Guilt, Shame, Fear… and Faith

Online Course - Group
  • Approximate Time Commitment: 7 hours
  • Length: 1 week

You have a heart to help others come to know Christ and become His committed followers…  But in your new context are you sharing the Gospel in a way that will be understood by those you are trying to serve?  To fully fulfill your calling as a messenger of good news of faith you’ll need to find the pathway to communicating Biblical truth in a culturally contextualized manner.  This course gives you the opportunity to join a group and learn how guilt/innocence, honor/shame, and power/fear perspectives influence the understanding and practice of our faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ.

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Partner: Grow2Serve


Resource Description

Guilt, Shame, Fear… and Faith is a one-week Grow2Serve online course designed to help you understand some fundamentals of culture and ministry contextualization and personally enhance your ability to proclaim salvation and faith in the context of your new culture. The course asks you to make an investment of 6-8 hours of learning time over the 8-day period.

Our personal experience of our faith journey as a disciple of Jesus is deeply influenced by where we are from and the communities we’ve been a part of.  When we move into a new community with a new culture the truths of God and faith are unchangeable. But at the same time the way individuals understand and talk about those truths can change drastically.  The tricky thing is that the single perspective that most of us are familiar with may be quite “invisible” to us. A key first step towards effective, contextualized ministry is to realize that various perspectives exist and that the perspectives I personally hold are often subconscious to me.

As a result of participating actively in the course, you will be equipped to…

  • understand that three paradigms — guilt/innocence, honor/shame and power/fear — are strongly present in Scripture for understanding the Gospel and faith.  You cannot just use one, but one will generally be the starting point for most communities.
  • realize that there may be a divide between how we live our lives (a subconscious worldview)  and how we view our theology… and work on reconciling that difference.
  • shift vocabulary while explaining the Gospel while collecting stories/metaphors/narratives that are useful for ministry in the context where you minister.
  • appreciate that cultural constructs of guilt, shame and fear are a reality for contextualized ministry beyond just evangelism.
  • identify points in ministry where a 3D paradigm shift would be helpful for more effective communication.

Content, Community, Consultation, Connections

Guilt, Shame, Fear… and Faith will afford you not just the opportunity to explore some interesting information regarding ministry contextualization, but, more importantly, it will connect you with fellow learners who are in a similar stage of cross-cultural ministry themselves. You’ll be able to help each other and learn from one another. Your course facilitator will also be a great resource for clarifying what you are learning and for providing you with input on assignments that you will complete and discussions in which you will participate.

Is this Course for Me?

Guilt, Shame, Fear… and Faith is designed for those desiring to minister well in their new cultural environment. If you’ve been settled into your place of ongoing ministry for at least 2 months and have a commitment to grow in your cultural abilities, this would be a good course for you.

Learning about cross-cultural ministry contextualization – learn by doing!

The course was developed as a team effort by Jeff Cardell (Adventures in Missions, Romania), Julie Morgenstern (Grow2Serve), Mark Morgenstern (Director of CIT Next) and Josh Sofaer (Jews for Jesus, Los Angeles.)  The combined cross-cultural ministry experience of this team totals to over 70 years! It was a joy for us to delve into this material and weigh many of our own personal experiences over the years against the interesting content information provided by respected authors like Jayson Georges and Roland Muller.

Please note that ideally, for maximum learning impact, a learner in this course will spend 30-90 minutes daily (Monday – Friday) working on the material. Some of the coursework will involve reading, writing, listening and viewing videos on the computer. Other pieces will involve interacting with other learners and engaging in your local community while practicing the skills you are learning.

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