An effective viral marketing strategy has six characteristics

In addition to seeking “top down” sponsorship, this project will use aspects of “word of mouth” or “viral marketing” to develop “bottom up” encouragement among local church lay leaders to participate in the training. An effective viral marketing strategy has six characteristics: it gives away products or services, provides for effortless transfer to others, scales easily from small to very large, exploits common motivations and behaviors, utilizes existing communication networks and takes advantage of others’ resources.[1] I intend to further dialogue through an Internet community of Innovators and Early Adopters focused on disciple-making and local church revitalization. Users will be able to download the entire project in sections, engage in dialogue, forward portions to others and contribute their own understandings as a part of an online community.[2] The homophilous dialogue of the Internet community will stimulate local enthusiasm for implementing church growth concepts as well as providing free, ongoing access to evolving tools and information from the project. In this way the study guide will serve as a template for an ongoing reinvention of disciple-making strategies in local church settings and make a positive contribution for years to come. Internet access will eventually be the primary means by which persons encounter and interact with the study guide.

I intend to utilize feeder seminars as a means of sideways diffusion of the material. Portions of this material have been shared at cluster training events, Walk to Emmaus communities and presented as a part of training for Basic and Advanced Lay Speaking classes under the title “Small Group Secrets from the World’s Largest Churches.” As the material strongly supports the building of community within districts, it will be useful to any group within a district with the need to gather new members.





[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]Ralph F. Wilson, The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing, wmt5/viral-principles.htm (accessed June 13, 2007).

[2]The URL is David Kueker, Disciple Walk, (accessed August 17, 2007). Early Adopter self-directed learning and Internet resourcing will also slow the spread of material beyond the visionary minority in the local church prior to contextualization and preparation to cross the chasm.

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