Unit 2.16 Microscheduling


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Microscheduling: Microprogramming vastly enhances differentiation, but the major programming effort of the church is confined to Sundays.

Yoido has more than twenty outreach fellowships which target different segments of society; cells meet on weekdays and outreach fellowships plan and work on Sundays.[1] Programs play a minor role; about thirty thousand Yoido members support the outreach fellowships by financial support, and far fewer by participation.[2] This is about 12% of the average worship attendance. A great variety of innovative programming is available at Yoido, but it is diversified and decentralized; people participate where they feel called and gifted. Statistically few people participate in any program, resulting in a large number of small, diverse “microprograms” while all participate in the “hedgehog” fourfold ministry of worship, prayer, ministry visitation and cell.[3] This approach would replace one large youth program at the main facility with hundreds of small youth cells, all different, all highly differentiated to meet local needs, all lay led, and all meeting in the local neighborhood.

The Farming and Fishing Communities Outreach Fellowship, for example, helps small rural churches. Yoido members will ride a bus to a rural village on Sunday, pray, spend the afternoon in ministry visitation, lead an evangelistic service that evening, and incorporate converts into cells in the host church.[4] This program is another example of the fourfold ministry pattern of worship, prayer meeting, ministry visitation and cell. Most outreach fellowships are initiated by lay leaders and all are run by lay leaders; staff do not lead in programming at Yoido but focus on the fourfold ministry pattern.

Korean families, with a six-day work week, are under more time pressure than busy Americans; American objections to cell life usually focus on a lack of time. One cell church principle which could be applied in American churches is to restrict programming and committee meetings to Sunday, the day when most people are available. This would leave the other six days open for relational spiritual growth through the fourfold ministry pattern of the Yoido discipleship system. Perhaps it is time to shift from a program-driven “seven day a week church” to a more traditional implementation of the sabbath focus on only one day of church planning and programming.[5]

[1]Hurston, Growing the World’s Largest Church, 124-125.

[2]Hurston, Growing the World’s Largest Church, 133.

[3]A Hedgehog principle describes an innovative company’s primary focus; it is a concept from Jim Collins, Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap … And Others Don’t (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 90-119.

[4]Ibid., 126-128. The particular visit described is at the invitation of a woman pastor at a rural Methodist church; the visitation and service helped this small Methodist church to grow in one day from seventy to two hundred members. Teams can return up to twice a year. The outreach is ecumenical with the only requirement that the church be evangelical. The Fellowship provides financial assistance to over five hundred struggling rural churches.

[5]Cf. Lyle Schaller, The Seven Day a Week Church (Nashville: Abingdon, 1992).

NOTE (my response)



The quote is from Major League Disciple Making: An Overview of the Best Research on the Cell Church, an online course developed for the Institute for Discipleship at www.BeADisciple.com in 2009. Course materials, including these lectures, can be downloaded here: http://www.disciplewalk.com/IFD_MLD_Class_Links.html

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.

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