… non-cell microprogramming ministries … do not become the focus of the entire church …

This entry is part 101 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Leaders develop a great variety of diversified and decentralized non-cell microprogramming ministries that do not become the focus of the entire church because statistically few people participate in them.[1] The focus remains on evangelism and the fourfold ministry pattern.

            Microprogramming vastly enhances differentiation. Yoido has more than twenty outreach fellowships which target different segments of society; cells meet on weekdays and outreach fellowships plan and work on Sundays.[2] The Farming and Fishing Communities Outreach Fellowship, for example, helps small rural churches. Yoido members will ride a bus to a rural village on Sunday, spend the afternoon in ministry visitation, lead an evangelistic service that evening, and incorporate converts into cells in the host church.[3] This program is another example of the “hedgehog” principle of the Yoido Church, which is the fourfold ministry pattern of worship, prayer meeting, ministry visitation and cell.[4] Most outreach fellowships are initiated by lay leaders and all are run by lay leaders; staff do not lead in programming at Yoido. Programs play a minor role; about thirty thousand Yoido members support the outreach fellowships by financial support, and far fewer by participation.[5] Korean families, with a six-day work week, are under more time pressure than busy Americans; American objections to cell life usually focus on a lack of time. One cell church principle which could be applied in American churches is to restrict programming and committee meetings to Sunday, the day when most people are available. This would leave the other six days open for relational spiritual growth through the fourfold ministry pattern of the Yoido discipleship system. Perhaps it is time to shift from a program-driven “seven day a week church” to a more traditional implementation of the sabbath focus on one day of church planning and programming.[6]





[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]The exception, of course, is the cell ministry; 70% of deacons serve as cell leaders. Cf. Hurston, Growing the World’s Largest Church, 68-69.

[2]Hurston, Growing the World’s Largest Church, 124-125.

[3]Ibid., 126-128. The particular visit described is at the invitation of a woman pastor at a rural Methodist church; the visitation and service helped this small Methodist church to grow in one day from seventy to two hundred members. Teams can return up to twice a year. The outreach is ecumenical with the only requirement that the church be evangelical. The Fellowship provides financial assistance to over five hundred struggling rural churches.

[4]A Hedgehog principle describes an innovative company’s primary focus; it is a concept from Jim Collins, Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap … And Others Don’t (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 90-119.

[5]Ibid., 133. This is about 12% of the average worship attendance. A great variety of innovative programming is available at Yoido, but it is diversified and decentralized; people participate where they feel called and gifted. Statistically few people participate in any program, resulting in a large number of small, diverse “microprograms” while all participate in the “hedgehog” fourfold ministry of worship, prayer, ministry visitation and cell. This approach would replace one large youth program with hundreds of small youth cells, all different, all highly differentiated to meet local needs, all lay led, and all meeting in the local neighborhood.

[6]Cf. Lyle Schaller, The Seven Day a Week Church (Nashville: Abingdon, 1992).

Series Navigation<< … surrounded by the cell group members with whom they attend worship.Prayer services occur each day, and prayer is the most common activity of the church that could be considered a program. >>
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.