A recurring theme in stories about (Duke) Ellington, it seems, was his talent for motivation and inspiration. But it was coupled with what the authors call "a laissez-faire attitude towards the behaviour of his musicians". He saw their foibles as the price to be paid for having access to their talents. For Ucbasaran that raises questions for entrepreneurs. "If you have a creative process, you have to have talented employees. But talent is not always easy to manage. To what extent do you accommodate wayward behaviour? You have to give them freedom and space, but direct them in subtle ways so that the end result comes together harmoniously."
The above is taken from an article entitled "Business and all that jazz" posted at THE GUARDIAN, which Paul(A) kindly sent in to me. It's very interesting and contains much that should be of interest to church leaders. Christian ministry attracts a high percentage of creative people to its ranks who need to be strong willed if they are to survive and do the job well. I cannot think of any major movement of renewal within the Church that has not been spearheaded by a creative person. Yet, it is also usual for the lovers of the status quo within the church, who tend to be the dominant personality type in the higher reaches of church hierarchies, to view creative people with a lot of suspicion and relate to them in an aggressive manner. They regard the creative as a danger to society, and the truth is, they most likely are. But, I suggest that this is a risk well worth taking. In fact, it is a necessary risk if the church is to thrive rather than stagnate.
Creative people are, in fact, quite easy to get on side. You see, they are like children constantly craving praise and respect from their parents. Because they rarely receive this from people "in authority over them" any manager who sincerely offers the creative person praise and respect will gain their loyalty and love. With such a relationship in place the manager will be in a good position to negotiate and seek compromise although they will have to accept that such may be given begrudgingly (creative people do have a reputation of anti-authoritarianism to maintain). Church managers who also show interest in the projects of the creative people in their charge and offer encouragement may be in for a bumpy ride but it will be a ride that may well end up at a destination that actually brings glory to the Church rather than the P.R. disaster the unimaginative fear the eccentric will always land on their laps.
Christian ministry, especially evangelism, has other similarities to jazz. The best evangelists have also always been great improvisors. We only have to read the writings of St. Paul to see that this is true. His "all things to all men" rap would be regarded as far too great a risk to most church leaders nowadays who desire everybody working for them to be created in their own image and most definitely not in the image of the people such workers are taking the gospel to.
The good news of Jesus Christ is exciting, unpredictable in its outworking and extremely malleable in the hands of any artist who is truly inspired by it. If Christian ministry was music it would be freeform and liberating not constraining, constantly repetitive and unchanging. It would be inspired not mechanical, analogue not digital, soulful not soulless. It would be all that jazz and more.