A few days back, I introduced you to a great new book by Dr. Aubrey Malphurs, Look Before You Lead. In the previous post (found at https://gospelstrategy.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/look-before-you-lead-part-1/), I looked at how he shows us that it important that a church’s congregational culture be relevant to the people it is trying to reach. A church’s culture is most obvious in the outer appearances–its music, dress, way of communicating. Such is a fairly easy concept to understand. In this post, however, we look at a good point that Dr. Malphurs brings up that isn’t as obvious. What a church is to the outside world is a direct result of its deeply held values and beliefs. There’s a reason why a church is the way it is.
Values defined by Dr. Malphurs are “constant, passionate shared core beliefs that define and guide the culture (40).” In other words, a love for organ music at a church is a reflection of a deeply held value that, without being directly stated, emphasizes organ music as the best way in that church’s mind to engage its culture and make them happy. Such a love for organ music could be handed down for generations; thus we can see a real reason for the organ being prominent–a belief that playing the organ honors a godly heritage, honoring godly heritage being found in passages in Jeremiah talking about “not removing the ancient landmark.” Once a church recognizes why it does what it does, it can begin to address the question of how to take those values and adapt them. This will be the subject of the last in my series on the book: what happens when you discover a culture that needs changing?
I highly encourage everyone to pick up a copy of Look Before You Lead and together, we can create church cultures that honor God and grow his Kingdom.
To order the book click here: