Let’s solve a riddle together. Teacher “A” is content with his class of 10 people. Teacher “B” has the same size group, but wants to grow and reach more people for Christ. He’s hoping to involve people that do not currently belong to a Bible study group. Good for Teacher “B.”
Now that Teacher “B” has decided he wants the group to grow, how would you advise him to go about increasing attendance? I have a tried and true way to do just that. And it’s easier than you think. You can actually do this with an entire Sunday School or small group ministry. Curious?
Enrollment and attendance are the Siamese Twins of Bible study group life. They are inseparable. One is influenced by the other. Let me explain.
Attendance is almost always 50% of a group’s enrollment. Teacher “B” and Teacher “A” have 10 people who are regular attenders to their group Bible studies. That means that each one has about 20 people on a ministry role.
Teacher “B” simply needs to lead his group to enroll new people. Enrollment can happen (1) any time and (2) any where. Any guests should be asked to enroll in the group. These guests need to know that enrolling in the Bible study doesn’t mean they are committing to join the church. They are simply taking a next step into group life by aligning themselves with a group leader and his group. They are giving the group permission to care about them.
If Teacher “B” enrolls 10 new people (5 couples), he can anticipate his average attendance rising to about 15 (enroll 10 and 5 will attend on average). If Teacher “B” wants to grow the group again, he and his group can be intentional about enrolling people. It’s just that simple. Once on a ministry role, a person can be contacted, prayed for, and encouraged to attend the Bible study.
Now, let’s say that a church’s Sunday School or small group ministry had a goal of growing 100 people during the next year. What would they need to do? Simple: enroll 200 new people to see average attendance rise by 100 (in actuality, you’d want to shoot a little higher because you would also need to cover the church’s “churn,” which is the number of people who leave every year). More on churn in a future blog post, though!
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