“How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” These words, spoken by atheist Penn Jillette of the magician duo Penn & Teller, carry a profound message about our responsibility to share the hope of everlasting life with others.
On October 2, our entire conference is embarking on a monumental mission across the state of Michigan, dedicating time, energy, and resources to 72 simultaneous campaigns. Our collective goal is to spread God’s end-time message throughout Michigan, ensuring that as many people as possible come to know of His boundless love and His plan to grant them everlasting life.
It’s now time to mobilize our Sabbath Schools or other small group ministries to actively contribute to the proclamation of this life-changing message. We propose that each Sabbath School teacher and superintendent initiate a local mission emphasis. Here’s how you can get started:
1. Set Personal Invitation Goals
Challenge each Sabbath School class to set a specific goal for personally inviting a set number of individuals to Discovering Revelation meetings. Equip your class members with invitation cards to distribute among their friends, family, neighbors, or anyone they encounter in their daily lives.
2. Create a Prayer List
In each class, compile a list of names that hold special significance for class members—individuals they yearn to introduce to Christ. These could be family members, co-workers, friends, or acquaintances. Dedicate time in every Sabbath class to pray for these individuals by name, both during class sessions and in personal prayers at home.
3. Extend Personal Invitations
Encourage your class to take the extra step of personally inviting those they have been praying for. Offer to provide transportation to the meetings if needed. Make this a class mission project, an ongoing topic of discussion throughout the month, and continue to track who is planning to attend. Above all, never cease your prayers on their behalf.
Pastor Tony Cirigliano shared a story that serves as a powerful reminder of our duty. Several weeks after an evangelistic campaign, it was baptismal day, a day filled with excitement as individuals made the life-altering decision to join God’s end-time church. One lady, whom we’ll call “Betty,” stepped into the baptismal tank with a smile. However, her expression suddenly changed as she spotted a familiar face in the congregation—a co-worker she had known for years. Betty pointed and exclaimed, “You never told me! You knew all of this, and you never told me!” The lady in the congregation felt embarrassed and somewhat upset at being called out publicly. Still, upon reflection, she recognized her mistake and vowed never to let it happen again.
Let’s learn from this story and the powerful quote by Penn Jillette. Let’s be proactive in sharing the hope of everlasting life with those around us. Together, as a Sabbath School family, let’s be the bearers of this life-changing message, ensuring that no one we know remains unaware of the incredible hope found in Christ.
 “If there is a large number in the church, let the members be formed into small companies, to work not only for the church members, but for unbelievers. If in one place there are only two or three who know the truth, let them form themselves into a band of workers. Let them keep their bond of union unbroken, pressing together in love and unity, encouraging one another to advance, each gaining courage and strength from the assistance of the others. Let them reveal Christlike forbearance and patience, speaking no hasty words, using the talent of speech to build one another up in the most holy faith. Let them labor in Christlike love for those outside the fold…. As they work and pray in Christ’s name, their numbers will increase.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, p. 22)
Bob walks into Sabbath School for the first time after enjoying four weeks of engaging Bible messages during Discovering Revelation expecting to find a church full of eager Bible students. If Bob were to walk into your church, would he find the enthusiastic, welcoming saints he is looking for or will he only find five people huddled together in a little group in the sanctuary who don’t even notice his arrival?
To make sure your church is ready for the Bob’s from your fall evangelism to show up at your Sabbath School, you need to start planning now. The last thing you want is to have your new friends from the meeting feel like they don’t belong. Instead, coming to Sabbath School should feel like they are coming home! Here are some questions to discuss at your Sabbath School Council or Board Meeting to help you evaluate your Sabbath School and where you may need to make some changes.
If we were brand new to your church, how would we feel as we walked into the building? Is it awkward? Would you know where to go and what to do? Does someone greet you, sit with you, and take an interest in you?
Are the same people you met at the meetings also there in Sabbath School? Do those folks or others like them greet you when walk in on time? Or is the church kind of empty at the start and only as it gets closer to the worship service do more people start to trickle in?
Are we going to use Sabbath School as part of phase 2 of or evangelistic series? When you say the Discovering Revelation Meetings are over many people will just stop coming and assume they have gotten all they can from you about Revelation. To avoid that many successful evangelists plan a “phase 2” of their prophecy series to let their guests know that there is still more to learn. For the first few weeks after the series, you can plan to use Sabbath School, the sermon time, and prayer meeting as “follow up” meetings, thus helping establish your guests into the habit of church. You will hear more about what studies to use and how to announce the follow-up or phase 2 in the Discovering Revelation trainings and zoom calls.
Are we going to start a new beginners Sabbath School Class? If so, will we use the “In Step with Jesus” lessons prepared by the General Conference for new believers, or will we use some other resource? Who will teach it? If we don’t have a class specifically for new believers, where would the best class for new members to attend?
Is our Sabbath School generally “visitor friendly”? Do we stay on topic? Do we use the Bible? Do we draw them into the study and help them to feel like they belong?
Use questions like these to reflect on how prepared your Sabbath School is to receive new believers in the coming weeks. As you do, pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance to make your Sabbath School program just what our Adventist-curious friends need to discover the truth as it is in Jesus.
The best interests at an evangelistic meeting are friends and family of the members, those people who are personally invited. So, now is the time to build relationships with people so that when you invite them to the meetings, they will be happy to come. Here’s a (not nearly exhaustive!) list of things you can do now to help your next public evangelistic series be successful:
Do a BibleStudyOffer.com mailing and start studying with one or more of the new interests.
Plan a missing member cookie distribution. Invite church members to bring 2 dozen cookies and make up plates of cookies with a sharing book to deliver a plate to every missing member that still lives in the area. If the whole church participates you can get this done in just one or two days.
Visit your neighbor with home baked goodies or invite them to a neighborhood picnic at your place or a local park to build relationships.
Plan a VBS and visit all the guests’ families. Provide a monthly follow up VBS program to keep in touch and make your evangelistic children’s program a VBS follow up.
Go door to door with a community religious survey to learn the religious climate of your area, offering Bible studies to those who are interested.
Plan one Sabbath a month to invite visitors and church members to your home for Sabbath lunch or vespers. If you work with other church members you could have a plan that each Sabbath people are fellowshipping at homes. There is something special about being in someone’s home that can’t be duplicated at potluck, ooops, I meant fellowship meal. =)
Participate in your local festival, fair or comparable community event. Whenever possible, do so in a way that makes you a part of festivities and not just a booth trying to squeeze in. For example, if your town has a Strawberry Festival maybe you can serve strawberry smoothies or popsicles while passing literature. Those connections made in person with a friendly smile, firm handshake, and personal interest in the person will go a long way to making sure the literature is read or the Bible study is completed.
Plan an evangelistic church social. A picnic, BBQ, scavenger hunt, or anything along those lines will provide an opportunity to invite non-Adventist family and friends. Don’t forget to invite all the interests and “friends” of the church. Church members can use this time to mingle and get to know people. If the time is right, share a testimony or ask, “Have you heard of our Bible School?” If not, don’t worry. A seed has been sown and they are a little more comfortable with “those Adventists”—or even with the possibility of being one someday!
Do a service project like clean up the lawn or painting for a family in need or struggling business. This is a great way to build relationships in your community.
Ask for Bible Studies. This seems simplistic, I know, but sometimes we need to be confronted with the obvious. When you are at the grocery store, dress shop, walking through your neighborhood, talking with family or friends, or anywhere else you interact with people, be intentional. Look for an opening and ask! If they say no, don’t be offended. Statistics show that you will probably ask 1000 people before you get a good study interest. In a very real sense, it’s a numbers game—so ask often and trust that it will eventually pay off!
Bring extra food for fellowship meal and personally invite visitors (or members who don’t stay) to stay for fellowship meal. Let them know that you brought enough food to cover them. Sit with them and take a personal interest in them.
Plan a health outreach. If you don’t already have a supper club or on-going health outreach, that is a great way to build relationships. If you don’t have the manpower to do something monthly (or every other month or even quarterly if that’s all you can do) and choose topics that are of most interest to the public. Consistency is key to building friendships with people so something like this is a great opportunity getting close to people.
Go through your interest list. Browse through your church’s Bible study contacts and guest book, looking at each name and think of what can be done to help them along in their journey to knowing Jesus as their savior. Invite them to a church event, visit them in their home, invite them to your home, etc.
Sponsor a carwash to support the local church school or pathfinder club. Be ready with plenty of snacks, GLOW tracts, and conversation to share while the people are waiting to get their car washed.
Plan a concert, either in your church or at a local outdoor venue. Mingle, talk, visit, have door prizes or whatever you need to be able to get to know the folks attending.
It used to be that people would automatically get to know the people in their towns and neighborhoods. But with the advent of television and particularly social media, people are (ironically enough) a lot less social. Because of this we must be intentional and try harder to meet people for Jesus. This is just a short list of different ways you can get to know people, but you can do whatever works for you. You don’t need try to do all of them, but just pick one or two ideas that you think you can accomplish and do those well the Lord will bless your efforts.
A Sabbath School investment is a way that you can partner with God to further his cause on this earth! Here’s how you can do it too! Pick a project that you can do to earn a little extra money and dedicate that money to World Mission, here are a few examples.
Services you can do to raise money for Missions
Sales – What can you sell to raise money for Missions
Eggs laid on Sabbath
Plants or Flowers
Cookies and Pies
Jams and Jellies
Pets (or one from each litter)
Rugs or Quilts
Other ideas of what you can do to get money for Missions
Saving your change
Saving Loma Linda/Atlantic Food Labels
Saving Kellogg’s food Labels
Cans and Bottle returns
Unexpected money or a percentage
Garage Sale or craigs list or Facebook Market place
Your church school is not part of world mission but our kids are defiantly a mission field. If your church school wants to save box tops and save money for their school, here is how you can do that. https://www.boxtops4education.com
2021 North American Division Sabbath School Mission Investment Projects
The Good Shepherd House, located in the Greater New York Conference, hopes to contribute to the fight of health equity among the surrounding communities in the county of Brooklyn. Having a Seventh-day Adventist-run free Medical and Dental Clinic would help bridge the gap in access to healthcare quality. Along with a food pantry program, a thrift store, and social services that we plan to implement, it will enable us to address some of the social determinants of health.
The Southern New England Conference is focusing the mission investment funds on aspects of community services involving collection, distribution and training. Currently, there is a need for space for the temporary storage of equipment needed to meet emergency needs. There is very little space for deployment mobilization of service assets (workers and equipment) to provide needed services during times of extremity.
The Nevada-Utah Conference is focusing on the Church building on the Kayenta Navajo Mission site in the Nevada-Utah Conference.
The Arizona Conference plans free clinics and multisite evangelism under the name: Diné Impact ‘22. The majority of the land area, population and Adventist membership of the Navajo Nation is within the territory of the Arizona Conference. Therefore, the Arizona Conference accepts the challenge of taking the lead in a united evangelistic thrust to reach the entire Navajo Nation. The purpose of this specific project is to reap a substantial harvest of souls in the late summer of 2022, by capitalizing on interest generated through radio and internet outreach to the entire Navajo Nation (across State and Conference lines) in partnership with Adventist World Radio and others, beginning in August 2020. A weekly Navajo-focused, locally produced radio broadcast will air across the Navajo territory on KTNN-AM, the 50,000-watt “voice of the Navajo Nation.” A website, currently under construction, will complement the weekly broadcast, and a Bible school will be established to follow up on interest generated.