A Place to Start:
The Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventist members have a great task of taking the Three Angels Message to all of the 88 counties. It will take a large number of dedicated people willing move out of their comfort zone, doing more than we have done in the past. Jesus never promised an easy life as being one of His followers, quite the opposite. The Adventist church from its early beginning has had a world mission view, but we have neglected the Ohio state wide mission as by the evidence by the nearly fifteen years a no growth.
The Sabbath School is the natural organized band in the church to carry out a mission project beyond the church walls. It should meet weekly to plan new ways of outreach, to discuss the progress and shares the experiences of the past week. It is a time for planning to reach out beyond the church building as well as study of the Bible. This type of Sabbath School class is not intended for all the Sabbath School classes - it is a model concept for our churches.
Preface: Beginning in the local churches
The Seventh-day Adventist church has been entrusted with giving the last message of salvation before Jesus returns. It is summed up in Revelation 14:6-12 with the loud voice of the Three Angels Message. Giving that message began in 1844 with a small voice and has grown to a loud cry all over the world. Our world church growth is commendable, but there is still much work to be done here in Ohio.
Presently, here in Ohio, we are giving our message with a small voice, but soon it will swell to a loud cry of the Three Angels Message. What is needed are trained laymen and women who will go out to meet the people in their world of every day living. We cannot expect seekers of truth to wander into our churches, we must seek them out.
The Sabbath School with a Purpose:
The importance of the Sabbath School as an evangelistic group has been overlooked. It is the only time in the church service where there is a group that is gathered together that can plan and carry out a mission project to spread our message. The focus of the planning is for the larger percentage of the population classified as "non-church population".
The planning should be how to extend the churches message to those who are waiting to be invited. Carrying out the plans of the class will be done by some of the class members. There is another very important task for the class and that is to welcome and make the new contacts comfortable into the Sabbath School class. That is a very important part of church growth. What it is - it is simple friendship. Church life, for many, will be a totally new experience for them. Friendship is needed and along with that instruction with our message is equally important.
The Sabbath School part of the church service is most essential to develop an ongoing outreach program. It will support and sustain the evangelistic program into the counties that have no Seventh-day Adventist church.
It is my hope that the church will see that Sabbath School is a very important time in the church service. It is the only time when the group is together for planning mission work to bring the message of salvation to those that Jesus came to save.
This is what I believe; James C Opicka