Assimilation is such a hot topic and major issue that I spent an entire chapter in Connecting in Communities on it.  It is something that can be discussed every day…and hopefully practiced everyday.   This blog gives you some ideas from the book and I used twitter to surface additional ideas on assimilation. So here are the bullets with a little explanation.

GroupLink style event:  an on-campus, casual,  large event where you help SG Leaders with perspective members.  This is for new groups as well as open groups.  One added comment from a follower: “if you have an event, have ‘assimilators’ introduce perspective members to various leaders. It is kind of hard to walk away from a leader who is trying to talk you into joining their group…and you don’t want to or not sure yet.”

On campus large groups: offer an on-going, on-campus class that helps people meet others, study God’s Word are assisted in starting or joining a small group.

Start new groups: this can be a seasonal or on-going effort to discover apprentices who are ready to take over current group or step out and start a new group.  We are finding it easier for leaders to step out and leave current group with their apprentice.

Be a neighbor: God has placed you in the home in which you live…for a purpose.  Meet your neighbors.  Host events.  Watch for God at work. Invite to a cookout.  Start a group or add to your current group.  Some churches even map their church members by neighborhood to help discover opportunities for them to connect with other members and form a group.

Web-based self assimilation List your groups on-line; with address, area of town, interests, focus, study, etc.  Perspective group members can then click on an email link of a group they are interested in joining.

Visit groups: one suggestion was to have open house for small groups over a month’s time. List the groups, where they meet and let perspective members visit them.  That way you see groups in action (and what kind of food they serve).

Visitor lists:  Who is God sending to your church?  I had a softball coach who would watch for new comers to the church who looked like softball players.  Then he would politely approach them and asked them about their athletic interest…then recruit them for his team.  Three city championship titles may say this is a proven method for assimilation.  ha

Please comment with other ideas you have seen work, OR not work.  We want to learn from all of your experiences.