Apart from Bible Study, part of the Sabbath School time is devoted to friendship, getting to know each other better and praying for each other.

There are many ways to encourage relationships to grow within the Sabbath School family. Some ideas for nurturing friendships are available below to help Sabbath School leaders develop a safe environment for people to share their thoughts openly with each other.

Characteristics of a vibrant Sabbath School include:

  1. Praying for each other every day, not just when your group meets.
  2. Making each other feel welcome and at home, greeting them warmly and using their first names.
  3. Making contact with each other at least once a week by either visiting or calling each other.

Ideas for nurturing friendships

  1. Listen to each other; hear the needs of each individual.
    You may pick up on something where the individual may need some special support. For example, a group member may mention that they have a really busy week ahead. You could make up a big pot of vegetable soup and buy some fresh bread rolls for them.

  2. Spend time with each other outside of the Sabbath School time.
    Be enthusiastic about spending time together by organising a lunch or a picnic, or arrange a friendly game of volleyball.

  3. Be positive and encouraging.
    Phone them, just a quick call to say 'hi' and ask how their week is going. Encourage all Sabbath School members to give friendly, warm greetings to newcomers. Invite them to any Sabbath afternoon activities.

  4. Find out the birthdays of your Sabbath School class members.
    Organise a card for everyone in the Sabbath School to sign and surprise them with the card on the Sabbath before their birthday. Maybe even bake a cake – everyone loves cake!
    Mention achievements or milestones such as graduations, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, new jobs, etc

  5. Organise service projects and reach out to your community.
    Have a service project where your Sabbath School group can work together, get to know each other better and help others at the same time.