We all want people to come to our Bible study group, but are there things you can do to strongly encourage people to actually attend? I believe there are several ways to help people decide to come to your Bible study group, so here are 5 ways to encourage attendance:
- Give them an assignment – If people have a job to do, they are more likely to show up weekly. Place someone in charge of nametags, announcements, prayer time, assisting the group leader by leading a portion of the study, planning fellowships, and anything else you can think of. One group leader that I knew had 42 different things he asked people to do, and his group’s attendance was always one of the highest among all of our adult groups.
- Pose a controversial question – Some time before the group’s Bible study, email the members and use your group’s Personal Study Guide (PSG) to call attention to a section of it (a statement by the author, a question posed in the curriculum, a quote, or an activity in the curriculum). Use that to pose a controversial question. Stir the pot. Help your group members think critically. Promise to address the question or comment during the Bible study. They’ll have to show up to find out the answer and to hear everyone else’s responses.
- Preview the next session – movie theaters have learned the value of making us sit through 25 minutes of “coming attractions.” They know that to get us to come back in the future, they need to pique our interest in the present. At the end of each Bible study, spend a minute previewing the next study, encouraging your group members to study in advance and to come prepared to engage in next week’s Bible study.
- Teach with excellence – One of the quickest ways to drive people away from your group is to get into a teaching rut. If your group members can predict what is going to take place each week, it’s time for you to shake things up. Learn to incorporate new teaching techniques each week (there are 8 different learning approaches). The variety will spice things up, and your group members will appreciate the new ways they’ll be engaged in each Bible study.
- Reach out to them – it’s a mathematical fact that about 50% of your group’s members will not be in attendance each week. Normally groups average an attendance of 50% of their enrollment. So every week the group leader and the care group leaders have an important job to do – they must contact every absent member and discover if there is a ministry opportunity. Sometimes sickness will keep people out of Bible study. Travel will as well. But sometimes you will discover another reason someone has missed, and you’ll discover an opportunity to minister to the person and/or their family.
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