Counting Heads or Keeping Good Sunday School Attendance Records

Wednesday 7th October, 2009

George Yates of SonC.A.R.E. Ministries has recently relocated to Kentucky. I have enjoyed getting to know George and his passion for the church and specifically for Sunday School. I have already had opportunity to utilize him in an associational Sunday School training event. And you will want to pick up his book, Teaching That Bears Fruit.

In a recent GROWING TIMES newsletter, George wrote an article entitled Attendance Records vs. a Head Count. That article set my mind to thinking about the issue of this blog post. Before you dismiss this post as irrelevant to your Sunday School, read further. Sometimes, attitudes are better reflections of realities in your Sunday School than practices. Allow me to give an example: just because attendance records are kept does not mean that those records mean anything or result in needed revolutionary response. In other words, the attitude may still only be "counting heads."

Consider the following table comparing counting heads or keeping good records:


Counting Heads

Keeping Good Records

Person ResponsibleSunday School Director or Secretary Class Secretary; Care Group Leaders
Amount of Time15 seconds per class2 minutes for records; 5 minutes for care/reach plans
Records AvailableSunday School attendance totalsClass, member, prospect, and contact/care records
AssignmentNoneWeekly contacts with absentees, members, and prospects
Follow UpCasual; none plannedWeekly assignments and reports; records kept

Report Time

Worship or board of attendance total

Weekly report of contact results

Inreach ResultsAbsentees not contacted; attendance dropsMembers and absentees contacted and needs met; attendance stable
Outreach ResultsUninvited guests occasionally attend or joinProspects invited/welcome, attend, and join regularly; attendance grows

Where do your classes and Sunday School fall? Are you more on the counting heads side or keeping good records side? What can you do to move your class or Sunday School toward mobilizing needed ministry in response to keeping good records? Pray. Keep good records. Reach out. Care. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about using your records to make Sunday School revolutionary, check out these blog posts:

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