The Little Things that Show You Care

Bible Information Class

It always amazes me how much the “little things” matter. People don’t always recognize the hours you put in on organizing an outreach event, but they notice it when you greeted them as strangers when they came, made them feel at home, and bent down to the level of their child to give him a high five. That’s what they remember and it shows you care.

We just started another series of Bible Information Classes. That’s a big thing. However, we try not to lose sight of the “little things” that matter. Here are a few ideas to give your preparation for the class a personal touch.

Personal Invites: Make an invitation to the class on your church letterhead with the details listed. Keep it short. There is an example invitation available here. Over the course of the month and a half preceding the start of a class, I’ll try to make it to 40-50 “hot” prospects’ homes with this personal invitation in hand. These are the un-churched people who have visited worship in the last 3 months or the un-churched who have come to a recent outreach event or a referral from a member and so on. It’s not a long visit (necessarily). It’s just a “How’s the summer going? It was great that you joined us for ____________ . From time to time we offer these great classes that give an overview of what the Bible teaches. They also serve as our membership class. I’d love you to join us for it.” Sometimes it’s only 5 minutes at their doorstep, but it’s amazing how that visit is what sticks out in someone’s mind to show how much a church cares.

Make It Easy for Them: In the sample invitation, you’ll notice that we usually run two classes at the same time. That helps them by giving more flexibility if they know they can’t be there on a Sunday, they can come on Wednesday instead for that week. They also will appreciate knowing that you’re willing to come to their home if they need to miss a week to make up the material. It shows it’s important to you and so are they. It also helps you, by the way. Since we went to the repeated class set up, the amount of “make-up” lessons I do has been reduced drastically. At the end of the course, we hold a “Where Am I at Immanuel” half-day workshop for them on a Saturday or Sunday over the lunch hour. Here we cover those doctrinal points that aren’t necessarily touched on thoroughly in whichever BIC we’re using and we bring in over a dozen leaders in the church to introduce themselves and tell them about an aspect of our ministry. We have a catered meal, decorate the room, put table clothes on, make sure there are plenty of snacks, give them a nicely laid out packet of information on Immanuel, etc. Those are all little things that show you care – they are also little things that people in your congregation are gifted at organizing.

Make Them Feel Welcome: When a prospect comes to class for the first time, they are often surprised when they see in front of them an Immanuel mug, a pen, a nice binder for their materials, a Bible – and it’s theirs to keep. It’s a $10 investment per prospect – even if 50 prospects walk through those doors, that $500 is money well spent! Wouldn’t that be a wonderful problem to have? For every class, we set out good coffee, tea and lemonade. All these little things show that we value them and care for them – it also makes them feel more comfortable. It’s all preparation that helps gain an audience for the precious Gospel message you have to share!

God’s blessings as you do those little things that show you care!

Rev. David Scharf

David Scharf serves as pastor of Immanuel Lutheran in Greenville, WI. Pastor Scharf also serves as a member of the WELS Commission for Congregational Counseling.

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