The assimilation process of a church is vital. If a pastor or the church leadership does not know how the people are to progress from guest to member, it is guaranteed that the guests do not know how to get involved in the church.
For many churches, the assimilation process is ambiguous. Guests have to stick around long enough and endure the awkwardness of being the outsider until they eventually just figure it out. For most guests, the ambiguity is too much and they just leave.
For pastors, the assimilation process may be hard to work through. Assimilation processes are not exactly theological and they were not taught in seminary, which leaves most pastors without a clue on where to start. Furthermore, the assimilation process depends on each individual church thus they cannot be copied and implemented exactly from other churches.
With that being said, I want to provide a starting point for the assimilation process. So, here is the assimilation process that I have worked through and now incorporate in my ministry.
The hope of this assimilation process is; for a first-time guest to become a visitor (a guest is defined as a person who attends regularly), the visitor to become a member (a member is a person who aligns in beliefe and purpose with the church), and a member to leader (a leader is one who excels and is growing in all the areas of membership).
Please, feel free to adapt this to your church context as you feel led.
Moving from Guest to Visitor
We desire for every first time guest who visits our church to feel welcomed and to know what their next step to get involved looks like.
- Welcome Contact from the Pastor: Thank you for visiting our church.
- Welcome Contact from a Ministry Leader: Can we answer any questions about the HBC ministries?
- Welcome Contact from Sunday School Class: Invitation to get involved in a Sunday School class.
Moving from Visitor to Member
We want those visiting our church to align with us in belief and join us in the mission to which God has called us.
- Personal Invitation to New Member Class from a Staff Member.
- New Member Class Provides Insight into Who We Are as a Church and Gives the Requirements of Membership (Occurs the 1st Sunday of Every Month).
- Beliefs: What We Hold to be True
- Unity: How We Connect & Protect the Church
- Mission: How to Serve our Church & The World for the Glory of God
- Presentation of New Member during the Invitation Time on Sunday Morning
- Vote on New Members in Monthly Business Meeting
Moving From Member to Leader
We want every member to be faithful in three areas of the church. GROW in their relationship with God and others. GO and serve in ministry and missions. GIVE to support the Church and missions.
GROW: Discover Discipleship
- One-on-One Discipleship. Become a Paul or Timothy.
- Small Group. Become a part of the family.
- Grow in leadership and skill development
GO: Discover God’s Gifts & Calling
- Spiritual Gifts Test and Staff Evaluation
- Discover Places to Plug into Serving with Pastoral Staff
- Get Involved in Missions and Evangelism
GIVE: Discover How God Provides through his People
- Support the Ministry of the Church through Involvement
- Support the Ministry of the Church through Invitations
- Support the Ministry of the Church through Giving
PhD Evangelism @swbts.