The Priorities, Practices, and Powers That Can Transform Your Church into a 

Tov Culture

A practical guide to help you build a culture in your church or organization that resists abuse and cultivates goodness.

After the release of our groundbreaking book, A Church Called Tov, which recorded the stories of abuse and toxic church cultures at some of the most prominent churches in the United States, we heard from a flood of people who had experienced similar instances of abuse. After all we’ve seen and heard, we still believe it’s possible for church cultures to be transformed from toxic to tov—from oppressive to good.

In Pivot, we help churches implement practices, establish priorities, and cultivate the kingdom gospel-centered qualities that form goodness cultures. Readers will find answers to the four most common questions people have about culture transformation:

Pivot also includes the following new and practical features:


"Our Bridgeway Church Kokomo elders have been studying and discussing Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer's Pivot: The Priorities, Practices, and Powers that can Transform Your Church into a TOV Culture over the last five months.

It’s been challenging, vulnerable, but ultimately a rewarding journey to look at our church culture as we commit to to the TOV (goodness) that Jesus wants us to reflect.

Church cultures don’t drift into health—they drift into dysfunction, consumerism, and “institution protection.”


One might think that it’s only those tied up in a toxic church environment who need to read this book. Such is not the case. No church or organization is immune from the harmful tendencies mentioned by McKnight and Barringer. It could be easy to read Pivot while pointing fingers at the church across the street. But for it to produce the goodness needed in churches today, it must be read and discussed as a mirror to one’s own soul, ministry, church or organization. Thankfully, the questions which are written at the end of each chapter along with the “Tov Tool” at the back of the book make such personal and organizational reflections possible. 


If Tov is the why, Pivot is the how. Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer’s new book is rich in theology and makes the principles of integrity accessible for those who lead and support faith communities that yearn to grow in Christlikeness. An absolute must read! 

STEVE CARTER, pastor + author of The Thing Beneath The Thing

This moment in time needs this book -- on how to cultivate and build a church culture that is allergic to abuse, full of goodness and love and justice. It's the most important book for the white evangelical church I've read this year.

MATT TEBBE, priest, author, and co-founder of Gravity Leaders

In your hands is a powerful and accessible guide to help create a culture marked by health and goodness. Laura Barringer and Scot McKnight do much more than just name the troubling state of many church communities. They offer an extensive set of practices and values to actually live into the tov life God desires for us. I’ll be enthusiastically sharing this with many! 

RICH VILLODAS, lead pastor, New Life Fellowship, and author of Good and Beautiful and Kind

Scot and Laura offer strategically hopeful truth in this book. The mass uncovering of abusive practices, systems, and personalities has brought with it a feeling of paralysis. The problem seems so comprehensive and entrenched that it leaves many of us staggering for any kind of hopeful action. Pivot is a good and godly answer to this cynical feeling. Not just a catchy title, Pivot is a prophetic invitation to move. Move toward healing, move toward the light, move toward being the change that is so needed right now. This is exactly what I pray for—the wisdom and clarity to move toward wholeness together. This book is going to help us all. 

DANIELLE STRICKLAND, advocate, author, and speaker

Nearly a decade ago, moral failures among church leaders seemed rare and unusual. But in recent years the curtains have been pulled back, exposing what’s beneath the surface: toxic church cultures. No longer can church leaders point the finger at other churches; instead, it’s time to do the hard work and examine our own communities and discover where toxicity exists, with the hope of being transformed into tov. Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer provide practical tools to help pastors and church leaders develop pathways from toxic cultures to tov. Every church leader and pastor should have a sense of urgency that we are all at risk of developing toxic cultures; and that intentionality, hard work, discernment, and prayer are needed more than ever. This book belongs in the hands of leaders in every church in America. 

TARA BETH LEACH, pastor and author of Radiant Church


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