In a revolutionary class, effective work is not left to chance. A clear plan is in place. Goals are set. There is an understanding of the importance of the work and how the work contributes toward the Kingdom. People have assignments for carrying out significant pieces of the work. Revolutionary classes are never confused like Costello about “Who’s on First?”
One of the ways an adult class contributes to the work of the Kingdom is by being intentional about the assimilation of new class members. A care group leader is assigned to help the new member walk through the first few months together. The class secretary monitors the new member’s attendance in order to encourage the class to care for him/her well.
The teacher works to get to know the new member in between and during class sessions. Having gotten to know the new member, the teacher is able to encourage the spiritual development of the new member. The prayer leader regularly leads the class to thank God for the new member and pray for the needs of new members. The ministry leader seeks to discover the gifts of the new member and find a place for the new member to serve (not just in busywork, but in the Kingdom). Class members intentionally work to develop a relationship with the new member. They work to be friends–not just friendly.
But a revolutionary class is not one-dimensional in its focus on the new member. In other words, because the revolutionary class cares, it works together with the church to assimilate the new member. Someone in class makes sure the new member has completed new member orientation. They explain church events and seek to involve the new member in appropriate opportunities outside of class, such as Discipleship, Women’s Ministry, etc. They work to connect the new member with other members who have similar affinities.
A revolutionary class is not only aware of, but works to encourage, the characteristics of an assimilated church member:
- identifies with the goals of the church,
- attends worship services regularly,
- experiences spiritual growth and progress,
- becomes a member of the Body,
- has 5-10 new friends in the church,
- has an appropriate task or role that matches spiritual giftedness,
- is involved in a meaningful way in a small group,
- regularly tithes to the church, and
- participates in the Great Commission by spreading the Good News to friends and relatives (Arn, Beyond, pp. 49-55).
Don’t react after the person has dropped out. Be proactive! Consider him/her your ministry. Assign him/her to one individual. Take a church and Kingdom perspective. Own the responsibility. Dedicate yourself to assimilate the individual. Be intentional. Be revolutionary!