Have you ever attended or conducted a Sabbath School Community Guest Day and concluded emphasis with the lingering questions:
- Did we hit the mark?
- How could we have been more effective?
Including the following considerations in your planning can move you to a resounding Yes! to both questions.
The description of our Master’s outreach methods outlined in The Ministry of Healing, page 143, constitutes the ideal digest-size action plan for congregational outreach.
For sure, He “mingled” in a genuine way and “met needs.”
Prior to planning your Community Guest Day, do an inventory designed to discover if your congregation has a legitimate right to celebrate with its ministry partners in your community. “Partners” are fellow participants! So, validate your congregational participation as sponsors of the celebration by documenting demonstrated commitment to the community through disinterested service. If the documentation is there, by all means move forward!
Move to Higher Ground
Live your company manners at all times; however, take company manners to a higher level on Community Guest Day. Encourage the ideal sprucing up of the church facility and the members’ relational outreach—friendliness, kindness, warmth.
In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of the honorees, blend the focus of the proceedings to orient the guests to the community outreach focus of the world church, the North American Division, and the local congregation’s interest in genuine, meaningful, beneficial partnerships within the community. Do this while avoiding Seventh-day Adventist code words or jargon.
Keep the proceedings brief, especially portions that take place during the worship hour. Also limit the number of honorees. A trio or less would be ideal.
We pray that the Community Guest Day celebrations of your congregation will be maximized.
God be with you!
J. Alfred Johnson II
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists