I've talked about calling visitors to your class to make them feel welcome and answer any questions. In order to do that, we need to get their contact information by having them fill out some sort of visitor's slip.
Storage of this contact information is crucial. Filing each visitor's slip can be helpful, but I learned a better way from another teacher - the all important class roll. The church may have a class roll for your class, but depending on how they provide it to you (paper or electronic format), you may want to keep your own class roll, as well.
Here's why a class roll is important:
- It makes it easy to see who hasn't attended class in a while. This is best done if the class roll is in a spreadsheet. A simple sort gives this information quickly and easily. I found this to be an extremely useful tool for this reason.
- It's a good way to store contact information. Shooting an email to invite class members and visitors to socials is easy if all of the email addresses are in one place. I sent out a weekly email to the class covering the previous lesson, a little something about the next lesson, and a list of future socials. It also makes it easy to call people that haven't attended in a while.
- It helps track the number of people that attend each week. Being a Sunday School or Bible study teacher is about participating in building God's Kingdom, not our own kingdom. So we shouldn't be a slave to the number of people in our class. But it is helpful to see if attendance goes up or down drastically. If attendance goes up drastically and stays up, maybe outreach is especially effective or the lessons touch on an important topic to the class members. If attendance drops drastically, we can ask ourselves if there's something that we can be doing better.
Key pieces of information in a class roll are:
- Contact information - including phone numbers and email addresses. It may also be helpful to keep track of home address.
- Attendance for each week
- Date last attended - for sorting the list.
- Miscellaneous information - names of children, special needs, etc.
Below is a link to an example class roll in Microsoft Excel formation. The first tab keeps track of attendance for each member or visitor, and the second tab is a graph of overall class attendance. We'll talk about keeping track of attendance each week in another post.
Now it's your turn - What are your ideas for keeping track of class attendance?