Posted 1 years 314 days ago ago by Hugh Ballou 3 Comments
...Is divided into four sections:
In my leadership work, I group skills and strategies into the four areas above. First, Foundations give the leader the clarity to know how to lead the team because the final result in clear; second, build and maintain effective relationship to assist in getting to the vision; next, develop effective systems allowing each team member to excel and to work together efficiently; and finally, create balance in work, in life, and between work and life.
The format for this year consists of interviews with Christian leaders from many different types of leadership styles and perspectives - some pastors, some musicians, some lay leaders, some Christian business professionals, and more. My guest this month is Dean McIntyre
, who the Director of Music Resources in the Center for Worship Resourcing at The United Methodist General Board of Discipleship in Nashville.
Dean B. McIntyre
is active in developing and promoting music resources for use in The UMC, as well as speaking and leading workshops on a variety of worship and music related topics. McIntyre chaired the General Conference Music and Worship Study (2004-2007) and was named co-editor of the United Methodist Hymnal Revision Project. He is on the editorial team for the new joint GBOD-UMPH Worship & Song worship and songbook project, editing the worship resources volume, and leading the national introductory event in March 2011. McIntyre is a composer, arranger, and author, major contributor to the GBOD worship and music website, and moderator of The United Methodist Musicians’ Listserv and Ruach List. He has a bachelor’s degree in organ performance, a master’s degree in post-secondary music education, and a Ph.D. in Fine Arts, is a member of ASCAP and a Life Member of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. He is the compiler of A Reference Companion to The United Methodist Hymnal and The Faith We Sing
and Hymns for the Revised Common Lectionary
Hugh Ballou:Dean, I know you well and I've known you for many years. You are a great value to the church as a whole even though you work for the Methodist Church. Give us a little history of who you are and what you do currently.
Dean McIntyre: I grew up in the church. My dad was a Methodist pastor. I grew up being bombarded with music - we had pianos and organs all the time in our home. My mother was a consummate musician, organist, pianist, choir director, did some arranging. I think she actually published some songs at one point and most often did the music in the church where my dad was appointed. This freed me to move around. So, from the time of about 6th grade or so beyond, I was out playing and doing music in all kinds of churches - Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic, Episcopal, some Methodist churches. So I had a pretty good exposure to a lot of styles of music growing up. And did that weekly from about the 7th or 8th grade. Every Sunday I had a church job function to fulfill. Throughout adult life I pursued music as an education, going for Bachelor's in organ performance, and a Master's in post-secondary music education, and a PHD in fine arts with a major in 18th century music performance practice.
So, I have a pretty good school background, have taught college and university music at various places, and finally went back into the church full time and have done that for a good number of years now. Actually, I count myself as being over 50 years in church music, not as full time work, of course, but it's been that many years that I've been doing church music in churches. I write music, arrange music, I love directing choirs, although in my current position with the board of discipleship, I'm not allowed to have a church position. So they want full claim on my time, which is good. I'm glad to give that. But that lets me go out and play and substitute and do that sort of thing. As well as come to, events...music events, worship events. And, get to meet people doing the same kinds of things I grew up doing all my life.
In my current position as Director of Music Resources at the United Methodist Church Board of Discipleship in Nashville, we do leadership training. We help develop music and worship leaders and preachers. We provide resources for them. We publish things. We put things up on websites. We hold training events. We do anything we can do to help the music and worship life of the local church musician, pastor, worship leader, and planner. We're, we're actively engaged in it.
Ballou: So, Dean, I'm gonna ask you questions in my four areas of leadership. The first one is about Foundations - who we are as a leader, what our vision is, and clarity of vision, and definition of what is it that we're leading? So, what advice do you have for church musicians and pastors who were working together to plan worship and leading people in the church?
McIntyre: To know yourself is so fundamental. You have to know who you are, where you've come from, why you've been on the journey you are currently on, and if you can be introspective enough to see where you've been, and how you've gotten to the various points, how did I get to a certain position, or why did I leave that position and go to another one? Why did I go back to school? Why did I switch from piano to organ?
So, if you think about those kinds of issues in your own personal life, then you have a strong sense of identity - who you are. I don't believe until you have that, until you are secure in the knowledge of who you are - and I don't mean to infer that that never changes. But, you have an understanding of why you have done the things you have done and how you've been able to do them. Only then should you be trying to lead others. If you're a poor lost soul, going from church to church or school to school or job to job, and you can't quite find your footing so that you’re secure in who you are and what you’re doing and what your goals are going to be, then you should not be in a position of doing that with or for others.
Ballou: That defines Foundation, in my mind.
McIntyre: Well, I hope.
Ballou: So we're clear on that. I think, a big part of leadership is relational, and like a big part of ministry is about relationships. So, where clear on who we are and why were in this position. So, thinking about relationships how is that important in the life a leader?
McIntyre: Well that's certainly a big question, and I'm probably gonna answer it in a rather unorthodox manner. As musicians and worship people, it's often easy for us to say, “Here I am Lord, Use me.” You've given me these gifts and I've developed them as best I can and I'm ready to be a blessing for others. But, until we have established a relationship that is one that we are in some form of communication and sensory knowledge of the Almighty, until we deal with who we are, and allow God to make of us what God wants us to be. Until we do that, I think it's almost blasphemous to say, “Here I am, Lord. Use me.” I wanna be God's man. And I do wanna be an instrument to bless others. Well I've got to take care of who I am first.
And so, my relationship to God is primary. And that may take the form of you know, daily prayer, daily devotions, weekly communion and tithing and all the disciplines that we're taught as good Christians and good disciples and leaders. But most often for me it takes the form of God does not talk to me directly. I don't believe I've ever heard an audible word from the Lord. But what I do get is a sense of well-being. And so my relationship with God is like walking on that centerline of the road. And when I'm on the right path, the right direction, in the right relationship, I'm pretty close to that line. But when I feel like maybe I'm weaving and wandering off of that line. Is when I understand that my relationship with God has to be first and I've got to get that back, got to get back someway to that centerline so that I can then turn around and see the other folks behind me who I'm leading and wave ‘em on. Come on folks, this direction, here's where we're heading
And so I think that relationship is first and foremost, the most important to us. And then, the rest of course, is family. If you don't have the love and support of your family, you can't do church work. Get out of the business. It's not something you ought to be in.
And then others are simply relationships with people in your choirs, in your worship services. You've got to love, genuinely love being with people, serving people, ministering to people, understanding what their needs, and their frustrations, and their wants, and their desires, and their goals and celebrations, and helping them.
And so all of that comes relationally - being with people, in the church, in the choirs, in the meetings that you have, the endless meetings, the staff meetings. All of that. It's a group effort being a disciple of Christ.
Ballou: I teach Transformational Leadership, and one of the pillars that define that style of leadership is that we set an example for people. We are authentic and we model for others. And so that genuineness of self and that genuineness of relationship with God are really key components of Transformational Leadership.
McIntyre:And if you don't have that authenticity of a relationship, then people are going to know that. They're going to see it. And they're going to sense it. And I think we all could probably think of some people in the church music field that maybe we’re suspicious are in that circumstance - that they sort of found their way into church music because they did music, but without those relationships and understanding what that means, what that requires of us and what then gives us joy in those relationships and satisfaction.
Ballou: We think of leadership only in terms of skill, many times. I’d like to, remind people that leadership is also systems. We're setting up effective systems as leaders. So, you spent a lot of time in the church as I have. There are many systems that don't work so well. We influence that, no matter where we are in the structure of the church, we influence those systems. So what thoughts do you have? I'm sure you've attended a boring unproductive meeting on occasion.
McIntyre: I probably had my share.
Ballou: That's certainly a system. We as musicians understand how to run a really tight rehearsal but we don’t use that same skills set to run meetings. There are probably whole lots of systems that affect our ability to lead. Are there other systems you can think of?
McIntyre: Well I think one of those that is really important is, how do we educate people? And when I say people, I'm talking about children, youth, and adults about things related to the church. And when I say the church, you do have all those other things that go on, suppers, and dinners, and picnics, and treats, and everything. But I think primarily about worshiping music in the church, because that's what I do. So how do we train people to perceive and experience music in the church as something that's finally important to their faith formation, to their living out their vows of membership to the church, for instance. How do we use music and impart that to the people in our congregations? And again, that's people of very young age, and very small height, to people of very old age, and fully-grown adults. How do we let them see music and worship as formational and transformational - to see music and worship as grounding in their very basic identity as Christians - who they are and what is their relationship with Christ? And so, we can do that through social events where we just get together and sing.
We could actually have educational training sessions, where we teach people to read music if we want. Or we'll teach them the history of hymns, teach them a little bit of music theory, we train kids how ta sing with the, with a good choral tone. Or we teach them to sing and just have a great deal of fun with it. So, I think the musician in the church who has an idea of how to accomplish those kinds of things educationally so that people understand, appreciate and approach singing worship not just as something they come to church to do on Sunday morning, but that it is very intimately connected to who they are as a human being.
Ballou: Those are important words, indeed! James Jordan writes in his book The Musician's Soul, about us being centered physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, in order to be an effective on the podium conducting. So my last area of leadership is about Balance. I think centering is a part of it. Being rested is a part of it. In musical terms, that leadership principal is expressed as a Value the Rests, which are important in music. There are many aspects to balancing - not meaning that everything's equal, but how do we balance multiple priorities or how do we balance our own selves. So, in that area of leadership, give us a few words of wisdom.
McIntyre: I wish I had some. My life is most often out of balance, I confess. I do not manage that well. And never have been able to. I understand that you need to care for your family. You need to care for those family relationships and that's of such great importance. And so spend time with your spouse, spend time with your kids. Well, I'm probably one that's more guilty of not having done that as often as I should have in my younger years. Now my daughter has grown. So but that's an important thing. So let me preach the word, even though it doesn't apply so much to myself. I think balance for one knowing, being secure in one's faith, being secure in one's knowledge, and experience of Christ is important. And I don't try and do that in Sunday worship. I can't do it - never been able to do it, so I've never tried. I gave it up as a teenager. I realized, I'm there doing things, performing functions, performing tasks, that should allow others to have that experience, to have that expression. And if I'm concerned about myself doing it, then I've lost track of my goal and my reason for being there. So, I can't do that in church worship, I have to do it somewhere else. I can do it here, at this event where we are right now because I don't have the responsibility for worship. I can go to worship and I can be fed, I can be nurtured, I can be nourished. Of course sometimes I can be upset by it, and then go back and reflect on it and figure out why. And that's important too.
We're musicians and worship people in the church, you know, we're notorious overachievers and overworkers at the expense of, perhaps, family and home life and our own health sometimes.
All those are important but I think that's so self evident that those of us that, maybe haven't paid a lot of attention to it at some points of our life were guilty of it. But we know we did wrong and we know we shoulda done a better job of it. And it's kinda nice growing up in the church and aging in your job and in your calling and in your ministry so that I can now look and say, “well, you know, I didn't do that well 20 years ago. I'm gonna spend time with my wife now.” So I tell the church, you're gonna have to give me some time here. And we're gonna go off to travel somewhere.
Ballou: So you can start today and set boundaries.
McIntyre: I could, yes indeed. Even as I'm approaching, at some point, in not too many years down the road, retirement, sure. It'd be a time to do it.
Ballou:The R word...
Ballou: Dean and I are sitting in Lake Junaluska. It's the Music and Arts Week of the Fellowship of Methodist Musicians in June. So, if you haven't been to this event, it's time to look it up. We're having a rich week. So, as we leave this interview, what’s a final thought that you'd like to share with people?
McIntyre: Well, there are lots that I could pull. I would say, “sing.” People who sing, even if it's bad singing, if it's off key, if they don't know the words, if they only do it for their own amusement or amazement in the car, on the way to work, or in the shower... sing, hum, whistle. There is something that if you do music physically, physiologically, and emotionally, and psychologically, you are connected to the Creator. You are connected to the cosmos. And when you don't sing, when you don't personally do music, when you go to church, and you see it's time for the opening hymn, and they stand the congregation, and you open it up, and you see that it's Holy, Holy, Holy, and you slam that book shut, and put it down in the rack, and you don't sing, you've lost an opportunity - A grand opportunity to be part of God's creation and to fulfill what God wants you to be as a human being. So…Sing!
Ballou: Sing is the word of the day.
McIntyre: Sing is the word.
Ballou: Dean McIntyre, thank you for sharing with us today.
Arrive at your place of comfort utilizing the best of what you can learn from others. Build your foundation, maintain your relationships, utilize effective systems and keep a healthy balance in your life. Begin today. There's not an arrival point. It's simple a journey.
Grace and Peace to you in your duty and delight as a Christian leader.
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by Doug Lawrence