10Q with Dave Gibbons of Newsong Church

10Q with Dave Gibbons

Dave Gibbons is the senior pastor of Newsong Church, an international multi-site church with 8 campuses located in California, Texas, Mexico, United Kingdom, India, and Thailand. He is an entrepreneur and owns YangDang and Xealot. And he is the author of The Monkey and the Fish.


Year Began: 1994
Locations: 8 Campuses – Irvine, CA / Culver, CA / Fullerton, CA / Dallas, TX / Mexico / London / India / Bangkok


1Q = What is Newsong Church’s chain of command from the senior pastor to the church volunteers?

The Leadership Team comprised of both volunteer leaders who represent the congregation and support staff guide the church but all under the submission to the Holy Spirit. The congregation affirms major decisions.

2Q = For big decisions, what is Newsong Church’s decision making process?

Depends. The big decisions can originate from our members or from the leaders of the church. But eventually, there is affirmation with Leadership teams, Management teams and the congregation.

3Q = How does Newsong Church market itself?

Mostly word of mouth and via technology.

4Q = What is the most effective thing Newsong Church has done to reach people?

Created an ethos that is dependent upon the Holy Spirit and empowers the people to be the front line of God’s movements locally and globally.

5Q = What is your leadership style?

Intuitive and collaborative.

6Q = Your book, The Monkey and the Fish, discusses third culture. What is it?

Third culture in a word is Adaptation. In two words, Painful Adaptation. The longer definition is “the mindset and will to love, learn and serve in any culture even in the midst of pain and discomfort.”
A short view of this can be found at 3culture.tv.

7Q = What is a Third-Culture Church?

It’s a church that is able to flow with the Holy Spirit, choosing to live out the two great purposes of the church: Loving God and Loving Her Neighbor. The Neighbor though being someone NOT like you even someone you would hate or not want to forgive. It’s a church that chooses obedience over passion  as well as radical sacrifice over comfort.

8Q = How can a church become a Third-Culture Church?

This process is definitely the work of the Holy Spirit! To ask people to enter into pain and suffering, eat foods they don’t like, hang out with people that make you uncomfortable is counter-cultural. I would say the key is for the one who does get it to start living out the third culture life. Personally, before the movement became church-wide, I felt God telling me I had to live it out more intentionally. So my family and I moved out to Bangkok. It starts with leadership and prayer.  As one engages real suffering and poverty, clarity emerges.

As you live out third culture, invite others with you on the journey. I still remember taking a group of friends with me on a third culture vision trip about 5 years ago. We have never been the same. The impact now goes beyond personal to people all over the world. These men embody third culture.

It’s a journey there are many other ideas contained in the book.

9Q = What is the greatest ministry lesson you have learned?

The Primary Task of a Leader is to “build trust and bear pain.”

10Q = What is the best advice you have for church leaders?

Explore the world. Listen, Observe, Ask Questions. Do it now. Then be willing to give it all away to act upon what you experience. The whole time praying, “Father, break my heart with the things that break your heart.”

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