In Three Simple Strategies to Increase Sunday School Attendance, Part 1, I began expanding on actions I shared in Three Simple Actions to Increase Sunday School Attendance: front door, back door, and living room strategies. Check it out. In Part 1 of this three-part series, I began by sharing strategies for focusing on front door Sunday School action strategies.
In Part 2, I will expand on back door strategies: When people join, care for them. When they are absent, contact them. Do it out of concern for them as persons rather than simply an attendance number. Organize the class to respond in care. What goals do you need to set? What plans and assignments need to be made? Consider the following back door strategy ideas:
- pray for/with each other, focus on real needs;
- enlist prayer partners;
- enlist and train care group leaders;
- give time on Sunday morning for care groups to meet/pray together;
- take roll in care groups;
- contact absentees every week;
- respond quickly to discovered needs;
- establish good communication channels for sharing prayer requests and for mobilizing the class to meet a ministry need that is bigger than the care group can handle;
- give as many attenders as possible a responsibility in class sessions and class ministry;
- use name tags;
- call people by name;
- seek to deal constructively with conflict;
- plan regular class fellowships/projects to develop relationships in new ways beyond Bible study session time;
- utilize small group activities and participatory teaching-learning activities to foster relationships and affinity-discovery; and
- ask class greeters to help the class notice when members are absent.
How are you doing with that list? The more you implement, the more your Sunday School Back Door will begin to close. The more you close your Back Door, the more involved and growing will be your attenders. They will be more likely to feel good about their experiences and to invite others to join them. What would you add to the list? Determine the top three which are needed by your class or Sunday School. Number them in order of priority. Then commit to and pursue implementation of that strategy. Then move on to the second strategy. Don’t try to do too many at once–which would likely result in failure. Pray together. Enlist care group leaders and greeters. Keep good records. Respond to needs and absences. Communicate regularly. Use names and name tags. Be revolutionary!