Fill in the Blanks

The Sabbath School ministry is not a Sabbath-only responsibility. It is not like a light switch that can be turned off during the week and turned on again on Friday night. One must eat, drink, breathe, and sleep Sabbath School. The fire can ignite creativity -- or at least a sensitivity to the creativity that abounds.

I find Sabbath School work to be very challenging, because there are certain ingredients that are necessary for a good finished product. Sometimes exceptional ideas are found in common places.

Taking Notes on Life

The following sources can yield material to fill in blank spaces in your program, help you underscore a point in your program or lesson, or inspire a unique welcome or closing.

  • Amusing and often pointed bumper stickers can give useful ideas. For example, “God allows U-turns” speaks to repentance and a changed lifestyle.
  • Road signs are useful. “ONE WAY” can be used to emphasize that the only way to heaven is through Jesus.
  • In conversations at home, on the job, or on public transportation, some interesting phrases pop up. Just grab a pen and paper -- which you should have with you at all times -- and jot these ideas down.
  • Some of my best thoughts come to me while showering. Some people sing in the shower, but I prefer to think Sabbath School in the shower.
  • When you are awakened by the Holy Spirit with a thought, jot it down before you forget it. Keep a note pad beside your bed.
  • Another place for good ideas is in church -- during the sermon, departmental promotions, and even Sabbath School class study.
  • Choose items that are catchy but tasteful and that relate to your theme. Never ramble.

People Skills

  • Have a vibrant, meaningful, and friendly relationship with members of the church. Utilize a cross-section of the church membership in your programs: the young, the middle aged, and senior citizens.
  • Do not be limited to friends and cliques. Be inclusive. Invite nonchurch members to participate.
  • Be a good example. Practice what you preach, yet be tactful, flexible, and understanding.
  • Be willing to accept criticism, especially the constructive kind.
  • Feel the pulse of your audience and meet their needs.

Up Front

  • Use correct grammar. It may seem insignificant, but it is very important. Poor grammar can be a turn­off.
  • Always speak distinctly and project your voice. Never bury your head in your notes. Keep eye contact with your audience so you can be aware of their actions and reactions.
  • Be familiar with every facet of your program. Use visual aids, banners, and backdrops as theme, time, and finances permit.
  • Do not make your introduction too lengthy; you will lose the attention of your audience.
  • End your program with a bang -- on a high note.

Owen Rock
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists