with: The idea of ‘trying’ to be a leader, versus being myself…an artist. I’ve struggled with thinking that being an artist isn’t enough…and that I need to ‘try and lead’ in addition to being an artist.
    Leading would be an outflow of being creative & artistic…but would be, and is, misunderstood by people who think in straighter lines. I understand that there is a task to be done…but I rarely approach that task the same way as the next guy would…and this certainly does not make it wrong or bad leadership.

    Sometimes ‘leadership’ is so compartmentalized by people who are quick to say what it is…and certainly what it isn’t. And of course…many artists are hurt in one way or another by this. It kills creativity…and if you’re not being creative, you’re not being artistic…and then you’ve got a predicament on your hands…hmmm…

    1. You can be an artist and lead, rather than thinking the two are mutually exclusive. So, Matt, be creative and also lead from who you are. Not easy, but you can learn to do it just like you can learn a new song.

  33. You said that artists create culture. I think art CAN create culture, but this is not an inherent quality for artists. There are plenty of artists making great art that may not even see the light of day to the public.
    Most artists probably reflect culture more than they reflect it. I’m thinking of the 80’s rock band Winger. They didn’t really create a culture (outside of a fanbase). They more or less reflected the existing 80’s hair-band culture, which was admittedly created by other artists before them.

    But with all this said, I DO believe that art is extremely powerful. I think it was Andrew Schlesinger who said, “Let me write the songs of a nation, I don’t care who writes its laws.”

    Jesus communicated in parables, and the Bible is dominated by narrative because stories are an art that reach everyone no matter where they are coming from, and they reach both the heart and the mind.

    If the Bible were written like a doctrinal thesis instead, it would only reach analytical types and people who are more intellectual.

    Art transcends barriers. That is why it is powerful.

    1. You define Winger as art who created real art? Not sure I would agree, there, based on the light you shed of Winger. Creating culture is one of the thing art does. It lays the foundation for how we express and foreshadows where we are heading. It critiques the powers to be.
      Why I think it is a myth that artists are not leaders in the church or should not be is that in the church culture we misunderstanding art and artists. Leadership involves not necessarily management. It involves moving the hearts and minds of people.

  34. You said that artists create culture. I think art CAN create culture, but this is not an inherent quality for artists. There are plenty of artists making great art that may not even see the light of day to the public.
    Most artists probably reflect culture more than they reflect it. I’m thinking of the 80’s rock band Winger. They didn’t really create a culture (outside of a fanbase). They more or less reflected the existing 80’s hair-band culture, which was admittedly created by other artists before them.

    But with all this said, I DO believe that art is extremely powerful. I think it was Andrew Schlesinger who said, “Let me write the songs of a nation, I don’t care who writes its laws.”

    Jesus communicated in parables, and the Bible is dominated by narrative because stories are an art that reach everyone no matter where they are coming from, and they reach both the heart and the mind.

    If the Bible were written like a doctrinal thesis instead, it would only reach analytical types and people who are more intellectual.

    Art transcends barriers. That is why it is powerful.

    1. You define Winger as art who created real art? Not sure I would agree, there, based on the light you shed of Winger. Creating culture is one of the thing art does. It lays the foundation for how we express and foreshadows where we are heading. It critiques the powers to be.
      Why I think it is a myth that artists are not leaders in the church or should not be is that in the church culture we misunderstanding art and artists. Leadership involves not necessarily management. It involves moving the hearts and minds of people.

  35. You said that artists create culture. I think art CAN create culture, but this is not an inherent quality for artists. There are plenty of artists making great art that may not even see the light of day to the public.
    Most artists probably reflect culture more than they reflect it. I’m thinking of the 80’s rock band Winger. They didn’t really create a culture (outside of a fanbase). They more or less reflected the existing 80’s hair-band culture, which was admittedly created by other artists before them.

    But with all this said, I DO believe that art is extremely powerful. I think it was Andrew Schlesinger who said, “Let me write the songs of a nation, I don’t care who writes its laws.”

    Jesus communicated in parables, and the Bible is dominated by narrative because stories are an art that reach everyone no matter where they are coming from, and they reach both the heart and the mind.

    If the Bible were written like a doctrinal thesis instead, it would only reach analytical types and people who are more intellectual.

    Art transcends barriers. That is why it is powerful.

    1. You define Winger as art who created real art? Not sure I would agree, there, based on the light you shed of Winger. Creating culture is one of the thing art does. It lays the foundation for how we express and foreshadows where we are heading. It critiques the powers to be.
      Why I think it is a myth that artists are not leaders in the church or should not be is that in the church culture we misunderstanding art and artists. Leadership involves not necessarily management. It involves moving the hearts and minds of people.

  36. You said that artists create culture. I think art CAN create culture, but this is not an inherent quality for artists. There are plenty of artists making great art that may not even see the light of day to the public.
    Most artists probably reflect culture more than they reflect it. I’m thinking of the 80’s rock band Winger. They didn’t really create a culture (outside of a fanbase). They more or less reflected the existing 80’s hair-band culture, which was admittedly created by other artists before them.

    But with all this said, I DO believe that art is extremely powerful. I think it was Andrew Schlesinger who said, “Let me write the songs of a nation, I don’t care who writes its laws.”

    Jesus communicated in parables, and the Bible is dominated by narrative because stories are an art that reach everyone no matter where they are coming from, and they reach both the heart and the mind.

    If the Bible were written like a doctrinal thesis instead, it would only reach analytical types and people who are more intellectual.

    Art transcends barriers. That is why it is powerful.

    1. You define Winger as art who created real art? Not sure I would agree, there, based on the light you shed of Winger. Creating culture is one of the thing art does. It lays the foundation for how we express and foreshadows where we are heading. It critiques the powers to be.
      Why I think it is a myth that artists are not leaders in the church or should not be is that in the church culture we misunderstanding art and artists. Leadership involves not necessarily management. It involves moving the hearts and minds of people.

  37. Rich,
    Wonderful article. I am a person who is BOTH analytical and artistic….I am a manager and a leader. I do not know how it works, save for God in it, but that is what it is.

    I liked it when you said we end up leading and not even knowing it – it has been my experience that we tend to turn around and see that there are people following. It is truly an awesome responsibility.

    Praise God for you and your ministry, and I hope you are near Holland MI soon. I would love to come and worship Him with you!

    John
    FOCUS Worship Ministries
    Holland, MI
    http://www.focuspraise.com

    1. Would love to John.
      Thanks for your encouragement. I am simply trying to break the box we put on leadership and creatives.

  38. Rich,
    Wonderful article. I am a person who is BOTH analytical and artistic….I am a manager and a leader. I do not know how it works, save for God in it, but that is what it is.

    I liked it when you said we end up leading and not even knowing it – it has been my experience that we tend to turn around and see that there are people following. It is truly an awesome responsibility.

    Praise God for you and your ministry, and I hope you are near Holland MI soon. I would love to come and worship Him with you!

    John
    FOCUS Worship Ministries
    Holland, MI
    http://www.focuspraise.com

    1. Would love to John.
      Thanks for your encouragement. I am simply trying to break the box we put on leadership and creatives.

  39. Rich,
    Wonderful article. I am a person who is BOTH analytical and artistic….I am a manager and a leader. I do not know how it works, save for God in it, but that is what it is.

    I liked it when you said we end up leading and not even knowing it – it has been my experience that we tend to turn around and see that there are people following. It is truly an awesome responsibility.

    Praise God for you and your ministry, and I hope you are near Holland MI soon. I would love to come and worship Him with you!

    John
    FOCUS Worship Ministries
    Holland, MI
    http://www.focuspraise.com

    1. Would love to John.
      Thanks for your encouragement. I am simply trying to break the box we put on leadership and creatives.

  40. Rich,
    Wonderful article. I am a person who is BOTH analytical and artistic….I am a manager and a leader. I do not know how it works, save for God in it, but that is what it is.

    I liked it when you said we end up leading and not even knowing it – it has been my experience that we tend to turn around and see that there are people following. It is truly an awesome responsibility.

    Praise God for you and your ministry, and I hope you are near Holland MI soon. I would love to come and worship Him with you!

    John
    FOCUS Worship Ministries
    Holland, MI
    http://www.focuspraise.com

    1. Would love to John.
      Thanks for your encouragement. I am simply trying to break the box we put on leadership and creatives.

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