Parable: The Stainless Steel Church

C. Parable: The Stainless Steel Church

            The Chairman of the Administrative Board called the meeting to order. “We have a problem,” he announced gravely, “with mice. They are gnawing holes in the wood and getting into the church.”

            The innovator had an unusual idea. “If we tore down the old church and built a new one out of stainless steel, the mice couldn’t gnaw their way in.”

            The early adopter saw the advantages. “We would certainly be in the forefront of all the churches in our conference in using this new material to build a church. Just think: it would never rust, never need painting, and last forever.”

            The middle adopter was practical. “Wouldn’t it be very hard to work with steel as a building material? You’d have to weld everything. And it wouldn’t be cheap.”

            The late adopter was nostalgic. “I would miss the old church of wood. It seems so comfortable and warm to me. Wouldn’t steel be expensive to heat in winter?”

            The laggard harrumphed. “My sister has too many cats on her farm. I’ll bring one over tomorrow and it won’t cost us a nickel.”

            “Well, I see we’ve solved that problem,” the chair noted. “Now, on to the next problem.”

HOMEWORK Discussion Questions:

2.01 Who do you know in your church who would fill each role in the parable above?

2.02 Which adopter category, in your opinion, includes the chairman? Why would this be predictable?





[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.

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