Contemporary worship is a modern version of the proclamation model.

D. Contemporary worship is a modern version of the proclamation model. Most innovation in evangelism is focused on attempts to update the proclamation model to work in a new century. The world has changed, however, and the proclamation model all by itself is less and less effective for the typical church. It now needs an effective Discipleship System working in prevenient grace to bring in the people.

E. While it is possible to build a megachurch on a Proclamation model,[1] rapidly growing churches that feature contemporary worship often have robust Discipleship Systems in place that cooperate with their excellent worship. This is the heart of Willow Creek’s seven step strategy, which defines a process where seeker friendly individual relationships (prevenient grace) lead to seeker sensitive worship and finally to seeker supportive small groups (sanctifying grace).[2]

[1]Two examples of excellence in worship driven evangelistic megachurches are Lakewood Church of Houston ( (accessed June 18, 2007)) and Southeast Christian Church of Louisville, Kentucky ( (accessed June 18, 2007)). Cf. Bob Russell, When God Builds a Church (West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing Co., 2000). Average churches are unable to duplicate the methods which help this type of megachurch to grow. While these churches have excellent small groups, cell driven churches expect and involve every person in a cell group.  Cell group attendance often outnumbers worship attendance, as Sunday School once did in the United States.





[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.

[2]Cf. Bill Hybels, The Seven Step Philosophy (Tape c9002; Barrington, IL: Seeds Tape Ministry, 1999). For the approach to networking in prevenient grace, cf. Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg, Becoming a Contagious Christian (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 95-148.

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