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Artie-Davis-blogA simple assimilation process is absolutely vital for any church to see sustained growth. Here’s the one I’ve seen work so well, and you can customize it for your church quite easily. It covers the three things we’re called to do as the church, but it lets you fill in the blanks according to your culture, community and context.

It has three steps ...


1. Get In. How will you move people from just coming to actually being “in” the church?

When someone comes for the first time, we will ___________.

What will you encourage them to do? You’ve got to get them connected some way … or at least give them the chance to. You also want some information from them. You want to know they were there so you can make them feel extra special. First-time guests have to be valued.

When talking to new guests, we will invite them to come to __________ (not just a Sunday morning service).

Where are you going to take them after that first week? Sure, you most definitely want them to come back, but what else will help them feel connected but not overly committed too early?

2. Grow Up. Once they become familiar with the church, we will encourage them to become a part of _________, ________ or ________ (3 choices).

Now is when they really begin to plug in. How will you fully connect them with other people? They need choices. Not everyone is going to commit to attending a group every week within their first few months. Not everyone will serve. They have to have choices. If not, they’ll be turned off if they’re not "that kind of person" and leave.

3. Go Out. When they become engaged in the church family, we will empower them to reach others with the gospel using these three tools: _________, _________ and _________.

Where are they going now? Sure, they may be in a community group, and they may be serving somewhere, but what tools are you giving them to grow on their own? You want them to feed themselves. Don’t just make converts; make disciples.

Begin to fill in these blanks with tools that you currently have or could easily add—then start!

Don’t wait until it’s all perfect. The worse thing you can do is nothing.

Pray. Write it down. Do it.

Start something in the next three weeks!

Artie Davis is the pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, S.C. He heads the Comb Network and the Sticks Conference. He speaks and writes about leadership, ministry, church planting and cultural diversity in the church. You can find his blog at or catch him on Twitter @artiedavis.

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