Systems prevent change by bottling up information within the visionary minority.

Systems prevent change by bottling up information within the visionary minority.[1] The visionary minority can become totally absorbed in their fascination for new ideas, research and analysis to the point of an addiction. A visionary playground can develop where the focus is endlessly communicating and enhancing the vision among themselves in a manner which will never reach anyone outside the visionary minority. Like a racetrack, the focus is on going faster and faster, around and around in circles.[2] Innovations do not automatically diffuse once they are accepted by the visionary minority. Often what seems to be a systemic change is only the trend within the visionary minority, which is soon abandoned in favor of the next new trend. Visionaries must become missionaries to the pragmatic majority for systemic change to occur.[3] The strategy must ensure the new ideas are brought home to the local church for adoption by the typical church member. The hunger for all things new in the visionary minority can be satisfied by shifting focus from new ideas to new people.   





[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]Chasm theory refers to this as the “early market.” Wiefels, Chasm Companion, 17-33, 98-104.

[2]For an example of a visionary racetrack which ably informs the visionary minority of 16%, see the streaming video resource at Illinois Great Rivers Conference, Ministry Revolution 24/7, (accessed May 12, 2007). Few local church members will access this resource; it cannot reach the pragmatic majority. The most famous Innovator racetrack is Xerox PARC.

[3]The chasm exists and homeostasis is preserved by the false assumption that once the visionary minority enthusiastically embrace a change, it will spread throughout the system. For an example, see Jon Berry and Ed Keller, The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy (New York: Free Press, 2002).

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