On Being a Performer (part 2 of 3)

Rick Mattson Devotion, Leadership Leave a Comment

Second Post: Liabilities

In my prior post I shared how performers tend to have an altar-ego that kicks in when things need to get done and done well. In my own case, when funds need to be raised for the ministry, or I’m literally on-stage with Muslim or atheist dialogue partners, or I’m bouncing around a college campus meeting students and professors, my inner Zoro emerges.

And Zoro performs. Nothing wrong with that. 

Yet, there are downsides to being a performer. Here are three:

  1. Playing to the crowd. Performers give audiences what they want, but is the stage-persona genuine, or merely a contrivance? And when performers walk off the set, do they know who they are in real life?
  2. Fatigue. Performing is tiring. You should see me at home: quiet as an evening moon, resting up for the next curtain call at a college campus soon to come.
  3. Success/Failure. Performers are tempted to measure themselves by the quality and success of what they do: perform well, their confidence soars; perform badly, they go in the tank. I, naturally, know nothing of this.

Despite the potential liabilities of performing, as just mentioned, I’m not against it (overall). “Performer” profile is how God made me and is thus his creational prerogative, which I accept and even celebrate.

But because performers dwell in sinful bodies in a fallen world (same as everyone else), their flaws inevitably come out. And that’s when performers need to move beyond the created self to the re-created self. 

These two theological ideas of the created self and the re-created self are taken up in a penetrating new book by Christopher Howard and Andrew Gross, called Be Different: Finding the Resilience to Lead. I’ll share a sample of their wisdom in my next post.

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

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