Superintendents usually make it a point to arrive early at Sabbath School to take care of any problems that may arise and to see that the program gets off to a good start. Arriving on time is arriving too late -- for leaders.
Dave was walking down the hall of the educational wing of the church when he heard his name. “Dave! I need to speak with you.” The kindergarten teacher closed the gap between them. “I have a discipline problem with three of my older boys. They really ought to be in primary. The kindergarten program just doesn’t hold their attention anymore. When is the next Sabbath School council meeting?”
“It’s the second Tuesday of every month,” Dave replied. “That would be this coming Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. We plan to discuss promotions. Can you be there?”
Not more than two minutes after those plans were confirmed, the junior leader came into view.
“Dave, we are losing Eleanor as a teacher.”
“Come to the council meeting next Tuesday night,” Dave responded. “We’ll see if we can find a teacher for you.”
After church service the earliteen leader requested that a bulletin board be put up in his classroom. Well, we’re going to have a heavy agenda, Dave thought. I’m glad we have Sabbath School council meetings to handle these issues.
The Sabbath School Council
The above scenario, though imaginary, is certainly true to life. The superintendent and the council are the Sabbath School problem solvers.
Hospital staff meetings and corporate board meetings are vital to the health of those organizations. In the same way, the council ministers to Sabbath School leaders. The decisions of the council affect the entire Sabbath School. The Sabbath School Council is the highest authority within the Sabbath School organization.
Sabbath School Council meetings should be held monthly. In addition to being a problem-solving forum, the council serves as a planning session in which the progress of the Sabbath School is reviewed and plans are made for achieving Sabbath School objectives. Moreover, the council meeting should be a devotional fellowship in which leaders discuss their ministry as well as exchange support and encouragement.
Begin building your agenda weeks ahead of time. During this period visit with your division leaders. Talk with the Sabbath School secretary about the trends in attendance and offerings. You need to know if your school is growing and what areas need attention.
How can you get the officers and division leaders to attend?
- One week before the meeting. Mail your agenda to council members.
- The Sabbath before. Remind the council members of the meeting.
- At the meeting. Call the roll, noting the absentees. Begin on time. Keep to the agenda. End on time.
- Occasionally. Show and discuss a Sabbath School training video produced by AdventSource. Titles include The Mission of the Sabbath School, Group Dynamics, Learning Styles, Instructional Skills, and The Sabbath School Class as a Caring Unit. Also, try changing the focus by having your council meeting in the form of a social.
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists