Last week I was at the assimilation conference put on by Church Leader Insights. Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas, started and built Journey Church in New York and have been training pastors for many years through CLI. Nelson was an engineer by training and cut his teeth on ministry at Saddleback in the 90s. A few months ago Nelson asked us to come alongside to partner with them to serve churches. He knew our history and background. I knew theirs. It was a no-brainer for us to work with them. They are known for training churches on the 8 systems of building and managing church. Last week the focus was on assimilation.
Much of the training on assimilation is provided through their video curriculum and books. Nelson is a prolific resource producer. Many churches that do assimilation with excellence have learned to do so either from Nelson or from other coaches he has trained. Here are a few, random (and incomplete), take aways that stood out to me last week that you have to know. If you are not familiar with these or have forgotten some things you've learned in this area, you would do well to research Church Leader Insights.
- Newcomers are guests not visitors. Make sure you know why.
- Weekly greeter rally that includes "smile practice".
- Follow up plan like:
- 36 hour email.
- 96 hour mailing (handwritten note)
- Consider enclosing $5 Starbucks card of something similar.
- Text option
- You have a 4 month window to follow up guests:
- One month letter to all first time guests.
- Three month letter to all first and second time guests.
- Include a coupon to pick up a free Bible.
- Barriers to assimilation you need to track.
- Kids security
- Connection card - 70% response rate goal to get quality information.
- Track assimilation. Example stats
- 3 guests / 100 attenders - to maintain size due to attrition.
- 5 guests / 100 attenders - for steady growth.
- 7 guests / 100 attenders - for rapid growth.
Churchteams was built to help you collect, track and report on information that is essential for excellence in assimilation. I've always felt that this area should be a strength of every church management system. Getting away for a couple of days to focus on this material again, then getting to share with the conference how we can help re-affirmed that belief.
If you want to learn more, join me for the membership virtual class.