Nineteen out of the twenty largest churches in the world are cell churches.

This entry is part 19 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Other churches in the world, plus a few bright spots in America, show a great contrast. Most are cell churches, and many of the remaining are transforming themselves into cell or cell-type churches. Nineteen out of the twenty largest churches in the world are cell churches.[1] Seoul, Korea is home to the world’s largest Pentecostal church, the Yoido Full Gospel Church; the world’s largest Presbyterian church, Young Nak; the world’s largest Baptist church, Sung Rak; and the world’s largest Methodist church, Kwang Lim.[2] All are based on cells. Yoido Church is continually spinning off church plants[3] yet continues to grow to more than 700,000 members.[4] These thriving churches exhibit a homeostasis that makes disciples.






[1] 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 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

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

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.

[1]Ralph W. Neighbor, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here? A Guidebook for the Cell Group Church, 10th Anniversary ed. (Houston: Touch Publications, 1990), 37.

[2]Ed Lindgren, Dr. Cho’s Secret Weapon: Women, (accessed June 12, 2007). Cf. Joel Comiskey, “The Ten Largest Cell Churches in the World” Cell Group Journal 10, no. 1 (December, 2000) under tenLargest.htm (accessed June 12, 2007). Kwang Lim is now reported to have 85,000 members. Sandy Zeigler, “What’s The Secret?” Covenant Discipleship Quarterly, Fall 2004, under smallgroup /covenant/fall04/secret.html (accessed June 12, 2007).

[3]Neighbor, Where Do We Go, 41. Cf. C. Peter Wagner, Church Planting for a Greater Harvest (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1990), 62.

[4]Yoido Full Gospel Church, “The Church at Yoido,” Yoido Full Gospel Church, (accessed May 1, 2007). Figures reported for Yoido’s membership vary; 700,000 is the number they quote. For a critique of membership and worship attendance figures, see Joel Comiskey, Yoido Full Gospel Church, worldwide/yoido.htm (accessed June 12, 2007).

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