Sabbath School superintendents are the primary organizers of the Sabbath School program. Depending on the size of the Sabbath School, there may be one superintendent or many. The primary job of the general superintendent is to organize the entire Sabbath School operation and chair the Sabbath School Council. The associate superintendents assist the general superintendent in organizing and maintaining the smooth operation of the Sabbath School.
There are two main ways for the Sabbath School superintendents to organize their responsibilities:
Plan A: Take charge of alternating Sabbaths. Each superintendent is assigned a certain number of Sabbaths during the year and arranges the entire program for assigned Sabbaths.
Plan B: Be responsible for a certain segment of the program for each Sabbath. Each superintendent is in charge of a certain aspect of Sabbath School for the entire period of service.
All superintendents need not be physically present every Sabbath, but in addition to their specific responsibilities, they take turns as master of ceremonies on assigned Sabbath mornings.
General superintendent. This person is in charge of the overall planning and scheduling of special days, visitors’ Sabbaths, rallies, etc. He or she works with the other superintendents on the programming of these special events.
Evangelism and outreach superintendent. This superintendent is in charge of any and all outreach initiatives of the Sabbath School, such as Branch Sabbath Schools, Sabbath School action units, intercessory prayer initiatives, and plans for contacting non-attending members. He or she serves as the “pastor” of the Sabbath School and is in charge of the extension division, which takes care of those who cannot attend because of age or infirmity.
World mission emphasis superintendent. This superintendent is in charge of all emphases on world mission, including the Sabbath School mission offerings, Investment, the Adventist Mission Society, and the presentation of Mission Spotlight or any other mission report used in the Sabbath School. He or she may schedule guest speakers or missionaries and coordinate mission pageants, displays, dramas, etc., according to the annual plan of the Sabbath School.
Music and special events superintendent. This superintendent supervises the musical program of the Sabbath School, including special musical programs, dramas, demonstrations, community displays, and the program planning for thematic programs or other special initiatives.
Plan B is usually more efficient. It opens the door for much more creative planning and initiative than simply assigning a Sabbath to each superintendent. Plan B produces a much more dynamic Sabbath School.
James W. Zackrison
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists