LEADERSHIP & The 5 Recurring Elements in Leadership (according to Northouse.)

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 8/15/15.

My students read the classic book on leadership by Northouse, P. G. (2012). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.  In this book there are dozens of ways (or theories) to look at leadership.

Sometimes students wonder if  there “are any over-all or generally recurring elements in a leader?”

The answer is yes:

1-2)    things leaders are born with (abilities/skills)
3-4)    and things they develop (skills/behaviors)
5)     through collaboration (relationships).

Let me explain why Northouse sees this.  

Northouse sees running through the multiple theories of leadership, five (5) recurring qualities.  In “Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practices” (Los Angeles: Sage, 2012:2-6) he explains how all leadership theories are really just looking at leadership as a pentagon of five sides.  He thus weaves together five qualities of all leadership theories: traits, abilities, skills, behaviors and relationships.  Here is my synopsis (with an example):

1. Trait: inherent qualities you are born with (2012:2-3), i.e. high energy and a quick mind.

2. Ability: natural capacity (ibid.), i.e. being naturally good at public speaking

3. Skill: a developed competency (ibid.), i.e. ability to put together a seminar

4. Behavior: what a leaders does with traits, abilities and skills (2012:2-6), i.e. creates popular speaking engagements.

5. Relationships: requires collaboration, i.e. organizes a speaking tour.

Thus, the trait-ability-skill-behavior-relationship pentagon describes how (in all theories) leaders lead by things they are born with (abilities/skills) and things they develop (skills/behaviors) through collaboration (relationships).

Each week I give my students a followup question.

It requires a response and will add significantly to their understanding (and their grade 🙂  So, if you are a student and reading tjhis, make sure you answer the weekly followup questions.  Here is the first.

A.  Describe some leadership quality you were born with and/or comes naturally: _________________________________

B.  Describe how you have expanded it: _________________________________________

C.  Using this foundation, how do you collaborate with others to use these qualities? ____________________________________

I’ll start.

A. Describe some leadership quality you were born and/or comes naturally: high energy, enjoy reading and/or analyzing something.

B. Describe how you have expanded it: I spend a lot of time reading and researching about church growth and change.

C. Using this foundation, how do you collaborate with others to lead: I created a consulting firm to meet with church leaders and work with them through my analysis of their church.

Now, if you are a student share your response in the course forum.  I am looking forward to good insights.  Or if you are reading this wiki- for the resources, this makes a good exercise for your Sunday School class or small group.

STUDENT SUCCESS & Should Graduate School Students Use Citations in Discussion Postings?

by Bob Whitesel D.Min, Ph.D., 8/15/15.

Sometimes students in my courses wonder if they need to use citations with their postings.  Yes you should (it will become easier as you go along) and let me explain why.

Graduate school, such as a seminary, is different from undergraduate work.  In graduate school, unlike undergraduate work, you do what is called: “research.”

The word “research” is a clue that means digging into what scholars say about the topic in addition to what you discover when you apply it.  The idea of research is to not only share your thoughts, but investigate (i.e. explore, examine) what scholars are saying about the subject too.  Thus, this exercise is not simply an assignment to share your thoughts, but also to share your growing understanding of what experts are saying about each forum’s (and paper’s) topic.

To facilitate learning in others (e.g. so they can see where your ideas come from) it is necessary for you to cite where your ideas came from.  This doesn’t have to be too formal (APA is optional in the discussion forums) but you should give other students a location (via a citation) where they can look up the info you cite.  This is standard practice in research.  And, it helps others find the scholarly sources you have uncovered!

Don’t worry, I typically grade leniently until our students get acquainted with what graduate research entails.  And, I know many of you are in graduate school for the first time and thus I will be lenient.  Though fairness dictates you forfeit some points if you are not citing research, I will also give you some ideas on what you can do to improve your score.

As you know, if you follow http://www.ChurchHealth.wiki I will 4-6 times a week I cite here new, exciting and relevant research that I come upon.  And, if you follow this blog, you will get an email everytime I post new research … including a short synopsis.

I am here to help you learn.  And, thus I will always share with you some of ideas to help you generate more research/learning (and more points 🙂

So, if your question is “Do I need to use citations on my discussion postings?” the answer is yes, since this is a graduate school where we are studying “research.”

CULTURE & The Important Difference Between Assimilation & Acculturation

by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D.

In the field of missional leadership, it is important to understand the difference between “assimilation” and “acculturation.”  While there is some authors who use the terms interchangeably, classic research by Teske and Nelson ( 1974: pp. 351-367) found that assimilation and acculturation are widely divergent.

They found that most scholars were consistent in saying that “assimilation” forces others to leave their culture and become like the dominant culture.  And they found that “acculturation” allows out-group members to adapt parts of their culture with the in-group culture and form a new hybrid culture.

Let me explain what Teske and Nelson found.


  • Is unidirectional. Change only happens within one culture and this culture becomes a clone of the dominant culture.
  • The out-group members have to change their values and embrace the values of the dominant in-group. Out-group members must now value the things the dominant in-group values. While this may be necessary with theology, it does not respect their culture when they are forced to adopt the dominant culture’s methodology too.
  • Out-group members must accept the dominant culture as superior.


  • Is “two-way, that is, may occur in both directions” (p. 365). In other words, the dominant culture may change too by its interaction with the out-group. The out-group may bring some new and/or outside perspective that helps expand the awareness of the in-group.  For example, new young people coming into our churches can help the choir or the traditional order of worship employ a contemporary chorus (but the choir may rewrite the chorus to make it more consistent with their musical genre).  The idea is that in acculturation both sides influence one other for good (and hopefully not for bad).
  • Does not require change in what the out-group values.  Out-group members can value the same things as before, where these values do not conflict with the values God wishes for His offspring.
  • Out-group and in-group members see both cultures as having value. Reconciliation between cultures occurs.

Now, acculturation does not mean accepting all elements of a culture. For some elements of every culture run counter to God’s Good News.  Here is how I have stated, this (Spiritual Waypoints, 2010, p. 74):

When elements of a culture run counter to the Good News, and others are in agreement with it, what should be done? Eddie Gibbs has provided a helpful metaphor in the image of cultural “sifting” (Gibbs, I Believe in Church Growth, 1981, p. 120). Sifting separates out unwanted elements from wanted elements, most notably in cooking where a mesh strainer such as a colander will sift out impurities. The task of explaining the Good News to wayfarers at Waypoint 13, also carries the requirement that we sift between elements of a culture that go against Christ’s news and those that do not.  To not fully explain God’s expectations is to misinform and ill prepare the traveler.  Some Christians avoid the task of doing this, perhaps because championing God’s requirements is awkward in comparison to lauding His rewards.  But both must be undertaken.  A leader who is not ready to sift elements of a culture and tactfully explain what can be retained and what must be abandoned, is not ready to travel forward with the wayfarer.

As you can see, the term “acculturation” is technically the better term, for what we often refer to in our churches as “assimilation.”

Now, while most people in out-groups (e.g. visitors, displaced volunteers, ignored leaders, etc.) will never know the difference between these two terms; it will be important for up-and-coming missional leaders to understand (and be able to articulate) the difference.

Gibbs, E. (1981). I believe in church growth. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Teske, R. H.C. & Nelson, B. H. (1974). Acculturation and assimilation: A clarification. American Ethnologist, Vol 1, No. 2. pp. 351-367.
Whitesel, B. (2010). Spiritual waypoints: Helping others navigate the journey. Indianapolis: The Wesleyan Publishing House.

CHANGE & A Comparison of the Major Theories of Change

Interplay Among Popular Explanations of Change

by Bob Whitesel, 3/16/15.

Below is a systematic list which describes how the different forces that control change are reflected in different theories of change. I let me students use this bibliographic list as a starting place for their investigation into varying theories of change.  However I encourage them to not limit themselves to the theories below. The reader should look at how other theories explain change and consider how they fit into a four-force explanation.

The first section of the chart is adapted by myself from Table 1.2, Poole, Marshall Scott (2004). Central issues in the study of change and Innovation. In M. S. Poole & A. H. Van de Ven (Eds.), Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation (p. 9). Oxford: Oxford University Press. The second section is adapted by myself from Whitesel, B. (2009), The four forces model of change as reflected in church growth literature. The Journal of the Great Commission Research Network, La Mirada, CA: Biola University Press.

For more on the Four Forces That Control Change, you can

Management Theories:

Uni-force theories of change:

  1. Cameron and D. Whetten, 1983 (life-cycle theory)
  2. G. March and H. A. Simon, 1958 (goal-orientated theory)
  3. K. Benson, 1977 (conflict-orientated theory)
  4. T. Hannan and J. H. Freeman, 1977 (trend-orientated theory)

Dual-force theories of change:

  1. B. Clark, 1985 (design hierarchy theory)
  2. Simmel, 1908, L. Closer, 1958 (Group conflict)
  3. G. Astley, 1985 (Community ecology)
  4. Aldrich, 1979 (Adaption-selection models)
  5. E. Greiner, 1972 (organizational growth and crisis stages)
  6. Tushman and E. Romanelli, 1985 (organizational punctuated equilibrium)

Tri-force theories of change:

  1. E. Lindblom, 1965 (partisan mutual adjustment)
  2. E. Weick, 1979 (social psychology of organizing)

Quad-force theories of change:

  1. C. Riegel, 1976 (human development progressions)
  2. D. Cohen, J. G. March and J. P. Olsen, 1972 (garbage can)


Church Growth Theories:

Uni-force theories of change:

  1. Glasser, 1976
  2. G. Hunter, 1979
  3. A. Hunter, 2002
  4. Roxburgh, 1998
  5. Martin and G. L. McIntosh 1993
  6. Schaller, 1979, 1983
  7. P. Wagner, 1979, 1981, 1984

Dual-force theories of change:

  1. Arn 1997, 2003
  2. G. Hunter, 1987
  3. A. McGavran, 1955, 1988
  4. A. McGavran and W. Arn, 1973
  5. L. McIntosh, 2000, 2002
  6. L. McIntosh and D. Reeves, 2006
  7. Schaller, 1980
  8. Towns and W. Bird, 2000
  9. P. Wagner, 1971, 1979, 1983, 1999

Tri-force theories of change:

  1. Arn and W. Arn, 1982
  2. Costas, 1983
  3. Gibbs, 1979
  4. Kelly, 1999
  5. Martin and G. McIntosh, 1997
  6. McGavran and G. G. Hunter, 1980
  7. McIntosh, 1979, 2004
  8. Schaller, 1997
  9. P. Wagner, 1976, 1984
  10. Whitesel, 2003, 2004, 2006

Quad-force theories of change:

  1. Gibbs, 1981, 2005
  2. Gibbs and R. Bolger, 2005
  3. L. Guder, et. al., 1985
  4. G. Hunter, 2000
  5. A. McGavran, 1979
  6. A. McGavran and W. Arn, 1977
  7. McIntosh, 2003, 2004
  8. McIntosh and S. D. Rima, 1997
  9. Schaller, 1975
  10. Whitesel, 2008, 2010
  11. Whitesel and K. R. Hunter, 2001


CHANGE & The 4 Forces That Control Church Change #BobWhitesel #ChurchExecutiveMagazine

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., Church Executive Magazine, March 2010, pp. 21-22.

(Download the original article here:  ARTICLE_Four Forces-Whitesel (Church Executive Article)

CE Four Force Model p. 1Changing a Church is Challenging!

As a writer and professor of church management and growth, I have found that managing change is a daunting task for church leaders. Regrettably, in most seminaries, managing change is not taught. I thus began to plumb the depths of the mysterious workings of change in churches, and surprisingly I discovered that the process is not so mysterious nor unexamined.

A primary culprit for the failure of church change is because there are more forces pushing for change than church leaders usually recognize.   As a result most church change strategies are to narrow, because leaders usually address only one or two of the up to four forces that may be present.

Where did the Four Force Model come from?

Andrew Van de Ven and Marshall Poole are management researchers that have compiled an exhaustive study of organizational change (Poole and Van de Ven 2004). Based upon an analysis of hundreds of articles in prestigious management magazines and journals, they discovered that change theories revolve four forces that push or generate change (Poole and Van de Ven 1995).

These change forces are sometimes called “four basic motors of change” because they push an organization into change (Poole and Van de Ven 2004:6). Sometimes only one force is pushing for change, but often two, three or four forces combine to simultaneously push an organization through change. While Van de Ven and Poole noted the effect of the four forces upon theories of change, I have observed in my practice that these forces also give us clues to the tools that are necessary to help a church change.

Why are the four forces of change important?

If an organization, such as a church, is only addressing one or two forces pushing for change (the usual church strategy) and more forces are pushing for change (up to four), I believe that the change will be unsatisfying and incomplete. If not all of the forces pushing for change are addressed congregants can feel the change did not go far enough or address their concerns. Thus, church change is often inadvertently too narrow and rejected by congregants who feel there are other forces pushing for change. In my consulting practice, I have found that successful change strategies first discover how many forces are pushing your church toward change, and then use the appropriate tools to control each force that is present.

What are the four forces of change?

If we are to bring about healthy and unifying church change then all the forces pushing for change must be addressed. – Bob Whitesel

Van de Ven and Poole assigned technical names to these forces, which I have simplified for retention. I will first briefly describe each change force and then follow with examples of tools to control each.

Life Cycle Forces defined.

Life cycle forces are motors pushing for change because an organization is at a crisis point in its life cycle. This could be a church that has an aging congregation or a facility with a different ethnicity moving into the neighborhood. Churches that feel this force are often older congregants who are concerned that the church is not adequately reaching out to other cultures or generations. If a change strategy does not address their concerns about the longevity of the organization, they will not support the change for it does not address the force they feel pushing most robustly upon them.

Life Cycle Forces tools.

Tools to address life cycle forces usually involve crafting long-term plans for growth. This often begins with the “visioning” process. Subsequent tools include starting new services or ministries to reach new generations or cultures. This may require hiring staff from this new culture to help the church make the transformation into a new cultural life-cycle. Many church growth strategies address such life cycle forces.

Goal-oriented Forces defined.

Goal-orientated forces are powers that push for change because a goal has been created for the organization. This may be an attendance goal imposed upon the congregation by a denomination and/or the church leadership. BHAGS are management gurus Jim Collins and Jerry Porras’ way of fostering change with “Big Harry Audacious Goals” (Collins and Porras 2004).   Such goals often motivate leaders who see the bigger picture better than they see the mechanics of getting there. And, these forces may be generated by a personal vision or a biblical mandate (such as the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19). Goal-orientated forces are often associated with churches that are struggling to survive, mega churches or newly planted churches. While this force is often felt most acutely by top-level leadership, attendees often have trouble appreciating this force. This is because for many attendees there are other forces (such as life-cycle forces described above or dialectic forces below) that are more powerful.

Goal-oriented Forces tools.

Tools to address goal-orientated forces usually revolve around measurement and research. Donald McGavran, the father of the Church Growth Movement, said there is a “universal fog” in our churches that masks our appreciation for measurement (McGavran 1970). He also pointed out that there is no such reticence in the Bible. Thus, evaluation becomes an important tool for measuring goal-orientated progress and/or when a goal needs to be revamped. Though reaching goals is an important force pushing for change in churches, it is not the only force present. If leadership tries to motivate an entire congregation by goals alone, many congregants who are feeling the push of other change forces will deem the change insufficient and/or inauthentic.

Conflict-oriented Forces defined.

Conflict-orientated forces push a church toward change because there are opposing viewpoints in the congregation. Often this occurs when new concepts are introduced and they appear to conflict with previously held ideas. Needless to say many churches suffer from this. While churches comprehend that this is a widespread problem, my experience is that conflict resolution is poorly addressed in many congregations. My Ph.D. research revealed that conflict-resolution is even a weak area in church leadership writings. This omission may be because congregants feel that the church should be a peaceful place, and thus they often avoid conflict. But conflict is a powerful motor for those that feel conflicted or at odds with other attendees, and thus it too must be addressed.

Conflict-oriented Forces tools.

Tools to address conflict will be found in books and programs that foster conflict resolution. Compromise is the goal of these resources, but first each side must understand the other before they can find middle ground. Research has also shown that it is critical that church leaders go slow when introducing change until widespread clarity and some compromise has been accomplished (Starke and Dyck 1996; Dyck and Starke 1999). I have written an entire book on the six-steps of church compromise and how going too fast with new ideas usually dooms creative ideas (Whitesel 2003).

Trend-orientated Forces defined.

The reader must remember that most change is being pushed along by multiple motors at the same time, and thus an effective change strategy must be a collage of the tools listed. – Bob Whitesel

A final force often concurrently pushing for change is the trend-orientated force. This is a motor that drives change because some congregants want change because a new “trend” has evolved and appears to be working in other churches. Change proponents often push enthusiastically and unrelentingly for popular new ideas to be implemented. Often they do so without addressing the change forces pushing upon others (such as life-cycle or conflict-orientated forces). Thus, trend-orientated leaders are seen as dividing the congregation and/or not sensitive to the church’s unity and health.

Trend-orientated Forces tools.

The primary tools used to handle trend-orientated forces is to help all factions see that a popular program or strategy will only fix part of the problem, and that a successful approach must address all forces pushing for change.

Fashionable programs are usually beneficial, but are perceived by life-cycle and conflict-oriented leaders as incomplete or inauthentic. Another tool is to examine the trend carefully and adapt it to the local situation. Thus, leaders must slowly foster compromise, show how their strategy addresses the church life-cycle as well as demonstrates how a strategy can be measurable.

A collage of tools to address your four forces

There are three steps in holistic change. Step one is to determine which forces are pushing for change in your church. This inaugural steps means studying the above definitions with your leaders, reading appropriate books (see the endnotes) and using round-table discussions to create a list of the change forces evident in your church.

The second step is to list the change

Controlling Change

Step 1

Determine which of the four forces are pushing for change in your church.

Step 2

List the change forces by their relative strength.

Step 3

Create a collage of tools (from the lists in this article) to control all of the four forces pushing for change.

forces by their relative strength. Some forces will be pushing more forcefully, while others may be present but diminutive. The ranking is subjective, and thus it is important to get as many segments of the church involved as possible. Remember, some congregants may be ostracized or excluded from the leadership process, and yet they may be feeling the push of other forces. Thus, bring as many segments of the church as possible into this listing to ensure all forces pushing for change are identified and ranked.

Finally in step 3 create a collage of tools from the above lists to control change. Organization theorist Mary Jo Hatch believes most effective theories are “collages” or a patchwork of tactics (Hatch 1997). This is required because each local church is unique and the most effective strategies will be those adapted to all the forces present on the local level.

The future of changing churches: four force models.

Many books today are focused on encouraging church change. But few actually address how to do it. Yet, in my consulting practice I have noticed that it is not a desire to change that is missing, buy that most church leaders just don’t know “how” to create positive change. Understanding that there are often four forces pushing for change simultaneously, discovering the relative strength of each, and then combining tools to create a collage tactic are the first steps toward long-term and effective church change.

(The above was reprinted with permission from Church Executive Magazine.  Download the original article here:  ARTICLE_Four Forces-Whitesel (Church Executive Article)

Works Cited

Collins, Jim, and Jerry I. Porras. 2004. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. New York, NY: Collins Business.

Dyck, Bruno, and Frederick A. Starke. 1999. The Formation of Breakaway Organizations: Observations and a Process Model. Administrative Science Quarterly 44:792-822.

Hatch, Mary Jo. 1997. Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic and Postmodern Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McGavran, Donald A. 1970. Understanding Church Growth. rev. ed., 1980 ed. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Poole, Marshall Scott, and Andrew H. Van de Ven. 1995. Explaining Development and Change in Organizations. Academy of Management Review (20):510-540.

———, eds. 2004. Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Starke, Frederick A., and Bruno Dyck. 1996. Upheavals in Congregations: The Causes and Outcomes of Splits. Review of Religious Research 38:159-174.

Whitesel, Bob. 2003. Staying Power: Why People Leave the Church Over Change (And What You Can Do About It). Nashville: Abingdon Press.

SUB-CONGREGATIONS & How To Use Them to Grow a Small Church in Just 6-Steps

by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 2/5/15.

Are you the leader of a small church who doesn’t feel you have enough people to launch a new worship service?  Well actually you probably already have the “seeds” of a new worship service within your church.  These “seeds” are “sub-congregations” and they can be multiplied into an additional worship service by following just 6-steps.

Let me explain, leaders in very small churches may feel they do not have a sub-congregation that is large enough to have its own worship celebrations.  I noted in my chapter on “Organizational Behavior” (Foundations of Church Administration, 2010) that “sub-congregations naturally develop as a church passes 100 attendees.”  This however does not mean that you do not need to worry about them until you near 100 attendees.

Foundations COVERIn fact, to get to 100 attendees you usually will need to identify and grow your emerging sub-congregations. Let me explain.

An emerging sub-congregation is usually a group in the church around the size of a large small group (30+ attendees, though in large churches they can number in the 100s).  They are often departments (such as the music department, youth department, etc.), Sunday school classes (with 30+ attendees), or a cultural group.

Sub-congregations will have their own cultural distinctives such as behaviors, ideas and ways they serve and celebrate.  They enjoy one another’s company and they usually see themselves like his (as one person told me): “We are larger than a small group but we’re not the whole church. We are more like a ‘small church’ within the bigger church.”

The temptation is to just ignore such sub-congregations, but they are your building block to growing the church. The key is to identify these emerging sub-congregations and then find out which ones have the most likelihood of growing.  Usually their potential for growth will have to do with the demographics in the community.

Once you identify an emerging sub-congregation that has a potential to grow, you then put more energy and resources into mentoring a leader of this group, expanding it into multiple small groups (rather than the one large small group it usually is already) and giving them their own worship service (once you have 50 people in this sub-congregation).

Here is how these emerging sub-congregations were taking place in one student’s church.  The student wrote;

“We are a church that is averaging 70 people (roughly) this conference year, we do not have an abundance of sub-congregations. There is one definite sub-congregation, and is the women’s Bible study group. They meet every Tuesday morning at the church, and that is only because they became too large for the home they were meeting in. Each week, they have up to 15 women meeting. They are mostly older, with the youngest women in the group being in their fifties…. This group has met for more than the last decade… This group also connects somewhat with the unchurched community … they have been able to reach out to people in their generation that were unchurched…. As far as other sub-congregations, I really do not see any. I thought of one more – those who are in small groups. I hesitate to do this because it takes away from the women’s group, but the other two small groups also have leaders, have a pulse on those outside the church, and are generational.”

To me it looks like there is an emerging sub-congregation comprised of the two small groups that are generationally orientated.  If there are generations like these in the community, then the strategy would be the following:

1) Find out which emerging sub-congregational culture is also growing in the community.  In the example above, it might be that one of these small groups is Boomer and another Postmodern Xers.  If this was the case, then the strategic intention of this church should be to develop one of these small groups into a full-fledged sub-congregation.  The next steps are how you go about doing this.

2)  Mentor an indigenous leader from the culture you identified in Step 1 who will bring together a small group of this indigenous culture.  This will be the spiritual leader and figure-head of this emerging sub-congregation. They should be a mature Christian leader (c.f. 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9) who can submit to the lead pastor of the congregation. This is very important, for the church must become a united “multi-cultural” congregation. Thus, the leaders of each cultural sub-congregation must be bridge-builders across cultural gaps.

3) Get the existing small group to plant another group like themselves. This is where the real work takes place.  Often people don’t like to split up their group, so don’t try to force them to divide. Rather, encourage them to reach more people by starting another group like themselves at another time or place. Show them how this will help them reach out to more people of their culture (e.g. generation, ethnicity, etc.) through offering a new small group that newcomers of their culture can fit into.  The best way to start a new small group is to ask the existing small group to be its sponsor, and for anyone who feels led (usually two apprentices from the existing small group) to form the new group. This is called “seeding” a new small group, where a couple leaders and a few people volunteer to start this new small group.

4)  Cluster or network your small groups at least once a quarter. By this I mean get your small groups from the same emerging sub-congregation together at least once every three months for unity building.  Help them build identity, sometimes with a name.  The leader (of Step 2) must be a unifier between the various small groups of the emerging sub-congregation.

5)  Create more small groups as new ones approach 12 in attendance.  Use the small group “seeding” strategy of Step 3 above.  And, use Step 4 to keep these new small groups “clustering” once a quarter with other small groups of their cultural sub-congregation.

6)  Once you have a total of 50 people in your small group network, or cluster, create a new and regular worship encounter for them. This then becomes the new worship encounter for this emerging sub-congregation.  (Notice that like John Wesley, small groups [class meetings] are created before big worship gatherings [society meetings].)

Once COVER Gospel After Christendomyou have reached Step 6, your emerging sub-congregation has officially emerged 🙂

This can be done over and over again, with as many sub-congregations as needed.  I have analyzed some congregations of only 1,000 attendees and found they are comprised up of 7+ sub-congregations (see my chapter “From Gathered to Scattered: Saint Thomas Church of Sheffield” in The Gospel After Christendom, ed. Ryan Bolger (2012).  The key to growing a church, is to strategically spot and develop these emerging sub-congregations. That is how you manage organizational behavior in a church … by growing and leading sub-congregations.