Diffusion of Innovations research shows that communication that encourages adoption of an innovation, like becoming a Christian, spreads beyond the visionary minority only by multiple conversations through interpersonal networks. The signature S-curve of rapid adoption takes place when the interpersonal communications increase due to many people talking about the relative advantages of the innovation. The Center for Parish Development Church Growth Principle indicates that churches grow when the laity are excited about what is happening in their church. This principle works because it creates a buzz, a word of mouth endorsement from layperson to layperson which is backed up by the living endorsement of personal excitement. If the right conversations are all that is needed for church growth, then the real problem is resistance to change.
 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.
   
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.