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What is Assimilation?

A quick search of the Internet will reveal a number of definitions for the ministry of assimilation. The most common definitions are as follows:

  • Making and Maturing believers
  • Develop fully functioning members
  • A Process to Help People Find Their Place in Your Church
  • Provide the new individual with a sense of belonging.
  • Assimilation is the process in which the church welcomes and receives a member of the body of Christ into the body of believers.

Assimilate is defined by euporia.com as: "To include into the larger whole; to involve; to make one."

Dictionary.com defines the word ‘assimilate’ a: ‘to take in and incorporate as one’s own; absorb.’

 

The concept of bringing in new people or members is not new. Many of us will remember the old gospel hymn “bringing in the sheave”. As a child, I always wondered what a sheave was, but now I understand it to mean any new member or soul that has been added to the kingdom of God.

The church has always had as its purpose the spreading of the gospel and bringing in new people. Only in the last couple decades have we assigned the word assimilate, to this process. Churches have added Ministers of Assimilation, and Assimilation Classes, and a whole new industry has been invented for the purpose of teaching church assimilation.

The idea of assimilation is not new to Scripture. In fact, in Ephesians we find Paul talking about this very concept. Eph. 2:19, (The Message) says "The kingdom of faith is now your home country. You are no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here..."  Jesus intended new people to come into the kingdom of God and to call it their home. His final commission to his followers was to go into all the world, beginning in Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the world and make disciples.

The church should be actively involved in bringing in new people and making them feel at home. Incorporating them into every aspect of your church and the kingdom is the mission God has given to each of us.

This course has taken the concept of assimilation and added to it the idea of integration. The reason for the addition is quite simple; not only are we to assimilate or bring in new members, but we must make changes to our own organization as we integrate their skills, passions, abilities and calling.

Every new member that is assimilated comes with a predetermined and preset calling by God, and experience that adds to the whole. It is these new experiences, skills, and passions that cause growth in our organizations and inspire all of us as we learn from each other.

Assimilation and integration therefore is not just a program, which can be instituted, but a way of thinking and a means of allowing the Holy Spirit to move in all of our churches and to expand the kingdom of God as Jesus intended it.