The project strategy has three phases.

The project strategy has three phases. Seminar attenders are by definition Innovators; only Innovators by definition will travel to seminars to learn new innovations. When Innovators return home they will link up with Early Adopters to discuss and refine the innovation for local usage. This group will self-select because only Innovators and Early Adopters are interested in new ideas. Through the homework exercises in the study guide, the Innovators and Early Adopters will adapt the lessons for local usage.[1] In this manner the disciple-making innovations will permeate the “early market” of the first two adopter framework categories within a local church, be customized for high performance in local usage, cross the chasm and begin the S-curve of rapid adoption in a local church setting.

            Understanding by Design will interest the visionary minority because it is integrative, holistic and has the goal of developing integrity, character and a better human being as a result of learning. Empathy, self-knowledge and a change of primary perspective are goals of the learning process. Having students “encounter big ideas in ways that provoke and connect to student’s interests (as questions, issues, or problems) increases the likelihood of student engagement and sustained inquiry.”[2] A practical focus on real world benefits is essential to interest the pragmatic majority in learning.[3]





[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]Rather than propose one change after another or continuously innovate the innovation, Innovators and Early Adopters must discipline themselves to focus on the goal of crossing the chasm to gain full adoption. Adoption beyond the visionary minority requires a unified strategic effort by Early Adopters or the innovation will fail to gain critical mass. This is a significant strategic and behavioral change for the visionary minority. Leading an organization into one innovation after another is an unhealthy, “pacesetting” leadership style according to Daniel Goleman, Annie McKee, Richard E. Boyatzis, Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2002), 53-55, 71-75, 80-83.

[2]Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design, 11.

[3]Wiggins and McTighe quote Jerome Bruner’s blunt comment: “For any subject taught in primary school, we might ask [is it] worth an adult’s knowing, and whether having known it as a child makes a person a better adult.” Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design, 11.

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