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.