Seven qualities of character and personality that will increase your effectiveness as a Sabbath School secretary: dependability, punctuality, thoroughness, cheerfulness, friendliness, enthusiasm, and patience.
The apostle Paul stresses the importance of Christian growth: “[We] speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ” (Eph. 4:15, NKJV).
“Cultivate every faculty to the highest degree of perfection” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 330).
Dependability and Punctuality
“Where are our copies of Sabbath School Leadership?” Sue asked the superintendent.
“Oh, I heard that Martha left on a vacation,” Jill replied. “But it isn’t like Martha to forget her duties. Maybe she asked someone to cover for her and that person forgot to distribute the magazines. Let’s see what we can find in the secretary’s room.” This scenario emphasizes the stress that other workers must endure when we are not careful in choosing a replacement or thorough in instructing that person.
It is important that your assistant or substitute deliver Bible study guides, offering envelopes, and other materials to the teachers and division leaders before Sabbath School begins. The Sabbath School secretary who is punctual, dependable -- always there “rain or shine,” cheerfully carrying forward her vital responsibilities -- is truly serving Christ in a noble matter.
Georgia enjoys working with figures and carefully attends to details. When she married Dan, he was relieved to turn the checkbook over to her. Church members also recognized Georgia’s gift for thoroughness and detail, so the nominating committee asked her to serve the church as Sabbath School secretary. Peter says, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pet. 4:10, NKJV). God wants all to be happy and content in their work, so He calls each person to do the tasks for which he or she was created.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out” (1 Cor. 13:4-6, NLT).
Cheerfulness and Friendliness
Joyce is the Sabbath School secretary for a suburban church. She loves her work and her smile spreads sunshine wherever she goes. This Sabbath morning she stops to greet a boy in the junior class who is on crutches and a senior member who had been absent for a few weeks. Such encouragement is a gift from God.
“A word spoken in due season, how good it is!” (Prov. 15:23, NKJV). “The mouth of the righteous is a well of life” (10:11, NKJV). It is the bright sunshine that encourages flowers to open. Likewise, there is a “marvelous life-giving power to be found in cheerfulness” (Education, p. 197). Sabbath School secretaries, when you focus on people’s feelings your empathy is aroused. You can be helpful.
What activities excite you? Growing flowers? Flying? Building race cars? Doing interior decorating? Seeing children, youth, and adults gathered about the Word of God? The Sabbath School at study excites me too!
“We need a life-giving power, a zealous enthusiasm, a true animation, that our schools may become filled with an atmosphere of true piety and purity; that there may be real religious advancement” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 162).
Remember that union with Christ brings success. “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Charles H. Betz
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists