Can you think of someone who was baptized at Patmos in the last year and you have not seen him or her at church in a while? The answer is likely "yes". Do you know where the person is? The answer is likely "no". Quite a number of persons become baptized members and then disappear. How do we prevent this?
First, every person baptized should be matched with a member who is similar in age, gender, marital status, and parental status. This member would have the responsibility of being "best buddy" to the newly baptized individual.
Is the new member attending Sabbath School and church regularly? Does the new member have any questions about Biblical doctrine or church operations?
Does the new member have plans for Sabbath dinner? What church activities are available? All of these things are the responsibility of the "best buddy".
Second, within two weeks of baptism, every newly baptized member gets a face to face visit from the pastor. The purpose of the visit is for the pastor to introduce himself in a less formal setting and get to know the member. Is there anything the church can do to assist the member in his or her religious growth?
Third, within 30 days of baptism, and every month thereafter, for one year, the newly baptized member gets a face to face visit from an elder, the same elder. Again, the purpose of the visit is to get to know the member and to find out what the church can do to assist in his or her religious growth.
Fourth, we need to understand that all individuals are different. We must develop activities that meet the needs of every member. Every person does not respond to Sabbath sermons and Wednesday night sermonettes. Some persons need activities where there is more active participation.
Studies have shown that if a new member makes friends and his or her religious needs are met, he or she does not leave the church. We need to take note and act accordingly.