The most successful pattern of evangelism in the world involves no initial participation in worship …

This entry is part 103 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

The most successful pattern of evangelism in the world involves no initial participation in worship due to the inconveniences of the size of Yoido Church. New people participate first in the discipleship system, and only later attend worship.[1] The path to membership begins with a relationship built through ministry visitation followed by an invitation to participate in a friendly small group meeting on the potential convert’s home turf and not on an invitation to worship. The basic church growth lesson from the world’s largest church is stunning but simple: the most successful path to church growth involves inviting people to small groups which build relationships instead of inviting them to worship.

New people should not be invited to worship but rather to a small group fellowship activity that builds relationships. Persons who become active in a small group will inevitably attend worship with members of that group. Yoido loses no prospective members due to worship visitors slipping through the cracks and wastes no energy on ensuring member assimilation beyond worship involvement. When new converts attend worship for the first time, they are already completely assimilated in the sanctifying grace process of the small group discipleship system. They are not strangers. Groups provide conversations and worship services provide presentations; persuasion toward conversion happens in the midst of Christian conversation prior to attendance at worship.[1]





[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]Media and proclamation are only effective at reaching the first 16% of a population; the diffusion of innovationsteaches that conversion to Christ beyond this 16%, like any innovation adoption, is the result of multiple conversations between near peers “in the midst of community.” Craig Miller, NextChurch.Now, 6.

[1]Cho, More Than Numbers, 44-48.

Series Navigation<< Prayer services occur each day, and prayer is the most common activity of the church that could be considered a program.Standard church growth theory focuses on evangelizing among the existing social networks of church members regardless of geography. >>
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