Literature Outreach for Sabbath School

One of the objectives of Sabbath School is to facilitate soul winning in the local church. “The object of Sabbath school work should be the ingathering of souls” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 61). To accomplish this, Sabbath School teachers should work toward creating an atmosphere of outreach. Take five minutes of class time to discuss the following. (Five minutes does not provide time to talk about all four of the following points each Sabbath. Take them one at a time. It may take several weeks to get through points one and two.)

  1. Time for recognizing the mission of the class. Ask the following questions: What is our mission? Where is our mission? Who is our mission?
  2. Time for laying plans. This is the time to be very specific in what your actions will be. How can we accomplish our mission? When can we accom­plish our mission?
  3. Time for prayer. Take time each week for prayer. “Solicit prayer for the souls for whom you labor; present them before the church as subjects for their supplication. It will be just what the members of the church need, to have their minds called from their petty difficulties, to feel a great burden, a personal interest, for a soul that is ready to perish. Select an­other and still another soul, daily seeking guidance from God, laying everything before Him in earnest prayer, and working in divine wisdom. As you do this, God will give you the Holy Spirit to convict and convert the soul” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 80, 81). “In rescuing souls from [Satan’s] devices, far more will be accomplished by Christ-like, humble prayer than by many words without prayer” (Colporteur Ministry, p. 81).
  4. Time for sharing. When a project or projects have been launched, then begin to give class members an opportunity to share how things are going with their outreach projects. Ask these questions to get discussion going: How is God blessing our efforts? What miracles are happening? Who did we reach this week? What did we learn this week that we can use next week?

Sixteen creative literature outreach ideas

  1. Overseas. “The home missionary work will be farther advanced in every way when a more liberal, self-denying, self-sacrificing spirit is manifested for the prosperity of foreign missions; for the prosperity of the home work depends largely, under God, upon the reflex influence of the evangelical work done in countries afar off. It is in working actively to supply the necessities of the cause of God that we bring our souls in touch with the Source of all power” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 27).
    • Collect spiritual books and magazines from class members and others in your church. Send to a missionary or a church overseas. (If the magazines have church members’ names and addresses, remove the addresses before mailing overseas. This will protect the members from receiving un­solicited requests for money.) 
    • Take up a collection of funds in your class and send a monthly subscription of a missionary magazine to a church overseas.
    • Develop a sister church relationship with a church overseas. Share materials and stories with your sister church.
    • Send literature that can be used in an evangelistic series overseas.
    • Send materials to a literature evangelist over­seas.
  2. Literature racks. Your class can take the pro­ject of supplying and stocking literature in racks at:
    • Your church. Many members and visitors will be encouraged by having a supply of reading material they can pick up in the foyer of your church.
  3. Mailing projects. Your class can facilitate sending literature through the mail to the following:
    • Church interest list. Work with the pastor to send a monthly or quarterly mailing to those on the interest list. The mailings could include a letter as well as a book, booklet, tract, or magazine.
    • Zip codes around church. There are many pieces of literature that can be mailed to a zip code or carrier route around your church (e.g., Steps to Christ, Signs of the Times specials, etc.).
    • Missionary magazines. Your class can put together a list of individuals that you are praying for and send them one of the missionary journals of the church each month (e.g., Signs of the Times, Message Magazine, El Centinela, etc.).
  4. Door-to-door. This takes more commitment from the members of the class than just giving of their finances, but it becomes more exciting as friendships are formed with individuals in the community.
    • Choose a territory around the church, around your home, etc. Visit each home and offer a piece of literature. As the Spirit leads, offer to have prayer with those you visit.
    • Set a schedule for how often you will make visits and what material you will share.
    • Be sure to have some material for children to leave with families. You can use Our Little Friend, Primary Treasure, Guide and small story books.
  5. “Share a box.” Have the class purchase a case of books. Divide them up among the class members and challenge the class to be creative during the week in distributing these books (e.g., Steps to Christ, the Sharing Book of the Year, etc.). The next Sabbath let members share who God led them to during the week and let them tell about the various experiences they had.
  6. Prison ministries. Challenge the class to be active in a prison ministry. There are two ways: actively going to the prison and sharing material or sending material to a prison for the inmates.
    • Send monthly missionary magazines to inmates.
    • Work with the prison chaplain to find books for the prison library.
  7. Church school. Make sure the parents of the children from non-Seventh-day Adventist families attending your local church school are receiving the missionary magazine each month (e.g., Signs of the Times, Message, El Centinela, etc.).
  8. Bible school. Encourage your Sabbath School class to be the instructors and organizers for your local Discover Bible School.
    • Volunteer to correct lessons.
    • Distribute lessons in the neighborhood.
  9. Dedicate a . . . Ask your Sabbath School members to dedicate the following for the purpose of carrying literature. When they dedicate this to the Lord, they will always have literature with them to share. Ask them this week how they Lord has used their

    “Dedicated . . .”  

    • Dedicate a pocket.
    • Dedicate a glove box.
    • Dedicate a brief case.
  10. Signs of the Times news box. The class can commit to supplying Signs of the Times magazines for a news box in town. They can also take the responsibility for making sure the box is stocked with magazines each week.
  11. Tracts. There are countless ways to use tracts. Give each member 10 tracts on a Sabbath morning and ask them to be creative during the week in their distribution of them. The next week let the class share where and when they used the tracts.
    • Leave in waiting rooms.
    • Include with payments of bills.
    • Give to a person they are visiting with.
  12. Shut-ins. Each church has members who are unable to attend church for some reason. Your Sabbath School class can set up a program for visiting these shut-ins and sharing various types of literature.
    • Deliver the church bulletin.
    • Share a book or magazine.
    • Read a book or story to someone whose eyes may not allow them to have the joy of reading.
  13. New-member retention. Your class can take on the responsibility of making sure that new members in the church are cared for by using some of the following:
    • At the time of baptism, your class can present to the new member a “Spiritual Food Basket.” This could include a devotional book, a Spirit of Prophecy book, a missionary magazine, a story book, etc.
  14. Holiday ideas. At the holiday times such as Christmas and Easter many people are much more spiritually open. Your class can do something special.
    • Send books to former and inactive members.
    • Distribute literature that uplifts Jesus to your community.
  15. Personals ad offering a free book. Place a small advertisement in the personals column of your local newspaper. Offer a small book. There are many inexpensive books that deal with subjects such as grief, marriage, parenting, health, etc. You’ll be surprised at the number of individuals who write in for a free book. Your class can send these books to those requesting them and write a personal note to send along with the books. Also, offer free Bible study guides to each of those who write in.
  16. Reach out to former and inactive members. Your class can gather a list of former and inactive members in your church. Begin by praying for them.  Then send a magazine such as Signs of the Times or Message. As time goes by, you may send other literature that is positive and Christ-centered.

Dale Galusha
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists