Practice Makes Perfect

Feb 3

Written by:
Friday, February 3, 2012 9:05 AM  RssIcon

This Monday, we had a discussion in my "Art as Worship, Worship as Art" class that reshaped some of my thoughts around vocation. We were talking about dancers, visual artists, and actors, and what made them good at their craft.

The conversation was a lengthy one. My colleagues and I guessed every answer under the sun. Someone said that what made a dancer good is that they were in touch with the beat of the music. Another stated that a good painter was one who had mastered putting what was in their head on the page.

While my professor acknowledged that these answers were, in part, correct, she kept urging us all to think further on the subject, as if she was not yet satisfied with our answers. We threw answers at her for the better part of an hour until she finally told us, "It is extensive practice that makes any type of artist a good artist."

My professor was obviously completely correct. Any craft can only be mastered through practice.

I thought back to some of my construction experience, and how my grandfather had spent over half a century on a backhoe; despite his age, he could dig a better footing or ditch than anyone my father's age simply because he had put the time and energy into mastering his craft.

Then I was drawn to the implications that this tenet might have upon the life of the Church, and how taking seriously one's craft in the work of the Church would seriously enhance the experience of the congregation.

I realized that, as a person who is serving the needs of a congregation (even only as an intern), I am charged with cultivating my craft in the areas of education, theology, rhetoric, hospitality, counseling, and community building. To refrain from cultivating these areas in my own life, however, does not only negatively affect me, but it also affects the whole of the Christian community. I realized that to constantly cultivate my own vocational callings and areas of responsibility is truly a work of sanctification itself.

Joshua Howard
M.Div, Class of 2012
Wesley Ambassador


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