14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. (Romans 12:14-16 NIV)
I mentioned last week that Dr. Bo Prosser (Minister of Education at a church and is now Coordinator of Organizational Relationships for CBF) shared a quote that stuck with me- “People go where they know that they have been cared for and prepared for.”
Last week we focused on preparing. Now let’s focus more on caring! How do you show that you care for your class? Each person needs to feel: they belong, they have something to offer and they matter to the class. Here are a few ideas:
Make caring intentional! I have shared the purpose of care groups. Care Group leaders are like deacons in the family ministry plan. They check on a list of members and prospects on a regular basis. It is still true that someone who misses your class for three weeks in a row is fifty percent more likely not to come back! We need to have a regular contact with them to make sure they are okay and know how to minister to them. (As mentioned in earlier blogs, e-mail me at email@example.com and I will send you an organizational chart with care groups along with a document on an idea a month to contact class members for care group leaders.)
Remember birthdays and Grief Anniversaries. I know this may sound like a simple thing, but showing care on birthdays and anniversaries during grief is important. It would be good for the teacher and care group leader to contact members during these times. As you contact members about birthdays, you can also ask if there is anything I can be praying with you about. (Remember to ask them later about their prayer concern.)
Make connections to other members. You should have greeters in every class. These are persons who love to meet new people. Besides welcoming them early to class, they are responsible to connecting them to other people in the class and church. One of the things I like asking people are about their hobbies/passions. For example, if a greeter finds out that a person likes to play golf, I want them to connect that person to three other people in the church who like the same hobbies. Hopefully one of those persons will invite them to play golf that week. You may be amazed at how well this helps persons to feel cared for.
From the last blog as a reminder:
Does everyone feel that they belong? The Millennial Generation wants to belong before they will commit! Are you providing an environment of authentic community where people can share their concerns without risk of confidentiality issues? Are people open to talk about doubts and fears? Is the class focused on what God is doing now? Years ago I taught a young adult men’s class where five grew up in the same high school and five were transplants because of work. I would often catch the five who grew up together reminiscing about their high school days in the midst of the discussion. Subconsciously, they were telling the other five, “You don’t belong!”
Do you involve every person in the class to serve in some capacity? Do they have gifts to enhance community in the class? Does the class have an ongoing service project that encourages every person to be involved? Persons who feel they have something to contribute will be more involved with the class.
Caring teachers and care group leaders leads to community. Take seriously the importance of caring for every person in your class. Nest week we will discuss caring for inactive members.