Systems prevent change by tempting visionaries to apply pressure

Systems prevent change by tempting visionaries to apply pressure, thereby raising sufficient conflict and opposition in the balancing process to derail the visionary reinforcing process.[1] If pressure increases, resistance increases. Urgency and anxiety provoke resistance; standard visionary approaches to change deliberately provoke anxiety among the pragmatic majority and guarantee failure.[2] In order to succeed in systemic change, this strategy will need to avoid media dissemination except among the visionary minority and generate massive numbers of conversations among the pragmatic majority without raising anxiety or disrupting the current homeostasis. This is not a small task.





[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]Cf. Senge, Dance of Change, 319-342, 346-349, 350-357.

[2]Examples: John P. Kotter, Leading Change (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1996), 35-49. Lyle Schaller, The Change Agent (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1972), 89-103.

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