Believers of the Ethiopian Meserete Kristos movement grew tenfold … during nine years of persecution without public worship.

H. Discipleship Systems have continued making disciples in Ethiopia and China where persecution has prevented public worship for decades. Believers of the Ethiopian Meserete Kristos movement grew tenfold, from 5000 to 50,000 during nine years of persecution without public worship.[1] The church multiplication movement strategy is rapidly planting indigenous churches under similar conditions in China without flashy public worship considered a requirement for growth in the United States.[2] Discipleship Systems can continue to effectively make disciples when no public worship is provided at all. This continuing growth when persecution prevents public preaching suggests that, with an effective discipleship system in place, the form worship takes is irrelevant to disciple making.





[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]For growth in the Sudan Interior Mission in Ethiopia, 1938-1943, seeBethel University, Ethiopian Protestantism: the “Pente” Churches in Ethiopia, EthiopiaProtestantism.html (accessed 22 March 2007). Cf. Jeremy Wells, “Ethiopia: ‘The Country Blessed of God’,” Christianity Today, July 1, 2005.

[2]David Garrison, Chapter 2: CPMs Up Close; A Region in China, CPM/Chapter2-ChinaRegion.htm (accessed June 15, 2007). Cf. David Garrison, Church Planting Movements: How God Is Redeeming a Lost World (Midlothian, VA: WIGTake Resources, 2004), 49-64. Cf. David Yongii Cho, Successful Home Cell Groups (Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos, 1981), 82-84.

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