Summary: A lesson for your leadership on Assimilation. For more information, see student copy description.

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Making Insiders Out of Outsiders

Rev. J. Kevin Putty, Presenter

Matthew 28:19-20

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

1. Assimilation is system oriented.

1) Conversion involves an immediate decision whereby a person turns from their sin/evil ways (repent) and ask Christ to become the Lord of their life.

2) Discipleship is the spiritual process of getting people committed to Christ, committed to the local church, to mature in the Christian faith and mobilized to reach and disciple new believers.

3) Assimilation is the system that we use to make sure that discipleship happens within our local church.

(i) Examples of Assimilation Systems [Slides] …. The 5 Circles of Commitment and The Diamond of Spiritual Growth

A guard rail at the side of the mountain road is better than an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

The obstetrician must be followed by the pediatrician.

2. The goals of an assimilation program are …

1) Inclusion: To incorporate men, women and children into the body of Christ

2) Association: to make insiders out of outsiders

3) Retention: to make and keep people as a healthy part of our church family

4) Conversion and Maturation: to make converts similar to the other members of the body of Christ

3. How effective have most churches been when it comes to assimilating their members?

Ask question: How effective have we been as a fellowship in increasing our attendance, membership and water baptisms when compared with the amount of reported conversions.

Time and time again, the AG is claiming an increase in total conversion. However, at the end of the year, we don’t seem to be making any progress in adding or baptizing new members into our church.

Lyle Schaller’s research says that a third to a half of all protestant church members do not feel a sense of belonging to the congregation of which they are members.

4. Individual churches and pastors need to ask hard questions in order to discover whether or not they have an assimilation problem at their church. What are the questions that we should be asking ourselves?

1. Do you have a number who transfer out of your church but keep their same mailing address?

2. Does your church have a significant percentage of people without a specific role, task or small group identification?

3. Is there a large percentage of the membership whose worship attendance is one Sunday per month or less? Who are they? Do you know the reasons for this fact?

4. Do a significant percentage of your members feel left out? These are the people who use the words, “they, them, and theirs”instead of, “us, we and ours”. A survey can be used to discover the answer to this question.

5. Are there large numbers of visitors who do not visit a second time?

6. Do you have a large number of new members without friends or relatives in the church? (WE WILL COME BACK TO THIS ISSUE)

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