Posts Tagged absent

Following Up with Group Members Who Have Been Absent

Guest Post from “I” Leader Erin Gainey

As an “I” leader in my Sunday morning LIFE group, one of my responsibilities is to follow up with group members who have missed a few classes.  Mike Glenn has mentioned several times that one of the first ways you can tell something is wrong is when people stop coming to church. Successful groups not only reach out to unconnected people but also provide support and accountability for regular members. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
When I notice that someone in my group has missed a few classes, I send them an email. I tell them that they have been missed, that I’m praying for them, and that I hope to see them again next week. It’s important for people to know that their absence has been noticed. My LIFE group has become my family. If a family member stopped showing up at family get-togethers, someone would say something. It should be the same way in a LIFE group. Following up also lets the person know that they’re being prayed for. Sometimes just knowing that someone cares enough to reach out and pray for them is enough to encourage a member to come back to class.
The importance of following up with members really hit home for me a couple of months ago. One member of my group had been absent for several weeks. I sent her an email, and the next time she came to class, she shared everything that had been going on. She also told us that she’s never really stuck with a Bible study. She would go to classes for a few weeks but then drop out. She has never stayed connected very long. However, because my LIFE group leader and I reached out to her when she stopped coming, she decided that she was going to be committed to our group. And she has been. She consistently comes to class and is an active participant. She has developed authentic and encouraging relationships with women in our class. All of this because a couple of people cared enough to let her know that she had been missed.
Following up with group members is a really simple, yet incredibly important, part of being an “I” leader. It only takes a few minutes and can be such a meaningful gesture for someone who really needs it.