Community outreach is yet another aspect of the Sabbath School class. Many Sabbath School classes work together to help people in need in their local community as well as their local church. There are several ways to minister to your local community and/or church community.
See below for some suggestions -
- Start a Bible study group for seekers to meet sometime during the week, like on a Wednesday night.
- Create a welcoming environment at your church, with hot drinks and biscuits.
- Plan out the theme or topic several weeks in advance.
- Make free Bibles available to visitors.
- Volunteer your time at a local Bible correspondence school.
- Get involved in a StormCo Project
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, or start one in your local community.
- Offer assistance to elderly and those with physical limitations by helping them with lawn mowing, raking leaves, driving them to the shops, to the doctor or to church.
- Visit the residents of local retirement and nursing homes.
- Any kind of volunteer work. You can call your local council and find out if they need any help.
- Clean out your wardrobes and book shelves and donate what you don't need to a local charity.
- If you belong to a large congregation, organise for your Sabbath School class to adopt a small church and offer to take a Sabbath School for them. Make it something special!
- As a class, identify a need in your community. For example, a church member may have just returned home from a stay in hospital, you could pool your financial resources to purchase a basket of grocery items for them.
- Put a prayer requests box in the foyer of your church. Supply paper and pens. Share the requests with the Sabbath School every week.
- Assign 'prayer warriors' to pray for specific things or people.
- Get members of your Sabbath School to keep a prayer journal, noting answers to prayers. Remember to thank God for answered prayers.
- Identify a week or month to pray specifically for local community services such as the Police or Fire brigade. Write to them in advance, thank them for what they do and invite them to send in any special prayer requests.
- Create an e-prayer network. Get the email addresses of those who want to be involved so that if urgent prayer needs arise, you can email the group with the need.
How often do you thank the people in your community?
Can you remember the last time you thanked -
- Your pastor?
- The church treasurer?
- The person that packs your groceries?
- The guy that pumps petrol in your car?
- The person that empties your bins (at home or in the office)?
- The person that opens the door for you?
- Check-out attendants?
- Security guards?
Can you think of more?
Get to know the names of the people that you come into contact with everyday.
Do you get your sandwich made at the same place every day? You could find out the person's name and when you thank them, use their name – you'll make their day.
As a class, write thank you cards to people in your church or neighbourhood who faithfully do the things that need to be done, but no one ever notices or acknowledges them.