Differentiating an Entire Church


3.1 JOURNAL: Record your reflections and document your answers to the Questions for a Better Understanding found on page 139 with regard to this module.


Section One: Differentiating an Entire Church


A. Differentiation through Gift Oriented Ministry: The human body and the body of Christ are composed of discrete and highly specialized components (1 Corinthians 12). One great, often unrealized potential of gift oriented ministry[1] is the opportunity to differentiate an entire church.[2] In the family systems view of Edwin Friedman and Peter Steinke, a healthy member of a healthy family will be highly differentiated while remaining in touch. Healthy differentiation empowers individuals in the context of a community; differentiation heals conflict and stops triangling. When an infant learns that the environment is safe and good, the developmental need to explore will emerge. Maturity is measured by differentiation, which is the sign that an authentic, separate adult personality is emerging as needs for safety, security and belonging are satisfied.[3]





[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 www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. 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 CreateSpace.com.

[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]Christian A. Schwarz, Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches,(St. Charles, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 1996), 24-25.

[2]Differentiation resolves conflict caused by underutilized people; cf. Bill Easum and Bil Cornelius, Go Big: Lead Your Church to Explosive Growth (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006), 100-103.

[3]Edwin H.

Friedman, Generation To Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue (New York: Guilford Publications, Inc., 1985), 3, 23, 228-249. Cf. Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in an Age of Quick Fix, eds. Margaret M. Treadwell and Edward W. Beal, New ed. (New York: Seabury Books, 2007), 158-186, 239-247.

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