Sticky church?

How do we know if people are sticking?

One of the first struggles many of us have in ministry is trying to figure out how to get people to stick.  How do we get people to get connected and stay connected to the church?  This is a question of assimilation. 

Assimilation is an important idea for any church.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of assimilation is “the process of becoming similar to something”, and “the absorption and integration of people, ideas, or culture into a wider society or culture.” 

In the context of our churches it refers to making people a part of the life of your church.  Assimilation refers to a process that happens with the people who attend your church.

To achieve the goal of fully assimilating people into the church, you have to be able to identify when it happens.  So, how do you know if someone is assimilating into your church?  Here are some questions that we can ask about those we are trying to assimilate to see where they are in the process.

  1. Worship Service– How often do they attend?  Is there a pattern?
  2. Sunday School/Groups– How often do they attend?  Is there a pattern?
  3. Relationships– Are they becoming friends with people in the church or group?  Do they spend time with people before, after, or outside of the services and programs?
  4. Participation– Do they participate during class or group time?  Are they engaged when they come?
  5. Service– Do they serve in a ministry of the church? 
  6. Invitation– Do they invite others to your group or church?
  7. Spiritual Growth– Do they exhibit life change resulting from the ministry they receive?  Have they made decisions regarding salvation, baptism, discipleship, serving and forsaking sin in their lives?

What are some of the ways you measure assimilation at your church that I may not have named?  What are some ways that you help to encourage new people in each of these categories?

2 thoughts on “Sticky church?

  1. Barb

    Ben,

    This is a good post. Of course, having a new class with several new people who may have one foot in and one foot out, I’m really praying they stick. We deal with the same issues in my WW workshops. Building the relationships and becoming a part of the “family” is huge in getting people to stick.

    Whether it’s CBT or WW I want them to WANT to be there…whatever their reason…because if they are there they will hear the Word which will help them grow, which in turn will make them even MORE sticky. They have to make their faith their own and not dependent on outside circumstances.

    See you tomorrow. Barb

  2. That’s exactly right, Barb. There is a sense where we can influence the conditions to help facilitate them wanting to be there- A warm environment, a well prepared, relevant lesson, kindness and connection. Ultimately though the Lord adds to His church and people make the decision themselves. I, like you, want them to want to be there. Thanks for your hard work on this new class. I’m really excited about it.

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