Increasing Children’s Sunday School Attendance
By Win Arn
One church in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, has developed a creative way to encourage Sunday school attendance from kindergarten through the sixth grade:
• Every Monday morning three volunteers record attendance from the Sunday school teachers’ attendance books. Children who are absent receive a “Miss You” card writ ten out by hand. Cards for third graders and below are printed.
• A phone call is made to the home after three consecutive absences. Information gained from the call is forwarded to the teacher and minister of education.
• When a child has attended eight Sundays, he or she receives a blue coupon award. (Because many children are from divorced families where children alternate weekends with parents, attendance need not be consecutive.) The coupon entitles children to select a gift from the “treasure box” in the church office. Gifts include Bibles, Bible storybooks, pencils with verses imprinted, plastic drinking glasses, Frisbee flying discs, Bible card games, Bible coloring books, etc. The church has designed a special children’s logo which is embossed on each item.
• Another volunteer sends birthday cards to all children from age two to eighth grade.
According to Susan Patterson Sumwalt, minister of education, the program has not only helped in crease attendance among those en rolled but has provided a “caring sys tem” for children and their families. Enthusiasm has increased among both students and teachers.
Why not try it in your Sunday school?