Category: Ministry

ministry exploring a practical missiology for honor-shame contexts

New Book: Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures (IVP)

My latest book Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials (InterVarsity Press) is now available.This 270-page book equips Christians to proclaim and embody the gospel in honor-shame contexts. Our aim was simple: to show how honor-shame is central
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6 Teaching/Learning Exercises

Before our family moved to Muslim Central Asia, I rigorously studied Islam hoping to enhance ministry fruitfulness. Then after a year or so in Central Asia we made a startling discovery—the people were hardly Muslims! Instead of Islam, the pivotal values of
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How Honor-Shame Cultures Confess Sins

How should people confess their sin? What form should confession take?I was raised Catholic, so the the word “confession” means reliving those experiences as a mischievous little boy shuddering in a confessional booth saying, “Forgive me father for I have
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Tim Keller & TGC Video on Shame

In this Gospel Coalition video, Tim Keller offers some reflections about the role of shame in evangelism.I’m obviously delighted that Keller and TGC discuss honor-shame cultures in their gospel conversation. And Keller and the other folks at TGC are brilliant guys doing great work, for which
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Culture Profile: Romania

Cameron Armstrong (Ph.D. student, Biola University) and his wife, Jessica, serve as church planting catalysts with the International Mission Board in Romania. In addition to personal evangelism and starting Bible studies, he teaches a class at the Bucharest Baptist Theological Institute.
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Feel the Burst!

Over the next two weeks, I will be facilitating a collaborative online discussion called “Leading and Ministering in Honor-Shame Contexts.” This learning format brings together mission practitioners like you for a two-week, intentionally focused, peer-learning conversation on these topics:The Different
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An Answer for Addiction

What is addiction? How is addiction healed? This new TED talk—“Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong”—connects these questions about addiction to shame and honor (granted, it uses language besides “honor” and “shame” to do so). Research shows
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How to Give Aid…Without Shaming

Last month, I heard this story from Bob Lupton, founder of Focus Community Strategies and author of Toxic Charity. Their ministry adopted a “Toys for Tots” drive during the holidays. Churches would gather presents, then bring them to people in
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How Dignity Resolves Conflict

“Our desire for connection is deep in our genes. We are living in a false state of alienation. The quality of our lives and our relationships could be vastly improved if we learned how to master the art and science
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3 Ways To Apply Restorative Justice

Our previous post introduced the idea of restorative justice. Here are three applications of restorative justice. 1-Cross-Cultural Relationships Here is a common scenario Western missionaries face: When I confronted a national believer over the problem of _________, he felt shamed and
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Restorative Justice

In my experience, the practice of restorative justice is one of the best ways to tangibly embody God’s honor and overcome shame. Unfortunately, people in Western culture rarely practice (or value) restorative justice. One afternoon we got a phone call
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Shame & Violence: Deadly Partners

Violence is inseparably linked with dishonor and shame. To better understand these deadly partners, here are two learning resources—a book and a Missio Nexus webinar. Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic (1996) has become a modern classic in sociology. The
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Because Who is Perfect? (video)

Series: “Putting Honor into Action” This short video  “Because Who Is Perfect?” from Pro Infirmus is an inspiring example of relationally and non-verbally proclaiming God’s counter-cultural honor. They feature and promote the inherent dignity of people. I believe this project beautifully testifies
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Putting Honor Into Action

Christian mission mediates God’s honor into the world. The church is the very means by which people experience and understand the glory of God. We are God’s instrument for overcoming shame. Communicating God’s honor happens relationally, not just verbally. How
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Top 10 Blogs in 2015

Here are the top blogposts at HonorShame.com for 2015. Seems like “5” was the lucky number this year! And a special thanks to guests contributors for your great insights.10) The Gospel of ISIS9) What the Bible Says about Honor & Shame (wordclouds)8) A Simple Evangelism
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9 Must-Knows for Muslim Ministry

This “Field Guide” (at www.ZwemerCenter.com) explains 9 must-knows for ministry in honor-shame societies, especially Muslim contexts. Muslims live (and die) for honor. Guilt and shame are two different cultural/moral systems. Shame is not just an Arab or Asian characteristic. The Bible is
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Jesus’ Death, for Muslims

How is Jesus’ death good news for Muslims? Ten years ago this month EMQ published my article, “A Muslim Theology of Jesus’ Birth and Death.” Though it was well before I began thinking in “honor-shame” terms, I was surprised to see how much my ideas were already
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Is Jesus an “Honored Ancestor” for Africans?

Ancestors play in a familiar role in African society and religion. Some African theologians have used the category of ancestor to develop an “ancestral Christology.” The notion of Jesus as an ancestor, or brother-ancestor, seems worth exploring as a potential example of
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5 Shameful Things Westerners Say

Readers enjoyed Colin E. Andrew’s earlier post “5 Rude Things Honor-Shame Cultures Say.” In this post, he turns the tables. Here are 5 “rude” things Westerners say, even when trying to be polite. 1. “My friend!” “Hey Rafshan! This is my
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2 Ways Social Media Fuels Shame

Shame is the result of two things: expectations and exposure. The constant whispers of shame are “You’re not who you should be!” (expectations) and “They’re gonna find out who you really are!” (exposure). Consequently, we strive to live up to
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