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CREATIVE IDEAS FOR ADULT SABBATH SCHOOL Prepared by: Tonnie Katsekera Sabbath School Department, SID

Nine Ideas About Organization Idea No. 1 Write a Statement of Mission for Your Sabbath School. A statement of mission is a declaration that states what your Sabbath School is all about and what you wish to accomplish. It sets a general direction for your Sabbath School. When formulating a statement of mission, use these questions: Who are we? Why are we here? What do we hope to accomplish? What do we expect will happen as a result?

Idea No. 2 Organize a Viable Planning Committee. Find some people in your church that you know are creative and have good ideas. Ask them to form an ad hoc adult Sabbath School planning committee to come up with some creative ideas. Have them meet with the adult Sabbath School superintendent and brainstorm.

Idea No. 3 Plan Your Programs for a Year in Advance. To many adult Sabbath School run on a week-to-week basis with no particular rhyme or reason. All to often the person in charge contacts someone on a Friday night to “read a mission story” in Sabbath School the next day. Organize a major planning session at the beginning of the year to lay out programs for the year.

Idea No. 4 Use Some Forms to Plan Your Work. Annual Activities Planner Quarterly Program Planner Weekly Program Planning Guide

Idea No. 5 Organize the Work of the Superintendents. 1. Each superintendent can be assigned a certain number of programs during the year and each one plans all the activities for those programs. 2. Each superintendent takes charge of a different aspect of the program and does this one thing for the year.

Sabbath School Superintendents: Superintendent 1 – Study and teachers Superintendent 2 – Fellowship Superintendent 3 – Community outreach Superintendent 4 – World mission emphasis

Idea No. 6 Develop a Theme for the Programs. One way to keep the interest level high is to develop programs around themes. You can narrow themes down to one a month, or even choose a different theme for each Sabbath of the month.

January: Step Ahead Month Every member should learn to do one new thing. February: Youth Month Give the youth a prominent place in Sabbath School. March: Evangelism Month Train how members can do personal evangelism. April: Know Your Church Emphasis on our Adventist heritage

May: Christian Family Month Emphasis on family June: Missions Month Special focus on Adventist world missions. July: Recreation Month Sabbath School picnic, social activity in every class. August: Get Acquainted Month Every Sabbath School member find five new friends.

September: Homecoming Month Members contact non-attendees. Major Rally Day. October: Teacher Recognition Month Teacher recognition service, teacher banquet. November: Stewardship Month Thanks offerings. Emphasis on investiment. December: Good Will Month Christmas program, decision day for new year.

More Ideas for Themes: Adventist Heros Unique Religious Experiences Adventist Heritage How I Found Adventism Songs of Adventism Where Does Sabbath School Money Go?

Idea No. 7 Choose Alternative Curriculums for Special Needs And Groups How to set up and use your own personal soul-winning network. Parenting classes for young adults. How to be single and survive. Pastor’s class. Discipling classes: How to discover and use your spiritual gifts. How to give Bible studies.

Idea No. 8 Set Goals for Attendance and Sabbath School Ministries Set goals for attendance and the number of ministries your Sabbath School caries out. Use percentages instead of numbers. Develop progress charts to show how you are doing

Idea No. 9 Write Out ”10 Commandments” for Your Sabbath School 1. Maintain a roll and attendance record. 2. Check the roll every week. 3. Follow up on absentees 4. Strictly observe the starting and stopping times. 5. Make the time in Sabbath School count. Be enthusiastic.

6. Provide fellowship opportunities. 7. Make Sabbath School enjoyable for visitors. 8. Use imagination in room setting and finding space. 9. Do all the good you can. 10. Make Sabbath School part of going to church.

Eight Ideas for Increasing Attendance Idea No. 1 Develop a Program of Fellowship Fellowship and participation are the keys to a successful Sabbath School. Use the “Total Hour Learning” system in your Sabbath School.

Idea No. 2 Use a Survey to Assess Needs Organize some people in your Sabbath School to contact nonattendees and get their input.

Idea No. 3 Advertise Your Sabbath School Use your church newsletter, bulletin, and mailing list to advertise your Sabbath School programs. Advertise to the community. Your church communication secretary can help design an advertising program. advertise to the general public. Sabbath School is Christian education, so you can advertise it just that way. Advertise in the local newspaper. Obtain a list of people in your church’s sphere of influence that have children of the ages that fit your children’s departments. Send them something that describes your program and invite the kids. Mention that you have classes for the adults too.

Idea No. 4 Organize Your Sabbath School Classes Around the OIKOS Principle Oikos is the Greek word that literally means “house” or “household.” A household in this sense means the network of people with whom you have contact. That includes friends, neighbors, associates at work, clients that come through your door for service, etc.

Pray regularly and specifically for the people on your Oikos. Develop a discipleship plan - attentive listening - relating to needs - identifying receptive periods - appropriate timing - understanding language

Idea No. 5 Build a Viable Prospect List A viable prospect list means that you will have an up-to-date list of names to whom you can send newsletters, invitations to church events, people you can visit, and to whom you can give Bible studies. Develop a workable plan to keep yourself informed about SS/Church prospects within your own church. Develop a plan for systematically communicating with people on your prospect list who have attended church functions such as health classes or Revelation seminars.

Idea No. 6 Use Incentives and Interesting Arrangements to Build Attendance Incentives and unique plans seem to have the aura of “promotion” in some circles, and some Sabbath Schools tend to avoid them. These Sabbath Schools are also very often empty. Here are some unique plans that can help increase your Sabbath School attendance: - special days attendance plan - the “fill a pew” plan - the “three find one” plan

Idea No. 7 Once a year hold a special class on how to do evangelism through the Sabbath School Idea No. 8 Use Special Days to Increase Attendance Pathfinder Day. Departmental Promotion Days. Rally Day, etc.

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