House church

A way to deeper fellowship–SASHET

Last Friday, everyone (no one was left out) in the church that meets in our home shared what is going on in their lives–not a casual, all is well with a bright and false smile, but an in-depth genuine sharing from the heart. To accomplish this, we used a tool that we’ve employed a number of times before that we were taught by John White from It’s a brilliant tool to aid sharing in deep fellowship.

SASHET is an acronym for Sad, Angry, Scared, Happy, Excited and Tender. Many people have difficulty expressing how they are feeling, and this simple acronym facilitates identifying and expressing emotion. Each person chooses one or more of the words that most closely expresses how they are feeling and explains the reasons why. It’s a checking in process. So a person might say, “I’m checking in as scared and excited because…” Often we’ll stop and pray if someone shares a deep need, or we might break off to praise for something someone is happy or excited about. At the end, they’ll say, “And I’m in…” meaning they are fully present in whatever is going on. Everyone takes part because you go around the room.

We’ve had some of our deepest fellowship times using SASHET. Some groups use it every week. Our group doesn’t have any difficulty sharing and so we don’t personally do that.

Has anyone else used SASHET? What was  your experience?


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16 replies on “A way to deeper fellowship–SASHET”

We haven’t used SACHET, but we have often used the idea of checking in with two words (freely chosen rather than from the SACHET acronym), and then briefly explaining the words we have chosen. We have found it a useful way of sharing and of including everyone without forcing people to say more than they want to, and it almost always leads to prayer and encouragement for each person.

Yes, I’ve used SASHET often, rarely with a larger group, almost always in groups of two or three (John White’s church of two idea).

It’s very valuable, particularly at getting people ‘unstuck’. It provides a simple framework to help us make sure everything is covered and it is enough of a starter to get people sharing their deeper feelings when they might otherwise imagine they have nothing to say.

For anyone out there who hasn’t tried it, my advice is take SASHET for a spin. You won’t regret it.

We’ve been checking in with SASHET every week for almost a year now in our cell groups. It’s been an effective way to connect to one another in a short period of time. Even the first time visitors to our cells have opened up more than we had expected because of this regular practice.

We also practice CO2s throughout the week checking in with a discipleship partner.

Because of the frequency of use, SASHET has become a way of life for us. Admittedly, SASHET is just a starting point. Most people are no longer restricted to those 6 emotions. Some have even replaced certain words within the acronym. For example, I have a disciple who often checks in as “tired” instead of tender.

Never used SASHET but will now! We have a group of single moms that have just started to meet on a Thursday afternoon and I think this will work well with them!

We do this too! Only we use SAFE HAT as our acronym. Mostly it’s the same emotions tied to the letters but many times it’s just whatever you want to share even if the letter is not there.

As Linda says above, our version of SASHET is “SAFE HAT”. We actually use a ball cap with “Safe Hat” printed on the front. We pass the hat around the room while singing a short chorus “God has something to say…” and whenever someone puts the hat on their head we stop singing and listen to what they have to share (SadAngryFrustratedExcitedHappyAnxiousThankful). Just yesterday a young man who attends our Sunday afternoon gatherings posted on his Facebook status, “Man I can’t wait until tomorrow to share at SAFEHAT…” 🙂

There are a whole series of youtube videos by the ORIGINATORS of the acronym, Frank and Dixie Morris. It is under the title of ‘Liberation Psychology’ and their system is a system of therapeutic work that can actually change a person’s life, even as mine was changed by htis material. It is amazing. The videos are very informative and when this SASHET acronym is used I think it would be good to give credit where credit is due…..thanks Frank and Dixie!!!

I knew that it had come from a secular source, but I didn’t know where. Thank you for letting me know. And I agree, thank you Frank and Dixie Morris!

Giving credit where credit is due…
SASHET was coined by David E. Carlson. He used to be a professor at Trinity International University and he used SASHET model in his book Counseling and Self-Esteem. Another book by D E Carlson, The Complete Book of Youth Ministry, page 409 (Principals of Student Counseling) Also, Anthony Mersino gives him credit for that on pg. 22 in his book Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers. Thank God for David Carlson’s wisdom and thank God for Frank and Dixie Morris for using the concept. I did not do verify, however, I believe they gave the credit where the credit was due…. good intentions requires good leg work… miHai Titean

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