Intentional Assimilation

I was dialoging several thoughts with my Rockbridge Seminary class in the past few days when someone asked if I’d give them a thirty thousand foot view of how I might see “intentional assimilation”.  I wrote this little ‘ditty’ in 10 minutes so I’m sure it has room for improvement; however, see what you might learn from it that will help your church.

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Intentional Assimilation begins long before the weekend experience and goes on for days, weeks, and months after the initial encounter.  Consider what it might mean to your church if you looked at the following areas of assimilation and how would it change what you currently do.

1.    Communication

Assimilation for new comers begins with a communication strategy that includes oral, print, broadcast, and digital media.  Rex Miller writes a great book on Millennium Matrix.  A must read for leverage every platform available to communicate who we are and how you can belong here.  This begins with members of the congregation engaging their community personally telling life-changing stories.

2.    Connection

Touch points are huge!  These are the “street to the seat” type issues from signage packages around your campuses to, traffic volunteers, greeters, Welcome Center hosts, ushers, EMS teams, Security, etc…  Leveraging every opportunity to take someone by the hand through his or her entire first impression experience.

This might also include welcome packets, new believer kits, brochures about ministries, coffees, luncheons, etc…

3.    Contribution

Although not talked about enough the key to retention of guests is retention of good volunteers (ministry partners) in strategic touch points.  John C. Maxwell reminded me the other day of one of his old sayings, “make sure you have people with the ‘gift of ush’… ushering”.  What he means is make sure you have your best people on the front lines of engaging your folks from the curb to the cushion, the parking lot to the pew, the street to the seat…

4.    Community

Building a “Grow to Go” discipleship platform will produce huge dividends in the long term.  Develop a plan to have crawl, walk, and run steps for people.  I call this “discover, develop, deploy”.  People need to see that you have a plan for them and their families.  More to come on “Grow to Go”… a life work in the making.

Here are some ideas:
•    Response Card – ‘guest card’
o    Ask persons to complete during every service
o    Provide cards at every Welcome Center
•    Next Step Process
o    Follow-up, say the same thing and direct consistently… if multi-site, be ALIGNED…
•    101 – 2 hr orientation on fellowship (membership class – HUGE)
•    201 – 2 hr orientation on becoming like Christ – “Grow to Go”
•    301 – 2 hr orientation on how God has SHAPEd you to serve the church (Only U Can B U)
•    401 – 2 hr orientation telling your story personally, locally, and globally
•    501 – 2 hr orientation on full life surrender.
•    Small Groups – intentional growth groups meeting throughout the week
o    Truly where long term care happens

“Single most influential change in my spiritual journey 12 years ago with Daryl Eldridge.”

•    Studies – centralized and decentralized discipleship classes (life studies) that meet one of the five purposes and meet one of the three levels of learning (discover, develop, deploy)

Toss some of these ideas around in discussion and see what else you can dream up.

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