An example: Two Hundred Barrier in Church Growth.

D. An example: Filling the Bathtub.

            Reinforcing process: water is filling the bathtub through a faucet.

            Balancing process: monitors the water flow, turns it off when tub is full.

E. An example: Two Hundred Barrier in Church Growth.[1]

            Reinforcing process: A small church which is comfortable below one hundred in attendance is growing. Factors are creating church growth. As the church grows, the decreasing ability to cope with the extra people causes discomfort and anxiety. This instability becomes acute as the average worship attendance reaches two hundred. Major changes will be required to maintain function if growth continues.

            Balancing process: The system monitors the growing distress and takes actions which result in the number of persons decreasing until the church is able to function smoothly again without the need to change anything and with everyone present being comfortable. The usual method is sufficient conflict to drive newer people away.





[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 two different views of the two hundred barrier, see Kevin Martin, The Myth of the 200 Barrier: How to Lead through Transitional Growth (Nashville: Cokesbury, 2005) and Carl F. George and Warren Bird, How to Break Growth Barriers: Capturing Overlooked Opportunities for Church Growth (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993).Cf. Bill Easum and Bil Cornelius, Go Big: Lead Your Church to Explosive Growth (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006), 57-71.

This entry was posted in Seminar 2 Dialogue. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.