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.