One of the critical factors in assimilating newcomers into the life of the church is matching them to a ministry. By getting them plugged into service to others they begin creating deeper fellowship, identity, ownership, and commitment not only to their church and community but also with their own personal faith.
A workshop was held recently in Houston to address this need led by Jay McSwaim of PLACE Ministries. I had the pleasure of serving in the same church with Jay and Ginger in Atlanta in the mid-90’s. They are great people and were wonderful babysitters for our kids! Jay has developed a significant ministry tool that is helping many churches.
See Match Members With Gifts, Ministries Urge @ http://www.texanonline.net/default.asp?action=article&aid=5591 for a good discussion of the issues, approaches, and resources.
Until next time…share the journey and enjoy the ride!
Church Member Assimilation Resources:
At www.LifeWay.com, a free downloadable spiritual gifts survey is available (search on “spiritual gifts assessment”). LifeWay recommends using the survey with other leadership development resources such as The BodyLife Journey: Guiding Believers into Ministry and Jesus on Leadership: Developing Servant Leaders.
For more information about PLACE Ministries, go to www.placeministries.org. Visit www.mobilyzr.com for an online tool developed by PLACE that gives leaders snapshots of their church’s or ministry’s mobilization vital signs, and a system of databases, tools, reports, and resources so they can respond with a customized process for connecting God’s people into meaningful ministry. An extensive bibliography of 53 books on the subject of spiritual gifts and assimilating members is also found in Finding Your Place in Ministry by Jay McSwaim.
View Stonegate Fellowship’s Spiritual Growth Assessment Plan at www.stonegatefellowship.com.
For more information about the First Baptist Euless newcomer assimilation process, email Bradle Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leading from Your Strengths by John Trent and Rodney Cox, helps individuals and teams discover and understand their God-given strengths and how they interact in their work and relationships (www.leadingfromyourstrengths.com).