Have you noticed a different group showing up for class each week? Have members been out a lot–and irregularity started before the summer? People today are busy. They have many options on Sunday. What can teachers do to increase attendance faithfulness? What can be done to improve regularity?
Faithfulness is not just a concern about numbers. It is also an essential part of our discipling strategy. It is difficult to disciple those who are absent. Regular presence is important for every age group, especially for families with children.
What can be done to improve faithfulness? 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.”
Can Faithfulness Be Improved?
In this three-part series, we will examine those 14 ways to improve faithfulness. In Part 1, I will share the first four ways along with some ideas about how to do so. Consider the following:
Follow up every time persons are absent. Don’t wait for 2-3 weeks of absence. Have a class member call them. Sending a card, text, or email is nice, but these methods of contact are not personal enough.
When they miss, express your genuine care and let them know they were missed. Don’t call to produce guilt–it does not work well. Show you really care. Tell them you missed them. Ask how you can pray for them and their families. Pray with them.
Enlist class members to invest in relationships with those whose attendance patterns are beginning to change. Notice when attendance faithfulness declines. Ask members to make contact. Invite for a meal. Plan to spend time together away from class. Get acquainted. Provide encouragement. Develop a relationship. Care. In a post entitled It Takes More Than Sunday School and Worship to Close the Back Door, I said “the more connection points your Sunday School members and guests make in the church, the more likely they are to stay connected to Sunday School, to grow as a disciple, and to continue to serve our Lord.”
Use care groups to make weekly contact with members and prospects–can lead to additional relationships over time. Enlist care group leaders for every 4-6 class members (and prospects). Then give care groups time to assign contacts, report on contacts, and pray together on Sundays. Doing so deepens relationships among that small group as they care for each other.
If class members care for each other in only these four ways, it is highly likely that relationships and faithfulness will improve. In Part 2, we will examine five more ways to improve faithfulness. In the meantime, which of the four ways above does your class need to add to what they are doing to improve care and faithfulness? Make disciples. Be revolutionary!