Essay about Diffusion of the Innovation of the Gospel

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Diffusion in Innovations

Submitted to Dr. Darrell Whiteman in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course ME 8000-9000
Missiological Anthropology and Cultural Change at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Deerfield, Illinois
October 2013

An innovation is “an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or another unit of adoption” (Rogers 306-3071). Is the Gospel an innovation or is it an ongoing active work of the Holy Spirit in an individual or cultural unit that we participate in by being bearers of the revelatory word of God through the redemptive message of Jesus Christ? While the prevenient grace of God is always active and at work drawing
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If a complex or inapplicable Gospel is presented, it has a lower degree of acceptability by the receptors.

The areas of observability and trialability can go hand in hand when considering the introduction of the Gospel. The Gospel and its effects should be observable to the community when someone becomes a Christ adopter. Pre-adopters should be able to observe and interact with Christian adopters and can be benefactors of prayer, counsel and grace-based friendship. In addition, pre-adopters can attend a worship service or other Christian event to experiment on a trial basis the Christian lifestyle and form of worship. Believers are called to be “lights” that shine for the world to see.
Rather than being seen as prescriptive categories with which to build a mission strategy, these five considerations can be used to evaluate and examine our presentation of the Gospel into a new people group or culture.

Adopter Categories and the Holy Spirit
Roger’s defines the five adopter categories as, innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. A change agent is defined as “an individual who influences clients’ innovation-decisions in a direction deemed desirable by a change agency” (Rogers 6700-6701). For missional purposes, the change agent is best seen as the Holy Spirit and the change agency as God. When viewing agency in this manner we are reminded that God is the changer and we are participants and instruments. The
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