Your Church from the Inside Out
Robert Lewis, Teaching Pastor at Fellowship
Bible Church in Little Rock, AR, and
Wayne Cordeiro, Senior Pastor of New
Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu,
HI, know a thing or two about the
importance of a church's culture.
In fact, they've now written the book
on the subject - Culture Shift:
Transforming Your Church from the
Inside Out (Jossey-Bass 2005).
Leadership Network recently asked
Robert and Wayne to talk with us about
how a church's culture impacts its
LN: Both of you have written
extensively on a variety of topics.
What was the "tipping point"
that moved you to write on culture?
Lewis & Wayne Cordeiro
We initially got together to write a book
on a completely different subject. As we
started discussing our plans, we began to
realize that many pastors we both were talking
with seemed to be worn out by more and more
programs. They were tired of trying to find
a "quick fix" solution for their
churches when their real issues were much
deeper. We became increasingly convinced
that only a fundamental shift in a church's
beliefs and values, and the way leadership
expresses and calls the church to those
values, would give the new life the pastors
are looking for. We both believe that so
strongly and passionately, that it became
the driving force of the book.
LN: You've subtitled the book
"Transforming Your Church from the
Inside Out." How does that work?
AUTHORS: We believe that the core
issue of a church's life is the set of beliefs
and values its leadership really
holds, as opposed to what it may say it
holds. Those values can best be summarized
in the word
It's the DNA that drives a church. We wanted to
help pastors and serious laypeople recognize their
church's culture - who sets it and how it develops.
LN: Why is recognizing church culture
AUTHORS: Fundamental change in any church
can only be addressed at a cultural level. Too
many pastors try to change or upgrade their churches
with a program, when what they truly need is a
"culture shift." Programs are the easy
stuff of church, but they can often result in
a plug-and-play attitude toward ministry. Changing
the culture can result in an atmosphere of health
where a church can grow with individuality and
LN: Who should read your book?
AUTHORS: Culture Shift is for any
person who yearns to see their church come alive.
It is for those who are tired of franchised religion
and pre-purchased programs. It is for pastors
who know they have one life to give and want to
finish well, leaving a legacy for future generations
that is easy to follow, true to the Scriptures
and life-giving to the ministry.
LN: What was the biggest surprise the
two of you discovered while writing this book?
AUTHORS: The biggest surprise to us was
that our two very different churches above ground
could be so similar below ground. But then again,
any kind of church with authentic spiritual life,
no matter how different in style, has the same
invigorating cultural elements behind it: strong,
unified leadership that passionately embraces
common beliefs and values and then grows the church
in a way that is consistent with those beliefs
and values. Any program or innovation is added
only if it can pass the "values test."
LN: What is the ultimate "take
away" you want readers to experience from
AUTHORS: We want readers to gain a new
revelation of what a church's ministry can be
when its leadership truly lives out core beliefs
and values as living examples of the church's
Dr. Robert Lewis
is Teaching Pastor of Fellowship
Bible Church, a non-denominational church
in Little Rock, Arkansas, with worship attendance
of over 5,500. The church has received national
acclaim for its role as a model of effective community
transformation, powerfully influencing the world
around it in strategic, life-giving ways. He has
authored a number of books, including The Church
of Irresistible Influence.
Dr. Wayne Cordeiro
is Founder and Senior Pastor of New
Hope Christian Fellowship O'ahu in Honolulu,
Hawaii. A Foursquare church with worship attendance
of over 10,000, it is one of the fastest growing
churches in the nation. Wayne has authored numerous
books, including Doing Church as a Team and
Rising Above: Living a Life of Excellence No Matter
What It Throws You.
To learn more about Culture Shift, click