the smaller the target group in a diverse society, the fewer the barriers to kinship

This entry is part 44 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

McGavran’s definition of a homogenous unit is “simply a section of society in which all the members have some characteristic in common.”[1] A positive rewording of the homogenous principle is that people prefer to hear the gospel from persons where there is a relationship of positive kinship rather than from strangers. All cultures mistrust strangers. A first corollary would be that the stronger the relationship of positive kinship, the fewer the barriers to the gospel because of increased trust. A second corollary would be that people prefer to respond to the gospel presented by people who are known to be trustworthy rather than those known to be hypocrites. A third corollary would be that the smaller the target group in a diverse society, the fewer the barriers to kinship; a group of two or three with an existing, positive relationship would provide no barriers to kinship at all.





[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, 85.

Series Navigation<< The kingdom of God spreads from person to person within human networks of influence.Conversion is more directly related to relational influences on an individual than any other factor. >>
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