From First-time Visitors to Members

Guest Path and Assimilation Process


Every church needs a well-thought-out system for assimilating people.

It’s a stewardship issue. I really believe that God will not entrust more visitors to you than your church is spiritually, physically, or organizationally capable of dealing with. If you don’t know how to deal with them when they come, don’t worry; you won’t have to.

This used to be real hit-and-miss in my church (and, from what I’m told, in most smaller or older churches). People would come in. We might or might not have any meaningful conversation with them. We might or might not get any contact information from them. They might or might not come back. And then if they did, we still didn’t know what to do. I guess we just hoped they’d ask for Bible studies or magically show up in the pastor’s class. Or if they came enough times, we’d finally get to know them and get information about them. And then we could visit them.

The guest book never did the trick.

So we worked on an intentional Guest Path and Assimilation Process. This is basically a funneling process that takes people on a journey from “casual contact” to “full discipleship.”

Here’s a general (non-detailed) overview:

  1. Get people into the Worship Service.
  2. Get worship attendees into Pizza with the Pastor.
  3. Get Pizza with the Pastor attendees into Cornerstone 101.
  4. Get Cornerstone 101 attendees into the Pastor’s Class.

People may skip some steps and end up directly in the Pastor’s Class their first week. That’s fine. But people still need to go through Cornerstone 101 before they can join the church.

You can download a PDF overview of the system here.

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