If your mailbox is like mine, you get a lot of junk mail every day. The interesting thing is that while we may call it junk mail, we still clip the coupons, save the sale ads, and go to the furniture store that advertises the best prices! So why not advertise your Sabbath School? Here’s how.
To the church itself: Use your church newsletter, bulletin, and postal and email lists to advertise your Sabbath School programs. Ask your church communication secretary to help you design an advertising program.
To the general public: Sabbath School is Christian education, so you can advertise it just that way. How about putting an ad in the local newspaper that announces something like “New Vistas in Christian Education for You and Your Family”?
You could also buy a list of the people in your church’s surrounding neighborhoods who have children the ages that fit into your children’s departments. Send a direct-mail piece that describes your program and invite the children and their parents.
A prospect list: A viable prospect list is an up-to-date list of names to whom you can send newsletters and invitations to church events, people you can visit and to whom you can give Bible studies.
The secret is to find people who are good at maintaining lists and let that be their ministry for the Sabbath School. If you depend solely on teachers, the project will fail. The teachers are there to teach and usually do not have either the time or the inclination to keep up a list.
How to build a list:
Step 1. Get informed. Survey the members to see who are and who are not being reached by the Sabbath School. Build a recruitment list on file cards, in a notebook, or on a computer.
Step 2. Add the names and addresses of nonmembers who have attended church functions, such as health classes or Revelation seminars, and develop a plan for systematic communication with them.
James W. Zackrison
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists