Calling Absentees

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by SmalltownPastor, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. SmalltownPastor

    SmalltownPastor
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    Being at a small church, when someone isn't there, I notice. In fact, after every service, I "take attendance" on a spreadsheet on my computer. So I not only see when someone isn't there, I can see when the last time they were there.

    So my question is, at what point do I call them if they miss services? I think calling someone if they miss one service is almost certainly overkill (especially if I know the reason they missed), but what about if they miss two Sundays? Or three?

    And should it vary depending on the person's history? For example, I know certain people will be at every service, unless they're out of town. Should I call them if they miss one? And I know others who come to several services in a month, but then go missing for a month or two before returning. At what point do I check on them?

    I know I'm probably overanalyzing this and trying to make a system out of it when I should simply be led by the Spirit while shepherding the flock, but I don't want to nag people, and yet I want them to know they're loved. What do you think?
     
  2. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Not a pastor, but as a church member my opinion is that it depends on the individual. If you KNOW Brother A shows up at EVERY service, but you didn't see him at all on Sunday and he wasn't there on Wednesday, you might just give him a call to make certain nothing is wrong (although he might have just forgotten to tell you he was going to visit the grand kids in Montana!).

    However, if *I* were to miss a month of Sundays it would just be normal for me. My kids are mostly grown now and go to various churches. I spend as much time here lately at the youngest one's church as I do my own. On top of that, I have arthritis and the pain and fatigue of that sometimes keeps me home (sorry, better to rest than take drugs for it) while I recover from a flare. And as a recent widow sometimes I just don't feel like dealing with people. All this is normal for me and doesn't require an inquiry from the pastor or even any of the staff. It's just how my life is at the moment (it was worse when I had two chronically ill children at home to look after).

    And in between me and the fellow above you'll find a host of others normals. So my opinion is that you go by the observed normal of the congregation.
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    It never hurts to call them regardless of how many services they miss. If they are not there even one single sunday you can call to see if they need any assistance from the church or just prayer.
     
  4. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    I don't think it is based on number but on relationship.
     
  5. USN2Pulpit

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    Regardless of "how many Sundays" they miss, I will have to admit that this is an area I need to get better at. Having a functioning deacon body can be a help here, because many times they can call, or at least alert you to the fact that so-and-so hasn't been here for a little while.
     
  6. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Sometimes the people who are there every Sunday and miss one might appreciate knowing they were missed. Sometimes it is how we word our missing them calls. "Checking up on you" might bring the idea of snooping, but saying, "we missed you" brings a caring thought.

    With that said, sometimes people who are always there just need a Sunday night or wednesday night off because they're tired.

    But when people miss a few Sundays in a row or begin missing a few sundays a month, a call might give you info that you need to minister to them and the church better.

    We're going thru Revelation chapter by chapter on Sunday nights. As we were going thru the various judgments, one lady missed a night and called me the next morning. She told me she was having a problem with depression and just couldn't sit thru the judgments. I understood what she was saying and why she missed.
     
  7. annsni

    annsni
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    We usually call after 2 Sundays missed. We don't want to be riding people all the time but for regular attenders, we usually know if they are away or sick so we know not to worry about them but if they are not there for 2 weeks without us knowing what's going on, it's time to see if everything is OK.

    Now, in the home campus where it's 600 people, that's much harder to do.
     
  8. FootballRef

    FootballRef
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    As a member I wouldn't mind a call if I missed a couple of weeks in a row. I wouldn't mind another call if I missed another week or two. After that I would rather not getting phone calls.

    We attended a church a few years ago and when we quit going I am not sure that we ever received a call or anything. Our current church that we have been at for the last 1 1/2 yrs we are regulars and don't miss just because we don't want to go. When we do work or miss for a reason we usually are contacted by our friends. It is good to know that people now notice when we are not there. I guess since we are nearly always there I now notice when some miss and wonder why they aren't there as regulars.
     

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