Research on Evangelism, Disciple Making and Disciple Makers

—– Forwarded Message —–

From: David Kueker <dkueker@admin

To: Charliam Renner ; Brad Watkins

Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 11:28:35 AM CDT

Subject: Research on Evangelism, Disciple Making and Disciple Makers

Dear Charliam and Brad

It’s been 2 weeks and 2 days since my dramatic comments and sharing a printed copy of the Fuller Seminary 2007 DMin project on revitalizing the IGRC. It’s a lot of information; my wife calls this my tendency to “back up the dump truck of knowledge.” The printed material is available for free download as PDFs from https://disciplewalk.com/Resources.html 
and https://disciplewalk.com/IFD_MLD_Class_Links.html – these can be uploaded to Kindle if that is your preferred reading method.

I wanted to send the two of you a series of emails, about 1 a week, that are a little more manageable in size. The DMin project is the dump truck, but the material has evolved since it was submitted in 2007. I am aware, as my wife has been a district admin, that you deal with a river of information in your jobs every day. These emails should be simpler. You are welcome to forward them to anyone whom you feel might be interested or might be involved in arranging for any of this information to be taught or implemented in our districts.

First, here are my top ten CliftonStrengths:
1. Learner 
2. Strategic 
3. Individualization RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
4. Input 
5. Connectedness RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
6. Self-Assurance INFLUENCING
7. Ideation 
8. Futuristic 
9. Intellection 
10. Analytical 

70% STRATEGIC THINKING themes.
Input #4 >>> Learner #1 >>> A Strategy for implementation.
Consequently, if you make a request or express an interest, the natural outcome is for me to formulate a strategy, a step-by-step plan for implementation by the IGRC. I have been reworking and repackaging this information from 2007 till today. I will do that upon request on into my retirement after June 30.

Second, the DMin project is an exhaustive study of “how 3rd world cell churches do it” and how those methods could work in the IGRC, especially in small churches <100 in attendance, as they are examples of a “network of relationships” rather than a “Program Base Design” church. Third-world cell churches organize laity into small groups to evangelize their neighbors along those existing social networks. These methods have proven to overcome systemic resistance to change – evangelism is a change – in these congregations.

Churches in the USA have copied these methods but often leave out important aspects – the active ingredients – which result in little or no actual change and which allow the comfortable “way we have always done it before” to continue, albeit with a fresh coat of paint and the application of tinsel. The four systemic problems described in Chapter 1 work on adjusting the implementation so that it is both shiny and impressive without causing significant results that could rock the boat. This neutering of something that works elsewhere, and how it happens, is probably the most beneficial aspect of the research; in the 17 years since completion, the four systemic problems have been verified again and again no matter what innovative method of evangelism is implemented.

Here is a parable of what we are dealing with:
Parable Orphanage

Parable Orphanage

Third, the major tool of systems to prevent change is conflict. Conflict, like disaffiliation, distracts us from making disciples through the use of disciple-makers, as Jesus, John Wesley, third-world cell churches, CPM (David Garrison), and organic churches (Neil Cole) do. The project applies the sociological science of the Diffusion of Innovations to church life, proposing the innovation of “following Jesus as a United Methodist” and encouraging the rate of its adoption. The Diffusion of Innovations model, which arose to explain why 90% of organized change efforts fail, fits perfectly with our situation in 2024. It, too, has been verified by my experience since 2007.

Here is a parable of what we are dealing with:
parable_light_bulb_2

parable_light_bulb_2

The following two books explain why innovations fail and how to overcome this. Including evangelism.

Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition Paperback – Illustrated, August 16, 2003
by Everett M. Rogers

Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers (Collins Business Essentials) Paperback – January 28, 2014
by Geoffrey A. Moore (Author)

Attached is a copy of the four-page handout I brought to the meeting with the Cabinet after Covenant Keepers. It is intentionally provocative and challenging, in the hope of beginning conversations.  Please let me know if you are interested in hearing more.

David Kueker

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18

Surprising Statements from David Kuekers 2008 Fuller Seminary DMin.pdf

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Forword: Since 2007 …

This entry is part 1 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

A preface to what is essentially a second edition of the dissertation, delivered on this blog.

Something must be done with the majority of churches in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. The large churches have financial resources to hire nationally known consultants. The health of the mid-size tier is critical, and will require many of the resources of the Office of Congregational Development to reverse declining trends. Hopefully this project can make a significant difference in the 77% of churches that make up the small church tier. It is likely that these seminars may be the only consulting support these small churches will receive.

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The most successful pattern of evangelism in the world involves no initial participation in worship …

This entry is part 118 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

The most successful pattern of evangelism in the world involves no initial participation in worship due to the inconveniences of the size of Yoido Church. New people participate first in the discipleship system, and only later attend worship.[1] The path to membership begins with a relationship built through ministry visitation followed by an invitation to participate in a friendly small group meeting on the potential convert’s home turf and not on an invitation to worship. The basic church growth lesson from the world’s largest church is stunning but simple: the most successful path to church growth involves inviting people to small groups which build relationships instead of inviting them to worship.

New people should not be invited to worship but rather to a small group fellowship activity that builds relationships. Persons who become active in a small group will inevitably attend worship with members of that group. Yoido loses no prospective members due to worship visitors slipping through the cracks and wastes no energy on ensuring member assimilation beyond worship involvement. When new converts attend worship for the first time, they are already completely assimilated in the sanctifying grace process of the small group discipleship system. They are not strangers. Groups provide conversations and worship services provide presentations; persuasion toward conversion happens in the midst of Christian conversation prior to attendance at worship.[1]

QUOTE [1]

NOTE


DISCERNMENT QUESTIONS

RESOURCES

[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]Media and proclamation are only effective at reaching the first 16% of a population; the diffusion of innovationsteaches that conversion to Christ beyond this 16%, like any innovation adoption, is the result of multiple conversations between near peers “in the midst of community.” Craig Miller, NextChurch.Now, 6.



[1]Cho, More Than Numbers, 44-48.

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Overview: Backmatter

This entry is part 10 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Overview: Backmatter

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Overview: Seminar 3, Decision

This entry is part 9 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Overview: Seminar 3, Decision

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Overview: Seminar 2, Dialogue

This entry is part 8 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Overview: Seminar 2, Dialogue

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Overview: Seminar 1, Diagnosis

This entry is part 7 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Overview: Seminar 1, Diagnosis

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Overview: Chapter 3, Learning Modalities

This entry is part 6 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project
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Overview: Chapter 2, The Discipleship System

This entry is part 5 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Overview: Chapter 2, The Discipleship System

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Overview: Chapter 1, The Problem

This entry is part 4 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Overview: Chapter 1, The Problem

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Overview: The Introduction

This entry is part 3 of 118 in the series Diagnosis, Dialogue, Decision: A DMin Project

Overview: The Introduction

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