In Part 1, I shared the reason many Sunday Schools are declining is that they have not identified or invited Sunday School prospects. I also defined prospects this way: “Sunday School prospects are men, women, boys, and girls not enrolled in Sunday School for whom we have a name and contact information.” Then I listed categories of prospects: Sunday School guests, worship guests, guests in other church ministries, guests during church special events, church members not enrolled in Sunday School, family members of church and Sunday School members, friends and neighbors, associates, and acquaintances.
At the end of Part 1 and then in Part 2, I shared ways to discover prospects. In Part 3, I will share methods for setting up a good record system to keep up with prospects and record contacts. Right from the beginning, let me be clear: identifying and discovering prospects does little good unless you actively care for them. And if you have a poor system for assignment and follow up, you will be unlikely to sustain efforts to care.
With that having been said, let’s examine some very simple poor, better, and best prospect record systems:
- POOR. A Master list is maintained on which each prospect discovered has his/her name and contact information recorded in a notebook, file card box, or computer (one prospect per page) in the church (or Sunday School) office. Assignments are made by copying the prospect information and distributing it to those who should be responsible or will make contact. When a prospect joins the church and Sunday School, that information is noted on the prospect’s page. Weaknesses: all assignments have to initiated by the church (or Sunday School) office; there is no system for reporting results of contacts.
- BETTER. Same system as POOR but with this addition: prospect information is regularly assigned for contacts to be made, and reports of those contacts are expected to be reported. The results of those contacts are written into the notebook. Weakness: all assignments have to initiated by the church (or Sunday School) office
- BEST. Same system as BETTER but with this addition: each Sunday School class now has a notebook which has specifically assigned prospects assigned out of the Master list which is kept in the church (or Sunday School) office. Contacts are assigned by the class and results recorded in the class notebook. When a prospect is discovered by the class, the information is shared with the church (or Sunday School) office. When a prospect joins the Sunday School, the prospect’s information is removed from the class notebook and sent to the church (or Sunday School) office with an explanation.
Where is your prospect system? What is its weakness? What steps do you need to take to strengthen it? In Part 4, I will share ideas for inviting and enrolling prospects. Look through the prospect definitions in Part 1 and the discovery means in Part 2. What steps do you need to take to identify and discover prospects? Pray. Start asking questions. Start seeking prospects. Starting inviting. Be revolutionary.