Scot McKnight on Toxic Cultures, Truth-Telling and Discipleship

Forming a culture of goodness at your church.
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What does healthy church leadership look like? In this episode, Oliver Hersey and Scot McKnight explore this question through the lens of good, or “tov” discipleship. He wrote A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture That Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing with his daughter, Laura Barringer . They saw mega-churches around them become toxic, and leaders of those churches make poor decisions. So they wanted to write a book, to explore why these fractures happen in the church, and how people can create a culture of tov, or goodness instead.

McKnight said “Our goal was to present what the churches learned about mega-churches, and these mega-leaders from Willow Creek, Harvest Bible Chapel, and the Roman Catholic Church. We learned a lot about these situations, but we didn’t want to spend our time exposing them. I became convinced that it was about culture in churches.”

Churches with tov cultures recognize, and resist toxic culture in the church. McKnight suggests that building habits of “tov” can counteract evil and toxicity in the church, and the human heart. The heart-beat of the book is a roadmap for forming church cultures, which would ultimately lead to goodness.

You can also read his Jesus Creed blog on Christianity Today’s website.


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Produced by Kelsey Bowse, edited by Alex Carter

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