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Revitalising the Sabbath School by Terry Messenger. WHY DON’T PEOPLE COME TO SABBATH SCHOOL?. SABBATH SCHOOL PROBLEMS. There is a decline in Sabbath School attendance in many places.
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SABBATH SCHOOL PROBLEMS • There is a decline in Sabbath School attendance in many places. • It was discovered that nearly 20% of those who have been Adventists from four to ten years never study their Sabbath School lesson. • The comparison between church enrollment and Sabbath school attendance shows a large number of missing members. • The majority of Sabbath School teachers have never had any training.
Recent findings show that Sabbath School attendance has dropped from 80% of church membership to 40% of church membership in the past 30 years. • Although the condition of every church may differ, it is a real challenge to bring attendance as high as church membership. TR 1-2
The Objectives of Sabbath School • Bible Study • Fellowship • Community Outreach • World Mission TR 1-4
The Motto of Sabbath School • To Win • To Hold • To Train TR 1-5
God’s Great Instrumentality • “The Sabbath school, if rightly conducted, is one of God’s great instrumentalities to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth.” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 115) TR 1-7
Life-Giving Power of God • “Our Sabbath schools are not what the Lord would have them to be, for there is altogether too much dependence placed upon form and machinery, while the life-giving power of God is not manifested for the conversion of souls, for whom Christ died. This order of things must be changed if our Sabbath schools meet the purpose for which they exist.” (CSW, p. 157) TR 1-8
Structure • Give 1 hour • Sharing time • Prayer • Experiential study • This will help build relationships
Dropping the Mask • Being real • Sharing struggles
Prayer • Pray for one another’s concerns • Pray on the spot • Sentence prayers
Prayer Journal • List requests • Tick when answered • Thank God
Method of Study • Use Bible rather than lesson book • No need to cover whole lesson! • Bring out key points • Practical rather than theoretical
Good Questions: • The Meaning: What does this text mean to you? • Learning from Experience: Share an experience where this text was fulfilled or was significant in your life. • Application to Life: Think of what might possibly happen to you this week. How can you apply this text to your life this week? How can you use this text in reaching out and sharing with someone this week?
Facilitators Function • To guide discussion rather than teach • A Shepherd
Fellowship • Get together socially • Plan outreach projects together
Community Friendly • Use Bible primarily • Explain purpose of Sabbath school • Avoid SDA jargon • Show love and care – but don’t go overboard! • Encourage visitors to share • Don’t criticise differing beliefs
Alternative groups • Parenting • Discovering Christianity • Marriage • Debt Management • Stress Management • Controlling Anger
The Secret of Excellence • “The secret of excellence in teaching is in association and fellowship with the great Teacher. We too can commune with the Master Teacher and learn to “teach as Jesus taught.” “If they labored in connection with Him,--His divine power combining with their human effort,--they could not fail of success.” (Desire of Ages, p. 811) TR 6-29