This is a series of insights gleaned from surveys and interviews with the most effective churches of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board in reaching and keeping people through Sunday School and Small Groups.
10 Things That Surprised Me About These Churches (part #16)
#5 – Question #23: With what frequency does the typical class/group make contact with all members?
If a church is going to have a healthy Sunday School/Small Group ministry one of the major factors that separates them from other churches is the fact the members of that class minister to each other on a regular basis. These Fastest Growing Churches are doing just that, being consistent in contact with their members and loving on their people. I wanted to discover if there were any difference in the methods of their contacts.
When I began in ministry in the late 70s I could walk through town and do pastoral visitation. Everyone expected a home visit or at least a face-to-face visit but times have changed. The contact method which scored the lowest from these Fastest Growing Churches was the personal home visit. I think that most churches are willing to make home visits but our society has become timid and even scared of having unknown people at their door. This has caused the effectiveness of this method to decease. The method that scored the highest for these Fastest Growing Churches was phone calls. The use of technology such as email and social media has increased dramatically while the use of postcards and/or letters had just about dropped to same level of personal home visits. Another observation is that which costs the most; time and money, are used the least.
I still believe that a church, class and/or group must use a variety of contacting methods just as they must use a variety of teaching methods. Remember the most important point is to be consistent in making ministry contact with all members and to use the method of contact most desired by the person you are contacting. Get to know your people. Would they rather have a text or email? Or maybe they are “Facebooker” or some other type of Social Media. It could be that a simple phone call, a good old fashioned letter or card would let them know you care. But never forget that no matter what any survey or report says about general expectations, nothing says you care more than being there with a person in their time of need. Take the time and make that face-to-face visit when there is a major ministry need.