You’re doing a great job as the Sabbath School secretary! Your reports are in on time, and you have been keeping track of materials and resources. You’ve even mastered the oral reports to the Sabbath School.
But you’re running out of ideas. Facts, statistics, and figures go only so far before they become meaningless. You need some creative ways to get people involved and help them to visualize the strengths (and weaknesses) of the Sabbath School. Try using visual aids.
Visual aids show where the Sabbath School is in a fun way. However, some visuals must be modified for use in classes of various sizes. Adaptations take a little extra work on your part, but the results are well worth the effort.
Let’s say that your Sabbath School has set a goal of inviting five guests each week. Draw a large apple tree and a large number of apples bearing class names or class numbers in bold letters. Record visitors by putting apples on the tree for the respective classes. This visual gives a clear message: The tree bears as much fruit as the class.
Put as many peanuts (in the shell) in a jar as you have Sabbath School members in all divisions. Challenge members to guess how many peanuts are in the jar. Record the guesses on a flipchart, using bright-colored markers. The person who comes the closest is awarded the jarful of peanuts during a monthly secretary’s report. The message: We must grow and/or rejoice about our growth.
Maybe your Sabbath School has a fundraising project. In one jar put one bean or colorful plastic stone for each dollar you want to raise. Each week transfer a bean/stone for each dollar raised.
Or use a wide-tip black marker to draw a thermometer on a large piece of poster paper. Draw lines on the thermometer to indicate dollar amounts. Glue a small piece of Velcro to the poster and tape another piece to a red pen. A specified person pens in the thermometer lines as members turn in donations each week.
Do your Sabbath School members want to insure that homebound members are visited each week? Purchase a flower for each shut-in and put these in a vase. Each visiting class representative takes a flower. Rotate representatives so that all members can participate and shut-ins get to see a variety of members.
Or set up a stand with cheerful cards. Be sure each week to set out the same number of cards as you have people to be visited. Write a message, such as “Our prayers and thoughts are with you. With love from your Sabbath School class.” You can circulate the cards for individual signatures. By keeping track of how many flowers or cards are left, you can tell whether classes are meeting their visitation goal. If a class persistently fails to meet its goal, reevaluate.
As you can see, there are many creative ways to keep your Sabbath School class aware of what is going on. By using your imagination, you will help to make the statistics and goals of Sabbath School come alive for your members. Letting members know where they stand is one of the important services a secretary can provide.
Céleste perrino Walker
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists