New Book: Ministering in Patronage Cultures

My latest book Ministering in Patronage Cultures: Biblical Models and Missional Implications is now available at Amazon and This book develops a biblical and missional view of patron-client relationships.

As I discuss honor-shame cultures with other Christians, their questions often relate to patronage. People want to know how to navigate the thorny dynamics of these “financial friendships.” In honor-shame cultures, patronage is how society and business operate, so this is a significant issue. Much like my previous book with IVP Academic, Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures, I weave together biblical theology, anthropology, and many years of cultural experiences into a clear, practical guide from mission practioners today.

The book is 175 pages with discussion and application questions, so would be great for pre-field training, ministry team development, classroom assignments, and personal enrichment. 

Below is more information on the book. Over the next two months I will post more resources related to patronage.

Cover Description

Patronage governs many relationships in Majority World cultures. But regrettably, Western theologians and missionaries rarely notice this prominent cultural reality. Patronage—a reciprocal relationship between social unequals—is a central part of global cultures and the biblical story of God’s mission.

Misunderstanding patronage creates problems not only for Westerners ministering in other cultures, but also for contemporary people reading the Bible. If we ignore the concepts of patronage in biblical cultures, we will misinterpret Yahweh’s relationship with Israel and miss some of the meaning in Jesus’ parables and Paul’s letters. Understanding patronage will illumine theological concepts such as faith, grace, and salvation.

Jayson Georges, coauthor of Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures, now brings his ministry experience and biblical insights to bear on the topic of patronage. With sections on cultural issues, biblical models, theological concepts, and missional implications, this resource will not only serve ministry practitioners but anyone who studies Scripture and worships God.


Introduction: The Problems of Patronage

Part I: Cultural Issues
Chapter 1: The Meaning of Patronage
Chapter 2: Expressions of Patronage
Chapter 3: Misperceptions of Patronage

Part II: Biblical Models
Chapter 4: Yahweh and Israel
Chapter 5: Jesus and the Kingdom
Chapter 6: Paul and the Church

Part III: Theological Truths
Chapter 7: God as Patron
Chapter 8: Sin as Ingratitude
Chapter 9: Salvation as Patronage

Part IV: Missional Implications
Chapter 10: Engaging Patronage
Chapter 11: Transforming Relationships
Chapter 12: The Christian Life

Appendix 1: Further Resources
Scripture Index


“Jayson Georges has established himself as an important interdisciplinary and crosscultural thinker. In this new book, he draws upon classical studies, biblical studies, modern cultural anthropology, Christian theology, and his own (and others’) first-hand missionary experience, offering a comprehensive introduction to patronage in ancient and modern contexts and its implications for biblical theology and missionary practice. He does this in engagingly accessible and clear prose—and with winsome vulnerability as he recounts his own journey. This is an important contribution to articulating a global gospel and to formulating effective strategies for serving and partnering with the global Christian community.”

David A. deSilva, professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary and author of Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity

“Looking at patron-client relationships through a biblical lens Georges challenges us to practice transformed patronage. Read it and grow in knowledge of God and gain tools for God’s mission.”

Mark D. Baker, professor of mission and theology, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary

“Few subjects are as significant yet overlooked as patronage is. Many Westerners are suspicious of patronage, assuming it leads only to corruption. In Ministering in Patronage Cultures, Jayson Georges removes the cloud of confusion that surrounds the topic.

Jackson Wu, author of Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes

I enthusiastically commend this book to anyone wanting to serve those who come from the Majority World. While we may be blind to the patronage elephant in the room, it seems painfully evident to them. We overlook it at our own peril. Georges is an experienced and skilled guide, patiently tutoring us individualists on how to minister in a collectivist world.”

Randolph Richards, Palm Beach Atlantic University, coauthor of Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes

“With careful documentation from ancient writing, contemporary scholarship, and his own research, Jayson Georges reveals how the patronage system prevailed as the cultural tapestry in which biblical authors lived and out of which they wrote. … The case studies in the closing chapters provide helpful insights for doing ministry in patronage cultures. I highly recommend Jayson’s book as a worthy contribution to expand our understanding of the Scripture.”

Duane Elmer, G. W. Aldeen Professor of International Studies, retired, Trinity International University, author of Cross-Cultural Connections

“If you see the world and the Gospel as I do, through the lens of an egalitarian, democratic, individualistic worldview, and you desire to communicate crossculturally to people from the Majority World, then Jayson Georges is a voice you must hear. Ministering in Patronage Cultures will expand your understanding of the Scriptures, intensify your crosscultural understanding, and enlarge your capacity to worship responsively as a redeemed servant of Jesus Christ.”

Paul Borthwick, senior consultant for Development Associates International, author of Western Christians in Global Mission

Get the book  Ministering in Patronage Cultures and visit for more ministry resources. 

resources for Majority World ministry

1 Comment on “New Book: Ministering in Patronage Cultures

  1. Sorry, I realize that I forgot to update this post with three more endorsements. Here they are:

    “Whether you’re serving in a crosscultural location or studying the Scripture, Jayson Georges’s Ministering in Patronage Cultures will transform your understanding of patronage. Because patron-client relationships dominate the majority of the world’s population, Georges’s book fills a critical gap of knowledge. Furthermore, most of the people in the Bible lived under this model of authority and relationship, hence a grasp of patronage is necessary for proper biblical hermeneutics. Extensive research and references fill every chapter along with stories and experiences to illustrate principles discussed. Ministering in Patronage Cultures guides, and ultimately redeems, the patron-client orientation into a collaborative, interdependent, and biblical model of patronage. I highly recommend adding this resource to your bookshelf!”
    —Sharon Hoover, director of missions, Centreville Presbyterian Church, VA, and author of Mapping Church Missions

    “The African world, like the Middle Eastern and Asian contexts from which Jayson writes, is fraught with major social paradoxes. People often ask, Why is this country so corrupt if there are so many Christians? Intractable contradictions such as corruption, ethnocentrism, clientelism, and related social pathologies are often cited to condescend Christian witness. While Jayson neither essentializes (stereotypes) nor flattens out (generalizes) these issues any more than African and Asian Christians condone them, cultivating an understanding of the causations and correlations between such problems and patronage reduces the particular stigmas often ascribed to whole societies. As Christian ministers, if we can understand collocations and convergences of cultural tendencies that we find deeply distressing, we are better placed to discern redemptive opportunities to engage in transformative action. Jayson is leading us toward that redemptive discernment.”
    —Wanjiru M. Gitau, author of Megachurch Christianity Reconsidered: Millennials and Social Change in African Perspective

    “Jayson Georges brings out the nuances of patronage in an articulate manner. An eloquent storyteller, Jayson draws out principles of applying patronage in ministry with expert insight, relevant examples, and appropriate biblical proofs. Having ministered among Muslims for twenty-four years and realizing that understanding patronage is vital to ministering among honor-shame cultures, I highly recommend this book for everyone who is currently or even planning to minister, live, or do business in or with patronage cultures.”
    —Syed Ibn Syed, missionary to Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula and the author of Try Me, I Am Jesus

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