The Branch Sabbath School Leader

It is the role of the Branch Sabbath School leader to organize and conduct an evangelistic program using Sabbath School materials, to be held on any day of the week. This role may be filled by any Sabbath School leader, teacher, or member who may wish to begin a Branch Sabbath School.

The Branch Sabbath School leader is responsible to the Sabbath School Council or to the local conference Sabbath School director in the case of isolated members. The leader will also work closely with the assistant superintendent for outreach if the Sabbath School has one.

Time Commitment — 16 hours a month

The time it takes to lead a Branch Sabbath School depends on the scope and size of the program. One should plan to spend a minimum of two hours a week in preparing the program and another two hours for the program itself and for visitation.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties of the Branch Sabbath School leader fall into three categories: organization, programming, and soul winning.

Organization
1. Get approval from the Sabbath School Council and the necessary financial support.
2. Begin small. It is possible to start with one or two interested people. It is usually best to begin by concentrating on one age level: children, youth, or adults.
3. Find others to help with the leadership as required by the size of the group.
4. Arrange for a place to hold the Branch Sabbath School and decide on the time it will be held.
5. Prepare announcements and invitations and see that they reach those who might attend.
6. Order lessons, program materials, and take-home papers for the children.
7. Keep a record of attendance.
8. Keep the pastor and the home Sabbath School informed about the progress of the Branch Sabbath School and the interest of individuals.

Programming
1. Use materials available from Sabbath School and Children’s Ministries.
2. The meetings should follow the general pattern of regular Sabbath School, though there may be some need for adaptation.
3. Make the programs interesting and appropriate to the age and experience of those who attend.
4. Where specific Branch Sabbath School materials are not available, adapt material used in the regular Sabbath School, such as felt visual aid sets, picture sets, songbooks, illustrated songs, lessons, and program and activity materials.

Soul Winning
1. Pray for the direction of the Holy Spirit that people will be led to make decisions for Christ.
2. Encourage personal devotion on the part of those attending, perhaps providing Bibles for those who need them.
3. Visit homes occasionally.
4. As you see spiritual growth taking place, be ready with encouragement and help as needed.
5. Avoid embarrassing anyone by presenting testing truths too soon. Avoid controversy. Concentrate on bringing participants into a living relationship with Christ.
6. When appropriate, invite members of the Branch Sabbath School to participate in church functions.

Resources

Most world divisions have study guides, baptismal manuals, Bible correspondence lessons, and other publications in local languages that can be used in Branch Sabbath Schools.

Adults. The regular Sabbath School Bible Study Guides may be used, especially those that focus on a book of the Bible or topics such as health or Bible biographies. You do not have to use the current Bible Study Guide. A series of two Bible Study Guides is available covering the fundamental beliefs of the church.

Youth. Issues of CQ (Collegiate Quarterly) on different topics may be used, as well as the Adult Bible Study Guide.

Junior/Earliteen. The Youth department has available a study series called the G.A.T.E. that covers the doctrines of the church.

Children. The Department of Children’s Ministry has excellent mate­rial that can be used in Branch Sabbath Schools. They have a Children’s Great Controversy set, a Children’s Steps to Christ set, a year- long series entitled God Is So Great, and three sets of Bible lessons: God Sent His Son to Be My Friend, God’s Young Friends in the Old Testament, and God’s Young Friends in the New Testament. A set called God Wants to Be My Very Best Friend studies the Ten Commandments. An activity book on how to study the Bible, titled Making the Bible a Delight, is also available.


© 2007 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists