In Part 1, I asked what can teachers do to increase attendance faithfulness? What can be done to improve regularity? In a post entitled Irregularity: Addressing Every-Other-Week Class Attenders, I concluded that “irregular attendance is likely a symptom of a lack of connection in Sunday School.” In that post I shared 14 ways we can “address those relational dynamics in an effort to impact irregular attendance.”
How Can Faithfulness Be Improved?
In Part 1, I shared the first four ways to improve attendance faithfulness: follow up, express genuine care, notice attendance pattern change, and use care groups. Then in Part 2, I shared five more ways: contact absentees, plan fellowships, plan projects, give responsibility, and pray together. In Part 3, I will share the final five ways. Consider the following:
Communicate how upcoming lessons will help them to live out their Christian lives in the world. Share this with attenders and absentees. Help them see how lessons are relevant. A thirty second summary is enough. This gives them one more reason to return.
Explain the benefits of regular attendance for themselves and their children. Explain the benefits (positives) without dwelling on the negative or guilt. This can be done with the class as a whole, but will likely be necessary individually with absentees. Help parents see the value of faithfulness for their children.
Have an attendance and/or contact competition with another class during a quarter. Sometimes we need reminders to do the good we should be doing regularly. The purpose is to lift up contacts and care for absentees (and/or prospects) for a concentrated period of time. Reward good work. Encourage relationship development.
Use icebreakers to help class members get to know one another in fresh ways (can lead to affinity discovery). When you deepen relationships during class by getting attenders talking, it makes them less likely to allow themselves to miss. Set aside time in every lesson for the group to share with each other. Help them share new things from their stories.
Divide the group during the Bible study into small groups (3-6 persons) for discussion. By dividing into different small groups, attenders get to know new things about different people in class. Even five minutes of small group discussion, can lead to new and deeper relationships.
If class members care for each other in only these five ways, it is highly likely that both relationships and faithfulness will improve. Which of the five ways above does your class need to add to what you are already doing to improve care and attendance faithfulness? Make disciples. Be revolutionary!