A9 Understanding the same language

  • People need to agree on the words they will use during the training and know exactly what they will mean. For example, one person may have a certain picture in their mind when they think of the words ‘community’ or ‘poverty’, while someone else may have a completely different picture. Everybody needs to learn and be clear about what each word refers to, so that misunderstandings are prevented. Meet together with the community leaders and motivators to discuss this.
  • These terms need be carefully explained and discussed in small groups: community, development, ownership, sustainability, participation, replicability, poverty, mobilisation, empowerment and facilitation. It may be helpful to invite someone from outside to help with this meeting. People may like to find places in the Bible that refer to similar ideas. After discussion, agree on a definition for each word and write this out for future use.

  • Can you think of any other words or groups of words that should be added to this list? If it was not possible to reach agreement about one or more of the words, what further action should we plan?
  • Was it helpful to discuss the meaning of these words in small groups?
  • Does anyone have access to a dictionary that might help in understanding the meaning of these or other difficult terms?
  • How does the process of discussion and agreement help us to build understanding and relationships with each other?
  • Where in the Bible do we see the example of small groups discussing difficult issues?


Acts 2:42-47 The fellowship of believers
Colossians 3:12-17 Therefore, as God’s chosen people 

Matthew 13:31-32 Parable of the mustard seed
Mark 4:8 Still other seed fell on good soil 

Ephesians 1:14 Having believed, you were marked
Hebrews 13:6-8 So we say with confidence
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people 

1 Thessalonians 2:9 We worked night and day
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres
Hebrews 12:1 Let us run with perseverance, the race 

Romans 12:4-8 One body, many members
1 Corinthians 12:12-31 One body, many parts 

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit
James 2:5 Chosen poor to be rich 

Mark 4:8 Still other seed fell on good soil
Acts 6:7 So the word of God spread 

Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine
Matthew 10:1 He called his twelve disciples
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is 

John 15:7-8 If you remain in me
Acts 6:8-10 Stephen seized 

Philippians 2:6-7 Who, being in very nature God
Matthew 20:24-28 Servant leadership
Matthew 18:18-20 Here is my servant