More on The Center for Parish Development Church Growth Principle


Section 1. The Center for Parish Development Church Growth Principle:

The laity are excited about what is happening in their church.         

This is about leverage, emotions, actions and ownership.

I became a steward of lay excitement.

The results in the new church: 135, 18%, 6%, 5%, 267.

WHY WOULD THIS WORK? One answer is that excitement creates positive “word of mouth” recommendations of the church in hundreds of conversations members have with others from week to week.[1] Positive conversations multiply through a relational network. This is a very powerful form of marketing. Diffusion of innovations research indicates that 84% of a given population group are influenced toward change only by conversations with trusted peers. Conversations change lives.

HOMEWORK Discussion Questions:          

1.01 What do your people in your church get excited about?

            (Remember: what excites them might not excite us!)

1.02 How does your church disrespect other people’s excitement?

1.03 How do you disrespect other people’s excitement?

1.04 Is there a person in your church that deflates excitement?

1.05 Are there slogans or sayings used in your church to deflate excitement?

1.06 How is your church doing as a steward of lay excitement?

1.07 What do you believe your church members are saying about the church? What percent of these conversations would you guess are positive or negative?





[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]Recent research on large church growth supports the role of lay excitement as a cause of growth in the Center for Parish Development Church Growth Principle. Scott Thumma, Dave Travis, and Warren Bird, Megachurches Today 2005: Summary of Research Findings, megachurch/ megastoday2005_summaryreport.html (accessed June 15, 2007), 11, 17. Cf. Bill Easum and Bil Cornelius, Go Big: Lead Your Church to Explosive Growth (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006), 45-46.

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