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Look Before You Lead
How to Discern and Shape Your Church Culture
by Aubrey Malphurs
Publisher:Baker Publishing Group (BPG)
Culture is so much a part of us that often we are not aware of how much culture is influencing our work in any organization. Malphurs is a prominent church leadership specialist with the goal to define, discover and design church culture that wins people to faith in Jesus Christ. He brilliantly deconstructs the many misconceptions about culture, using the illustration of the apple, with the skin (appearance), meat (values) and core (beliefs), mostly lucidly detailing how culture might be. Dr Malphurs explains that this crucial aspect of any congregation consists of three elements: behaviour, values, and beliefs.
Malphurs provides a three-part guide to help us discern and shape church culture. He borrows widely from different leadership and management sciences, as well as his own learning and experience to help readers understand culture as comprehensively as possible, to read culture as intelligently as possible, and to shape culture as wisely as possible. Part Three may be of keenest interest and most inspiring as it offers meaningful change strategies.
The language of pastor as "church sculptor" may not translate as well across the pond yet withal his thawing strategy for the current culture is very clear. Inflicting pain, asking make or break questions, developing opportunity eyes and recruiting a strategic leadership team are brilliantly mapped out. In Look Before You Lead, hard questions are asked. Do we care enough to change? Do we practice what we preach? Does change mean compromising Biblical beliefs or does it mean we find new ways to present them? Its rigorous working format offers much to church leaders and their leadership teams.
Reviewer: Johnny Douglas (31/05/13)