The assumption I would choose as the most important is assumption number two: “The church, rather than Mary, is responsible for her incorporation into the body” (p. 139). While I chose this one as most important, I believe that it must go along with assumption number three; “The people who brought Mary to Christ must have the primary responsibility to help her become an active member” (p. 139). I believe this because the church as a whole, individually and corporately, must help a new believer find their way into the workings of how the particular church is run.
If you are an active member, you would most likely know what your church offers for new believers to grow and become active and serving. Corporately, the church must have some kind of program that leads the new believer from entrance into the church to knowing where they can serve and in what capacity they have in using their gifts and talents for the good of all who attend that church. Individually, whether it be family, friend, or someone who has been at the church for many years, should take the new member in hand and walk him/her through the process of getting to know the leaders of all the places to serve, as well as the leaders of the church to find out what the vision for the church as a whole is.
It is unfortunate that a lot of churches do neither and let good, God-loving, desiring-to-serve the Lord, members slip thru their fingers. There are church leaders that don’t even ask what your gifts are and expect you plug yourself into the program, as if you know exactly where to go and who to talk to. I believe that this is why most churches don’t grow past a certain number or continue the decline in numbers. They don’t always make a person feel welcomed enough for them to feel as if you really want them to stay. In my experience, the bigger the church, the easier it is getting lost in it, both physically as well as spiritually.
Arn, W., Arn, C. (1982, 1998). The master’s plan for making disciples. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.