Last night, some of our discussion at the leadership meeting of the church I was at revolved around how often and how long should a small group contact a person that is not attending. Following the meeting, a lady who teaches kindergarten shared this story with me about a little girl who was enrolled in FBC’s Kindergarten Sunday School department.
The teacher, known to her students as Mrs. Jean, was in WalMart when she saw a little girl who was enrolled in her Sunday School department. After saying hello to the mother, Jean looked at the little girl and said, “I sure have missed seeing you in Sunday School.”
The little girl looked at her teacher and said two words…
Startled, Jean knelt down and looked the little girl in the eyes and said, “I have missed you very much”, and gave her a big hug.
Jean told me that this lesson from a 5 year has profoundly changed her perspective on contacting her kids when they miss Sunday School. Calling someone needs to be more than just a courtesy call. Our call communicates how much we have missed them.
The real issue is not how often or how long we should continue to contact someone who has been gone from our group. So often we are looking for a rule – like 10 times, 20 times… how about once a week for 3 months? At this point we have fallen into legalism. The issue is not what is the minimum amount of effort that I need to put into contacting someone who is chronically absent and justify myself. The issue is that we communicate how much we miss them! One of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the need to belong. When someone belongs, we miss them very much!