CROSSING THE CHASM: From Visionary Minority to Pragmatic Majority


            The pragmatists that make up the Early Majority prefer innovations which are continuous improvements on existing comfortable norms and which do not require changes in behavior.[1] Innovators and Early Adopters are excited about innovations that are discontinuous and represent great changes to norms because discontinuity represents a competitive advantage to them. Geoffrey Moore details the plans necessary for an innovation to “cross the chasm” and enter the pragmatic Early Majority. The innovation itself must be simplified to increase safety and reduce anxiety and uncertainty in adoption.[2]

            Pragmatists have a different culture and visionaries must learn to value and communicate within that culture. Crossing the chasm requires behaviors which seem unnatural to visionaries, and few are willing to adapt to what is necessary for further adoption. It is necessary for visionaries to control their enthusiasm, shift from confrontational presentation to relational conversation, and carefully recruit pragmatists to adopt in a specific “beachhead” niche market if the innovation is to cross the chasm. The vision itself must be simplified and visionaries are frequently are unwilling to compromise their vision in order that the vision might succeed in the real world.

HOMEWORK Discussion Questions:

2.09. Who do you know in this category, inside and outside the church?

2.10. For Early Adopters inside the church, what are their passionate interests?

2.11. What would a church made up entirely of Early Adopters be like?

2.12. What sort of church activity would be very appealing for Early Adopters?

2.13. How would people in this category prefer to follow Jesus?

2.14. How would an Early Adopter convince another Early Adopter to chair a committee?

2.15. How would an Innovator convince an Early Adopter to chair a committee?





[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]Moore, Crossing the Chasm, 10.

[2]Visionaries often resist any adaptation and simplification of their ideas, methods and particularly theology. If theology is not allowed to adapt, then adoption often fails to diffuse.

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