Karen Hurston explains the challenge of understanding this church

This entry is part 88 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Karen Hurston explains the challenge of understanding this church of 700,000 members with the folktale of three blind men who encounter an elephant, each describing the part which they have touched. Westerners find what they seek at Yoido, and frequently leave with an awareness of only one part of the whole system which they emphasize back at home in their own adaptation of the cell innovation.[1] Yoido Church is so large and complex that most descriptions contain only a snapshot of its reality at a given time. This project is no exception and page limitations allow only an overview of the cell church discipleship system that began at Yoido delimited by the needs of small United Methodist churches. Cell church theory has evolved from the basic pattern formed at Yoido into four distinct waves of innovation which advocate disciple making through cell groups in a manner effectively adapted to their cultural contexts.[2]





[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 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.

[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]For an example of one of these summaries based on generalizations, correct in principle but not in the details, see Merton P. Strommen, The Innovative Church: Seven Steps to Positive Change in Your Congregation (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1997), 143-144.

[2]I posit four waves of development in the evolving cell church movement. The first wave is Yoido Church itself and its like; Karen Hurston and Ralph Neighbor are the best resources for the first wave. The second wave is made up of the South American cell churches such as Elim Church, ICM and the G12 movement; Joel Comiskey is the authority on the churches of the second wave. The third wave consists of American churches which have implemented their own innovations of the cell church; examples are Bethany World Prayer Center (www.bccn.org) and cellish churches such as Willow Creek, Saddleback and Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church. In the first three waves, cell policies increase adaptive competency, making larger, disciple-making churches of multiple thousands possible.

                The fourth wave is the use of cells in a Church Planting Movement strategy rather than a church growth strategy; David Garrison, Bob Logan and Neil Cole are primary resources. In the fourth wave, as in the New Testament, all energy is invested in disciple-making and no energy is wasted on creating an institutional church or rebuilding the Temple. More aptly named a “disciple multiplication movement,” fourth wave churches begin small, remain small, and continually spin off new small churches rather than grow one larger church. These evangelistic methods could be highly effective in small church contexts.

Series Navigation<< The Yoido Full Gospel Church Discipleship SystemThe old ways and the old religion were not working, and the people were ready for a new religion and a new way of life. >>
This entry was posted in Ch 2 Discipleship Systems. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.