Applying Senge’s Limits To Growth In Churches

Section 2. Applying Senge’s Limits To Growth In Churches

Acts 2:47 And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.


A. Heylighen’s Generalized Peter Principle: in evolution, systems tend to develop up to the limit of their adaptive competence.[1] Churches likewise naturally grow day by day to the limit of their adaptive competence. There is a systemic reason for the size of a church.

B. The largest church indicates the potential in the environment. Cell church techniques raise the adaptive competency level of the church so that the balancing process can continue to maintain a healthy homeostasis through times of growth. The reinforcing process then fills up the extra space with new converts.





[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]Francis Heylighen, “The Generalized ‘Peter Principle,’” Principia Cybernetica Web, ed. F. Heylighen, C. Joslyn, and V. Turchin, (accessed June 15, 2007).

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