B. Russell Holt is the executive editor of Ministry.

Pastor A rarely attends Sabbath school. He is rarely able to do so. He serves a district of three churches—two small congregations and one larger one. While Sabbath school is in progress in the larger church, Pastor A is preaching in one of the smaller congregations. He arrives at the larger church in time to preach for the worship service there.

It's not an ideal arrangement by any means, but his people understand the necessity for it.

Pastor B rarely attends Sabbath school either—at least he isn't present with his people. He has only one congregation to care for, but he operates an active pastor's Bible class that meets in a separate room during the entire Sabbath school period. New members periodically emerge from this class to take their place in the regular Sabbath school, but the pastor rarely does. Yet his people understand his absence.

Pastor C rarely attends Sabbath school. He isn't preaching in another church. Indeed, he has no other church in his district. He isn't leading a pastor's Bible class. A competent elder is caring for that task. Where is he? His members wonder too—those who themselves still attend Sabbath school. Several have decided that if Sabbath school isn't important enough for the pastor to attend, maybe it doesn't matter if they aren't there either, and they have stopped coming.

Pastor C says he needs the Sabbath school time to meet and counsel with people he isn't able to see during the week. He likes to spend the Sabbath school period in his study putting the finishing touches on his morning sermon. "It isn't so necessary that I be there regularly," he insists. "My people under stand. "

But all they understand is that Pastor C is often not in Sabbath school. And they wonder where he is.—B.R.H.

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B. Russell Holt is the executive editor of Ministry.

August 1983

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