Culture’s Color, God’s Light

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We spend a lot of time trying to understand the differences between cultures. But what is the end-game? The more we learn about other cultures, the better we can shine God’s love. Also, as we see God through our own cultural lens and engage with people from other cultures, we begin to see the world the way God sees it! Explore three cultural frameworks and take a moment to add to this important research by taking the test yourself: http://theculturetest.com.





 

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Engage Through Prayer

 Dear God, I want the white light of your love to shine out in every corner of the world and through every culture. Help me to understand my culture better and also learn about the cultures of others who I want to serve beside and minister to. Give me love in my heart for them and patience when we see things differently. Use each of us to shine your light on the world! Amen

 

Personal Reflection

Stop what you are doing and take The Culture Test (http://theculturetest.com). Now that you know your primary cultural color, what insights does that give you about your own culture and how you engage with the other two culture types? How we understand and respond to the essential problem of humanity is core to who we are and how we interact with each other. Are your intercultural interactions leading to the white light of God’s love or are your interactions ending in division and strife? With this new insight, what could you do to understand the various culture types and focus your communication to best present the Gospel?

 

Engaging the Church 

Your church is working in multiple cultures as you engage in global mission. Are you aware of the differences between those cultures? Are your messages being interpreted through a different cultural filter? What are you doing to raise awareness of cultural differences in your congregation and among those going on short-term mission trips? Awareness of how cultures view and respond to human problems will lead to breakthroughs in understanding as people understand different ways of looking at the world. Consider cultural insight as part of your efforts to disciple those in your congregation as they serve globally!

 

Organizational Application 

If your ministry works in multiple cultures, your ability to navigate those different ways of looking at the world is mission-critical. Much has been shared recently about Honor-Shame cultures and how they differ from Western cultural identities. Today’s Missiographic puts Honor-Shame in context with two other perspectives. This model isn’t the only way to see culture, but it is an important one. How have you raised awareness about this model of culture with your staff? Are you training them to see the difference between how cultures view people’s essential problem/solution? Is it guilt/innocence, shame/honor, or fear/power? Why not have all your staff take http://theculturetest.com and then use it as a discussion point as you seek to be a learning organization? Visit this page for a Culture Test Group Discussion Guide: http://honorshame.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Group-Discussion-Guide-TheCultureTest-v2.pdf


 Good information is key for any individual or ministry. For more insights look at missiographics.com.

Sources

1 For more on primary colors of light and pigment, see http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.energy.lightpigment/primary-colors-of-light-and-pigments/
2 Georges, Jayson. The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt,
Shame and Fear Cultures
, pp 11, 53. www.honorshame.com/3Dgospel/;
http://honorshame.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Theology-Guide-Guilt-Shame-Fear-Georges.pdf
3 Data from The Culture Test, results through 3/11/16. www.theculturetest.com
4

Tennent, Timothy. Theology in the Context of World Christianity, p 92, footnotes 46 & 47

http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~tim/study/Honor%20and%20Shame%20Tennent.pdf

5

Mischke, Werner. The Global Gospel, p 46. Scottsdale, AZ: Mission ONE.

http://globalgospelbook.org/

 

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