The Monkey and the Fish – Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church

blogEarlier today I saw a video on Dave Gibbon’s blog and twittered that I could preach all day on the concept of third culture church.  I was sooo excited!

Then I got to read the book – at least I finished part of it.

Some of you are on the cutting edge, looking for what God is doing in today’s church.  This is a book you want to read.

This isn’t your average leadership book written for the tired executive.  This book is written for the searching Christian leader who desperately wants to know what God is up to and how to help the church be the church today.

You might have noticed that culturally, we tend to be 30 to 50 years behind everybody else.  We can’t afford to do that.  We need to do the unexpected – the God thing – and be third-culture.  Third culture “is a gift of being more cognizant of and more comfortable with the painful fusion and friction inherent in cultural intersections” and “the bearing of pain to love those who are not like you.”

I wrote someplace yesterday that in the church we often run from conflict because it is painful, or perhaps (I’m self correcting now) we run because we don’t know how to find Christ’s answer in the midst of it.  If we are willing to embrace the painful challenge that confronts us, we will find that the world has been begging for a hand extended for a long time and we were too standoffish (shy?) to notice.  This, Gibbons says, is the story of the prodigal son.  The father did something a middle eastern father would never do – he ran, he embraced his son and kissed him repeatedly.  He didn’t wait to find out if he was sorry – he just loved him.

Being a leader means a lot of things, but first, I’m convinced, it means knowing what God has called you to be and living your life out loud – transparently.

Gibbons connects this with pain – “for leaders, pain in life has a way of deconstructing us to our most genuine, humble, authentic selves.  For most people, regardless of the culture, it is easier to connect with a leader’s pain and shortcomings and mistakes than her successes and triumphs.”

This means that we have to work through a lot of issues – like how do I live for Christ, love the church, have non-Christian friends, why do I feel like my life isn’t making a difference, how can I better love my family… you have your own list.  When we can live through our issues authentically and as transparently as possible, we will be helping others shape their lives as well.

Somewhere today I read a blog about the church being cathedralish – each parish only worrying about those they could easily reach.  Gibbons is calling us to reach those that aren’t easy.

I’m not saying that this book will answer all your questions.  What I am saying is that if you are willing to live third-culturally and be honest about your questions, this book will be a valuable part of your conversation.

You can buy this book on Amazon.


One Response to “The Monkey and the Fish – Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church”

  1. dave Says:

    Kim, thanks for the insightful review. I pray God will continue to lead you to be a radical lover of our world. If you don’t mind, feel free to share your thoughts on the amazon site. Others would love to read your thoughts. I did!

    Dave G

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