photo credit: kassissieh Duct Tape (60/365) via photopin (license)

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?

Week 6: Day 1- Numbers 27:12-14

Numbers 27:12-14

12 And the Lord said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.

13 And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered.

14 For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

Explanation:

God gave Moses instruction about how his life would end and what would be next for the children of Israel.  He told Moses that he would see the promised land from Mount Abarim, but that he would not enter.  Why?  Moses had rebelled against God in not sanctify God in the eyes of the people at the rock in the desert of Zin.  The wages of his sin was death.

Application:

  1. Death is the inevitable consequence of sin for everyone in this fallen world, other than those who will be raptured.  Moses faced death and did not enter the promised land.
  2. God demands more out of those who are leaders.  The way we lead, especially in regards to how we point others to God, is of utmost importance to the Lord.

Response:

Since it is so critical how I lead to the Lord, I must…

  • Pray more intensely today
  • Seek wise counsel
  • Seek God’s direction
  • Rest in the fact that God has a plan and will help me to accomplish what He wants me to do.

Week 3: Day 3- Numbers 20:7-8

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

Numbers 20:7-8

Explain

Moses and Aaron had rightly and humbly come before God to ask for his help and seek a solution. God had responded with his presence, and He gave them an answer. God told Moses to speak to the rock. That was different than the last time where Moses had struck the rock (Numbers 17:5-7).

Moses had used his staff throughout Exodus and Numbers to part the red sea, turn the Nile to blood, prove his authority from God by making his staff turn to a serpent. Perhaps God asked him to speak to the rock instead of strike the rock so that he would remember that the staff was not supernatural or powerful in itself. The staff did not deliver, supply, or judge. God did. It, like Moses, was a vessel that God used and no more. This was true of the the staff, of Moses, and it’s true of us as well.

Apply

When God uses us to do good things in his name, it is He who does those things. We are vessels He may choose to use. We must remember who we are and who He is. When we do this, we will be more inclined to obey.

Respond

  1. Have you ever tried to take credit for what God is doing through you or around you?
  2. Take a few moments today to pray and ask God to keep you humble and to use you so that He gets glory.

Week 2: Day 4- Numbers 14:13-16

This Weeks Passage: Numbers 14:5-19

13 And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;)

14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Lord art among this people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.

15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying,

16 Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.

Numbers 14:13-16

Explanation:

There are a few observations that strike me here.

First, Moses cares about these rebellious people enough to go to God on their behalf. They want to stone Joshua and Caleb. Moses and Aaron had been face down in fear of avoiding God’s judgement on the people. And yet he is still advocating to God on their behalf.

Second, Moses knows God cares about His name among the gentiles. He appeals to God’s reputation as a reason not to kill the people.

Application:

We should concern ourselves with thinking the way God thinks and then praying according to His will. Moses knew God well enough to appeal to what he knew God valued. We should know God like that.

We should concern ourselves with people, interceding to God on their behalf. We ought to pray for ourselves and for others that they would be right with God.

Response:

  1. Who is someone who needs you to pray for them?
  2. How well do you know God? Is this reflected in your prayer life?
  3. How is your prayer life? Do you pray often? Do you pray for others?