Home visits still work. Yes, we have to be sensitive to community rules. Some gated communities don’t allow solicitation and would require us to make appointments in order to visit in a home there. But face-to-face contact tends to be more impacting than written or verbal (cards, letters, e-mail, and phone calls). And often people are waiting for us to come.
My experience is that very few people hate visits to their homes, and a little sensitivity to the timing of your visit in their plans can relieve that situation. If they look like they are rushing out the door, you may need to make a quick visit on the front porch or schedule another visit at a more convenient time.
But there are more ways to make visits for Sunday School than just a home visit. Appointments can be made to visit at a neutral site, such as a restaurant for a meal or coffee. In today’s fast-paced culture, we may have to start early for breakfast or meet during lunch. We may also ask about stopping by their office. Or we may visit at a ball game or other community activity. Buy an extra ticket and invite them to go with you!
We can also invite them to our homes, perphaps for a leisurely meal. We can play games, watch movies, or just talk. A visit in our home allows us to get to know one another without our guests feeling any pressure to clean their house to prepare for our visit. Not long after visiting the Sunday School class in which my wife and I are now members, one of the couples in the class invited us to their home for a meal. We had a great time talking and getting to know one another. Our relationship with that couple continues to be strong and contributed to our decision to join the class.
Certainly, inviting prospects and worship and Sunday School guests to class fellowships is another way to accomplish face-to-face contact. In fact, it can often be some of the most effective visitation in which we can participate. Such a setting can allow prospects and guests to have fun with and get to know a broader group of people in the class. It can lead to discovery of affinities (areas of common interest) which contribute to relationship-building.
There are many methods of visitation in which a Sunday School can participate. LifeWay has published materials for two different strategies: G.R.O.W.: Outreach Teams That Win and FAITH Sunday School Evangelism. G.R.O.W. stands for God Rewards Our Work. The principles of G.R.O.W. include the following which can be found on a website for Green Valley Baptist Church in Birmingham:
Sowing & Reaping – If you do not sow you cannot reap. We are called to sow.
Involving Every Member – There is a place for every person: child care, praying, letter writing, phone calling, visiting (homebound, missing Sunday School members, visitors, prospects)
Outreach is FUN – A time of fellowship and celebration each week
Making Quality Time Greater Than Quantity Time. A person committing to GROW will serve 1 hr 15min a month or just 15 hours a year.
Reaching Out by Divine Appointment – God sets up the team with the people who need to be visited. We assign them, but God is aware of who goes to whom and what is needed in the visit.
FAITH Sunday School Evangelism is currently undergoing a revision that will m ake it available to any church interested without having to attend a FAITH Clinic. The semester of FAITH will be shortened and the presentation will have some revision as well. Interestingly, LifeWay has also produced a downloadable document entitld, G.R.O.W. Meets FAITH. Revise FAITH materials will be available toward the end of 2007.
Reach out by divine appointment. Make a visit. You, they, and our Lord will be glad you did. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!