Once critical mass is achieved, large scale, rapid adoption of the innovation is inevitable.

B. The innovation that is needed in churches today is elementary yet entirely sufficient: Jesus is Lord. The scientific principles of the Diffusion of Innovations properly applied in churched culture can help us understand how to overcome resistance to this innovation and gain an 84%+ conversion rate after critical mass is achieved. Jesus is Lord is a discontinuous innovation; the institutionalized homeostasis of cheap grace is not biblical discipleship.

C. Critical mass: An “S-shaped diffusion curve ‘takes off’ at about 10-25% adoption, when interpersonal networks become activated so that a critical mass of adopters begins using an innovation.”[1] Critical mass is the goal of conversation. Once critical mass is achieved, large scale, rapid adoption of the innovation is inevitable. Adoption moves rapidly through the Middle Adopters and Late Adopters. The resulting S-curve adoption is the signature sign that adoption has truly taken place.

            S-curve adoption likely occurs in Acts 2:41, 4:4, 6:7, 11:21 and 16:5. The S-curve chain reaction along human networks is described in church growth as a “people movement” where people “become Christians as a wave of decisions for Christ sweeps through the group mind.”[2]


[1]Ibid., 12.

[2]Eddie Gibbs, I Believe In Church Growth (Pasadena, CA: Fuller Seminary Press, 2000), 117-119. For the same sociological event in epidemics and cultural fads, see Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference (New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2002).

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