Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Management theory

Following the excellent discussion of managerialism in the latest issue of Studies in Christian Ethics, here’s a piece by Kim Fabricius...

PETER: Eh… Jesus…

JESUS: Yes, Peter…?

PETER: I’ve been thinking.

JESUS: Start the day with a miracle, is it?

PETER: No, seriously, Jesus, I’ve been thinking…

JESUS: What about, Peter?

PETER: About mission – and about the future.

JESUS: Into eschatology now, are we?

PETER: Escha … escha … escha-what-ogy?

JESUS: “Eschatology”, Peter. The “last things” – death, judgement, heaven, hell – the end of the world. You said you were thinking about the future.

PETER: Not that far into the future. I was thinking more about the immediate future.

JESUS: What about it?

PETER: Precisely Jesus – what about it? We can’t go on living like this.

JESUS: Like what, Peter?

PETER: Like “lilies of the field”. You say that they don’t worry about the future, so why should we? Come on, Jesus, get real! Ours is a field for mission, not flowers. If we’re going to go out proclaiming the kingdom of God, we’ve got to plan ahead. “Lambs among wolves” indeed! We’ll get eaten alive.

JESUS: What if I tell you to take some mint sauce along?

PETER: Come on, Jesus, I’m serious.

JESUS: Okay, Peter, tell me about these plans of yours.

PETER: Management theory.

JESUS: Pardon?

PETER: Management theory, Jesus. Haven’t you read the latest pack from Jerusalem? It’s all there. We need a system.

JESUS: A system?

PETER: Yes, a system. We’ve got a product, and we’ve got to sell it – we’ve got to be productive – and to be productive we need a system. It’s all about efficiency.

JESUS: I see.

PETER: We need to establish goals and set targets, and we need to prioritise.

JESUS: “Prioritise”?

PETER: Yes, I mean tax collectors and sinners? It’s a disgrace.

JESUS: I don’t do diss, Peter. But go on.

PETER: Where was I…? Yes, and we need to monitor, evaluate, assess.

JESUS: Of course.

PETER: I was thinking of a market research unit and a performance review team. And we’ll need a director of finance.

JESUS: But I’ve already appointed Judas as treasurer.

PETER: Bad choice according to the Micah-Baruch type test I ran him through, which was confirmed by the little focus group Jim and I set up.

JESUS: Who do you have in mind?

PETER: I’m drawing up a shortlist. And, of course, you’ll need a personal private consultant. And my first job will be to come up with a mission statement.

JESUS: Absolutely.

PETER: You know we don’t even have a mobile phone or a laptop. And we’ll have to have a blog.

JESUS: Is that “blog” as in Gog and Magog?

PETER: This isn’t a joke, Jesus. With that attitude no wonder we’re in such a state. But no more. From now on we’re going to be organised, with nothing left to chance, all the “i”s dotted and “t”s crossed. The future will be secure.

JESUS: So we’ll be profitable?


JESUS: And successful?

JESUS: And respected, admired, extolled?

PETER: I can see your picture now on the cover of Chronos: “Jesus of Nazareth: Man of the Year”!

JESUS: [Starts laughing.]

PETER: What’s so funny, Jesus?

JESUS: [Laughter increases.]

PETER: Why are you laughing?

JESUS: [Now in stitches.]

PETER: [Testily] Jesus!

JESUS: Peter, you’ve forgotten something absolutely crucial to good practice.

PETER: [Arrogantly] And what’s that?

JESUS: The No Asshole Rule.


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