As you lead your Bible study group, you’ll face what others have in the past: increasing numbers of people on your group’s role (ministry list). You may even consider deleting inactive people from your ministry list to boost the percent of attendance of those in your group. Please don’t.
You might ask, “Is it ever OK to delete a person from my group’s ministry list?” The answer is yes. There are three times when you should delete a person from your group’s list:
- Delete a person when they die. It’s safe to say they won’t be coming back to your group meeting. When a person dies, remove them from your role. They’re on a new role now.
- Delete a person when they ask you to. On occasion, people make a decision to leave a Bible study group and they want no further contact from the group leader or group members. If someone requests they be removed from your ministry list, do it. You can let them know how sorry you are they are leaving, but don’t keep them on the role when they’ve asked to be removed.
- Delete a person when they become a member of another church. When one of your group members becomes a member of another church, it’s time to delete them from your ministry list. Your mission is accomplished! You became their shepherd-teacher at some point in the past, and now they have a new church and a new group to belong to. They are now another group leader’s responsibility.
Never delete a person from your group’s ministry list because of their low attendance. Over the years, well-meaning group leaders asked me to delete people from their roles because of inactivity. My response: never! Instead of deleting people because they aren’t coming, we should see that as a reason to reach out to them, check on them, and invite them back into the group.
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