Fourth Systemic Problem: Stranger Evangelism

This entry is part 46 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Fourth Systemic Problem: Stranger Evangelism

            Donald McGavran’s controversial Principle of Homogeneity states “Men like to become Christians without crossing racial, linguistic or class barriers.”[1] An institutional worldview interprets the best target for evangelism to be a homogenous unit as large as a tribe or an ethnic group. The homogenous principle is perceived to lead to the development of a large, ethnically pure institution conforming to organizational norms. This is deemed unethical in American society and is an impossible achievement due to the growing diversity of American society. Marketing once targeted large segments of the population. Marketing today recognizes human diversity and caters to smaller and smaller segments of the population in order to increase sales by meeting more and more specific needs.





[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]Donald McGavran, Understanding Church Growth (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1970), 198. Generally, cells are homogenous while the entire church is heterogenous and accepts all socioeconomic and cultural diversities. Paul Yongii Cho with R. Whitney Manzano, More Than Numbers (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1984), 46, 44.

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