Leadership Network sent me “The monkey and the fish” for review recently and it didn’t take long at all to finish it.
Five years ago, I visited Dave Gibbons church, Newsong, in California without knowing who he was (During that trip along the coast, I also visited other big names like Mosaic LA, Saddleback, the Dreamcenter, and Evergreen). I’ve got to say that Newsong was one of the most welcoming large churches we had visited, beyond the cordial greeting, as we ate and conversed with new faces.
I’m not sure when exactly Dave Gibbons repented of his megachurch paradigm, as he confesses “Rick Warren and Bill Hybels warned us to not imitate them, but when you’re young and feel the need to make it happen, you tend to plug and play rather than innovate and pray”. I had good thoughts of his church five years ago, and it’s encouraging that he’s continued to evolve it with a kingdom-mindset.
His big idea is becoming third-culture people: Third culture is the mindset and will to love, learn, and serve in any culture, even in the midst of pain and discomfort. He veers away from the homogeneous unit principle and declares that loving our neighbors really implies loving those who are different from us, not most like us, as described in the parable of the good samaritan.
As someone who is bicultural, it was affirming in the way he articulated a unique strength in being able to be sensitive to, and connecting with, different cultures.
My favorite nugget was his description of the Medici effect, “which happens when you’re at a place of multiple cultural intersections, where learning and innovation are heightened”. If God’s calling to all nations wasn’t enough, the innovative possibilities here totally get my juices flowin’.
Thanks for the book and all you do Dave!