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Sabbath School: A Place For All

Article by Lynden Williams, Sabbath School Director for the Adventist Church in the South Bahamas

Within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Sabbath School has been a place of learning and nuture for both member and visitor. It has long been considered a training ground where the youth and new converts can develop their ministry of service to the wider body and the community.

Recently, there has been a decline in attendance at Sabbath Schools and a general lack of enthusiasm. Here are some tips to jumpstart your Sabbath School:

  • Song Service: Choose persons who can give meaningful, vibrant and diverse song service. During song service split the audience in two or more parts. Sing a verse or an entire song without music, to give variety to this ministry.
  • Prayer: Invite someone from another congregation, a child or a video (live or recorded) to offer the prayer.
  • Welcome: Use variety; gifts for the earliest attendee, and be enthusiastic.
  • Superintendent’s Remark: Be brief and relevant. Consider using a short skit to drive home the point. Make Sabbath School a place where people desire to hear what will be presented.
  • Mission Story: Sometimes have it dramatized, shown via video, or have someone from another congregation, or island tell the mission story in their own words. This may also be done via video conference, phone, etc.
  • Lesson Study: Where possible, have teachers meet to review the lesson together, before Sabbath, and occasionally switch teachers and place them before a different class. The class should involve controlled dialogue in order for the entire lesson to be reviewed. Invite a class member to come prepared to teach one of the days giving
  • time limits, or to answer one of the questions. Additionally, have someone research in-depth a specific section of the lesson.
  • Music: Ask the artiste to sing a song (where possible) in harmony with the emphasis for that day.

Special emphasis must be placed on the facilities and materials used for the children. The rooms should have adequate ventilation, colours appropriate for the age group along with visual aids.

Two factors should not be overlooked in membership retention are involvement and fellowship.

The Sabbath School can be used as a training ground for new members to become comfortable with speaking in the church and their involvement helps with the bonding process. Thus, they take ownership of their new place of worship.

Sabbath School classes are encouraged to have regular fellowship meals with a goal of once per month. Everyone can be involved in the planning process and where possible this can take place outside of the church grounds, and members will find this as an ice breaker for their visitors who are not of our faith.

Finally, utilize the five senses in the worship and learning process, as this builds a more vibrant and healthy experience for worshippers in the Sabbath School.

Pastor Lynden Williams, Sabbath School Director