Posted tagged ‘Assimilation’

Monday is for “kingly” administration: The Assimilation Process, Part 2 (Attenders – New Christians)

May 11, 2010

I know today is not Monday, so I apologize for this post being a little late.

Last week, I took up part one in the assimilation process, focusing on first-time guests.  After people visit for the first time, there is typically an in between period where they are no longer new but also not in the membership process.  The regular attender is what I want to focus on this post.

Before I begin, I have to clarify some assumptions here.  First, people who visit our church do not become members by walking down an aisle, filling out a card, and then are presented to the church.  While there is no set time frame, the typical new member attends Grace for 3-6 months before pursuing membership (though there are exceptions).  This is intentional on both ends.  We want those who visit Grace to understand our philosophy of ministry, gospel rhythms, core values/practices, confessional and covenantal pre-commitments, and so on before making a decision to becoming a member. We want them to take it seriously, as we do.  This time also gives us the opportunity of getting to know them better, to understand their previous church experience, have them in our homes, and gain a better understanding of their life story. Our commitments to regenerate church membership and gospel centrality encourage us in the assimilation process while guarding the “front door” of membership.

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Monday is for “kingly” administration: The Assimilation Process, Part 1 (First-Time Guest)

May 3, 2010

First of all, I want to say thanks to all of you who agreed to join in on these Monday discussions on church-related systems and processes (what I’m calling kingly administration).  We are all learners and laborers together for church health and gospel growth, and I believe our churches will be better served when we exhibit a kingdom-oriented posture of humbly receiving and generously giving to one another.  I probably do need to make this disclaimer in saying that I am NOT an expert on this stuff.  In fact, I don’t think I own or have read a book on the things we’re talking about (some of you should tune out now).  In any case, I hope to at least get the conversation going with the things I have been thinking and practicing in our own context.

The first area of emphasis that I want us to delve into is the assimilation process.  I want to conceptually lay out what I have been drafting and explain our practices in light of the bigger picture, which looks like this:

a.    Assimilation Process
b.    Membership Process
c.    Discipleship Process
d.    Leadership Development

When I came to Grace two years ago, one of the key objectives I was given was to develop the ministry design in a “simple church” structure that serves our purposes of being a Great Commission Church.  We are not a large church (membership of ~200 with ~300 in attendance), but over the past six months the need for an effective assimilation process has never been greater as we have seen many more visitors come since moving to two services (another topic to be addressed in the future).

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