In my last blog post I discussed whether or not Sunday School is still a viable way to assimilate people into groups and into the larger church family. The answer is a resounding “yes.” This would most likely apply to a church of small groups, too. Whether you use on-campus or off-campus groups as your primary place for Bible study, those groups can be instrumental in the assimilation process. But is there a way to tell if a person is really being assimilated into the life of your group and your church? I believe the answer is “yes.”
Signs are all around us. They give us important information about our surroundings. They keep us out of harm’s way. They are designed to help us.
There are 7 signs (actually 7 questions!) that help indicate whether or not a person is being assimilated into your group and into your church family. These signs are intended to give you the right information about members of your group so that you can take the necessary steps to help them assimilate into your group and church as easily and effectively as possible:
- What is their attendance pattern? – How faithfully does the person attend the group’s studies? 25%? 50% 75% Higher? Low attendance normally indicates a lower level of assimilation.
- How often do they attend worship? – Same as above!
- Are they inviting others to the group? – A person who is being assimilated is normally excited about their new group or new church home. Are they inviting people to the group’s study, or to the church’s weekend worship services?
- Are they making friends? – Is the person fitting in with the group, or do they seem to be on the fringe of relationships? Do you see them or hear about them going to lunch with people from the group? Are they spending time with people over coffee or a meal? Do they take the initiative and invite fellow group members into their world?
- Are they engaged in the Bible study? – Is the person participating in discussions and activities when the Bible study takes place, or do they seem uncomfortable, bored, or overwhelmed? Do they appear like they really want to be there?
- Do they attend fellowships of the group? – When the fun begins, are they in or out?
- Are they involved in a ministry? – When the work of the group begins, are they shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of your people, or do they give excuse after excuse for not participating in ministry to others?
If you find yourself answering a lot of these questions with a “no,” it’s time to reach out to to the person who isn’t being assimilated. They may need a little extra TLC from you as a group leader. Just don’t ignore them – they are your responsibility as leader of the group!
As I continue these blog posts on assimilation, I’ll move into actions a Bible study group can take to more effectively assimilate people. I hope you’ll stay with me and continue to benefit from these discussions about assimilation!
Shoulder to shoulder,