25 07 2010

Wayne Cordeiro and Robert Lewis. along with Warren Bird have written an excellent book called Culture Shift: Transforming Your Church from the Inside Out (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series). In it they speak of the pastor (or lead pastor) as the chief “cultural architect” of a church. The concept reminds me of several deep truths about the church, but particularly the church that seeks to be a “bridge to the Bridge (Jesus Christ).

1.Every church has a culture.

2. Our culture naturally shapes the way we live.

3. If we don’t shape our culture, our culture shapes us.

Most of the churches in existence today were born into a culture where the institutional church had a significant place at the table. There was a certain synchronicity between the values of the general American culture and the values of the church. The church had a fairly simple task to make disciples because the culture provided a certain amount of elemental support to the mission of the church.

Culture has a powerful shaping influence. Despite the presence of the church at the table, our culture has developed a strong consumer mindset rather than a servant one. A consumer mentality seeks first and foremost to meet the felt needs of the consumer. 

Religious satisfaction (read, religion that meets my felt needs) was often the first order of business for most churches and most church people. That tended to give churches a strong inward focus, rather than an outward one because the incentive to meet the needs of the already persuaded often used up most of the resources, leaving little for persuading others to become reconciled to God. The prevailing culture (which was less and less influenced by the church) made most Christians at the end of the 20th century more consumers of religious services than servants of the mission of Christ.

Bridgebuilding requires first a culture that values bridgebuilding.  That means a church must intentionally be structured around a mission to reach and reconcile lost people to God. It must be a culture that sees itself as missionary in nature and to intentionally imbed the values needed to be on a mission from God.

That begins with the pastor–the person responsible for equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry. That also means that the pastor must be committed to the missionary nature of the church. That, of course, means that the pastor must be intentional about helping shaping the lives under his care with the values of Christ.

Those values come the Word, from scripture. Part of the reason the church has been so often been shaped by the culture is that the values of the church were more religiously cultural than biblical. The cultural architect must first start with the blueprint of his Architect (the real Chief Cultural Architect) lest he try to design the unique expression that is his congregation that is disconnected from the power and blessing of God.

And the cultural arhitect must be sure that he is being shaped by his Arhitect.  That means that the cultural architect (pastor) must himself first be led by the Spirit so he can do his part in shaping a culture (a church) that is led by the Spirit.


23 07 2010

A young lady named Cheyenne shared this video with the blog DOABLE EVANGELISM. She made it for her local church to encourage their sharing their faith. For more on this blog go to: DOABLE


16 07 2010


15 07 2010

John Burke of Gateway Church in Austin TX provides some excellent thoughts on evangelism in a pluralistic culture. This video and others are available through CATALYST MONTHLY.