Pioneering new ministry or seeking deeper insights into the culture where you live? Learn how to find the keys to a culture and lay the foundation for relevant cross-cultural service. Mobilize others to join your ministry and to pray more knowledgeably. Discover ways that cultural understanding and church planting go hand-in-hand.
This comprehensive and well-illustrated manual details a process using ethnographic research to gain deeper understanding of a culture or community and to discover culturally appropriate strategies for ministry. Used by church planters, mission advocates, short-term teams, and others who want to gain an insider's perspective.
Posted by Nan McCallum on 10th Aug 2012
I asked a team of 9 to read this book in preparation for a vision trip to investigate Siberian Tatars. As we are scattered across the country I asked them to practice interviewing with their spouses.
Marti Smith Wade gave me a study guide that was most helpful to help guide learning from Caleb Project. Having the questions as you read would be the most helpful.
Answering these questions will help you articulate, remember, and respond to the most important points in the book Exploring the Land, as well as providing some accountability for finishing the reading.
1. Consider the five missiological building blocks (pp. 21-25). In your own words, briefly explain each one, its biblical basis, and its relevance to doing research. What do you think of these? Which ones are new to you?
2. Identify and briefly explain the three questions we ask ourselves while doing research (pp. 30-33). What is the “end” we have in mind, and how does this affect the steps we take to get there (pp. 33-37)?
3. Explain the five components of the FOQUS cycle (pp. 42-47). Do any of these steps appeal to you more or less than the others? How have you seen yourself get stuck on or rush through any of these steps in other things you’ve done, such as a school project?
4. How do you feel about language learning (p. 47-50)? Describe your past experience with trying to learn another language. How does the LAMP method differ from other ways of learning?
5. How can a participant observer (pp. 50-54) learn things a casual observer would miss?
6. Describe several of the things that make a good cultural helper (pp. 55-59). What things do you think you might find difficult about selecting and relating to cultural helpers?
7. Give several examples of questions that would help build rapport with cultural helpers (pp. 61-62).
8. How might an ethnographic interview differ from a more formal interview? How might it differ from a friendly conversation? What is your natural tendency – to be more formal and structured, or to be casual and just hang out with people? How might you adjust your style to be both natural and effective?
9. What things should you do when preparing to leave an interview (p. 64)?
10. What are the different kinds of descriptive questions? Give examples of each of the types (pp. 64-66).
11. Give three examples of “leading” questions; then explain how you might use “non-leading” questions to approach to the same topic.
12. What things can you picture yourself saying to your cultural helper to make him or her more comfortable with your note-taking (pp. 69-76)?
13. Now that we’ve explored the activities involved in conducting research, which of these skills sounds most interesting to you? In which areas do you think you will need extra help, encouragement, or instruction?
14. Which of the research topics listed on page 74 are you particularly curious about? How do you anticipate this topic might relate to ministry strategy?
15. Explain how the degrees of group allegiance are related to “people group-ness” (p. 84)). Why is this something we want to research? Try to give examples of what the degrees of group allegiance might look like. Give examples of fluid, elastic, stiff and brittle networks.
16. Who lives in your own city or community? Make a taxonomy of the groups of people you are aware of. What factors stratify them?
17. What is the difference between intimacy and influence (p. 98)? How might each relate to the spread of the gospel in a group?
18. List some of the questions you might ask a cultural helper in order to understand both his/her family and families in his/her culture (pp. 94-106).
19. How might urbanization and other migration patterns affect the flow of the gospel in a society? How about secularization or the increased influence of television (pp. 109-119)?
20. What kinds of things could you learn from national believers that might be helpful in understanding evangelization in an area (pp. 119-130)?
21. Explain the phenomenon of status inconsistency in your own words (p. 124).
22. Choose three of the questions on pages 127-130 and describe why they interest you and some of the ways you might research them.