Over the past year and half, many people may have become or felt disconnected from our classes and groups. The pandemic made things a little strange, confusing, and awkward at times. Lots of factors contributed to these feelings, but we cannot use any of those as excuses. When we took on the class or group, we took on the responsibility of shepherding the entire group, even those who are now disconnected. So, what can we do? Here are three actions we can take to connect with the disconnected.
Through a personal visit
This seems elementary, but we need to reclaim the value of a face-to-face personal visit on a person’s front porch. Don’t write off visiting someone at their house. We have fooled ourselves into believing no one wants us to visit them at their house. What they don’t want is us to become a house guest for the evening which is different from stopping by and having a quick conversation on the front porch. Humans were created for relationships, and we can’t let others convince us otherwise.
Taking something to the disconnected can remove some of the awkwardness. We can deliver the Personal Study Guide or Daily Discipleship Guide. This is one reason for making sure we have a copy for the Personal Study Guide or Daily Discipleship Guide for every person in our class or group. We may want to call or text them as we are making our way to their house just to give them a heads up and let them know we have something we want to drop by their house. Nothing replaces a personal face-to-face visit when it comes to reconnecting.
Through a group event
Plan a meal for the entire group or a fall picnic with everyone bringing their own meals. The fall offers many opportunities to get together in a local park or attraction. Gathering at a neutral site may be best. Neutral sites would include a park, a local restaurant, city festival, or seasonal event. Many areas have corn mazes that would make for a great gathering location. The goal is to remove as many barriers as possible. A group outing serves as a great way to reconnect away from the classroom.
Many classes and groups are organized with care groups or something similar. Care groups are usually made up of four to seven people with one person responsible for contacting everyone in that smaller group over the course of the week. Encourage the care leaders to make prayer the focus of their contact. We need to avoid the “we missed you” conversation. They know they were not there and there is nothing they can do to change that. We can encourage them to be a part of the class next week and pray with them about needs they have. This approach is a much stronger way to connect with someone.
All these actions are about relationship. As hard as this may be for us to accept, most of the people in our classes are not there because we are great teachers. People are a part of your class because of relationship. Our actions either build on that connection or cut one of the strings in that relationship. The good news is we get to pick if we strengthen or cut those relationship ties.
What other actions have you found for connecting with the unconnected?