Revolutionary Sunday School cares for members and prospects. Keeping good records enables effective ministry and care. What kind of Sunday School records are needed for effective ministry and care? Consider these five critical types of records:
- MEMBER CONTACT. In order to communicate with each other, keep attendance records, and minister to one another, member contact records are needed. Contact information needed includes name, address, phone, email address, birth date, anniversary, and any other helpful information to provide member communication and care. This information is often connected to attendance records.
- ATTENDANCE. This includes a record of times when present or absent from the class. Attendance records can include other helpful information about the weekly discipleship efforts of the individual, such as contacts made, lesson studied, Bible read, and more. The minimum is keeping up with weekly attendance in order to notice and minister in times of absence. This can be done with paper or electronic rolls, but access to weekly attendance for the past few weeks is needed in order to notice and respond to changing attendance patterns.
- MEMBER MINISTRY. Records should be kept for contact and ministry efforts extended toward class members. Not only should the teacher invest relational time outside of class with each class member, but the class should be mobilized to respond in care during times of absence and need. Brief notes about those contacts and ministry efforts should be recorded. This helps build upon ministry efforts rather than to start over each time. Usually the note should include date, class member(s) making the contact/ministry effort, and a brief description of what was done/discovered. Nothing confidential should be recorded.
- PROSPECT CONTACT. In order to focus on, pray for, contact, care for, and invite prospects, prospect contact records are needed. Like member records, these should include name, address, phone, email address, birth date, anniversary, and any other helpful information to provide member communication and care.
- PROSPECT MINISTRY. Like member ministry records, records should be kept for contact and ministry efforts extended toward prospects. The teacher should be an example of praying for and reaching out to prospects. When the teacher or any member prays for, contacts, cares for, or invites a prospect, those efforts are recorded. Again, this helps others who will follow to build upon previous ministry efforts.
There are three levels of records needed in every Sunday School:
- MASTER. These are copies of member and prospect contact information kept by the church and/or Sunday School. They are updated weekly.
- CLASS. These are copies of member and prospect contact information and ministry efforts which are kept by the class. They are updated weekly.
- ASSIGNMENT. These are records that can be assigned to class members to make member or prospect contacts. They should never be the only copy of records since they could be lost. Results of these assignments should be recorded and shared with the teacher and/or the class (unless confidential). These are assigned and reported weekly.
From your experiences, what would you add? Are you missing some of the pieces listed? What can you do today to strengthen your member care and outreach through revolutionary record keeping?