Why do we allow disciples to drop out? Do we not care? Are we lazy in our care? Are we just not persistent? Or is it that we don’t know how to care? No matter the reason, the result is the same. Men, women, teens, and children walk away, and many don’t return.
It is not just about numbers. It is not just about increasing or maintaining attendance. No, this is a concern for individuals. It is also a conviction that those who drop out stop growing to be like Him and stop serving Him. They cease growing as disciples. And the harvest cannot afford to lose laborers.
Pursuing Those Who Drop Out
What can we do to pursue dropouts? Consider the following suggestions. Evaluate your efforts to reclaim dropouts. Which of these suggestions do you need to implement?
- keep good attendance records
- notice when individuals are missing (train someone to do this)
- ensure that all disciples receive caring contact weekly
- encourage all disciples to develop relationships with others in the church and in a group
- lead all disciples to pursue a place of service in the church and in the Kingdom
- pray for and with disciples
- minister to those going through stressful times
- involve all attenders in relationship-building efforts, such as fellowships and projects
Rodney Pry offered some good suggestions in an article entitled Snagging the Sunday School Dropout. Three of his suggestions that were different than mine include the following:
- Involve the new members in planning.
- Build a complete family ministry.
- Sunday schools need to be understanding and forgiving.
Each person is worth the effort. Remember what the Lord did for you. Love Him. Love them. Pursue and reclaim disciples. Mobilize them. Make disciples!