I want you to picture your home. It may be a house, condo, or apartment that you own or rent. It is the place you lay your head at night. Let’s assume you set a goal of getting ten people crammed into your living room. What do you need to do in order to achieve your goal? While there are many strategies, let me boil the possibilities down to three actions:
- get nine people besides yourself in the front door,
- make sure they don’t leave,
- and make sure you get them all at the same time into the living room.
Those simple actions can be translated into strategies for Sunday School which can help us increase Sunday School attendance:
FRONT DOOR. Invite and enroll new people. This is essential in order to have more people in Sunday School. Invite them in person, by card/letter, by phone, by email, by social media, etc. The more personal, the more effective will be the invitation. Invite them to your class fellowships and projects. Get to know people in the community and in your home. Invite them to class. Invite them to enroll–add them to the prayer and care list for your class. How can you address the front door in order to increase your attendance?
BACK DOOR. When people join, care for them. When they are absent, contact them every time, every week. Do it out of concern for them as persons rather than simply an attendance number. Organize the class to respond in care. Keep good contact and attendance records. Provide regular fellowships to deepen and expand the network of relationships. Pray together. Use name tags, greeters, and care group leaders. The goal is to have none to drop out. Never allow someone to miss without knowing why they are away and responding out of care when needed. How can you address the back door in order to increase your attandance?
LIVING ROOM. While the back door is focused on preventing dropouts, the living room is focused on regular attendance. Disciples grow better when they consistently are part of a group. Irregular attendance results in irregular or poor growth as disciples. It produces weak leaders. It reduces relationships and service opportunities. Set high expectations for attendance. Challenge members to have daily devotions, read lessons weekly, and be present. Encourage them to bring their friends. Call them when they miss. Give them assignments related to the lesson. Find them places of service in the class. In an article called, The Missing Metric, Thom Rainer of LifeWay Christian Resources said: “If the frequency of attendance changes, then attendance will respond accordingly. For example, if 200 members attend every week the average attendance is, obviously, 200. But if one-half of those members miss only one out of four weeks, the attendance drops to 175.” How can you address the living room in order to increase your average attendance?
Give focus to these three actions in your Sunday School and watch your attendance increase. As you are faithful at caring for God’s sheep, He will entrust you with more. Where do you need to start? Just don’t forget all three of these actions or your attendance will not reach its potential. Be revolutionary!