We had just moved to Dallas. Sabbath afternoon the doorbell rang and a well-dressed couple greeted me with “Welcome to Dallas! We’re members of a young adult Sunday School class at our church. If you are not members of a church, we invite you to join stimulating Bible study and good fellowship next Sunday morning at 10:00!”
If we had not been Seventh-day Adventists, we probably would have joined that congregation. Outreach through their classes pushed that church’s membership to 6,000. I learned that 80 percent of their members are won through their Bible classes.
There are two kinds of Sabbath School teaching. There is teaching that leads people to say “I’m so glad I’m a Christian!” Then there is teaching that causes people to say “Today I must tell somebody about Jesus!”
Have your Sabbath School members won a soul to Christ this year? Is there a burning passion for lost people in the hearts of your teachers and students?
A Sabbath School not actively engaged in outreach for lost people is coming short of God’s ideal. “The Sabbath School should be one of the greatest instrumentalities, and the most effectual, in bring souls to Christ” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 10). Our Sabbath Schools can provide an organizational framework for evangelism that could bring thousands of lost people into our Bible study program.
Evangelistic visitation through the adult Sabbath School classes is being successfully used in many places -- especially in our overseas divisions. Try this method. Ask your pastor for some names of prospects to visit. Ask him or her to hold a series of classes on gospel visitation.
Talk to your adult Sabbath School teachers about our leaders’ responsibility to reach out to others. Ask them if they would be willing to be trained to lead out in a visitation program.
Make a list of prospects and place the names on assignment cards. Introduce the concept to your Sabbath School and provide the cards to teachers who are willing to lead their classes in visitation.
Try these evangelistic methods:
Action units. Classes with six to eight members provide room for growth. If carefully organized and undergirded with much prayer, this Spirit-led program will win souls.
Branch Sabbath Schools. An evangelistic Bible school for non-Adventists, this method builds thoughts of Sabbath Schools throughout the world.
Neighborhood Bible Clubs. These story hours for children are conducted in the homes of church members and often grow into Branch Sabbath Schools.
Vacation Bible Schools. These programs create goodwill because the neighbors believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church cares about the welfare of their children.
Electing a superintendent of outreach who is fully committed to soul winning would help your Sabbath School fulfill the mandate recorded in Counsels on Sabbath School Work: “The Sabbath school, when rightly managed, possesses marvelous power. . . . The influence growing out of Sabbath school work should improve and enlarge the church” (p. 9).
Charles H. Betz
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists