180 The SOW Questions
0 Anchor Post Template Simple Reality Disciplines
QUESTIONS for thinking it through:
How could this clarify my Reality?
How could this benefit if added to my Disciplines?
Who needs to hear this?
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The SOW Questions
7:02 AM 9/15/2017
The trainer had just returned from teaching Church Planting Movement strategy to primitive tribal villagers in Mongolia. These people are illiterate but are very curious and disciplined in their bible study through the practice of a spiritual discipline of three questions. (Illiterate does not mean stupid.)
He spoke of a learning process which takes plays in thousands of rural villages throughout Africa, Asia and South America. In this instance he described a group of women shucking corn, squatting in circles on the ground, a comfortable working posture in their culture. One person who is illiterate, often a child, reads one verse from the bible in their language. They take turns speaking, from the most experienced Christian down to the newest. Each one answers the three SOW questions. The process looks like this:
A single verse is read.
The responder repeats the verse.
She explains what it says to her, in her life and context. Often the verse wil be paraphrased as the woman applies it to her life and allows it to teach her about her life. (What does it SAY?)
She describes what it tells her to do, how to live, and how to improve her life. (What does it say that I should OBEY?)
She describes the type of person who needs to hear this, both generally (women in conflict with their husbands) and specifically (my sister). This connects the gospel immediately with people in context and builds bridges to share what is learned with others. (WHO needs to hear this?)
And then the second most spiritually mature person takes their turn. And then the next. By the time the newest person speaks, she has heard a variety of differing opinions, all of which can provide a model for her to select what is meaning for her to say. The group might spend on hour on one verse, but it is time well spent. The third world is not distracted as we are by endless entertainment, and so they have the time. And what is learned is learned in depth.
These questions from the third world are utilized on this blog.
First, we ask “How do these concepts clarify our Reality?” What does it say? How does it illluminate what is true? What does it mean in my reality, my life, my situation, my context? How does it clarify my perceptions of my reality, my understanding of life as a system and the routine paradigms by which my life operates? This is the seed of truth.
Second, we ask “What can these concepts add to my Disciplines?” What does it say that I should obey? What instructions are given or implied? Is a system, a process or a recipe described? How would a wise person implement this knowledge and benefit from it? This is how you plant the seed.
Third, we ask “Who needs to hear this?” What sort of person? Do I know someone like that personally? Why do they need to hear this? What are the possible benefits and outcomes? Am I among that group? This is the ground into which the seed is planted, where it will blossom and grow.
These are the questions that help us to understand our Reality, and improve the Disciplines by which we live a better life. They are a Reality Discipline.