y local church Sabbath school superintendent recently asked me to share with the congregation why Sabbath school is important. In preparing for that short talk, which primarily addressed adult Sabbath school, I asked others for their point of view. Although most told of ways Sabbath school is a blessing to them, some admitted that they seldom attend. So perhaps a brief reminder of a few of the benefits of Sabbath school will also be helpful to Review
• builds faith through Bible study and helps unify members worldwide.
• provides fellowship with like-minded believers in a small-group environment.
• provides a “safe place” to express views and ask questions without fear of ridicule.
• has a consistent world mission focus and helps finance missions.
• reminds us that mission is also found in our own backyard. Class members often find it easier to reach out as small groups to the community as well as to inactive members.
• helps members gain insights into the Bible from others’ viewpoints and knowledge.
• helps us become more disciplined in personal Bible study.
• provides opportunities to discuss practical applications of Scripture.
• connects people with the source of true authority—the Bible.
James White wrote the first Sabbath school lessons in 1852, publishing the first four in the initial issue of the Youth’s Instructor
that same year. The concept of Sabbath school grew from there. It seems it was the Lord who led White to begin this most effective method of teaching, likely because He knew His people would benefit from regular group Bible study as well as personal study.
So what about this week’s Sabbath school—will you be there?
Sandra Blackmer is the features editor for the
Adventist Review. This article was published April 19, 2012.