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Newsletter June 2020

The Connected Church

Dale Spaulding, Director, Passion for PlantingAre you familiar with the phrase, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” It’s used to emphasize the need to hold onto to what you have rather than risk losing it by pursuing something else. 

Our friend Greg Curtis shares this phrase with church leaders to remind them of why it’s so important to develop and implement an assimilation strategy. This strategy defines a clear pathway for someone to follow that moves them from attender to sold out ministry partner and disciple maker. 

One mistake we see church planters make is focusing on attracting new people while neglecting to develop a next steps process that helps first-time guests engage in the mission of the church. As a result, they struggle to build any momentum in their ministry because people leave as quickly as they come.

As churches transition back to meeting in person, now is the time to develop an assimilation strategy that will help you shepherd the new people who come to your church looking for hope. The fact of the matter is, if people come to your church but don’t make friends and find a place to serve quickly, they won’t stick around for very long. Be a good steward of the people God brings to your church by developing a simple and clear assimilation strategy.

To learn more about why having an assimilation strategy is so important and how you can develop one for your church, check out the resources we’ve highlighted in this month’s newsletter.

 -Dale Spaulding, Director

June 2020 – Contents

  • 4 Essential Ingredients 
  • Assimilation Strategy Template
  • Kids Follow-up 
  • Assimilation Principles 
  • Distance Residency Program

4 Essential Ingredients

When a new person shows up at your church and is interested in connecting beyond Sunday morning, what clear next step do you offer them to take? Do you give them more than one option or just one? Are the steps simple enough that every leader in your church could guide guests on this pathway?

Greg Curtis helps churches all over the world develop contextualized assimilation strategies to help them disciple the people God brings their way. Even though the specific components of the strategies may look different, they typically all follow a very simple 4-step pathway. What’s that pathway include? Greg’s got the answer for you in his blog post The Four Ingredients of an Assimilation Strategy

Assimilation Strategy Template

Jesus didn’t call us to make church attendees. He called us to make disciples. This means as church leaders we need to strive to give every person who visits our churches clear next steps for how they can build meaningful relationships and contribute to the mission of the church in a meaningful way. 

To help you think through how your church is helping people take next steps in their faith and engage with the mission of your church, check out our free Assimilation Strategy Template

Whether you’re meeting online or in person, this template will walk you through key questions to answer when considering how your church will give new people opportunities to grow in their faith and involvement at your church. 

Kids Follow-up

Do you remember what it felt like to receive mail as a kid? It made you feel special, right? It made you feel valued because someone had taken the time to send you a letter or a package. 

Knowing how exciting receiving mail can be for children, our church decided to send kids, who had visited our church for the first time, a gift in the mail to express our appreciation for their visit. We sent various things from postcards to popcorn, all in an effort to show children how much they matter to God and us.  

If you don’t have new children visiting your church in this season, now is the perfect time to develop ideas and a system for how your children’s ministry can follow up once things open back up.

Don’t wait until new guests start coming back to your church. Get your children’s ministry team practicing this idea with the children they already have a relationship with. Send kids handwritten notes or a small gift in the mail and see if you don’t just make their week. For more ideas on how your children’s ministry can follow up with kids read Patrick Bradley’s post 7 Creative Things You can Mail for Children’s Ministry Followup

Assimilation Principles

Does your church have challenges retaining people that visit your worship gatherings? Maybe this describes you: it seems like every week you have new guests, whether in person or online, but they rarely become familiar faces at your church. Why is that? You can blame it on lousy preaching, an unsafe children’s ministry, or an out-of-tune worship band, but what if it’s because you have a broken or ineffective assimilation strategy?

We hope you’ll use the above resources to develop an effective assimilation strategy, but don’t neglect some basic principles when putting it into practice. What are some principles you should be aware of? Read Church Fuel’s Five Keys To Effective Follow Up to find out. 

Church Planter Distance Residency

If your church has a desire to multiply, you’ve probably looked for ways to get there. You don’t have the time or energy to create a church planter training program because you have an entire church to lead, right? That’s why we’ve developed our Church Planter Distance Residency. You raise up a leader; we at Passion for Planting will train them in the nuts and bolt of church planting while they stay in their local context.

Through this distance residency, prospective planters learn from national church planting leaders, network and build relationships with other planters, and develop contextualized strategies for planting a healthy, multiplying church. Learn more about this program. We are NOW taking applications for the Fall 2020 Cohort, so email us today to reserve your spot!

Photos from Naasom Azevedo, Erika Giraud, Kristina Paparo, and @Jankolario from Unsplash.