Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 146:582 (Apr 89) p. 217
“The Minister as Maestro,” Fred Smith, Leadership 9 (1988): 130-37.
The author takes exception to the concept of chief executive officer when applied to the pastor of a local church. After contrasting the differences in leadership between a corporation (CEO) and a church (pastor), Smith suggests a new model—conductor of a symphony. His extended analogy presents suggested similarities between the pastor and the maestro. He insightfully underscores “reverence for the composer,” “knowledge of the score,” “superior conducting ability,” “ability to build the orchestra,” “selecting a repertoire,” “operating with financial limitations,” “looking to the future,” and “directing the rehearsal.”
Since the article compares the model of conductor with that of CEO, the conductor image comes out clearly superior when fitted in a pastoral paradigm. But the issue of the pastor and his role as a leader may be more complex than either model adequately addresses. The search for a clear yet complete leadership model for pastors is not totally answered by this maestro model.
Since the conductor likeness has been extended by the author in nine areas, it seems legitimate to ask additional specific questions of the imagery delivered by the conductor model. (1) Should a pastor be the focal point of the applause the audience renders a conductor? (2) Does the pastor function as the maestro in being the solo enforcer or “keeper of the rules” of the music? (3) Is there a “multiple function” of leadership that appears to be denied by this model? (4) Does this model overemphasize “production” while underemphasizing godliness of the members (“performers”)? (5) Would this model of leadership be able to move beyond “behavioral concepts” to “attitudinal concepts”? (6) Assuming this model has a modicum of accuracy, is it not more difficult to present the praise (glory) to the “writer of the score” instead of the pastor (conductor) or members (musicians)? (7) Does this leadership model contain the danger of elevating human artistry to the point of mechanistic behavior and therefore diminishing the function
BSac 146:582 (Apr 89) p. 218
the Holy Spirit sustains in any adequate leadership model? In short, this maestro model rates as a “good” model. And as models go, “good” wins over “fair” or “poor,” but “good” loses in the arena against “better” or “best.” This maestro analogy (good) emerges as winner when compared with a CEO (fair). It would not do so well if compared with the more biblical concept of shepherd (better).
Samuel L. Canine
“Abba, Father: The Prayer of the Sons of Go...
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