About Steve Shields

Christ-follower, husband, dad, pastor, blogger, speaker, discipler, traveler, techie.

NUDGE: Discussion Questions 01

For use with Leonard Sweet’s book, Nudge

For Curwensville Alliance @MenMighty

Nudge – Chapter One

  1. What’s the difference between evangelism based in fear and evangelism based in love? Is fear never an appropriate element in sharing the gospel? Why do you think Sweet seems to steer away from it in Nudge?
  2. What does Sweet mean by the phrase, “Good business strategists live on base hits”? (p. 32)
  3. Sweet indicates that some evangelism tends “to violate others’ dignity.” What might he mean by this? Have you witnessed it? (p. 33)
  4. Do you agree that people today tend to worry more about never having lived than where they will spend eternity? (p. 33)
  5. How do you react to the suggestion that, if someone is strong-armed into faith before honestly seeing their need, it may be detrimental to them? (see the Sarte quote, p. 35).sartequote
  6. Sweet says, “Nudging is made up of small things, but it is no small thing. Small inputs can have massive consequences. It is less that ‘everything matters’ than that small things matter everywhere.” (p. 39) What does he mean by that last sentence?
  7. What do you make of Sweet’s statement, “The more I discover what I am, the more miserable I get; the more I discover who God is and who God made me, the happier I become”? (p. 40)
  8. “What counts in evangelism is not cognition, but recognition.” (p. 41) What does this mean? Do you need no cognition (the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses)? Where do you need recognition?
  9. Sweet says, “Not acknowledging Christ when he appears is dereliction of discipleship.” How do you know when he is already at work in someone?
  10. How do you, personally, work to triangulate Scripture, Culture, and Spirit? How do you “walk a tonal tightrope”? (p.45)
  11. For our purposes, Semiotics is, simply stated, reading the world around you from a spiritual / divine perspective. Do you think human society is becoming better at this, or worse? Do you see the necessity of doing this, as it relates to nudging? Explain.
  12. Sweet suggests that Jesus’ ministry was more a semiotics ministry than a preaching, teaching, or healing ministry (p.59). Do you see this? What does the abundance of semiotics in Jesus’ ministry say about evangelism?
  13. What one thing can you take from this chapter that will help you become more proficient at nudging?

Mahaffey Camp Cottages

Looking for Cottages for Sale at Mahaffey Camp?

About 25 years ago, Laurel and I borrowed money from my parents and invested it in our family by buying a cottage at Mahaffey Camp. Our children, Tim and Esther, wore out their sneakers running around THEIR Camp. The spiritual enrichment they received was priceless. They made life-changing decisions for Christ in those years. Laurel and I agree, it was one of the best investments we ever made in our children’s lives.

Every year at Mahaffey Camp, someone is faced with the difficult decision to sell their cottage. I resolved, years ago, to help these people by providing a web site where there cottages could be listed for sale. Additionally, this helps people who find themselves where Laurel and I were years ago – looking for a way to invest in the spiritual development of their family.

Dozens of cottages have changed hands through the years. And dozens of new cottage-owning families have been blessed at Mahaffey Camp.

If you are interested in listing a cottage located at Mahaffey Camp for sale here, please read How to List a Cottage.

If you are interested in learning about purchasing a cottage located at Mahaffey Camp, please read About Purchasing.


Got Trust Issues?


You’ve heard people say it, right? “I have trust issues. Sure you have. And if you’re like me, you sympathize, but a part of you wants to reply, “And… you think that makes you different than…who?” Struggling to trust is not unique to the few.

Almost everyone I know has trust issues. We’d like to think it’s because of the day in which we live. How can we not struggle to trust when we see so much evil around us. But it’s no more unique to our era than the concept is unique to you or me.

It’s said that the most often repeated command in Scripture is Fear not. Do you ever wonder why? Sure, there are the everyday reasons. Fear leads us backwards. Fear doesn’t accomplish anything extraordinary. Fear stifles. But perhaps there is a more basic reason. Maybe fear is the opposite of trust. Maybe the commonness of the command, Fear not, serves to remind us of the commonness of trust issues.


Part of Jesus’ mission was to show us the glory of God — filled with grace and truth. And in His statement, I am the good shepherd, Jesus gives us good reason to trust God. He helps us with our trust issues.

This podcast addresses this in ways I hope you find helpful.