The gospel enters human social networks in four basic ways.

The gospel enters human social networks in four basic ways. Traditional church growth theory advocates a “person of peace”approach along networks of family and friends; two other forms of kinship are shared interests and geographical proximity.[1] A fourth approach, thediffusion of innovations, provides a scientific explanation for systemic change and explains how these social networking strategies function. The diffusion of innovationsis concerned with “how to bring about change in a social structure and how to speed up the rate of adoption of that change.”[2] The goal of this project is to provide simple, effective tools for the majority of individuals in the majority of churches in the ministry context to experience Jesus as Lord, become disciples and spread that experience through their relational networks as disciple makers. This chapter assumes a familiarity with concepts and terminology explained and referenced in the rest of the project in order to concisely present an implementation strategy.





[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]See pages 148-149 of this study guide for further discussion.

[2]Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 4th ed. (New York: Free Press, 1995), 1. See pages 152-168 of this study guide for further discussion.

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