Overcoming Resistance to Change in Cultural Contexts
Viewing church growth from an organic systems perspective allows a clearer understanding of why third world cell churches grow rapidly. It is not a cultural oddity or an environmental factor. Cell churches have successfully transcended systemic limits to growth. Systems resist change, and growth is a change. Through obedience to Christ’s ancient pattern of disciple-making, cell churches have learned to thrive and surpass systemic limits to church growth in an environment where the typical church averages fifty members. These natural factors also limit change and growth in churches in Illinois. This project proposes that the growth of cell churches has as much to do with overcoming resistance to change as with innovative methods of evangelism. The Dialogue Seminar, the second of three in this project, will describe insights on systems from Peter Senge blended with the “diffusion of innovations”approach of Everett Rogers and Geoffrey Moore. These principles can be incorporated into a discipleship system that overcomes resistance to change as it makes disciples.
 The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through CreateSpace.com.
   
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.
Neighbor, Where Do We Go, 41.