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

by Aubrey Malphurs. Baker Books, 2013.

Practical and offering good questions for engagement, this book provides a structured orientation to church culture from a conservative and evangelical perspective. Written by Aubrey Malphurs, a church consultant and professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, this book includes a number of surveys or audits for use in evaluating congregational values, beliefs, and leadership resources. Beginning with an overview of the basics of culture and the ways churches engage and interact with culture, the book goes on to address how leaders can read and understand the culture of a particular congregation. Finally, a great deal of attention is focused on shaping congregational culture, from planting a new church to revitalizing an existing church culture. Discussion questions are included after each chapter, making this a useful tool for launching discussions among congregational leaders about culture, and how it can be influenced or changed.