How To Have a Successful High Attendance Campaign
Why is a High Attendance Day Emphasis important?
There are various reasons a church needs to consider a High Attendance Day Emphasis. The first is that it creates excitement for your Sunday School ministry. With many Sunday School classes simply doing the same thing week in and week out, a high attendance campaign gives them something to work on and achieve. There is also nothing more exciting than a room full of people.
The second is that it creates a vision. For many Sunday School classes, they have forgotten that one of the main functions of Sunday School is evangelism or reaching people. A high attendance emphasis reinforces the idea that they are to reach out to people. If the day is successful, then they can begin to see the potential for their class.
The third is that it reinforces what is important. Reaching people and keeping people whom we reach are important elements of Sunday School. For many classes, the teaching of Bible lessons is the most important, and for some, the only reason these classes exist. A high attendance emphasis helps reinforce the reaching and ministry aspects of Sunday School.
Types of High Attendance Days
- One day vs. building events – Do we have a High Attendance Day or a series of days that would build to a climax? An example of building events would be ask the class to have one more in attendance a Sunday for a series of several weeks. Another example would be to have the first Sunday of the month as an Adult High Attendance Day, the next Sunday a Youth High Attendance Day and so forth.
- A contest vs. promotions – The difference between a contest and promotion is that the contest uses competition to motivate the classes to set and achieve their goals.
Basic “How to’s” of any High Attendance Day
- Keep it personal. Must make sure we are stressing people, not numbers. A friend of mine once told me that his mother would not attend a Sunday School class because the only time someone from the class, in which she is enrolled, would contact her was on High Attendance Day. What that said to her was that the class only cared for her when it wanted to achieve a goal, not to minister to her. To her, the class considered her a number, not a person. We need to make sure that the classes treat people as people, not the means to achieve a goal.
- Stress reaching out into the community – Help the classes go beyond just inviting everyone on their class roll to inviting the people they know who do not attend church on a regular basis. If you have prospect file, help the class see the prospect list as important as the class roll.
- Get ownership – Let the classes set their own goals. Individuals get more excited over the goals they set.
- Use it to teach proper behavior – Through the High Attendance Emphasis help classes see the value of or regularly contacting members and prospects. During and after the high Attendance Emphasis, remind them that this excitement can be year round.
- Build in success – Be very careful in selecting a date that does not conflict with an event that would make it difficult to reach the goal. Be sure to check community and school calendars, family reunions and ball schedules.
- Plan and work the plan – Here is a sample time line for a High Attendance Day Emphasis:
- Bathe the effort in prayer.
- Place the emphasis date(s) on the church calendar.
- At least 6 to 8 weeks in advance of the event, provide details to all Sunday School leaders about the high attendance emphasis.
- Approximately 4 to 6 weeks before the events, ask Sunday School leaders to guide their classes and/or departments to set contact and enrollment goals for the emphasis.
- Develop a plan in which classes/departments contact every Sunday School member and prospect at least three times before the event culmination day.
- Promote enthusiastically. Use every possible means of communication to get the word out.
- Prepare to receive the guests who will attend. Do an evaluation of how “visitor friendly” is your Sunday School, and make necessary plans to ensure the first impression of your Sunday School is a good one.
- Plan to celebrate the victories of the day.