One of the most important tasks that we need to do every Sunday morning is take roll. Last week we looked at a master class roll, so today we'll look at how to get that information each Sunday morning.
Some good reasons for having people sign in each Sunday are:
- To give that information to the church. My church has a place in the bulletin where they give the number of people that were in Sunday School the previous Sunday. It's not all about numbers, but it is one factor in determining effectiveness. For example, if people keep visiting but not returning, maybe we need teacher development.
- For the teacher or class director to see if a regular attender hasn't been to class in a while. There may be something going on in their life that we need to be aware of. I learned this lesson the hard way. I once had a regular attender that started coming sporadically, then disappeared for a few weeks. Since his attendance had not been regular as of late, I didn't think anything of it. But it turns out that he was in a car accident and was in the hospital. He was quite hurt that I hadn't contacted him and I lost a regular attender. This was one of my biggest regrets as a Sunday School teacher. So it's good to be aware of attendance patterns.
- To update contact information. Maybe someone moved and has a new phone number. Or maybe they decide to change email addresses. It's best to give them a chance to give us their new contact information each Sunday morning so that we have it when we need it.
There are a couple different methods of sign-in:
- Pass around the class roll or sign-in sheet. In my class I usually had someone responsible for making sure that everyone got the sign-in sheet. We usually passed it around on a clipboard with a pen during announcements and it made its way around by the time we got to the lesson. My class was small enough that the person responsible for the sign-in sheet could mark late-comers as present (if a regular attender). My husband and I currently attend a very large class (a couple hundred people) which passes around binders with the class roll.
- Keep the class roll or sign-in sheet at a central location. I used to attend a very large class that kept their sign-in sheets on a table. Attenders had to know to go to the table and sign-in.
Important pieces of information that you'll want to have on the sign-in sheet (if you do not use a roll provided by your church):
- Full Name of attendees
- Contact information for each attendee (so that they can update if anything has changed)
- Blank for headcount (in case someone didn't sign in)
Below I've linked to a class roll with a tab for a sign-in sheet. The file is in Microsoft Excel format. Notice that there are blank lines at the top of the sign-in sheet for first-time visitors to fill in. The goal is to have them already on the sign-in sheet by the second time that they visit. This is easy to do if the master roll is kept up-to-date every week since we can just copy the pertinent information from the master roll to the sign-in sheet. You can even create a macro to do that for you.
Now it's your turn - tell us how you handle class sign-in each Sunday morning.