There are three different alert codes that are used by some states. The Blue Alert is for a missing violent criminal, the Silver Alert is for a missing senior citizen and the Amber Alert is for a missing child. The Amber Alert was initiated in 1996, when Amber Hagerman (9 years-old) of Arlington, Texas was kidnapped and murdered. Follow-up is important for “missing persons” of your home group, because those who are pursuing a closer walk with Jesus Christ will come under greater spiritual attack by the enemy and they need to know that other believers are looking out for them.
Every person is important
If your child was missing from the dinner table, you would leave the table and look for him until he was found. Let the home group go on without the person, but make the follow-up after the meeting. When someone does not go to home group, leadership should follow-up with a simple call to see if the person is okay. Help them know they are important.
Call the person the next day
It’s easiest to give the person a call, but leadership can also go make a visit. The visit demonstrates far more than most leadership can imagine. The sooner you make the follow-up, the better the impact will be on the person. You can send an email, but that is the lowest level of follow-up and does not convey the same intent as a call or a visit.
Designate a Follow-up Leader
The follow-up leader may be the home group leader, or the host leader, or even better, a designated member of the group. When you have a follow-up leader, it is best for them to shoot an email to the home group leader by the third day to show the results of the follow-up, so that if there are concerns, then the home group leader has time to respond before the next home group meeting.
Help them in what they might have missed
The main purpose is just to make sure the person or couple is okay and knows someone cares about them. You do not need to follow-up with all the content of the meeting or discussions, but the person may ask for the highlights and for the prayer requests. The follow-up leader should be ready for providing both.
A suggested conversation will be very simple. The follow-up leader could say, “Fred, we missed you last night at home group. Are you doing alright?” “Yes, I’m fine.” “Okay, great, if there is anything we can do for you, please let us know. We had a great meeting and we just wanted to let you know we missed you.” “Thanks. Were there any significant prayer requests?” “Actually, the significant prayer request was from Bob and Judy, who asked for prayer for the nine-year-old son, who still does not know Jesus and is struggling in school.” “Okay. Thanks.”
Our culture is becoming more and more content with electronic contact. Intentional discipleship is focused on personal relationships and the best way to keep the “back door” of the group closed is to do follow-up work with attendees. The more follow-up you can do over the phone or in person the stronger the bonds will become.