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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Encouraging Sunday School Attendance

As part of our callings, the Ward Missionaries in our Ward take turns teaching the Gospel Essentials Sunday School class. I always try to make sure that new members know that they need to attend the class for at least one year, and normally we have a pretty good attendance (we have 13+ new members and usually a handful of investigators). Lately (the last few months), I've noticed that quite a few people have gotten into the habit of coming to Sacrament meeting and then not staying for the rest of the meetings. I've been pondering how we can encourage people to stay for the 2nd two hours (especially Sunday School), and here are a few ideas I've come up with:
  • Send out an upcoming lesson schedule (I put this in the monthly new member newsletter), just to keep it on their minds during the week
  • Call on Saturdays and ask members (who should be attending the class) to give prayers or do some other sort of simple assignment
  • Greet new members at the door (before Sacrament) and give them a "Today in Sunday School" handout
I'm trying the "Today in Sunday School" handout for the first time this Sunday - I've just made a little printed handout that says, "Today's lesson in Gospel Essentials Sunday School class is 'The Sacrament' - Here are some of the topics we will cover: What are the 2 main purposes of the Sacrament? Does it matter which hand you use to take the Sacrament? What steps should I take to prepare before taking the Sacrament? Do young children take the Sacrament?"

The thinking behind this is that the handout will #1- remind the person about the class (making it less convenient to feel casual about "skipping out" early) #2- provide some interesting questions that might peak their interest about the topic (like if a person had never considered the significance of using their right hand or whether or not young children should take the Sacrament, they might be more inclined to attend out of curiousity).

Hopefully these ideas will help! If you have any tips to share, please let us know!

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