Evangelism in the Sabbath school

One of the problems pastors face continually is how to integrate new members into the life of the church how to graft the branches successfully to the vine. Here's a new program, designed to be fitted into the Sabbath school time on Sabbath morning, that will appeal to new members, old members, and prospective members alike in engendering a greater appreciation for the church and its activities.

Fernon Retzer is Sabbath school department director of the Southern Union Conference.

A new graphic-arts series, The Family of God, has been released by the Southern Union Conference and the producers of Mission Spotlight as a unique concept in evangelistic programs unique because it is designed to be presented during the Sabbath school hours on Sabbath morning!

Through twelve Sabbath school pro grams, members and friends of the Seventh-day Adventist faith are introduced to and made familiar with the total picture of the church. This well-prepared series of evangelistic programs gives the pastor an opportunity to conduct a follow-up effort that begins immediately at the close of public meetings. The Family of God is intended to help inform, instruct, and orient new members, but at the same time it provides material that will give members of longer standing a reassurance and new insight into their church. And for those who are making their decision, the Seventh-day Adventist Church takes on new meaning as they see it through the eyes of this program. Thus the Sabbath school becomes a seasoning experience for the entire church family.

Just what is The Family of God? It's a thirty-seven-minute program divided into four fast-moving, interesting parts.

1. Music and meditation (10 minutes). The first segment is a period for meditation—a time to think, to reflect, to pray. The presentation consists of a programmed cassette tape of music coordinated with approximately twenty nature and Bible verse slides. It requires a Kodak projector, a rear-projection screen, and a cassette player with auxiliary speakers.

2. Mission Spotlight (14 minutes). Each Mission Spotlight program in this series depicts the work of the church in one division of the world field. The congregation gains an understanding of the organizational structure and work of the church. The same projection and cassette equipment is needed for this part of the program.

3. Heritage of the Adventist Church (6 minutes). More than one hundred years ago a people followed their convictions in order to carry the message of Christ's second coming to all the world. Experiences and miracle stories from the past and from every continent have given Seventh-day Adventists a rich heritage that binds them together in faith and love all over the world. These carefully written scripts highlight the legacies left to this generation by the pioneers and build faith in God's leading.

4. Orientation (7 minutes). Our church is filled with terminology, functions, operations, and organizations that are unique to it. These can be puzzling even to established members and certainly bewilder new ones. This portion of the program uses reports, charts, and illustrations to provide short, interesting explanations that help members and prospective members understand the functions and institutions of their church.

Following this four-part presentation to the entire Sabbath school, members go to the lesson study in classes. Regular members will be studying from the adult lesson quarterly. New members and prospective members can meet in a special pastor's Bible class, using one of several courses of study designed especially for such use Profiles of the New Life; Profiles of Christian Discipleship; Profiles of Faith; Profiles of Jesus; et cetera.

During the personal ministries period following the lesson study, the local church may provide its own material or use the new program Personal Touch, a Mission Spotlight-type presentation highlighting the work of members in various parts of North America.

Why not put this professionally prepared package into use in your church? For more information, write: Special Services, Southern Union Conference, P.O. Box 849, Decatur, Georgia 30031.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

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Fernon Retzer is Sabbath school department director of the Southern Union Conference.

June 1983

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