Church growth must be intentional. By the same token, new convert retention must be intentional as well. Without a well-organized discipleship plan, most churches will only keep 10¬20% of their converts each year. With a good plan, you can see well over 50% retention.
There are two important elements to a well-developed plan: (1) appoint a new convert care (NCC) director, and (2) assign a care partner to each new convert. The ministry director makes sure every convert is being cared for and no one slips through the cracks. The care partner does the work that ensures that the three key elements of new convert care are being enacted. These three elements are Instruction, Fellowship, and Involvement. If these three areas are addressed for every convert, you can expect the highest retention possible.
Instruction: First Week Counseling, home Bible study, and new members class. As the name suggests, the same week a person is baptized or receives the Holy Ghost, someone sits down with the convert and covers the basic information they need to survive Satan’s attack (daily prayer, daily Bible reading, faithful church attendance). They are also set up with a home Bible study (taught in their home by the care partner) and enrolled in the New Member’s Class (taught at the church).
Fellowship: Dinner Ministry and Quarterly socials. The Care Partner works with the NCC director to assign families in the church to invite the new convert over for dinner or to go out after church for fellowship. A different family each month for 12 months. The point of this is to help the convert to make friends in the church. If they fail to make friends, they will return to their friends in the world. Once a quarter, all the new converts and their care partners get together for a social outing. Fun, food, fellowship and friends are made.
Involvement: the Care Partner invites the convert to become involved in whatever areas of ministry they are involved in. They mentor their convert to be involved with them. Then, in the New Member’s Class, they are given a Service Gifts Analysis quiz that shows them what areas of ministry they are naturally gifted in. The NCC director works with the convert to get them plugged into a second ministry that will help them grow and mature in their Christian walk.