NACOS 4.1: A Parable: The Stainless Steel Church

NACOS 4.1: A Parable: The Stainless Steel Church

Topic #4.1 Recognizing patterns of congregational segmentation in response to change,
utilizing the Diffusion of Innovations adopter framework. All cultures and cultural groups respond to a reinforcing trend of change by segmenting into five groups based on their openness to change.

Visual parables:
The Stainless Steel Church:

QUOTE: 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.”

ASSIGNMENT QUESTION: (in the comments on Facebook)
Who do you know in your congregation who would fill each role in the parable above?
… who has the unusual ideas?
… who sees the advantages? Does the research?
… who is the voice of common sense?
… who is nostalgic … and seeks to be comfortable?
… who harrumphs … and opposes any change?

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