Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work


Mistakes Pointed Out

The Sabbath-school, if rightly conducted, is one of God's great instrumentalities to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth. It is not the best plan for teachers to do all the talking, but they should draw out the class to tell what they know. Then let the teacher, with a few brief, pointed remarks or illustrations, impress the lesson upon their minds. Under no circumstances should teachers go through the lesson mechanically, and then sit down, leaving the children to stare about, or whisper and play, as we have seen them do. Such teaching is not beneficial; it is often injurious. If the teacher is properly prepared, every moment can be used to profit. The active minds of the children should be kept constantly employed. Their ideas should be drawn out and corrected, or approved, as the case may require. But never should the teacher sit down, saying, “I am through.” There is no such thing as getting through with the lesson. TSS 18.1

Superintendents, never scold nor complain before your teachers or scholars. If you wish to influence the school for good, put away the whip, and exert a heaven-inspiring influence, which will carry the minds of all with you. In making plans and regulations for the school, let them represent, as nearly as possible, the voice of the school. In some schools there is a sharp, critical spirit. Much is made of forms and rules, while the weightier matters, mercy and the love of God, are neglected. Let all be cheerful. If any have clouds encompassing their souls, let them work out into the sunlight before they enter the Sabbath-school. A mother who is constantly relating her discouragements, and complaining to her children of their lack of appreciation, can not have proper control of them. So will it be with you, teachers and superintendents. If you see a lack in this respect, do not lessen your influence by speaking of it; but in a quiet way set influences to work that will correct the evil. Plan, study how to secure a well-organized, well-disciplined school. TSS 19.1

All in the school should feel themselves learners. We are to become daily learners if we would be true educators. It is a noble thing to teach; it is a blessed thing to learn. Knowledge is a precious possession, and the more we obtain of it, the better work will we do if we make a right use of it. As workers for God we want more of Jesus and less of self. We should have more of a burden for souls, and should pray daily that strength and wisdom may be given us for the Sabbath. Teachers, meet with your classes. Pray with them, and teach them how to pray. Let the heart be softened, and the petitions short and simple, but earnest. Let your words be few and well chosen; and let them learn from your lips and your example that the truth of God must be rooted in their hearts or they can not stand the test of temptation. We want to see whole classes of young people being converted to God, and growing up useful members of the church.—Sabbath-School Worker, October 1, 1885, Art. A, par. 8. TSS 19.2