The balancing process is very powerful

B. Peter Senge’s Limits to Growth archetype attempts to explain the progress and failure of change within human systems through the interaction to two systemic processes. The reinforcing process represents a trend which is intensifying in repeated cycles in order to provoke a change in the status quo. The balancing process keeps the system cycling in a safe, stable homeostasis, where everything functions smoothly and efficiently.[1]

            The balancing process is very powerful and usually prevents the reinforcing process from successfully changing the system; it exists to prevent challenges to system stability because small changes in biological systems usually mean the death of the organism. When the trend toward change offers positive benefits and does not threaten or overwhelm the balancing process, the system often adapts by incorporating the trend.





[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]Senge, Fifth Discipline, 79-88, 95-104, 124-126, 227-232, 379-380, 389-390. Senge uses Balancing and Reinforcing loops as fundamental elements to construct many systems archetypes.

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