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Culture Shift: Transforming Your Church from the Inside Out Hardcover – April 13, 2005
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--John Ortberg, teaching pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, and author, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, and The Life You’ve Always Wanted
"If you are looking for a quick fix, don’t buy this book. But if you’re looking for the secret to a faithful, thriving church, then buy out the store."
--Bill Easum, president, Bandy & Associates; author, Leadership on the Other Side
"We desperately need this learn-and-listen approach to changing your world by changing your culture. The authors’ mantra of ‘it’s easier to duplicate than incarnate’ is destined to become an open sesame to new directions for churches of all sizes, and new outpourings of the Spirit."
--Leonard Sweet, Drew Theological School, George Fox University; author, Post-Modern Pilgrims
"This book is to the church world what the best corporate culture book is to the business world. It doesn’t tell you to copy the best practices from corporate America. Instead, it invites you to create your own authentic culture."
--Bob Buford, founder, Leadership Network; author, Finishing Well and Halftime
"Culture Shift is exactly what happens to all healthy churches. The authors are like expert cultural geneticists. They skillfully model how to adjust the culture of your church until it births kingdom values in accordance with the Holy Spirit."
Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church; coauthor, Entrepreneurial Faith
"Every local church has a unique calling and a unique DNA. The leader is responsible for creating the culture that activates God’s calling and replicates apostolic DNA in the congregation. This is a must read for twenty-first century leaders."
--Michael Slaughter, senior pastor, Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church; author, Spiritual Entrepreneurs
"We often need to re-language our problems in order to get better solutions. Culture Shift provides us with a vocabulary to reshape the leadership discussion. You won’t think about your congregation or your leadership challenge the same way after reading this book."
--Reggie McNeal, director of leadership development, South Carolina Baptist Convention (ww.scbbaptist.org)
"Every church I’ve seen that’s effective in reaching people has a leader who intentionally or instinctively understands what this book shows you―the importance of creating a kingdom culture. Robert Lewis and Wayne Cordeiro are the best leaders I know for changing their own church culture into one of incarnational ministry that transforms lives."
--Dale Galloway, dean, Beeson Institute for Advanced Church Leadership (www.beesoninstitute.org)
"This book is an awesome tool for everyone involved in ministry. It will empower the body of Christ to look past ethnic differences and to embrace the needs of the different people that make up the modern church. It’s thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking form cover to cover."
--Matthew Barnett, senior pastor, Los Angeles Dream Center (www.dreamcenter.org)
From the Inside Flap
Would you describe your church's culture as thriving and irresistible? Are your church's members confidently using their gifts, talents, passions, and energy to serve and advance the kingdom of God? If you hesitated in answering, Culture Shift is the hands-on resource that can help your church release its full potential as a force for good.
Culture Shift, written for church leaders, ministers, pastors, ministry teams, and lay leaders, leads you through the process of identifying your church's distinctive culture, gives you practical tools to change it from the inside-out, and provides steps to keep your new culture aligned with your church's mission. Real transformation is not about working harder at what you're already doing or even copying another church's approach but about changing church culture at a foundational level.
The good news is that you already have everything you need—but you must look within for radical, transformational power. Your job is to develop a healthy atmosphere and let the Holy Spirit do the work through you. Once this fundamental shift has occurred and the new habits and values become central to everything your church does, a healthy, energetic, God-honoring church will be unleashed into a world that is desperately crying out for it.
- Item Weight : 1.19 pounds
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0787975303
- ISBN-13 : 978-0787975302
- Dimensions : 6.44 x 1.01 x 9.51 inches
- Publisher : Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (April 13, 2005)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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A book I had to use for a graduate level course on culture & change was Edgar Schein's book Cooperate Culture Survival Guide and one of the things he says repeatedly is not to oversimplify identifying, diagnosing, and changing an organziation's culture. This book and its author's make this exact mistake.
Unfortunately in our Christian culture we give far too much authority to authors based purely on their experiences within their specific church. Often time they lack the research & academia aspect that gives secular book far more credibility. If you are really looking to understand how deep and powerful an organization's culture is, start with Schein's book and go from there. An organizations culture controls us far more than we control it.
The aspect of Culture Shift that I did appreciate is the importance placed on God's role in the entire process. Transforming a church's culture needs to begin with discovering what God's unique purpose is for each church and that can never be understated. The author's to a good job of reinforcing this point.
Your culture is the lens through which you view your life. If you change the lens, you change your outlook. Change the culture, and everything else changes, including the future. Changing a culture is an inside-out approach that transforms the place. Transformation can never be brought in from the outside. Transformation is inside work, and every church already possess the elements that can bring it about.
Because culture shapes the church, and leaders make the culture, this book helps leaders work through cultural issues in their church, and to find ways to change and incarnate the godly culture that they would want. In this book are also questions and suggesstions that guide the reader into looking at how things are, working out where you want to go, and areas to focus on to take you there. In general, a church that goes through a culture shift would likely go through the following (pg. 183-4):
1. Identify and believe God's promises about your church's potential.
2. Model kingdom culture personally.
3. Enlist allies to champion the culture shift.
4. Focus on "what we're becoming."
5. Compare the vision of the future to present reality.
6. Outline a specific, doable pathway.
7. Help it filter through the church, and learn from feedback you receive.
8. Stay focused on transformed people, and on those receptive to change.
9. Make heroes of people who best represent the kingdom values.
10. Celebrate every success, and give God the glory.
I appreciated the repeated emphasis that you don't just add another quick fix, patchwork approach, plug-n-play program, etc. to what you're already doing, but that you look at the people, giftings, talents, passions, and values God has given you and move from there: "The church will become what you are right now"--leaders are the carriers of the spiritual culture (92). I also appreciated some of the coaching lines and tips: "You're doing an A-plus job, but may I share an idea that would raise it even higher? (117)
Some statements I took issue with included the following:
Lewis and Cordeiro seemed at times a little too eager to point out they were doing men's ministries like Promise Keepers before there was Promise-Keepers (137), unleashing the church before others were unleashing the church (130) or doing church completely from a small group approach before others had transitioned to this paradigm (p. 170). In 2,000 years of church history these things have never been done before?
I also found myself wondering if there was a trace of a paternalistic attitude when it comes to doing cross-cultural missions (page 185) and if a good cross-cultural missiology course would be in order (this is something I have to be careful about myself). In helping to launch a seminary in a largely unreached country, their solution was to require students and professors to learn English so they could be exposed to new possibilities, ways of thinking, etc. from the West (126). Although there's some good stuff, an incredible amount of non-relevant, non-contextualized, non-internalized Christian material (books, music, preaching and teaching) has been mindlessly introduced to countries around the world (China would be one place where I have heard complaints from national Christian leaders) and it's everywhere in Taiwan where I work now too. Rather, what this seminary probably needs to do is go back to the bible and to their cultural roots to contextualize approaches to ministry that God's Holy Spirit wants to bless in their unique cultural context (from the inside out... this was the overriding emphasis of the book but maybe dropped for a moment here).
Finally, although I do not disagree I did wonder about the following: "Anyone can discern within seconds of contact that [a visit to a new church] "This is a healthy place" or "Something's not right here." It may take you weeks to figure out why, but the signs are everywhere." (page 188). Having been in a couple of hundred churches for missions conferences in recent years, I'm not sure this is always the case, but nevertheless still good food for thought.