After a person has joined the church, the next step in the process is for them to ENGAGE through small groups and discipleship. Small groups are an important element in disciple-making and need to be a central element to the assimilation of new members.  The new member in a church can feel lost in the crowd, but a small group setting like Sunday School affords them the opportunity to build close relationships with and to be ministered to in a more personal manner. 

This step, ENCOURAGE, is the make or break moment for the maturity of the member.  Many members are content to sit back and let the professionals, i.e. paid staff, do the work of ministry.  However, that is not a biblical understanding of the Christian’s responsibility to the church.  A member who engages through a small group is much less likely to leave, but that is not the end goal for the Christian.  A member who begins encouraging others through service in the body is much more productive for the kingdom. 

After a member begins serving at the church, there is still one step they need to take.  We want and desire service to the body of the church, but we want and desire for the kingdom to EXPAND.  Members need to understand their responsibility to take the gospel in both verbal and active forms to the community, country, and world.  Again, the church will need to provide venues for members to take the gospel out, but at this point in the development, it is also logical to assume that members will begin taking initiative in outreach and evangelism. 

Any process will be more effective if it is evaluated. This proposal can be evaluated on an individual and church wide level following implementation using the following checklist/visual or a variation thereof.

The Old Testament book of Nehemiah provides some great material for a leadership case study. It’s not primarily a leadership manual, don’t get me wrong; Nehemiah is about God and His people first and foremost. Nonetheless, let me encourage you to read it again with the following outline in mind: