Gibbons, The Monkey and the Fish

Dave Gibbons is the pastor of a church called Newsong.  It’s an international multi-site church.  In this book he is helping people begin to think in a more internationally cultural way.  Rather than building multiple single culture churches, Gibbons proposes multi-cultural churches.  Gibbons calls pastors to lead their churches into what he calles “3rd culture”, a mindset and the will to love, learn, and serve in any culture, even in the midst of pain and discomfort.

I really enjoyed the book.  I sometimes felt like I was reading a postmodern version of Rick Warren.  At other times I felt like I was reading a missiological version of Pete Ward (author of Liquid Church).  In a very real way, Gibbons manages to bring an international viewpoint to the postmodern shifts that the western evangelical church is being forced to interact with (or choose to die as an irrelevant institution!).

The book’s website is hereDave Gibbons blogs here / NewSong Church here.

Here’s my 10 take-aways (my new way of thinking through what I read):

  1. p. 32, “I believe that today God is calling us in the church to become a different kind of movement, known for our kisses of compassion rather than our condemnations.”
  2. p.47, the church must sacrifice for and prioritize next generation thinking, methods, leaders and movements in order to be globally known as loving, healing, generous, compassionate and reconcilliatory.
  3. p. 50, The western way is to see categories.  The eastern way is to see relationships.  The influence of the west is declining and the influence of the east is rising.  What are the implications for our church?
  4. While the Grove is a church with new and innovative methods, I hope we commit to innovation, and not to our methods.  I hope every church in town learns about our methods that work – then we will be forced into innovation!
  5. p.105, the chart on this page comparing Typical Western Pathways and Third-Culture Rhythms is great.
  6. p. 115, The question that matters for multi-site churches: Are you franchising your church or loving people?
  7. p.119, “What has God already given me?”
  8. p.141, A cultural study of Shakira reveals a fusion of cultures.  And that fusion is what defines the identity of many who are growing up in third culture.  Who knew Shakira was so meaningful?
  9. p.144, Wanna be a leader?  Job description: bear pain and build trust.
  10. p.154, The Micah Challenge.  Google it for a radical example of Christianity.

pages read= 216 ~ year to date= 4950 ~ 2009 goal=9,000 ~ (55%)


One thought on “Gibbons, The Monkey and the Fish

  1. I just started reading “The Monkey and the Fish. Thanks for the heads up on what sounds like and amazing book. I just finished “The Next Evangelism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity” by Soong-Chan Rah. I’m thinking these two books might be touching some of the same elements only from different perspectives. Although I might be wrong.

    Blessings! Rob


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