There are two essential times when care is needed: (1) when members or prospects are in need and (2) all the time. Even regular attenders can drop out when care is absent. The group contacts those attending regularly because they care and to discover any needs. These are also the reasons for all contacts–whether with regulars, dropouts, or prospects.
Could your group benefit from caring contacts right now? Most could. Caring contacts are important in times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic as well as nonstressful times. Consider this care project right now:
Gather a small planning team. Pray together about reaching out in care to group members. The goal is contact with every member. Enlist regular attenders to help. Schedule a week to carry out this project, but be persistent in care until every member has been contacted.
Share this suggested sample call or text conversation. Two-way conversation is the goal. The caring contact goes something like this:
Mary, how have you been? (Listen with concern.) Because we care, we are calling every member and updating our contact records. Do you have time to tell me if what we have for you is correct? Thanks. (Share address, home and mobile phones, and email; ask if she has any that are missing.) Mary, how can we pray for you and your family. How can the group or church help you right now? (Listen with concern; write it down.) Do you have time for me to pray with you right now? (Be sensitive to the answer; pray together if possible.) Mary, it was good to talk with you. We will keep you in our prayers. Thanks.
You may be thinking, couldn’t I just cut out all the chit chat and just ask for the updated contact information? No, no, a thousand times NO! The point is care, prayer, and the discovery of any needs. Asking for updated contact information is simply an excuse to be thoroughly caring–even with regular attenders.
The point is care, prayer, and the discovery of any needs.
Most groups will discover outdated contact information. It may take much work to find some dropouts, and a few may not be found. But the effort will be worth every minute spent by every person. The care expressed may re-enable relational connections. Discovery of needs may allow ministry to take place. Updating contact information may prevent dropouts.
Care matters. Use this care project as a shot-in-the-arm to do the care that your group needs to be doing all the time. Then keep on praying and caring for each other.
Caring for Prospects
I want to challenge you to then move to the next step: do this care project for prospects and then continue caring for them. Ask prospects if you can add them to your prayer, party, and care list (enrollment). Get updated contact information. Invite them to your parties, projects, and group times. And continue regular caring contacts with prayer. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!