There are all kinds of outreach activities a Sabbath School or a Sabbath School class can put into practice. One instructional resource, Enriching Sabbath School (published by the South American Division of SDAs), mentions the following:
- Develop an outgoing, friendly environment in class. This is to be done on a continuing basis. A Sabbath School class should train itself always to be attentive and friendly to members and visitors alike.
- Use special Sabbaths to invite people to attend Sabbath School: Sabbath School Rally Day, Christian Family Sabbath, national holidays, Mother’s Day and Father's Day, etc. Go to www.sabbathschoolpersonalministries.org and click on the heading “Sabbath School.” Then click on “Sabbath School Handbook and Leaflets.” In the list, click on “Decision Days” to get a downloadable how-to booklet about setting up and utilizing special decision days in Sabbath School.
- Put together a prayer list of nonattendees, friends, relatives, work associates, etc., and have the class pray over the list on a regular basis.
- Plan ways and means to help people that the class members are familiar with who have particular needs.
- Adopt a class outreach project.
- Set up a visitation schedule to visit nonattendees, members who are sick, etc. Get as many class members involved as possible.
- Give Bible studies. If even one class member is willing to do this, it will produce results.
- Organize a Branch Sabbath School sponsored by your class. A Branch Sabbath School meets outside of regular Sabbath School time, but it is run like a regular Sabbath School class or small group. This is an excellent activity. Go to www.sabbathschoolpersonalministries.org and click on the heading “Sabbath School,” then click on “Sabbath School Handbook and Leaflets.” In the list, there is a downloadable how-to booklet about setting up and running a Branch Sabbath School.
In 2009 the Sabbath School Department of the North American Division sponsored a divisionwide Sabbath School summit. Attendees produced a five-page list of outreach ideas that came to be used by Sabbath Schools. Many ideas were connected with community service, but some dealt directly with soul-winning activities that a Sabbath School or Sabbath School class could sponsor. The following are a few ideas selected from the list:
- Create and sponsor sports ministries for youth aged 8 to 12.
- Adopt a doctor’s office for media outreach (literature racks and displays).
- Invite and interview local community leaders. This is an excellent idea for a Sabbath School program.
- Sponsor Sunshine Bands that provide music and inspirational ministry for senior citizen resident centers. This can be done in conjunction with the Sabbath School extension division. Go to www.sabbathschoolpersonalministries.org and click on the heading “Sabbath School.” Then click on “Sabbath School Handbook and Leaflets.” In the list, there is a downloadable how-to leaflet about setting up and running this Sabbath School extension division.
- Sponsor a street ministry such as preaching, setting up a health-orientation stand, etc.
- Distribute tracts to class members to hand out. Organizations such as the Discover Bible School, from the North American Division Media Center, provide Bible course enrollment cards that are ideal for Sabbath School classes to use.
- Extend Sabbath School to the community through field trips. Take a Sabbath School class on a visit to some community entity and see what kind of service the class might sponsor. Some entities might even be interested in a Branch Sabbath School or a small group Bible study.
- Sponsor a free car wash, a day of free lawn mowing, etc., during which sharing tracts, small books, or Bible School enrollment cards are handed out.
- Put Sabbath School Bible Study Guides for all ages in public places, hair salons, shopping centers, etc. Some class members may not keep their study guides after each quarter is finished. These can be collected and used as outreach tools. Put the address of your church on the cover with a rubber stamp.
- Sponsor a Sunday prayer service and invite the community. Advertise in the local paper.
IN A NUTSHELL
- There are all kinds of outreach projects a Sabbath School can run and/or sponsor.
- Try some of these ideas, and see what works for your Sabbath School.
- Simple ideas work the best.
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists