• A (Renewed) Assimilation Process

    by Jeffery Sparks

  • [DRAFT OF PROCESS]

  • Scope of Project: Assimilation

    The scope of this project surveys only the terrain of assimilation at Colonial. Assimilation is defined as “The process by which a person acquires the social and psychological characteristics of a group.” While the Christian Church is a creation of God the Holy Spirit and thus far more than a set of social and psychological traits, it is not less than this to the first-time visitor. For this reason, there is a sober caution we bear in mind when discussing assimilation: it is a process that works both ways.

    It is true that the assimilation process, from belonging “to the world” to “belonging to Christ” is wholly the work of the Holy Spirit, (Romans 8). At the same time, it is also true that the church is called by God to meet people where they are at, and to proclaim the Gospel. From this it follows that the church’s life will need to enter into a space that overlaps into the culture of the one who is in any way outside of the life of vibrant community of Christians—the non-Christian, the unchurched, or those seeking a new church.

    The overlap, that entering into a mutual space, therefore, entails meeting people where they are at and understanding their fears and false expectations. The church does not need the perfect assimilation process, but in view of our high call and significant responsibility to not impede people from encountering the Word of Life, a comprehensive process (design) needs to exist. “To be all things to all people” as Paul writes, is a noteworthy comment because is describing this overlap into the world from which people called by God might hope to respond to the Word. To this end, Paul tailored each of his sermons and letters to the “social and psychological characteristics” of those whom he addressed. Yet, Paul “knew only Christ” and proclaimed “Christ” the same way to all people everywhere, but the method (or process) for doing this was aligned with utmost respect to the individual. In many ways, Paul’s example shows to us that we are to be non-alienating aliens, people not of the world, but in the world. A comprehensive assimilation process is simply, then, plan to welcome individuals on behalf of Christ to encounter His Gospel. Thus it bears repeating: an incomplete plan is to not have a plan, and both can impedes individuals from their divine appointment.

    Objections

    Some may voice an objection and say that, “we cannot put a plan over people.” In one sense this is accurate. Any man-made plan that takes precedence over the objective charge given by Christ to the Church to “go, preach, teach and baptize” (The Great Commission) is not a plan in service to the Gospel. This objection, however, is not accurate when in service to the Gospel, a comprehensive plan for achieving The Great Commission is established. To the contrary, it speaks to the highest level of love and concern for the lost. That such a plan can be—and probably will be—uncomfortable does not suggest that it is a plan in service to itself. As Tim Keller writes, “When fruitfulness is our criterion for evaluation, we are held accountable but not crushed by the expectation that a certain number of lives will be changed dramatically under our ministry.”

    • Tim Keller, Center Church
      [Keller, Tim. Center Church. Zondervan (September 4, 2012), HarperCollins Publishing

    Keller challenges us to confront the issue of fruitfulness. If individuals are coming to Colonial to visit, we are accountable to—though not crushed by—the importance of our calling and responsibility to do all that we can to generously welcome them continually. And being continually welcomed, we provide generous paths to connection with others and the Word, assign them responsibilities so their gifts may bear fruit, and help each realize their calling in Christ to make disciples. To do this requires a plan and that plan is an assimilation process.

    [1 assimilation. (n.d.). The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Retrieved July 06, 2016 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/assimilation}

  • Preview of a More Complete Model

    Colonial does have an assimilation process in place. There is much hard work and wisdom that has been invested in this process already. This proposal here, titled “A (Renewed) Assimilation Process,” takes what we have in place and finishes its development. The final process proposed here is a cycle that has in mind a “positive feedback-loop” idea, a kind of cycle (loop) wherein one action has a positive result (an increase) which creates a cycle increase.

    As mentioned previously, no assimilation process is perfect, but an effective assimilation process does need to be comprehensive, that is, accounting for the entire lifecycle of assimilation. For our needs, a comprehensive assimilation process leads to 1st time visitors becoming 2nd time visitors; 2nd time visitors becoming regular-attenders; regular-attenders becoming members; and throughout the whole of this forward movement is the design for christian growth leading to the culmination of the cycle where members growing in Christ are sharing Christ and inviting others into a welcoming and generous Christian community, and the assimilation process begins again.

  • Process Queues

    A Queue is a step or task that you want to track in the Process. Each Queue may have one or more Managers who are responsible for accomplishing the task (such as calling a new guest). A due date will be set and Managers can be notified when an individual is added to the Queue so they know to login and perform the action needed.

    Queue Managers

    Queue Managers are responsible for the action in the Queue. They are able to view only those Queues for which they are responsible, not other Queues in the Process or other Processes. Process Admin privileges are not required, but they must be a Basic User. There is no limit to the number of individuals that may be added as Managers of a Queue.

    [Note: Process Administrators, Process Managers, and the Master Administrator may add Queue Managers].

  • Complexity and Communication of CCB Roles & Privileges

    There are a total of 17 roles (i.e., Basic User, Process Manager, Form Manager), and 28 privileges (i.e., Edit Departments, Full Read, Need, Limited Write). Across this matrix, then, are 476 distinct role-privilege combinations, (17x28).

    Part of the intimidation many employees of Colonial experience when working with CCB is located here in the complexity of this matrix. To make this number of combinations manageable and useful (and powerful) requires communication and accuracy of assignments.

    To use CCB to its full potential in the Assimilation Process, each employee and volunteer interacting with CCB would need to know what role they have been assigned, what privileges they have, what queues they are to manage, how to interact with those queues, and where each can go to access instruction, and who they can contact that is both welcoming and helpful to answer these questions.

    While CCB does have many videos and screen-by-screen instructions, the library is voluminous and finding exactly what is needed, again, is determined by knowing what each can do via role and privilege. Until this is addressed, the inherent power of CCB remains underutilized if not altogether unused.

    Proposal: To share with every user of CCB their Role-Based Privileges, Processes they manage, forms they manage, and Queues they manage. This will lead not only to much greater engagement with CCB, but will help everyone remove outdated material and Role-Based users no longer active in the process.

    Proposal: That we keep a current CCB tutorial on the U:/ drive at all times, updated yearly. This is easy to do by visiting the page for a particular instruction, choosing “print”, then changing printer to PDF, and clicking the box “remove extra material”.

  • Colonial’s Basic CCB Assimilation Tracking Process

    Currently, we have the structural components in place for a comprehensive assimilation process. Using CCB’s Process Queue functionality, a chain of processes have been created. This process, in order of queues is as follows:

    First Visit

    • Entered into CCB if signed welcome book
    • RCPT sends site pastor 1x Visitor contact information
    • Site Pastor sends 1x Visitor postcard.

    Second Visit

    • 2x Visitor Welcome Letter (RCPT)
    • 2x Site Pastor Call

    Third Visit

    • 3x Visitor sent Invitation to Attend Explore Colonial Postcard.

    Explore Colonial Class

    • Awaiting to see if attended Explore Colonial.
      • If did not attend—(process ends here)
      • If attended, process continues:
    • Awaiting to be invited to Member Class

    Membership Class

    • Awaiting to see if attended Membership Class
      • If visitor did not attend Membership—(process ends here)
    • If visitor did attend Membership Class, process continues.
    • Awaiting to See if visitor Joins
      • If visitor did not join—(process ends here)
      • If visitor did join, process continues.
    • Awaiting Member to Sign Covenant
    • Awaiting Clerk of Session and Pastor Jim Signing
    • Awaiting Elder Interview
    • Awaiting Contact to Schedule Member Installation
    • Awaiting Installation
    • Awaiting Covenant Returned to Member
    • Installation
  • What is Missing with CCB

    At its most basic level, when examining Processes in CCB, much credit is to be given to that company for developing a powerful project management tool. Yet, like many task-tracking tools, it can only list and log a completed action. It cannot speak to the quality of that action, if it is the correct action, process or task; such tools are not designed to be subjective and evaluative, but objective and discrete. CCB, therefore, is a powerful tool to fuel a comprehensive process, it is—on its own—that process.

    While this may be obvious, if we can ourselves recall (or try to imagine) each of these actions being performed by people, how many of these queues require or speak to human interaction with the visitor before an Explore or Membership class? Even if we could describe this human interaction in the definition of how to do this action or queue, we return back to the original concern: a queue cannot speak to the content or quality of that interaction. In fact, the space between CCB queues is to be filled with people interaction. This may happen, or it may not; this may happen well, or it may happen not well at all. Something more is needed and this is where a comprehensive assimilation process comes in.

    Typically, when a person “falls through the cracks,” it is most likely to happen because, despite having processes in place, there is not fully developed plan to account for the space between queues.

    As an aside, this is the reason that objections to an Assimilation Process (or strategy) fall flat: such an objection is unwarranted because it is confusing CCB project management checklists with an Assimilation Process designed not to be a checklist, but real, face-to-face interaction and fellowship. The two work together and make each process more powerful and together are effective and robust.

    In sum, CCB needs a comprehensive assimilation process just as much as that process needs a comprehensive CCB.

  • Why Adjustments To This Plan Are Necessary

    “Sanctification is a gift that already belongs to the church, but it is also an ongoing process in which the church is [and christians are] being constantly provoked, challenged, renewed, and reformed by the Spirit, conformed to the image of Christ through God’s Word.”

    Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 861.

    Along the way of developing and testing our current assimilation process, however, gaps (or cracks, or voids), have been encountered.

    1. We actually do not have an assimilation process we have an assimilation concept.

    The difference between a concept and a process is important to point out in this discussion. A concept is general notion or idea; however, a process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. If we call a concept a process, we lay on the concept a load which it is not intended to bear. Likewise, when we are attempting to meet a goal that needs a process, but are using a concept, planned actions seem vague and blurred.

    Thus, we must know and have in mind two key ideas: the concept of assimilation and the process to achieve the distinct goal of assimilation.

    2. CCB Manages Backend Processes

    This is redundant to a degree, but it bears repeating. There is no doubt that CCB is a powerful tool to guide actions steps to a particular end of a stated process. If in working with CCB, the tool replaces the one using the tool, (and here we would have the scenario of a process over people), then the people interactions necessary for visitors to become members, we are asking CCB to take on the work of a concept.

    3. The Assimilation Process is Frontend

    Most everyone needs to be involved on the front lines of assimilation. Our work—our labor for the Lord—is the exciting and frenetic work of making disciples. This is the purpose of the Church; therefore, the purpose of an assimilation process is to provide for people in the church a way to unleash their gifts, to get to the point of evangelism, of sharing the Story of the Good News by sharing their life. We need only look at the heyday of the 70s and 80s at Colonial, a two-decade span of time that created the heroes of faith we still talk about, look to, and admire. They understood this best. An assimilation process is ever and always about people loving people.

  • Current Membership Types

    So far, we have looked at only two Membership Types: visitor and member. Before we end this section, it is important for the next section to review the current, active, adult Membership Types:

    • Associate Contact
    • Attender Non-Member
    • Former Member
    • Member Non-Resident
    • Spouse/Child of Member
    • Visitor-Prospect
    • Clergy
  • A (Renewed) Assimilation Process

  • The Corinthian church had apparently failed to assimilate Paul’s ways. In the Western world, and especially the American church, there is a similar failure to assimilate the ways of Paul that are the ways of Jesus Christ. Doctrine is assimilated, but life change often does not follow. We can learn from Paul that parents and Christian leaders must model consistently the ways of Christ and teach the patterns [processes] that are illustrated in the specific things they do.

    Alan F. Johnson, 1 Corinthians, vol. 7, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 84–85.

  • Proposal: Add Two New Member Types in CCB

    The importance of this is for running a report that lists all 1st Time (local) Visitors that do not return. To my knowledge, we do not have this information available. The same for 2nd Time (local) Visitors.

    1st Time Visitor

    [text]

    2nd Time Visitor

    [text]

  • Preparing for First-Time Visitors

  • How To Prepare

  • The “Start Here” Station

  • Kids Sign In Can Benefit from Visuals that “POP”

  • The First-Time Visit (FOCUS: To Welcome)

  • 1. First Impression (Begins in Parking Lot)

  • Managing First Impression (outdoors)

    Proposal: A parking lot greeting team.

  • Managing First Impression (indoors)

  • Greeting (Dress for Welcoming Success)

    Proposal: Greeting teams (both indoor and outdoor), Seating team, and “Start Here” station workers, to have big, bright lanyards to signal to visitor that those are the “go to” people for any inquiries or guidance. They could read something like, “Help Starts Here”.

  • Seating (“Where would you like to sit today?”)

    Proposal: Create a Groups serve opportunity for a seating assistance team; a sort of concierge of smiling helpers to assist all people with hospitality and guidance.

  • 2. The Connection Card

  • Card is Better Than Welcome Book

    Proposal: Create a Connection Card; retire the welcome books.

  • Card is Designed to be Simple (and private)

  • The Every-Week Announcement

    • Tell Visitor What to Do Next
  • Visitor Fills Out Connection Card and Puts in Offering Plate or Takes to “Start Here” Station

    Proposal: Establish a “Start Here” station, (or some fresh, movement-oriented moniker). This station is perfect for part of the Group serving.

  • 3. Visitor Goes to “Start Here” Station to Pick-UP Gift

  • The “Start Here” Station

    Whatever the name, a station for picking up the gift and dropping off the Connection Card (if it is still in the visitor’s possession) is an important connection point. Regardless of what this station looks like, big or small, the key here is the individual working the station. This person can be a volunteer and could be the first main connection the visitor makes. With this in mind, the volunteer would be:

    • Knowledgeable on Wayfinding
    • Understand the Next Steps
    • Be able to Articulate Core Beliefs
    • Possess a Welcoming Spirit
    • Be Up-To-Date on Events at Both Campuses, and
    • Be Comfortable Showing the Visitor What To Do Next.
  • The Gift and Information Brochures

    At the “Start Here” station, the visitor will come and visit the station. The friendly (and trained) volunteer will give the person the free book, (consider a book, but also make available a Bible if needed).

    Proposal: To stock a Christian Book that we have found to be very helpful: Prodigal God (Keller), The Case for Faith (Strobel). (Cost: about $7-$9).

  • 4. Monday Actions From Connections Card

  • CCB Action 1: Receptionist Adds 1st Time Visitors to CCB, as Member Type “1st Time Visitors.”

    The receptionist will continue to email first-time visitors to appropriate recipients.

  • CCB Action 2: Email from Teaching Pastor

    Using CCB’s Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin, or other assigned) sends out an email welcome to each visitor. The executive admin will want to run this report with the date parameter of yesterday’s date.

    Proposal: Begin sending emails and letters from Pastor Jim West, the visible Teaching Pastor.

  • CCB Action 3: Letter One-Month After 1st Visit

    Using CCB’s Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin, or other assigned) mails a packet including:

    • Letter from Teaching Pastor (worded for connecting).
    • Gift (such as $5 gift card to a coffeehouse).
    • CD of recent message.

    The executive admin will want to run first-time visit report using “Report Columns” tab to add this column, but not the “1st Time visitor” Membership Type, as it is hoped they will be moved into the “2nd Time Visitor” Membership Type.

    Proposal: One-month letter and gifts sent to visitor, regardless of attendance after first visit. (Cost: about $8 per visitor).

  • 5. Wednesday Actions from Connections Card

  • CCB Action 4: Letter to 1st Time Visitor

    Using CCB’s Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin) mails a small packet to “last Sundays” 1st time visitors. This packet includes:

    • Letter from Teaching Pastor (worded for connecting)
    • Information About Teaching Series (postcard)
    • Gift (such as a $5 gift card to Starbucks)

    This packet is designed to be sent out Wednesday to be received on or before Friday.

    Proposal: “Glad to see you” letter from Teaching Pastor with postcard and gift. (Cost: about $6.00)

  • Summary of 1st Visit

    The purpose of the first week is to focus on Welcoming. Our actions demonstrate this. From the Sunday welcome, hospitality, first impression and free book gift, to the email, letter, and gift from the Teaching Pastor, and the packet with next steps and a gift is to demonstrate “Welcome”.

    To the first-time visitor, these small actions signal the characteristics of who we are, that we:

    • respect them
    • value them
    • would like to see them again
    • and that we are generous

    All of these characteristics are true, and many more besides. Yet, to the first time visitor, this focused attention and gifts are the tangible expressions of those characteristics.

  • 2nd-Time Visit (FOCUS: To Connect)

  • (All of the Welcoming Points from the 1st-Time visit).

    The pattern is noted by the visitor: “These people are consistently friendly, helpful, and generous.” Week after week, consistently offering a welcoming environment forms and reinforces the first impression, but begins to change the culture of established members. After all, every aspect of first-time and second-visitor welcoming focus is also given to all members.

  • Visitor Fills Out Connection Card and Puts in Offering Plate

  • MONDAY ACTIONS FROM CONNECTION CARD

  • CCB Action 5: Receptionist takes 1st Time visitors and moves them to 2nd Time Visitors as Member Type “2nd Time Visitors.”

    The receptionist will continue to email second-time visitors to appropriate recipients as well.

  • CCB Action 6: Email from Teaching Pastor (FOCUS: To Connect)

    Using CCB’s Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin, or other assigned) sends out an email welcome to each visitor. The executive admin will want to run this report with the date parameter of yesterday’s date.

  • CCB Action 7: Letter to 2nd Time Visitor

    Using CCB’s Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin) mails a small packet to “last Sundays” 2nd time visitors.

    This packet includes:

    • Letter from Teaching Pastor (worded for connecting)
    • Gift (appreciated by Target Audience)

    This packet is designed to be sent out Wednesday to be received on or before Friday.

    A gift idea here for 2nd Time visitors could be:

    • a nice thumb drive (our Logo on it), with a Groups Finder PDF and three Sermons on a universal format.
    • a free book from the Colonial Store on Amazon.
    • An Amazon Gift Card
    • An Amazon Movie Gift Card, “A movie is on us!”

    Proposal: “How About Connecting” letter from Teaching Pastor with postcard and gift. (Cost: about $6.00 - $8.00)

  • Summary of 2nd Visit

    The purpose of the second visit is to focus on Connecting. Our actions demonstrate this. From the Sunday welcome, hospitality, first impression and free book gift, to the email, letter, and gift from the Teaching Pastor, and the packet with next steps and a gift is to demonstrate “Welcome”.

    To the first-time visitor, these small actions signal the characteristics of who we are, that we:

    • respect them
    • value them
    • would like to see them again
    • and that we are generous

    All of these characteristics are true, and many more besides. Yet, to the first time visitor, this focused attention and gifts are the tangible expressions of those characteristics.

  • From Visitor to Regular Attender

  • Finding Fellowship is Critical (or we lose them)

    Conversations for Keeps

    If first-time and second-time visitors do not connect with someone soon, they will disappear. It is worth remembering that we are presenting to each visitor not a product for sale, but a worldview to consider. It is also worth remembering that it is not word of mouth, a new building, a marketing campaign, or our Pastor’s message that ultimately draws people to our Church. Ever and always, it is the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Bob shared a story of a lady he invited from his neighborhood and she came. She visited once, twice, and continued to visit the Quivira campus for almost a year. She sat in the very back seats of the church and remain unconnected. Eventually, she stopped showing up and has not been seen in church since. Considering how remarkable of a length of stay, Bob mentioned that she didn’t talk to anyone—did anyone talk to her? Surely someone must have, and if so, was it a conversation for keeps?

    A Conversation for Keeps (my term) is a conversation that is contextual on both the Macro- and Micro-level. How we contextualize the Gospel proclamation to the suburbs is likely not going to work as a contextual model for the city. For this reason, any comprehensive assimilation process will itself exist on a macro-level scale, it will assume a multi-campus strategy while the actual experience of the visitor is always on the mico-level experience of interacting with “this” particular campus at “this” particular time. Said another way, it is the local setting, with normal church-going people, that the visitor encounters and will (or will not) converse with that forms the first-impression

    With this in mind, a comprehensive assimilation process, existing on the macro-level, will evidence consistent, planned actions that produce macro-level positive first impressions. This broad process can guarantee that the framework is in place for a good first impression, but with recruiting, training, and practice (and more practice) on the micro-level aspects of engagement, the visitor will indeed experience a good first impression.

    Shared Behaviors on the Micro-Level

    Reviewing a wonderful book by Lee Cockerell, The Customer Rules, I saw several principles that put words to some of these micro-level actions the church manages that are so important to an assimilation process. I have altered them for our needs and this is not an exhaustive list, but I believe the handful here can help us describe better a set of shared behavior that encourages, not impedes, the visitor existing in his worldview enter the Christian worldview and become engaged and serving in their unique calling:

    1. Top-Down Principle.

    Leaders (and it must come from leaders) in the church recognize that sustained growth and growing fellowship depend on a church’s ability to generate consistent, ongoing, and excellent engagement that keeps visitor coming back and singing their praises, (without having to be in the choir).

    2. The High Cost of a Shoddy Impression

    In the world of business, a great deal of money allocated to promote a service or product can be shot down instantly through a scathing Tweet or Facebook post. There is a reason why every major for-profit company is binged when a #(hashtag) appears next to their name, or why iTunes App developers plead with displeased users to contact them before posting a negative review. Truly that is a high cost.

    In the church, however, the cost can be, quite literally, infinitely higher. If, by our lack of a commitment to a consistently welcoming experience and relevant follow-through with visitors, we drive someone away from the proclamation of the Gospel the cost may well be eternal. That may sound like a scare-tactic, but even if for a couple looking to get back into church and they have heard about our church, come, but were not surprised by a lasting, positive first impression, such a miss might not even register as a miss on their radar, but they may not come back. Missing an opportunity at any point in life to engage in the high calling to which God summons us in His Son is a costly miss, for the unbeliever and the disconnected believer.

    3. To Visitors, Small Things ARE the Big Things

    Cockerell writes, “Great [organizations] keep a keen eye on the basics at all times. Like great athletes, they know that mastering the fundamentals makes all the difference between success and failure—-that you can’t expect to hit a game-winning home run before you’ve mastered swinging the bat . . . the seemingly small things are easy to overlook, but they can set your company apart.” To visitor so the church, the small things are the big things.

    Cockerell, Lee (2013-03-05). The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service (pp. 13-14). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

    In Christian retail, it was always the small, simple things rehearsed daily, corrected gently but constantly when not practiced, that made all of the difference in my own stores customer service. I believe many people do not like to compare the church with business, even a Christian business, but it is important to borrow wisdom when we find it.

    4. To Visitors, it is an Emotional Trip.

    A great first impression is about emotions, or feelings. Does the church feel friendly? Does the experience feel inviting? Was the preaching powerful (that’s a feeling)? Do I want to experience this again (feeling)?

    Sam Walton often related the story of how he and his team would visit the competition, and he never allowed his team to tell him what the competition was doing wrong, only what they were doing right. The purpose of Walton’s field trips was to create a better experience for his customers. Walton knew that such an experience creates an emotional connection. Cockerell says it this way, “[visitors] need the emotional satisfaction of being treated like the most important people in the world.” True, Jesus is the most important person in the World, but for the Lord of Life who died upon the cross for each of them, Jesus considered each of them so important as to die in their place. As His ambassadors, there is no objection to putting each of them above our own comfort and needs. We need only recall the Acts 4 church.

    Cockerell, Lee (2013-03-05). The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service (p. 11). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

    4. The Mandate of Excellence

    One place where there is always concern is in the setting of high expectations when volunteers are involved. Expect too much and volunteers may flee, or that is the fear. We need volunteers to capture the vision of the essential importance of the visitor to the degree that what sacrifice is called for (by way of time, commitment, attitude, and training) it is nothing compared to the importance of the guest visiting us today. One of my own mentors, my direct supervisor no less, was a master of organizational growth. He would often tell me as one of his store manager, “set your expectations and don’t back down. People will either rise to them or they won’t.”

    This sage advice is echoed in Cockerell’s book. “I have found that setting high expectations will not cost your company one single cent. It does take time and energy, though, because it’s not enough just to set these expectations, you have to communicate them with candor, clarity, and not a shred of ambiguity. Don’t just assume your team members know what’s expected of them. Tell them. And tell them again. Tell them in every way you can dream up.”

    Cockerell, Lee (2013-03-05). The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service (pp. 58-59). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

    There are many more principles that Cockerell lays out in his book, thirty-five more in fact, and most are easily translated into that moment of time and place when a visitor enters Colonial for the very first time. I highly recommend his book for further review. These four principles here are a good first step in discussing how to implement micro-level engagement church-wide.

  • From Regular Attender to Member

    “It is highly recommended that some kind of class on what the church believes be available for people before they become members of the church. Assimilation is much more permanent when new members have already taken a class before making a commitment to Christ and the church.”

    Guthrie Veech, Christian Minister’s Manual (Cincinnati, OH: Standard, 2006), 52.

  • New Membership Format

  • Grow Groups (An Catalyst of Assimilation)

  • Caveat: A Potential Hiccup with Groups

    As Colonial’s Groups are a key component for the Assimilation Process, they can and will be catalytic. Thus, any obstacles that limits our Groups to be catalytic, would send a ripple through the Assimilation Process.

    One potential area of concern is that, for the Fall 2016 trimester, many groups remained on a different calendar other than our promoted, Trimester groups. A higher-than-expected percentage of Groups offered remain on a Semester, School Year, or Never-Ending schedule.

    This can work, and it may offer surprising variety to visitors. It is possible, however, that it will be more difficult for Visitors to find fellowship in existing classes—especially if these classes remain our primary offering on Sundays. I offer this as a potential problem to be considered and discussed.

  • Member Management

  • Care Prayer

  • Appendix 1: Suggested Proposals

  • Proposal: add two new Member Types in CCB.

    • 1st Time Visitor
    • 2nd Time Visitor

    The importance of this is for running a report that lists all 1st Time (local) Visitors that do not return. To my knowledge, we do not have this information available. The same for 2nd Time (local) Visitors.

  • Proposal: A parking lot greeting team.

  • Proposal: Greeting teams (both indoor and outdoor), Seating team, and “Start Here” station workers, to have big, bright lanyards to signal to visitor that those are the “go to” people for any inquiries or guidance. They could read something like, “Help Starts Here”.

  • Proposal: Seating Team.
    Create a Groups serve opportunity for a seating assistance team; a sort of concierge of smiling helpers to assist all people with hospitality and guidance.

  • Proposal: Create a Connection Card; retire the welcome books.

  • Proposal: Establish a “Start Here” station, (or some fresh, movement-oriented moniker). This station is perfect for part of the Group serving.

  • Proposal: To stock a Christian Book that we have found to be very helpful: Prodigal God (Keller), The Case for Faith (Strobel). (Cost: about $7-$9).

  • Proposal: Begin sending emails and letters from Pastor Jim West, the visible Teaching Pastor.

  • Proposal: One-month letter from Teaching Pastor and gifts sent to visitor, regardless of attendance after first visit. (Cost: about $8 per visitor).

  • Proposal: First visit “Glad to see you” letter from Teaching Pastor with included series postcard and gift. (Cost: about $6.00)

  • Proposal: Second visit “How About Connecting” letter from Teaching Pastor with postcard and gift. (Cost: about $6.00 - $8.00)

  • Proposal: To share with every user of CCB their Role-Based Privileges, Processes they manage, forms they manage, and Queues they manage each year. This will lead not only to much greater engagement with CCB, but will help everyone remove outdated material and Role-Based users no longer active in the process.

  • Proposal: That we keep a current CCB tutorial on the U:/ drive at all times, updated yearly. This is easy to do by visiting the page for a particular instruction, choosing “print”, then changing printer to PDF, and clicking the box “remove extra material”.

    {"cards":[{"_id":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7835248,"position":1,"parentId":null,"content":"# A (Renewed) Assimilation Process\n### by Jeffery Sparks"},{"_id":"6ae6fd6dc728f454170000f3","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7837393,"position":0.5,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"# [DRAFT OF PROCESS]"},{"_id":"6adb334918547ee6920000b3","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7840641,"position":1,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Scope of Project: Assimilation\n\nThe scope of this project surveys only the terrain of assimilation at Colonial. Assimilation is defined as \"The process by which a person acquires the social and psychological characteristics of a group.\" While the Christian Church is a creation of God the Holy Spirit and thus far more than a set of social and psychological traits, it is not less than this to the first-time visitor. For this reason, there is a sober caution we bear in mind when discussing assimilation: it is a process that works both ways. \n\nIt is true that the assimilation process, from belonging \"to the world\" to \"belonging to Christ\" is wholly the work of the Holy Spirit, (Romans 8). At the same time, it is also true that the church is called by God to meet people where they are at, and to proclaim the Gospel. From this it follows that the church's life will need to enter into a space that overlaps into the culture of the one who is in any way outside of the life of vibrant community of Christians--the non-Christian, the unchurched, or those seeking a new church. \n\nThe overlap, that entering into a mutual space, therefore, entails meeting people where they are at and understanding their fears and false expectations. The church does not need the perfect assimilation process, but in view of our high call and significant responsibility to not impede people from encountering the Word of Life, a comprehensive process (design) needs to exist. \"To be all things to all people\" as Paul writes, is a noteworthy comment because is describing this overlap into the world from which people called by God might hope to respond to the Word. To this end, Paul tailored each of his sermons and letters to the \"social and psychological characteristics\" of those whom he addressed. Yet, Paul \"knew only Christ\" and proclaimed \"Christ\" the same way to all people everywhere, but the method (or process) for doing this was aligned with utmost respect to the individual. In many ways, Paul's example shows to us that we are to be non-alienating aliens, people not of the world, but in the world. A comprehensive assimilation process is simply, then, plan to welcome individuals on behalf of Christ to encounter His Gospel. Thus it bears repeating: an incomplete plan is to not have a plan, and both can impedes individuals from their divine appointment.\n\n### Objections\nSome may voice an objection and say that, \"we cannot put a plan over people.\" In one sense this is accurate. Any man-made plan that takes precedence over the objective charge given by Christ to the Church to \"go, preach, teach and baptize\" (The Great Commission) is not a plan in service to the Gospel. This objection, however, is not accurate when in service to the Gospel, a comprehensive plan for achieving The Great Commission is established. To the contrary, it speaks to the highest level of love and concern for the lost. That such a plan can be--and probably will be--uncomfortable does not suggest that it is a plan in service to itself. As Tim Keller writes, \"When fruitfulness is our criterion for evaluation, we are held accountable but not crushed by the expectation that a certain number of lives will be changed dramatically under our ministry.\"\n\n- Tim Keller, <i>Center Church</i>\n[Keller, Tim. Center Church. Zondervan (September 4, 2012), HarperCollins Publishing\n\nKeller challenges us to confront the issue of fruitfulness. If individuals are coming to Colonial to visit, we are accountable to--though not crushed by--the importance of our calling and responsibility to do all that we can to generously welcome them continually. And being continually welcomed, we provide generous paths to connection with others and the Word, assign them responsibilities so their gifts may bear fruit, and help each realize their calling in Christ to make disciples. To do this requires a plan and that plan is an assimilation process.\n\n[1 assimilation. (n.d.). The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Retrieved July 06, 2016 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/assimilation}"},{"_id":"6adb40ae18547ee6920000bb","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7840728,"position":2.5,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Preview of a More Complete Model\n\nColonial does have an assimilation process in place. There is much hard work and wisdom that has been invested in this process already. This proposal here, titled \"A (Renewed) Assimilation Process,\" takes what we have in place and finishes its development. The final process proposed here is a cycle that has in mind a \"positive feedback-loop\" idea, a kind of cycle (loop) wherein one action has a positive result (an increase) which creates a cycle increase.\n\nAs mentioned previously, no assimilation process is perfect, but an effective assimilation process does need to be comprehensive, that is, accounting for the entire lifecycle of assimilation. For our needs, a comprehensive assimilation process leads to 1st time visitors becoming 2nd time visitors; 2nd time visitors becoming regular-attenders; regular-attenders becoming members; and throughout the whole of this forward movement is the design for christian growth leading to the culmination of the cycle where members growing in Christ are sharing Christ and inviting others into a welcoming and generous Christian community, and the assimilation process begins again. "},{"_id":"6aeb7bbcc728f454170000fa","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7840964,"position":4.5,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Process Queues\n\nA Queue is a step or task that you want to track in the Process. Each Queue may have one or more Managers who are responsible for accomplishing the task (such as calling a new guest). A due date will be set and Managers can be notified when an individual is added to the Queue so they know to login and perform the action needed.\n\n### Queue Managers\nQueue Managers are responsible for the action in the Queue. They are able to view only those Queues for which they are responsible, not other Queues in the Process or other Processes. Process Admin privileges are not required, but they must be a Basic User. There is no limit to the number of individuals that may be added as Managers of a Queue. \n\n[Note: Process Administrators, Process Managers, and the Master Administrator may add Queue Managers]."},{"_id":"6aeb8c44c728f454170000fb","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7840989,"position":4.75,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Complexity and Communication of CCB Roles & Privileges\n\nThere are a total of 17 roles (i.e., Basic User, Process Manager, Form Manager), and 28 privileges (i.e., Edit Departments, Full Read, Need, Limited Write). Across this matrix, then, are 476 distinct role-privilege combinations, (17x28).\n\nPart of the intimidation many employees of Colonial experience when working with CCB is located here in the complexity of this matrix. To make this number of combinations manageable and useful (and powerful) requires communication and accuracy of assignments. \n\nTo use CCB to its full potential in the Assimilation Process, each employee and volunteer interacting with CCB would need to know what role they have been assigned, what privileges they have, what queues they are to manage, how to interact with those queues, and where each can go to access instruction, and who they can contact that is both welcoming and helpful to answer these questions.\n\nWhile CCB does have many videos and screen-by-screen instructions, the library is voluminous and finding exactly what is needed, again, is determined by knowing what each can do via role and privilege. Until this is addressed, the inherent power of CCB remains underutilized if not altogether unused.\n\nProposal: To share with every user of CCB their Role-Based Privileges, Processes they manage, forms they manage, and Queues they manage. This will lead not only to much greater engagement with CCB, but will help everyone remove outdated material and Role-Based users no longer active in the process.\n\nProposal: That we keep a current CCB tutorial on the U:/ drive at all times, updated yearly. This is easy to do by visiting the page for a particular instruction, choosing \"print\", then changing printer to PDF, and clicking the box \"remove extra material\"."},{"_id":"6adb3efa18547ee6920000b9","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7841058,"position":5,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"# Colonial's Basic CCB Assimilation Tracking Process\n\nCurrently, we have the structural components in place for a comprehensive assimilation process. Using CCB's Process Queue functionality, a chain of processes have been created. This process, in order of queues is as follows:\n\n### First Visit\n* Entered into CCB if signed welcome book\n* RCPT sends site pastor 1x Visitor contact information\n* Site Pastor sends 1x Visitor postcard.\n\n### Second Visit\n* 2x Visitor Welcome Letter (RCPT)\n* 2x Site Pastor Call\n\n### Third Visit\n* 3x Visitor sent Invitation to Attend Explore Colonial Postcard.\n\n#### Explore Colonial Class\n* Awaiting to see if attended Explore Colonial.\n * If did not attend--(process ends here)\n * If attended, process continues:\n* Awaiting to be invited to Member Class\n\n#### Membership Class\n* Awaiting to see if attended Membership Class\n * If visitor did not attend Membership--(process ends here)\n* If visitor did attend Membership Class, process continues.\n* Awaiting to See if visitor Joins\n * If visitor did not join--(process ends here)\n * If visitor did join, process continues.\n* Awaiting Member to Sign Covenant\n* Awaiting Clerk of Session and Pastor Jim Signing\n* Awaiting Elder Interview\n* Awaiting Contact to Schedule Member Installation\n* Awaiting Installation\n* Awaiting Covenant Returned to Member\n* Installation"},{"_id":"6aebcf45c728f454170000fe","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7841132,"position":5.125,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## What is Missing with CCB\n\nAt its most basic level, when examining Processes in CCB, much credit is to be given to that company for developing a powerful project management tool. Yet, like many task-tracking tools, it can only list and log a completed action. It cannot speak to the quality of that action, if it is the correct action, process or task; such tools are not designed to be subjective and evaluative, but objective and discrete. CCB, therefore, is a powerful tool to fuel a comprehensive process, it is--on its own--that process. \n\nWhile this may be obvious, if we can ourselves recall (or try to imagine) each of these actions being performed by people, how many of these queues require or speak to human interaction with the visitor before an Explore or Membership class? Even if we could describe this human interaction in the definition of how to do this action or queue, we return back to the original concern: a queue cannot speak to the content or quality of that interaction. In fact, the space between CCB queues is to be filled with people interaction. This may happen, or it may not; this may happen well, or it may happen not well at all. Something more is needed and this is where a comprehensive assimilation process comes in. \n\nTypically, when a person \"falls through the cracks,\" it is most likely to happen because, despite having processes in place, there is not fully developed plan to account for the space between queues.\n\nAs an aside, this is the reason that objections to an Assimilation Process (or strategy) fall flat: such an objection is unwarranted because it is confusing CCB project management checklists with an Assimilation Process designed not to be a checklist, but real, face-to-face interaction and fellowship. The two work together and make each process more powerful and together are effective and robust.\n\nIn sum, CCB needs a comprehensive assimilation process just as much as that process needs a comprehensive CCB."},{"_id":"6aeb67bac728f454170000f9","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843556,"position":5.25,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Why Adjustments To This Plan Are Necessary\n\n\"Sanctification is a gift that already belongs to the church, but it is also an ongoing process in which the church is [and christians are] being constantly provoked, challenged, renewed, and reformed by the Spirit, conformed to the image of Christ through God’s Word.\"\n\nMichael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 861.\n\nAlong the way of developing and testing our current assimilation process, however, gaps (or cracks, or voids), have been encountered. \n\n### 1. We actually do not have an assimilation process we have an assimilation concept.\n\nThe difference between a concept and a process is important to point out in this discussion. A concept is general notion or idea; however, a process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. If we call a concept a process, we lay on the concept a load which it is not intended to bear. Likewise, when we are attempting to meet a goal that needs a process, but are using a concept, planned actions seem vague and blurred.\n\nThus, we must know and have in mind two key ideas: the concept of assimilation and the process to achieve the distinct goal of assimilation.\n\n### 2. CCB Manages Backend Processes \n\nThis is redundant to a degree, but it bears repeating. There is no doubt that CCB is a powerful tool to guide actions steps to a particular end of a stated process. If in working with CCB, the tool replaces the one using the tool, (and here we would have the scenario of a process over people), then the people interactions necessary for visitors to become members, we are asking CCB to take on the work of a concept.\n\n### 3. The Assimilation Process is Frontend \n\nMost everyone needs to be involved on the front lines of assimilation. Our work--our labor for the Lord--is the exciting and frenetic work of making disciples. This is the purpose of the Church; therefore, the purpose of an assimilation process is to provide for people in the church a way to unleash their gifts, to get to the point of evangelism, of sharing the Story of the Good News by sharing their life. We need only look at the heyday of the 70s and 80s at Colonial, a two-decade span of time that created the heroes of faith we still talk about, look to, and admire. They understood this best. An assimilation process is ever and always about people loving people."},{"_id":"6adb431d18547ee6920000bc","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7841157,"position":5.5,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Current Membership Types\n\nSo far, we have looked at only two Membership Types: visitor and member. Before we end this section, it is important for the next section to review the current, active, adult Membership Types:\n\n* Associate Contact\n* Attender Non-Member\n* Former Member\n* Member Non-Resident\n* Spouse/Child of Member\n* Visitor-Prospect\n* Clergy\n"},{"_id":"6adb458b18547ee6920000be","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843519,"position":5.875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"# A (Renewed) Assimilation Process"},{"_id":"6af180fc41d2cd834e0000ff","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843520,"position":5.890625,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"The Corinthian church had apparently failed to assimilate Paul’s ways. In the Western world, and especially the American church, there is a similar failure to assimilate the ways of Paul that are the ways of Jesus Christ. Doctrine is assimilated, but life change often does not follow. We can learn from Paul that parents and Christian leaders must model consistently the ways of Christ and teach the patterns [processes] that are illustrated in the specific things they do.\n\n\nAlan F. Johnson, 1 Corinthians, vol. 7, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 84–85."},{"_id":"6adb544418547ee6920000c9","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7835417,"position":5.90625,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Proposal: Add Two New Member Types in CCB\nThe importance of this is for running a report that lists all 1st Time (local) Visitors that do not return. To my knowledge, we do not have this information available. The same for 2nd Time (local) Visitors. \n\n### 1st Time Visitor\n[text]\n\n### 2nd Time Visitor\n[text]"},{"_id":"6adc611c48b38a6acf00006d","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830575,"position":5.921875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"# Preparing for First-Time Visitors"},{"_id":"6adb483d18547ee6920000c2","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7829538,"position":5.96875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### How To Prepare"},{"_id":"6adc569e48b38a6acf000068","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830517,"position":5.9765625,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### The \"Start Here\" Station"},{"_id":"6adc661248b38a6acf00006f","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830587,"position":5.986328125,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### Kids Sign In Can Benefit from Visuals that \"POP\""},{"_id":"6adb473218547ee6920000c1","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830576,"position":5.99609375,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"# The First-Time Visit (FOCUS: To Welcome)"},{"_id":"6adc49ee48b38a6acf000064","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830580,"position":5.998046875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## 1. First Impression (Begins in Parking Lot)"},{"_id":"6adb488b18547ee6920000c3","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830632,"position":5.9990234375,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### Managing First Impression (outdoors)\n\nProposal: A parking lot greeting team."},{"_id":"6adc655c48b38a6acf00006e","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830582,"position":5.999267578125,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### Managing First Impression (indoors)"},{"_id":"6adb4a5d18547ee6920000c4","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830688,"position":5.99951171875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### Greeting (Dress for Welcoming Success)\n\nProposal: Greeting teams (both indoor and outdoor), Seating team, and \"Start Here\" station workers, to have big, bright lanyards to signal to visitor that those are the \"go to\" people for any inquiries or guidance. They could read something like, \"Help Starts Here\".\n"},{"_id":"6adc6ca848b38a6acf000070","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830621,"position":5.999755859375,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### Seating (\"Where would you like to sit today?\")\n\nProposal: Create a Groups serve opportunity for a seating assistance team; a sort of concierge of smiling helpers to assist all people with hospitality and guidance. "},{"_id":"6adb401218547ee6920000ba","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830483,"position":6,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## 2. The Connection Card"},{"_id":"6adb4b5718547ee6920000c6","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830641,"position":6.5,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### Card is Better Than Welcome Book\n\nProposal: Create a Connection Card; retire the welcome books."},{"_id":"6adb6dee18547ee6920000ce","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7829402,"position":6.5625,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### Card is Designed to be Simple (and private)"},{"_id":"6adb46af18547ee6920000c0","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830513,"position":6.625,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### The Every-Week Announcement\n* Tell Visitor What to Do Next"},{"_id":"6adc50a748b38a6acf000067","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830645,"position":6.6875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### Visitor Fills Out Connection Card and Puts in Offering Plate or Takes to \"Start Here\" Station\n\nProposal: Establish a \"Start Here\" station, (or some fresh, movement-oriented moniker). This station is perfect for part of the Group serving."},{"_id":"6adb4c6a18547ee6920000c7","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830509,"position":6.75,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## 3. Visitor Goes to \"Start Here\" Station to Pick-UP Gift"},{"_id":"6adc4e5548b38a6acf000065","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843504,"position":7.0625,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### The \"Start Here\" Station\n\nWhatever the name, a station for picking up the gift and dropping off the Connection Card (if it is still in the visitor's possession) is an important connection point. Regardless of what this station looks like, big or small, the key here is the individual working the station. This person can be a volunteer and could be the first main connection the visitor makes. With this in mind, the volunteer would be:\n\n* Knowledgeable on Wayfinding\n* Understand the Next Steps\n* Be able to Articulate Core Beliefs\n* Possess a Welcoming Spirit\n* Be Up-To-Date on Events at Both Campuses, and\n* Be Comfortable Showing the Visitor What To Do Next. "},{"_id":"6adc4f4f48b38a6acf000066","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830679,"position":7.21875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### The Gift and Information Brochures\n\nAt the \"Start Here\" station, the visitor will come and visit the station. The friendly (and trained) volunteer will give the person the free book, (consider a book, but also make available a Bible if needed).\n\nProposal: To stock a Christian Book that we have found to be very helpful: Prodigal God (Keller), The Case for Faith (Strobel). (Cost: about $7-$9)."},{"_id":"6adb68ab18547ee6920000cc","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830487,"position":7.375,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## 4. Monday Actions From Connections Card"},{"_id":"6adb51a718547ee6920000c8","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830526,"position":7.53125,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### CCB Action 1: Receptionist Adds 1st Time Visitors to CCB, as Member Type \"1st Time Visitors.\" \n\nThe receptionist will continue to email first-time visitors to appropriate recipients."},{"_id":"6adb692418547ee6920000cd","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830649,"position":7.6875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### CCB Action 2: Email from Teaching Pastor\nUsing CCB's Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin, or other assigned) sends out an email welcome to each visitor. The executive admin will want to run this report with the date parameter of yesterday's date.\n\nProposal: Begin sending emails and letters from Pastor Jim West, the visible Teaching Pastor."},{"_id":"6adb839a18547ee6920000cf","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830669,"position":9,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### CCB Action 3: Letter One-Month After 1st Visit\nUsing CCB's Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin, or other assigned) mails a packet including:\n* Letter from Teaching Pastor (worded for connecting).\n* Gift (such as $5 gift card to a coffeehouse).\n* CD of recent message.\n\nThe executive admin will want to run first-time visit report using \"Report Columns\" tab to add this column, but not the \"1st Time visitor\" Membership Type, as it is hoped they will be moved into the \"2nd Time Visitor\" Membership Type.\n\nProposal: One-month letter and gifts sent to visitor, regardless of attendance after first visit. (Cost: about $8 per visitor)."},{"_id":"6adba0a848b38a6acf00005d","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830490,"position":10,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## 5. Wednesday Actions from Connections Card\n\n"},{"_id":"6adba15948b38a6acf00005e","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830660,"position":11,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### CCB Action 4: Letter to 1st Time Visitor\nUsing CCB's Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin) mails a small packet to \"last Sundays\" 1st time visitors. This packet includes:\n* Letter from Teaching Pastor (worded for connecting)\n* Information About Teaching Series (postcard)\n* Gift (such as a $5 gift card to Starbucks)\n\nThis packet is designed to be sent out Wednesday to be received on or before Friday.\n\nProposal: \"Glad to see you\" letter from Teaching Pastor with postcard and gift. (Cost: about $6.00) "},{"_id":"6adbb24d48b38a6acf00005f","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7835435,"position":12,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Summary of 1st Visit\n\nThe purpose of the first week is to focus on Welcoming. Our actions demonstrate this. From the Sunday welcome, hospitality, first impression and free book gift, to the email, letter, and gift from the Teaching Pastor, and the packet with next steps and a gift is to demonstrate \"Welcome\".\n\nTo the first-time visitor, these small actions signal the characteristics of who we are, that we:\n* respect them\n* value them\n* would like to see them again\n* and that we are generous\n\nAll of these characteristics are true, and many more besides. Yet, to the first time visitor, this focused attention and gifts are the tangible expressions of those characteristics."},{"_id":"6adbd26a48b38a6acf000063","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830534,"position":12.25,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"# 2nd-Time Visit (FOCUS: To Connect)"},{"_id":"6adca9e548b38a6acf00007a","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830703,"position":12.3125,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### (All of the Welcoming Points from the 1st-Time visit).\n\nThe pattern is noted by the visitor: \"These people are consistently friendly, helpful, and generous.\" Week after week, consistently offering a welcoming environment forms and reinforces the first impression, but begins to change the culture of established members. After all, every aspect of first-time and second-visitor welcoming focus is also given to all members."},{"_id":"6adc5ac348b38a6acf000069","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830691,"position":12.375,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### Visitor Fills Out Connection Card and Puts in Offering Plate"},{"_id":"6adc5e9548b38a6acf00006c","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830713,"position":12.40625,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## MONDAY ACTIONS FROM CONNECTION CARD"},{"_id":"6adc5c1448b38a6acf00006a","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830715,"position":12.4375,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### CCB Action 5: Receptionist takes 1st Time visitors and moves them to 2nd Time Visitors as Member Type \"2nd Time Visitors.\" \n\nThe receptionist will continue to email second-time visitors to appropriate recipients as well."},{"_id":"6adc5e0648b38a6acf00006b","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830712,"position":12.46875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### CCB Action 6: Email from Teaching Pastor (FOCUS: To Connect)\n\nUsing CCB's Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin, or other assigned) sends out an email welcome to each visitor. The executive admin will want to run this report with the date parameter of yesterday's date."},{"_id":"6adcb70648b38a6acf00007b","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830767,"position":12.484375,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"### CCB Action 7: Letter to 2nd Time Visitor\n\nUsing CCB’s Mail Merge function, teaching pastor (via executive admin) mails a small packet to “last Sundays” 2nd time visitors. \n\nThis packet includes:\n* Letter from Teaching Pastor (worded for connecting)\n* Gift (appreciated by Target Audience)\n\nThis packet is designed to be sent out Wednesday to be received on or before Friday. \n\n<b>A gift idea here for 2nd Time visitors could be:</b> \n* a nice thumb drive (our Logo on it), with a Groups Finder PDF and three Sermons on a universal format. \n* a free book from the Colonial Store on Amazon.\n* An Amazon Gift Card\n* An Amazon Movie Gift Card, \"A movie is on us!\"\n\nProposal: “How About Connecting” letter from Teaching Pastor with postcard and gift. (Cost: about $6.00 - $8.00)"},{"_id":"6ae45d2e06fb0cebf40000f2","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7835442,"position":12.48828125,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Summary of 2nd Visit\n\nThe purpose of the second visit is to focus on Connecting. Our actions demonstrate this. From the Sunday welcome, hospitality, first impression and free book gift, to the email, letter, and gift from the Teaching Pastor, and the packet with next steps and a gift is to demonstrate \"Welcome\".\n\nTo the first-time visitor, these small actions signal the characteristics of who we are, that we:\n* respect them\n* value them\n* would like to see them again\n* and that we are generous\n\nAll of these characteristics are true, and many more besides. Yet, to the first time visitor, this focused attention and gifts are the tangible expressions of those characteristics."},{"_id":"6adccd1248b38a6acf00007d","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843940,"position":12.4921875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## From Visitor to Regular Attender"},{"_id":"6adccfcd48b38a6acf00007f","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7845046,"position":12.494140625,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Finding Fellowship is Critical (or we lose them)\n\n### Conversations for Keeps\nIf first-time and second-time visitors do not connect with someone soon, they will disappear. It is worth remembering that we are presenting to each visitor not a product for sale, but a worldview to consider. It is also worth remembering that it is not word of mouth, a new building, a marketing campaign, or our Pastor's message that ultimately draws people to our Church. Ever and always, it is the work of the Holy Spirit.\n\nBob shared a story of a lady he invited from his neighborhood and she came. She visited once, twice, and continued to visit the Quivira campus for almost a year. She sat in the very back seats of the church and remain unconnected. Eventually, she stopped showing up and has not been seen in church since. Considering how remarkable of a length of stay, Bob mentioned that she didn't talk to anyone--did anyone talk to her? Surely someone must have, and if so, was it a conversation for keeps?\n\nA Conversation for Keeps (my term) is a conversation that is contextual on both the Macro- and Micro-level. How we contextualize the Gospel proclamation to the suburbs is likely not going to work as a contextual model for the city. For this reason, any comprehensive assimilation process will itself exist on a macro-level scale, it will assume a multi-campus strategy while the actual experience of the visitor is always on the mico-level experience of interacting with \"this\" particular campus at \"this\" particular time. Said another way, it is the local setting, with normal church-going people, that the visitor encounters and will (or will not) converse with that forms the first-impression\n\nWith this in mind, a comprehensive assimilation process, existing on the macro-level, will evidence consistent, planned actions that produce macro-level positive first impressions. This broad process can guarantee that the framework is in place for a good first impression, but with recruiting, training, and practice (and more practice) on the micro-level aspects of engagement, the visitor will indeed experience a good first impression.\n\n### Shared Behaviors on the Micro-Level\nReviewing a wonderful book by Lee Cockerell, The Customer Rules, I saw several principles that put words to some of these micro-level actions the church manages that are so important to an assimilation process. I have altered them for our needs and this is not an exhaustive list, but I believe the handful here can help us describe better a set of shared behavior that encourages, not impedes, the visitor existing in his worldview enter the Christian worldview and become engaged and serving in their unique calling:\n\n### 1. Top-Down Principle.\nLeaders (and it must come from leaders) in the church recognize that sustained growth and growing fellowship depend on a church's ability to generate consistent, ongoing, and excellent engagement that keeps visitor coming back and singing their praises, (without having to be in the choir).\n\n### 2. The High Cost of a Shoddy Impression\nIn the world of business, a great deal of money allocated to promote a service or product can be shot down instantly through a scathing Tweet or Facebook post. There is a reason why every major for-profit company is binged when a #(hashtag) appears next to their name, or why iTunes App developers plead with displeased users to contact them before posting a negative review. Truly that is a high cost.\n\nIn the church, however, the cost can be, quite literally, infinitely higher. If, by our lack of a commitment to a consistently welcoming experience and relevant follow-through with visitors, we drive someone away from the proclamation of the Gospel the cost may well be eternal. That may sound like a scare-tactic, but even if for a couple looking to get back into church and they have heard about our church, come, but were not surprised by a lasting, positive first impression, such a miss might not even register as a miss on their radar, but they may not come back. Missing an opportunity at any point in life to engage in the high calling to which God summons us in His Son is a costly miss, for the unbeliever and the disconnected believer.\n\n### 3. To Visitors, Small Things ARE the Big Things\n\nCockerell writes, \"Great [organizations] keep a keen eye on the basics at all times. Like great athletes, they know that mastering the fundamentals makes all the difference between success and failure—-that you can’t expect to hit a game-winning home run before you’ve mastered swinging the bat . . . the seemingly small things are easy to overlook, but they can set your company apart.\" To visitor so the church, the small things are the big things.\n\nCockerell, Lee (2013-03-05). The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service (pp. 13-14). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.\n\nIn Christian retail, it was always the small, simple things rehearsed daily, corrected gently but constantly when not practiced, that made all of the difference in my own stores customer service. I believe many people do not like to compare the church with business, even a Christian business, but it is important to borrow wisdom when we find it. \n\n### 4. To Visitors, it is an Emotional Trip.\nA great first impression is about emotions, or feelings. Does the church feel friendly? Does the experience feel inviting? Was the preaching powerful (that's a feeling)? Do I want to experience this again (feeling)?\n\nSam Walton often related the story of how he and his team would visit the competition, and he never allowed his team to tell him what the competition was doing wrong, only what they were doing right. The purpose of Walton's field trips was to create a better experience for his customers. Walton knew that such an experience creates an emotional connection. Cockerell says it this way, \"[visitors] need the emotional satisfaction of being treated like the most important people in the world.\" True, Jesus is the most important person in the World, but for the Lord of Life who died upon the cross for each of them, Jesus considered each of them so important as to die in their place. As His ambassadors, there is no objection to putting each of them above our own comfort and needs. We need only recall the Acts 4 church.\n\nCockerell, Lee (2013-03-05). The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service (p. 11). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. \n\n\n### 4. The Mandate of Excellence\nOne place where there is always concern is in the setting of high expectations when volunteers are involved. Expect too much and volunteers may flee, or that is the fear. We need volunteers to capture the vision of the essential importance of the visitor to the degree that what sacrifice is called for (by way of time, commitment, attitude, and training) it is nothing compared to the importance of the guest visiting us today. One of my own mentors, my direct supervisor no less, was a master of organizational growth. He would often tell me as one of his store manager, \"set your expectations and don't back down. People will either rise to them or they won't.\" \n\nThis sage advice is echoed in Cockerell's book. \"I have found that setting high expectations will not cost your company one single cent. It does take time and energy, though, because it’s not enough just to set these expectations, you have to communicate them with candor, clarity, and not a shred of ambiguity. Don’t just assume your team members know what’s expected of them. Tell them. And tell them again. Tell them in every way you can dream up.\" \n\nCockerell, Lee (2013-03-05). The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service (pp. 58-59). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.\n\nThere are many more principles that Cockerell lays out in his book, thirty-five more in fact, and most are easily translated into that moment of time and place when a visitor enters Colonial for the very first time. I highly recommend his book for further review. These four principles here are a good first step in discussing how to implement micro-level engagement church-wide."},{"_id":"6adccd7b48b38a6acf00007e","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843477,"position":12.49609375,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## From Regular Attender to Member\n\n\"It is highly recommended that some kind of class on what the church believes be available for people before they become members of the church. Assimilation is much more permanent when new members have already taken a class before making a commitment to Christ and the church.\"\n\nGuthrie Veech, Christian Minister’s Manual (Cincinnati, OH: Standard, 2006), 52."},{"_id":"6adcd19448b38a6acf000080","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830781,"position":12.498046875,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## New Membership Format"},{"_id":"6adbcccd48b38a6acf000061","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830888,"position":12.5,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Grow Groups (An Catalyst of Assimilation)"},{"_id":"6adcd22f48b38a6acf000081","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7830886,"position":12.625,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Caveat: A Potential Hiccup with Groups\n\nAs Colonial's Groups are a key component for the Assimilation Process, they can and will be catalytic. Thus, any obstacles that limits our Groups to be catalytic, would send a ripple through the Assimilation Process. \n\nOne potential area of concern is that, for the Fall 2016 trimester, many groups remained on a different calendar other than our promoted, Trimester groups. A higher-than-expected percentage of Groups offered remain on a Semester, School Year, or Never-Ending schedule. \n\nThis can work, and it may offer surprising variety to visitors. It is possible, however, that it will be more difficult for Visitors to find fellowship in existing classes--especially if these classes remain our primary offering on Sundays. I offer this as a potential problem to be considered and discussed."},{"_id":"6adbd0ed48b38a6acf000062","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7829572,"position":12.75,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Member Management"},{"_id":"6adbcc2e48b38a6acf000060","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7829567,"position":13,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"## Care Prayer"},{"_id":"6af17afc41d2cd834e0000fe","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843508,"position":14,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"# Appendix 1: Suggested Proposals"},{"_id":"6adb5aca18547ee6920000ca","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843927,"position":15,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: add two new Member Types in CCB.\n\n* 1st Time Visitor\n* 2nd Time Visitor\n\nThe importance of this is for running a report that lists all 1st Time (local) Visitors that do not return. To my knowledge, we do not have this information available. The same for 2nd Time (local) Visitors. \n\n"},{"_id":"6adc830c48b38a6acf000072","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843928,"position":16,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: A parking lot greeting team."},{"_id":"6adca7fa48b38a6acf000079","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843929,"position":17,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: Greeting teams (both indoor and outdoor), Seating team, and \"Start Here\" station workers, to have big, bright lanyards to signal to visitor that those are the \"go to\" people for any inquiries or guidance. They could read something like, \"Help Starts Here\"."},{"_id":"6adc7cb848b38a6acf000071","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843930,"position":18,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: Seating Team.\nCreate a Groups serve opportunity for a seating assistance team; a sort of concierge of smiling helpers to assist all people with hospitality and guidance. "},{"_id":"6adc856848b38a6acf000073","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843931,"position":19,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: Create a Connection Card; retire the welcome books."},{"_id":"6adc89b348b38a6acf000074","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843932,"position":20,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: Establish a \"Start Here\" station, (or some fresh, movement-oriented moniker). This station is perfect for part of the Group serving."},{"_id":"6adc9f3848b38a6acf000078","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843933,"position":21,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: To stock a Christian Book that we have found to be very helpful: Prodigal God (Keller), The Case for Faith (Strobel). (Cost: about $7-$9)."},{"_id":"6adc8c1648b38a6acf000075","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843934,"position":22,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: Begin sending emails and letters from Pastor Jim West, the visible Teaching Pastor."},{"_id":"6adc90af48b38a6acf000076","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843935,"position":23,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: One-month letter from Teaching Pastor and gifts sent to visitor, regardless of attendance after first visit. (Cost: about $8 per visitor)."},{"_id":"6adc93b548b38a6acf000077","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843936,"position":24,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: First visit \"Glad to see you\" letter from Teaching Pastor with included series postcard and gift. (Cost: about $6.00) "},{"_id":"6adcc91848b38a6acf00007c","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843937,"position":25,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: Second visit “How About Connecting” letter from Teaching Pastor with postcard and gift. (Cost: about $6.00 - $8.00)"},{"_id":"6aebbb1ec728f454170000fc","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843938,"position":26,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: To share with every user of CCB their Role-Based Privileges, Processes they manage, forms they manage, and Queues they manage each year. This will lead not only to much greater engagement with CCB, but will help everyone remove outdated material and Role-Based users no longer active in the process."},{"_id":"6aebbb62c728f454170000fd","treeId":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","seq":7843939,"position":27,"parentId":"6adb31ff18547ee6920000b2","content":"Proposal: That we keep a current CCB tutorial on the U:/ drive at all times, updated yearly. This is easy to do by visiting the page for a particular instruction, choosing \"print\", then changing printer to PDF, and clicking the box \"remove extra material\"."}],"tree":{"_id":"6adb316018547ee6920000af","name":"Assimilation","publicUrl":"6adb316018547ee6920000af"}}