Counsels on Sabbath School Work


The Holy Spirit Essential to Success

The officers and teachers in the Sabbath school need the guidance and instruction of the Holy Spirit, that they may be true educators, able to inspire thought, and to bring to remembrance the things that they have taught their pupils. It is the office of the Holy spirit to bring to mind in clear, distinct lines the words and works of Christ, that those who teach concerning the Redeemer of the world, may have power to lift up Christ before the minds of their classes. In all the arrangements of the Sabbath school there is need of the help of the Holy Spirit, in order that men and women may be chosen to fill the responsible positions of superintendents, officers, and teachers, who are men and women of God. CSW 160.1

It is not best to always keep the school under the management of one man; for he will give the school the mold of his own mind and ideas; but there should be workers in the school who will be able to impart fresh thoughts, and advance the school in spiritual life. The school may be attached to one who has served long and faithfully, but the good of the school must be considered, rather than the personal preferences of teachers or pupils. When it is evident that the school would be benefited by a change, by the accession of workers who know what it is to have a burden for souls, then let nothing stand in the way of the change. Those who have no ambition to lift up self, though they may be deposed from office by this arrangement, will eagerly lay hold of every help by which the Sabbath school scholars may be elevated and advanced. Those who are old and experienced in the work have grasped that which would help on the cause of God, and younger men, who are not fully adapted for the work, should follow the example of the older brethren who have proved faithful in what has been committed to their hands, and thus educate themselves in wisdom and tact, that they may secure the success that is essential to good work.... CSW 160.2

Important Questions

What is the reason that there are many found in our churches who are not settled, rooted, and grounded in the truth? Why are there found in the church those who walk in darkness and have no light, whose testimonies are halfhearted, cold, and full of complaint? Why are there those whose feet seem ready to stray into by and forbidden paths, who always have a pitiful tale to tell of temptation and defeat? Have the members of the church felt their responsibility? Have the elders and deacons of the church looked after the weak and straying ones? And have they realized that the wavering are in danger of losing their souls? Have you tried both by precept and example to plant the feet of the straying on the eternal Rock? Have Sabbath school teachers and officers realized that they have a work to do in leading the feet of the young into safe paths, and that they should count every selfish interest as nothing, that they may be winners of souls for the Master? There is a decided need of reformation in every branch of the work. CSW 161.1

A Life-giving Power

Wonderful opportunities are passing by unimproved in our Sabbath school work. Let men and women of varied gifts come into the work, and in the fear of God do their best to save our youth. Let not those who have a mechanical way of doing things, take complete charge of the school, and mold it into formal ways, into precise habits, and yet all its life stifled in a multiplicity of regulations. It is essential to have order, but we need a great deal more spiritual knowledge along with our rules and regulations. We need a life-giving power, a zealous enthusiasm, a true animation, that our schools may become filled with an atmosphere of true piety and purity; that there may be real religious advancement; that the fear of the Lord may circulate through the school; that the superintendent and leaders may not be satisfied with a dead, formal process, but may set every agency at work, that the school may become the noblest, most efficient school in the world. This should be the object and ambition of every worker in the school. CSW 162.1

Wanted—True Superintendents

The leaders in our schools should be men and women of quick intuitions, who have the Spirit of God to aid them in reading character, who have managing ability, who can understand different phases of character, and display tact and wisdom in dealing with varied minds. There are many who can fill the place of superintendent in name, but what is needed is men who can fill the place in every sense of the word. There are many who can go through the form cleverly enough; but they fail to impart courage and hope, to inspire thought, to quicken energy, and to impart such life that the school shall become a living, growing power for good. CSW 162.2

There is a great field open to the teachers also, and they should seek to understand how to work in such a way as to lead out and develop the minds and hearts of the children. They should have the wisdom that cometh from above, that they may deal successfully with the youth and children. Many teachers are shortsighted, and take a course with the youth that does not tend to good results; and instead of advancement there is retrogression. What both workers and pupils need is the endowment of the Holy Spirit, that there may not be spasmodic reforms, but a steady growth in grace, a constant accession of spiritual life and power.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 91-94. CSW 163.1