Matt Snowden has pastored for twenty-six years, most recently for thirteen years at First Baptist Church of Waco, Texas. He has served two terms on the Executive Board of Texas Baptists, teaches pastoral leadership courses for Truett Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program, and preaches regularly throughout the South in addition to his congregational responsibilities.
Joshua Hays has served on ministry staffs at churches in three states, most recently for six years at First Baptist Waco. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member for Truett Seminary’s spiritual formation program and is completing his doctor of ministry degree.
How did you come to write Soul Culture: Stewarding the Five Ingredients of Our Common Life? What was your hope laypeople will take away from this book?
Soul Culture began as a series of sermons during summer 2020 as we led our church to think about the elements that bind us together. Our return to in-person worship actually occurred midway through the series. The themes took hold within our own congregation and proved useful time and again as tools for considering our common life together. Around that same time, we received a grant from the Lilly Endowment through Baylor University’s Institute for Faith and Learning that allowed us to expand our ideas into the book that it eventually became.
Can you talk a little about the structure of your book? What are the five ingredients and how did you narrow it down to those?
We organized Soul Culture around the five ingredients beliefs, attitudes, values, goals, and practices. These ingredients worked together over time form the “dough” of our life together. Matt initially extracted these five ingredients from Colossians 3, and then we began to notice them throughout scripture. Once we had this working hypothesis, we took Dr. Larry Lyon to lunch. Dr. Lyon is a sociologist and chair of Baylor’s Graduate School. We scratched out the five ingredients on a napkin and asked him if they formed a fair working definition of culture. “Yep,” Dr. Lyon confirmed, “that’s about it!” [Read more…]