In Part 1, I began sharing about a simple, two-part system for medium classes with 15-25 in attendance which will enable them to carry out their ministry effectively. For a quick overview of the two parts of the system, check out Balancing First Impression and Connection in Sunday School. The two parts are class greeters and care group leaders–but with a slightly different twist.
Let me review how Part 1 works. Each class has at least two greeters who welcome and register guests, sit with and introduce them, and after class walk guests to find children, restrooms, and worship. In worship, they sit with and introduce guests to those nearby. At the end of worship, class greeters thank guests for attending, ask if they had any questions, and walk them to find preschoolers and the parking lot. Then in 48-72 hours, greeters call guests to let them know how much they enjoyed being with them in class and worship, invite them to a class fellowship, share and ask for prayer requests, and pray together. After the call, greeters pass the baton (contact information and responsibility to continue care) to class care group leaders.
Let me review how Part 2 works. Care group leaders care for 3-5 enrolled members and 3-5 guests/prospects. They make contact weekly: invite to an upcoming class fellowship or project, share/ask for prayer requests, share about the upcoming lesson, and pray together. On Sunday, care groups gather for five minutes to take roll, share prayer requests, pray together about needs and assigned guests/prospects. Care groups plan two class fellowships and one class outreach/ministry project each quarter. Also, care group leaders pray for, enlist, and train apprentices. They meet monthly to check on care and apprentice progress, hold groups accountable, handle problems, and prepare for communication. When lesson plans call for group work, it would be natural for the teacher to gather the care groups. The care group leader or apprentice would serve as facilitator. The care group can also hold each other accountable to practice a daily quiet time, employ spiritual disciplines, and participate in discipleship experiences.
In Part 3, we will look at a way to adjust the two-part system so it works even more simply in a small class (under 15) where the number of persons willing to take a position of class responsibility is more limited. Here is the adjustment: To the list of responsibilities of care group leaders, add one more–responsibility to serve as class greeters. In other words, the two-part system becomes one-part. In a class of three members with only one care group leader, he/she is the greeter along with the teacher. In a class with fifteen members, there would be 3-5 care group leaders who would serve as greeters on a rotating basis.
One advantage that this adjustment would bring to the small class is the opportunity for the greeter who began the relationship with guests to continue it in the weeks following. One disadvantage would be that fewer people would be seeking to establish a relationship with the guest from the beginning–since the greeter and the care group leader are the same person. But in the small class, the teacher will need to (and often does) step into that role. He/she will work to develop connections with guests. Remember : some people just prefer small classes. Make them very caring!
How are you doing with your class greeters (review Part 1) and your care groups (review Part 2)? What change could you make in your system to strengthen your care and class ministry? What are you doing to involve your class members, connect with your guests, and make sure your class ministry gets done? I want to invite you to consider one more “elaboration” on the two-part system in Part 4 of this series. Enlist, train, and deploy class greeters and care group leaders immediately. Touch every life. Be revolutionary!