Questions of Culture to Ask in Biblical Interpretation
Brene Brown in her book Daring Greatly asks a series of incredibly thoughtful questions about culture that are important for all leaders. Consider spending quality time reflecting on these questions:
- What behaviors are rewarded? Punished?
- Where and how are people actually spending their resources (time, money, attention)?
- What rules and expectations are followed, enforced and ignored?
- Do people feel safe and supported talking about how they feel and asking for what they need?
- What are the sacred cows in this culture? Who is most likely to tip them? Who stands the cows back up?
- What stories are legend and what values do they convey?
- What happens when someone fails, disappoints, or makes a mistake?
- How is vulnerability (uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure) perceived?
- How prevalent are shame and blame and how are they showing up?
- What’s the collective tolerance for discomfort? Is the discomfort of learning, trying new things, and giving and receiving feedback normalized, or is there a high premium put on comfort (and how does it look)?