GraceConnect E-News, No. 40, Week of March 24, 2014


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Ministering Honor to the Shamed

Did you know that 65% of the world's population and 90% of unreached people groups are honor-shame cultures? Honor-shame might be a new term for many people, but it is the how the cultures of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have functioned for hundreds of years.

 â€œHonor-shame cultures are structured to minimize shame and maximize honor,” explains Jayson Georges, who has been researching the topic for the last five years. “Their primary response to sin is not guilt, (like Western cultures) but shame: ‘Oh no, someone might find out, and I’ll be scorned and rejected!’  Their primary motivation is not rules or conscience, but the avoidance of shameful opinions from others. Life is viewed through the prism of acquiring honor.”

Honor-shame cultures, Georges continues, are some of the neediest areas of the world. Areas where population density is the highest are mostly honor shame cultures, as well as the areas with the highest rates of poverty.

Often when missionaries from America or other Western countries do missions work, they struggle to find a clear way to communicate the gospel because of these vast yet often subtle cultural differences. That’s why Jayson Georges started, a website that exists to help educate those interested or involved in Christian missions to better understand the cultures they are trying to reach. 

 â€œThe biblical culture was a collectivistic honor-shame culture as well,” Georges explains. “We assume our Western theology is the only way to read the Bible, but it has a blind spot.  A theology for honor-shame cultures doesn't seek to replace, but complement Western theology.”

“After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they hid and covered themselves. Immediately at the fall there’s the sense of shame, but God seeks to restore honor. In the gospels, Jesus is ministering honor to the shamed -- the lepers, the outcasts, the Samaritans.

“The rejection and humiliation Jesus experienced on the cross absorbs our shame and our sin…through faith God grants us a new honorable identity. My main ambition is to get this concept on people’s radar.”

Jayson is currently missiologist-in-residence with an international organization of the Anabaptist tradition. After nine years in Central Asia, he lives with his wife and three daughters in Clarkston, Ga. – a diverse, refugee-resettlement town east of Atlanta.

Check out his website,, to learn more about this fascinating and relevant issue.


Grace Brethren Church of Lexington, Ohio unanimously voted to call Matthew Rupple their next pastor as Jason Carmean steps down to minister with Encompass World Partners Rupple will begin April 7. 

From Around the Web

Here are a few links from Grace Brethren churches that you might find of interest…

Leadership Development

"Prayer is opposed more than any ministry in the local church. It is very difficult to get people out to pray at a weekly encounter...because the Enemy knows how dangerous a church can be when it becomes a praying church." Profound thoughts on the importance of prayer by Pastor Jim Brown of Grace Community Church in Goshen, Ind.

Integrated Ministries

Read the latest update from Water for Good, a cooperating ministry with the Grace Brethren Fellowship.


Each year, CE National provides a ministry trip over spring break to Urban Hope Training Center for Grace College students. The trip fulfills the student's cross cultural field experience in order to qualify to graduate from the college. This year, over 40 participated in an incredible week of learning, ministry, and hands-on experience in living on mission. The following article was written by Lauren Williams, one of the students on the trip.

...Read the rest of the story
1 Peter
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Events in the FGBC

March 16, 2014 â€“ Prayer Sprint Begins (EWP)
March 17-19, 2014 â€“ South Focus RetreatFlorida FFA Leadership Training Center , (FGBC)
April 25-26, 2014 â€“ Women's Leadership Studies: Equipping Others (WGUSA)
May 19-21, 2014 – Northwest Focus Retreat, Camp Clear Lake, Wash. (FGBC)
June 27-July 3, 2014 – Encounter ATL (EWP)
July 17-21, 2014 â€“ Vision2020 DC (FGBC)
June 22-27 â€“ National Rondezvous Camp, Burr Oak State Park, Ohio (GBB)
July 22-27, 2014 â€“ Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)
July 29-August 11 â€“ National Timothy Adventure (GBB)
November 11-24, 2014 â€“ Cambodia GO Team (WGUSA)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC â€“ Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBB â€“ Grace Brethren Boys
WGUSA â€“ Women of Grace USA
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