Honor & Shame

In seeking to start movements, it is critical that you address the worldview of the people you are serving.

HonorShame.com “offers practical tools and training for Christians ministering in honor-shame contexts.”

They have a culture test to determine your cultural type: guilt-culture, shame-culture, fear-culture.  and a theology guide that compares these 3 cultural types.

Note – each culture is a mix of these 3 cultures and many more dynamics but these categories are helpful in getting started.


Note a previous post on makedisciples.net on this topic.

Creation to Christ – Shame & Honor Theme

A testimony of the power of “only the Word” – using the Bible Discovery Study approach

How will we grow in our Faith?

A Testimony of the Discovery Study Approach  (as told by “Sanjay”)

The main leader in that area, “Abeer,” has consistently reported how the Discovery Study approach is such a great tool for growing people’s faith quickly, specifically and especially for illiterate folks, because each one can easily listen to the story on the speaker and discuss the questions.

Abeer has many generations of disciples “under” him. One of the 5th generation leaders is named “Kanah”,” who is 19 years old. One day, this young man went to G. Village, and was surprised to discover that, of all things, there was a family here who said they were followers of Jesus! Kanah visited with them, the 7 members of the family, including the mom who is 47 years old. Her name is “Rajee”. During their conversation, Rajee said, “Yes, we know about Jesus, but, Brother, we have no idea how we will ever grow in our faith because pastors do not come here.”

Continue reading “A testimony of the power of “only the Word” – using the Bible Discovery Study approach”

A CPM is a Leadership Development Movement

A Church-Planting Movement (CPM) is in many ways actually a church leadership multiplication and development movement. The difference between planting churches and seeing sustained movements is usually linked to leadership development. No matter how many churches are planted, unless the cultural insiders become leaders, the churches will remain foreign and either reproduce slowly or reach a plateau when the initial leader(s) become overloaded.

Some key leadership development principles in CPMs:

  • Vision: visionary leadership
  • Prayer: prayer is the foundation for fruitfulness (John 14:13-14)
  • Training: everyone is trained
  • Bible: The training manual is the Bible
  • Obedience: obedience-based (John 14:15)
  • Strategy: the Gospels and Acts provide the main strategy and models for disciple making and church planting
  • Empowerment: people become leaders by leading
  • Biblical: biblical standards for leadership
  • Unbiased: focus on the fruitful (Matthew 13:1-18)
  • Shared: multiple leaders (Acts 13:1)
  • Churches: churches are focused on birthing new churches

See this article for a more thorough examination of this issue.


Western Worldviews – WEIRD people

In 2010, an article titled “The Weirdest People in the World?” exlpained that most psychological research is conducted on a small, unrepresentative subset of human population—W.E.I.R.D people. Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic.

I would suspect most of you reading this are from WEIRD backgrounds. For those of you not from this background I am sure you work with some of us WEIRD people! Thank you for your graciousness when dealing with us.

HonorShame’s blog has a very interesting perspective on how WEIRD people are only a small subset of the global population and yet many of our perspectives on gospel and missions are shaped by this very small minority viewpoint.

Read the full post here and then reflect on how that should affect how you live out the Kingdom with those from other cultures.

Guilt-Innocence Cultures are WEIRD

Creation to Christ – Shame & Honor Theme

Here is one example of a Creation to Christ sequence designed for those from a Shame – Honor society. Again, you will need to pray and work to adapt the process to the situation and worldview of those you serve.

You can download the document here.

Discovery Group Series with Shame/Honor Themes

  1.  Naked and Unashamed (Shame/Cover-Ups)                Genesis 2:18-3:11
  2. Joseph in Potiphar’s House (Honor: Fear of God)              Genesis 39:1-23
  3. Moses/Miriam/Aaron       (Sibling Honor/Shame)  Numbers 12:1-15
  4. Korah’s Rebellion   (Usurping Honor)                  Numbers 16:1-50
  5. Deborah/Barak/Jael    (Honor for Bold Obedience)           Judges 4:1-24
  6. Hannah     (From Dishonor to Honor)              I Samuel 1:1-28
  7. Ahab/Jehoshaphat/Micaiah (Dishonor: Alignments) 2 Chronicles 18:1-34
  8. Mary and Joseph      (Lineage: Cultural Shame/Honor)         Matthew 1:1-25
  9. Jesus and Fasting   (Ceremonial Honor/Dishonor)          Matthew 6:16-24
  10. Elisabeth and Zacharias ( From Dishonor to Honor)             Luke 1:5-25
  11. The Prodigal Son (Honor by Grace for the Dishonorable)    Luke 15:11-32
  12. Rich Man and Lazarus (Status and Honor)                       Luke 16:19-31
  13. Honor of Jesus                   (God’s Honor)                              John 1: 1-18
  14. Incarnation of Christ       (From Dishonor to Honor)            Philippians 2:4-11
  15. Woman at the Well      (Cultural Dishonor/Honor)            John 4:4-42
  16. Jesus Washes Disciples’ Feet   (Countercultural Honor)       John 13:1-17
  17. Judas (Shame that Leads to Death)      Matthew 26:14-16, 47-50; 27:1-10
  18. Jesus on the Cross      (Countercultural Honor)                Matthew 27:27-54
  19. Jesus’ Resurrection            (Dishonor/Honor)                        Matthew 28:1-20

For those from an honor/shame-oriented culture, this story list can be used with the usual DBS questions.

However, you might want to add one extra question (besides the usual DBS questions) for these studies:

  1. What does this teach us about God?
  2. What does this teach us about ourselves / people?

2a.       Who is honored or put to shame in this story? Why?

  1. What do you need to apply / obey?   (“I will…”)
  2. Is there some way we could apply this as a group? (“We will…”)
  3. Who are you going to tell? (“I will…”)

Creation to Christ – 10 Sessions

Sometimes in a setting where you do not have as much time – such as a University semester – you will need to accelerate the Creation to Christ study. Here is a version that is only 10 sessions long – but note that it is quite a bit of content in each session so you will need more time per session – minimum of 2 hours and can be 3+ hours. Again, note that you will want to pray and work to make needed adjustments to the situation and worldview of those you serve.

Download the word document here.

Creation to Christ Story Set – 10 Sessions

Session 1: Created for Relationship with God

  • Genesis 1:26-31
  • Genesis 2: 8-9, 15-25
  • Psalm 139:13-16

Session 2: Separated from God by Sin

  • Genesis 3:1-24
  • Romans 5:12
  • Romans 3:10-18

Session 3: God Chooses Abraham

  • Genesis 12:1-6
  • Genesis 15:1-6
  • Genesis 22:1-19

Session 4: God gives Laws & Sacrifices for breaking the law

  • Exodus 20:1-21
  • Lev 4:1-4

Session 5: God’s People Continually Sin / God promises a Savior

  • Judges 2:16-18
  • Isaiah 53:1-12 (written 700 BC and one of many, many prophecies about Savior to come)

Session 6: God Sends His Son Jesus

  • Isaiah 7:14  Prophecy made 700 years before Jesus was born
  • Matthew 1:18-25   Birth of Jesus
  • Luke 4:16-22  Beginning of his ministry – age 30
  • Summary by Jesus John 3:16   /  Luke 19:10

Session 7: Jesus’ Great Love & Power

  • Matthew 9:35-36
  • Matthew 14:13-36

Session 8: The Cross

  • John 11:47-53
  • Luke 22:54
  • Luke 22:63 – 23:56
  • Romans 5:6-11

Session 9: The Resurrection

  • Luke 24:1-12
  • Luke 24:36-53

Session 10: How to return to God

  • Luke 15:11-24 Jesus tells a story of how we can come back to God
  • John 14:6
  • Romans 10:9-10, 13
  • Luke 21:12-19

Are you ready to give your whole life to God? No matter the cost? If they are look at something like the “Being a Disciple” study.

Sola Scriptura: is the Bible alone enough?

… Discovery Bible Study (DBS) does not mean Bible teachers are wrong or bad. We should all be learning from each other, and from others; books and published studies are ways to access the wisdom of many. I have learned much from the writings of people like C. S. Lewis, N. T. Wright, Beth Moore, and Tim Keller, to name just a few.

That said, the power of DBS is that it gets us into the text itself, and teaches us to listen to the revelation of God, which is profitable for application to daily life.

Sola Scriptura means Scripture is all we need. Reading endless commentaries, studies, books, and hymns on 1 Corinthians 13 isn’t the point of life–the point is to live it out, and for that, we need little more than the text itself and a willingness to put it into practice on a daily basis.

Read the entire post by Justin Long here:

Commitment Study: Being Disciples

This is one example of a commitment study for those deciding if they want to commit to Jesus as Lord. It is important that you let the seekers discover what God wants them to do instead of your telling them your understanding.

You can download the word document here.

Being Disciples – Jesus said His disciples (followers)…

1) Mark 12:28-31

If they do not discover the main points on their own, you want to ask questions to help them discover key points such as …

  • Love God with all they are
  • Love their neighbor like they love themselves

2) Luke 14:25-27, 33

  • die daily to our desires and even our family’s desires – Jesus’ desires alone.
  • carry our cross daily (suffering/persecution) and follow Christ.
  • give up everything to God (slaves of Jesus – we must count the cost).

3) John 12:24-26

  • are willing to follow Jesus’ example and die to bear much fruit.

4) John 13:34-35

  • love one another as Christ loves us.

5) John 14:15-16

  • Love and obey Jesus
  • Receive the Holy Spirit to guide them.

6) John 15:7-8

  • abide in Christ.
  • have God’s Word abide in us.
  • have our prayers answered.
  • bear much fruit and God is glorified!

7) John 20:28-29

  • Trust Jesus as Lord and God

8) Matthew 28:18-20

  • make disciples of all peoples by:
    • Going (Sharing the Gospel)
    • Baptizing (this is the first step of obedience upon commitment)
    • Teaching to Obey

9) Acts 2:37-47

  • This is how the first group of disciples began to live like disciples

Starfish and Spider Lessons about Catalyzing Movements

This is from Dave H.

I’ve recently been re-reading the Starfish & the Spider by Brafman & Beckstrom, a “business book” that has many applications to CPM. In fact, I’ve known about this book for some time, read summaries and bits and pieces, but this week I finally read it through. And was surprised how incredibly useful it is to people like me—

The basic premise of the book is that Spider organizations (centralized, big, top-down, expensive) are giving way to a more elastic and unstoppable type of orgs, dubbed “starfish”.  These organizations are de-centralized, flat, self-funded or at least much more accountable to self and each other for funding, and thus they are nearly unstoppable.  Groups as diverse as the Apaches, Napster, ebay, eMule, the Quakers, Al Qaeda and even General Electric are used as examples.

While so much could be said about the principles of this book and it’s applicability to DMM Catalysts, I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to read and dissect this book (if you haven’t already).

And I want to point out one chapter to you, Chapter 5, which is entitled “The Hidden Power of the Catalyst”. I was reading this section and kept exclaiming, “That’s me! That’s what DMM Catalysts are trying to do!”

This is what they list as “Catalyst’s Tools” in Chapter 5:

  1. Genuine interest in others (this builds trust…but only if it’s genuine)
  2. Loose connections (unlike a select group of close friends, catalysts are able to have powerful, catalytic connections with 1000’s)
  3. Mapping (thinking about how to connect people for the mission)
  4. Desire to help (“Wanting to help is the fuel that drives a catalyst’s ability to connect people.” P. 123). This stands in stark contrast to “salesmen” who is out to get something from you.
  5. Passion (“the catalyst provides the drumbeat for a decentralized organization. Because it cannot draw upon command-and-control to motivate, it needs a strong and ongoing ideology to keep them going. The Cat starts the org and then takes on the role of a constant cheerleader. P. 124)
  6. Meet people where they are (expert advice giving has the opposite effect that we desire, often turning people away. Question asking and using empathy  allows people to see their own problems and “find their own solutions”)
  7. EQ (=emotional intelligence. Catalysts lead with emotion. Emotional connections come first.)
  8. Trust (with flat hierarchy, you never know what people are going to do, you can’t control the outcomes, you can’t really reproach others. All you can control is whether people have personal relationships with each other based on trust. 126)
  9. Inspiration (“A true catalyst isn’t just a matchmaker but also an inspiration to others to work toward a goal that often doesn’t involve personal gain.” (126). BUT, “none of the catalysts we met had a rock-star quality to them. In fact, one catalyst sternly warned us, ‘Don’t you dare make me out to be the hero! This isn’t about me.’” Sounds like John 3:30 to me.
  10. Tolerance for ambiguity. (Say, “I don’t know”. Willingness to allow ambiguity. Control kills creativity and multiplication.)
  11. Hands-off approach (get out of the way! By not telling people what to do, this leads them to take charge, creating a high level of ownership.)
  12. Receding (After catalysts map a network, make connections, build trust, inspire people to act…they leave.) Sounds like Model-Assist-Watch-Leave, doesn’t it?

Oh, one more key point: Obviously the whole metaphor of the book is that spiders are easy to kill when you cut off the head; starfish, however, can multiply with each leg!

Does Prayer Make a Difference?

There was an experiment conducted several years ago by a church in Phoenix, AZ. Intercessors randomly selected 160 names from a local phone book. They divided the names into two groups–and prayed regularly for one of the groups, ie for 80 homes. The other 80 homes were not prayed for.

Read about what happened next at this link from simplychurch.com