Summer is still a few weeks away, but it’s not too early to develop your summer follow-up plan for visitors and absentees. You may already have a plan in place for following up with visitors, but what about your absentees? Lots of people are heading out for vacation this summer or otherwise get out of their normal Sunday routines. The pastor can’t follow up on all of them, besides people often feel “guilty” when the pastor calls telling you he “misses” you. They often go into a defensive mode explaining where they’ve been or whose been sick, etc. So how can you follow up in a more non-threatening way?
Pass the job of absentee follow-up onto the Sunday School classes. ChurchTrac provides dated Attendance Role Sheets with a column listing the “most recently attended on” date. If you don’t normally use this style of attendance sheet, print a copy for each of your class leaders at the beginning of the month and have the class come up with creative ways to contact those who have been absent. Have the class make a “group” call during class and yell “We miss you.” Send a card or postcard signed by the entire class. Post a silly “miss you” sign in their yard. If a more serious situation is at hand, you will need to take a more serious route, like a personal phone call from the teacher or class member.
People want to know they are missed. So don’t forget about your absent members. Many times they are just hoping someone will notice they are not there. If no one notices over a long period of time, then bitterness can set in and keep the person away for good.
Does your church have guests and/or members that spend a season at your church and then return home for the rest of the year? Living in a beach town we get an influx of northerners, who live here for the winter and early spring and then return home for the summer. You may have a similar situation with seasonal members in the summer or fall.
ChurchTrac membership software enables you to enter both their local and out-of-town addresses into the People Screen, under the Family Details tab. You can then switch the primary and secondary addresses back and forth as needed by clicking the “Make this address the family’s primary address” button. This will enable them to receive the church newsletter and/or other correspondence while they are local or away.
If you haven’t tried out the Tracking Group Expenses feature in ChurchTrac, you are missing out on a quick and easy way to keep track of the youth who have paid for summer camp or the Bible study class members who have paid for their discipleship book. ChurchTrac helps you track expenses for individual groups.
On the Groups screen, click on Group Expense Tracking on the top toolbar. The left side of the screen, shows the Groups which currently have expenses or money due. The right side shows which members of the group have paid, how much they have paid, and the date it was paid. You can enter a person more than once (each time they pay) to keep track of ongoing expenses or incremental payments.
Then you can click on the Print Group Expense Report button to show a list of all the currently selected group members and the amounts they have paid.