One way to keep the interest level high in your Sabbath School is to develop the programs around themes. You could do this for a whole year, a quarter, a month, or even a week. As an example, here is a way to organize a year’s Sabbath School programming into monthly themes:
January: Step-ahead month. Every member should learn to do one new thing during the month.
February: Youth month. The youth should be given a prominent place in Sabbath School during this time.
March: Evangelism month. Special emphasis is placed on community outreach.
April: Know-your-church month. Five-minute presentations are made, including audio-visual materials, about Seventh-day Adventist heritage.
May: Christian family month. The Sabbath School programs focus on graduates, a mother-daughter banquet, etc.
June: Missions month. Special emphasis is placed on Adventist world missions.
July: Recreation month. The Sabbath School department hosts a picnic, social activities of some kind are planned in every class, etc.
August: Get-acquainted month. Every Sabbath School member finds five new friends.
September: Homecoming month. Members contact those who have not attended Sabbath School in a long time. A major rally day is planned.
October: Teacher-recognition month. The program features a teacher-recognition service. The Sabbath School department hosts a teacher/officer banquet.
November: Stewardship month. The department organizes a thanksgiving offering. Emphasis is placed on Investment, etc.
December: Goodwill month. This could include a Christmas program and/or a decision day for the coming new year.
More ideas for themes:
Adventist Heroes. People are always talking about sports heroes, rock and roll stars, and movie stars. How about some Adventist heroes? You may have some people in your own congregation who have done great things for the Lord. Invite them to tell their stories. This could be done through talks, interviews, etc.
Unique religious experiences. Some people have unique religious experiences to tell. Some have hobbies that fit into a biblical perspective. Maybe they collect Bibles or coins from Bible times, etc. People with unique ministries such as the Bible Society could be invited to make presentations.
Adventist heritage. Who are we and where did we come from? It is surprising how little people know about our own background and history. Stage some plays. Display some books that deal with Adventist history. Focus on some outstanding event. All kinds of visual aids are available for this kind of program.
How I found Adventists. Share recent stories about people in your own congregation. How did they become members of the church?
Songs of Adventism. Lots of early Adventist hymns are in the hymnal. Organize some Sabbath School programs around these hymns and their stories.
Where does Sabbath School money go?
Most people have no idea. This would be an interesting series to tie in with a program like Mission Spotlight. Find a creative way to show how a dollar starts at the local church and where it comes out at the other end.
James Zackrison and Don Eckenroth
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists