A Word of Explanation, by
- (MMC contains all of "Honor
and Shame" plus two other highly acclaimed books by Roland
- all wrapped into one packaged
presentation for missionaries.)
Over the years I have written a number of books that have been
used by God to bless or encourage missionaries in their ministry.
My hearts desire is to explore some of the very basic fundamental
principles that are common to most Muslim church-planting situations.
In the course of doing so, the books were distributed around
The original intent of the first editions of this book was to
produce a guide or manual for missionaries planting churches
among Muslims. Yet it wasnt long before I began hearing
back from missionaries working with other groups, such as Hindus,
Buddhists, Animists, and post-modern young people. Requests for
seminars came from many places outside of the Middle East such
as Europe, East Asia, and North America (including First Nations
people). It soon became apparent that many of the principles
used for church-planting among Muslims were actually principles
applicable to most cross-cultural church-planting situations.
Many readers responded positively to the material on the effects
of sin on human beings, and the worldviews that result. Many
others expressed their appreciation for the materials that addressed
the way God works and what God is doing as he moves across cultural
barriers to bring people to himself.
Today we find ourselves living in a global community where it
is important to understand many different cultural backgrounds
and situations. Few missionaries work in a mono-cultural situation.
The philosophies of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Post-Moderns,
Agnostics, and many others influence those among whom we minister.
It is the aim of this book to explore a variety of very basic
and simple principles that should be foundational to our ministry
as cross-cultural church-planters. We start with examining ourselves
as church-planters. In effect the church-planter is a messenger
who bears the Gospel message into a target community. If the
Gospel is to be heard, then the church-planter must gain a hearing.
If the target community rejects the church planter as a valid
messenger, then the ministry will go no farther.
Once the church-planter is accepted as a valid
messenger, he must move on and begin to share a message that
is culturally appropriate and understandable to his audience.
If his message is not understandable, the target community may
reject the Gospel, because they fail to identify the message
as being a valid message for their situation.
However, even if the messenger gains a hearing and shares a culturally
appropriate message, the Gospel may still be rejected if the
church being planted is not a viable community of faith for that
situation. Thus we will explore three primary areas in this book:
The Messenger, the Message, and the Community.
As I mentioned, the original focus of this
book was to act as a guide for those working in a Muslim context.
Thus, many of the resources, examples, and case studies are taken
from a Muslim setting. However this should not distract the reader
from learning how God works with people across a variety of cultural
backgrounds. Some of the pastors that reviewed this book in manuscript
form shared with me that these materials have proven beneficial
to them as they led established churches which were seeking to
reach out to fast-changing multi-cultural communities. I trust
that the principles shared in this book will also be useful to
you and your ministry situation.
The questions to the end of each chapter are
intended for personal reflection and team discussion. Many people
find that working through questions helps them digest and absorb
the material better. The questions are also intended to help
you apply the material to your specific church-planting ministry