Contact every person…every week! Really! In Transformational Class, David Francis writes, “I’m often asked, ‘Did you mean contact every absentee every week?’ No I mean contact every member every week! We’re not contacting them to get them to attend; we’re contacting them to let them know we care, to learn of needs that may require prayer or care, and to share opportunities for them to participate in praying and caring for others in the group or class.’”
A conference leader once shared the Bill of Rights for Sunday School members:
Every member has a right to:
- To be called by NAME.
- To be missed when absent.
- To be encouraged when faithful.
- To be admonished to grow in Christ likeness.
- To be ministered to in time of crisis.
- To be prayed for regularly.
One of the research findings from Transformational Church was that the churches studied were intentional about relationships. Transformational Churches have a desire to move from being friendly to being relational. Attendees and members and guests are encouraged to belong to a class or group. Why? This is so that people would know them by name, miss them when absent, encourage them when faithful, admonish them to grow in their faith, be ministered to in a time of crisis, and be prayed for regularly. These were not just rights…they were essential actions. Actions that could all be accomplished with one simple idea: Contact Every Persons Every Week.
For many years, I taught a Sunday School class, but during the last few years, the opportunities to preach in various churches made it impossible to continue teaching a class. Since I was traveling, my wife began searching for a new Sunday School class. After several months, she stopped attending a one class to attend another class with a friend. In the weeks following, she was not contacted by the old class to determine if she was sick or mad. She was never called to see what’s was going on. In other words, no one missed her. She has never returned to that class…why would she? This class needed a process to contact every person every week.
Through the years, I have seen lots of systems to ensure that every member and every prospect is contacted every week. Being a Saturday Night Caller was one of my favorites. Neal Jackson used to advocate that every teacher should be a Saturday night caller. The goal was to simply call every member every Saturday night. I practiced this as a Minister of Education and would contact every teacher every Saturday and as a teacher, I made it a practice to contact every member, every Saturday. It works.
A preferred way is to organize every adult (and youth) Sunday School Class into care groups of 5-7. Ideally, the care groups are divided by gender. Each care group would have a Care Group Leader. What’s the job of a Care Group leader: Contact every member of their group every week.
The bottomline is Transformational Classes value Relational Intentionality. Do you have a strategy to contact every person, every week?
Mark Miller is the Sunday School Director for the Tennessee Baptist Convention. You can also read Mark’s personal blog at http://drmarkmiller.wordpress.com.