Growth is great . . . especially for the church. But with the growth that God brings to us here at Grace Church also comes the responsibility to be sure that we are able to see each of these individuals assimilated into our local church ministry. To be honest, we have never made this a strategic focus. That is not to say that we have not had beneficial ministries that have helped to plug some new people into our fellowship. However, there has been no real strategic plan to take someone from a first visit to Grace Church through a carefully designed and crafted process of growth and involvement. Our leadership staff and our Elder Board realize this need and have made this a high priority for our focus.
Andy Brightbill, who is currently our Pastor of Student Ministries, has put together and is leading an “Assimilation Task Force” with the responsibility of looking at where we are today as a ministry when it comes to getting people assimilated into our ministry; then determining where we need to go in this area; and putting together and implementing a strategy to get us there. The hiring of Doug Kegarise part-time as Assistant Director of Student Ministries, especially with his training and experience as a Senior Leader for Operation Barnabas, has allowed Andy to focus needed time on this new challenge.
What do we mean by “assimilation?” Perhaps for each reader, it conjures up a different idea. By “assimilation” we mean having each person that God brings to Grace Church:
- Follow the Lord in salvation and water baptism
- Become grounded in their faith
- Become involved in a small group
- Become plugged into an area of ministry
- Become actively involved in giving to the church and sharing their faith
Now think about it! Wouldn’t it be amazing if those five things were true of every person who comes to Grace Church? WOW! What a thought! This Task Force will discuss the strategy we need to have right from the very first time a visitor drives onto our property. What do they think? What are their first impressions? How will we be sure that they truly know Christ? How will we walk them through the steps of being baptized, becoming grounded in their faith; connecting to a small group; plugging into an area of ministry; and actively being involved as good stewards in giving to the church and sharing their faith? Please be praying for Pastor Andy and this “Assimilation Task Force.” Under Andy’s leadership, This Task Force will consist of:
- John Kegarise, representing our Adult Bible Fellowship ministry
- Mike Lutz, representing our evangelism ministry
- Rick Glass, representing our men’s ministry
- Laura Distler, representing our women’s ministry
- Beth Kachel, representing our children’s ministry
- Pastor Willard, representing our Deacon ministry