Look Before You Lead: How to Discern and Shape Your Church Culture

Look Before You Lead: How to Discern and Shape Your Church Culture

by Aubrey Malphurs
Look Before You Lead: How to Discern and Shape Your Church Culture

Look Before You Lead: How to Discern and Shape Your Church Culture

by Aubrey Malphurs


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Pastoral ministry is challenging work, especially when a pastor ignores the church's "congregational culture" when seeking to minister to church members or implement changes. Just as a pastor studies to interpret the Scriptures in order to understand and preach the Bible, he or she must interpret the local church culture to better understand and move it toward accomplishing its mission and vision.

In Look Before You Lead, trusted church leadership expert Aubrey Malphurs shows pastors how to read their church's unique local culture, how to change or revitalize it, and even how to combine two cultures when one church adopts another. This unique resource approaches leadership and discernment from a solid, biblical perspective and includes a number of helpful appendixes, such as a behavior, belief, and a values audit, that are key to reading and understanding the culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801015076
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/15/2013
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Aubrey Malphurs (1944-2022) was senior professor of leadership and pastoral ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary for many years, as well as founder of the Malphurs Group. He was the author of more than twenty books on leadership development, strategic planning, and church health, including Look Before You Lead and Re:Vision.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Part 1 The Basics of Congregational Culture

1 Why Leaders Should Read This Book: The Importance of Culture 13

2 What Are We Talking About? The Definition of Culture 19

3 What We Do: The Church's Expression of Culture 25

4 Why We Do What We Do: The Church's Cultural Values 34

5 What We Believe: The Church's Beliefs 56

6 How We Respond: The Church's Relationship to Culture 68

Part 2 Reading Congregational Culture

7 Reading the Church: Understanding Its Culture Apple 83

8 Reading the Pastor: Discovering the Pastor's Culture 97

Part 3 Shaping Congregational Culture

9 The Church Planter as Culture Architect: Creating a New Church Culture 111

10 The Church Pastor as Culture Sculptor: Part 1 Preparation 129

11 The Church Pastor as Culture Sculptor: Part 2 Personnel 154

12 The Church Pastor as Culture Sculptor: Part 3 The Process 175

13 The Church Pastor as Culture Blender: Adopting Established Church Cultures 199


A Behaviors Audit 209

B Core Values Audit 220

C Core Values Statements 222

D Beliefs Audit 224

E Faith Statement 231

F The Culture Matrix: Beliefs, Values, Behavior 233

G Spiritual Maturity Audit 234

H Character Assessment for Leadership 239

I Spiritual Gifts Inventory for Leaders 243

J Temperament Indicator 1 248

K The Personal Profile: The Persuader Pattern 249

L Temperament Indicator 2 251

M Temperament Indicator 2: Further Explanation 254

N Implementation Team Worksheet 256

Notes 267

Index 269

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