Bible Classes and Sabbath School

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.... And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" Acts 2:42, 47, NIV.

Encourage newly baptized members to join a Sabbath morning Bible class. Ask one of those baptized to be your new missionary partner. Each of you makes a prayer list and together you begin the next Harvest Cycle.

The young man wondered what it would be like as a new member of the Adventist church. The pastor's words put his mind at ease. "We have a special class Sabbath mornings for new members and their friends. And the deacons will make sure you have at least seven good friends in the church within your first six months."

"Would you be willing to open your home for a weekly Bible study group?" the Personal Ministries Leader asked the newly baptized woman. "You could invite your friends, and we'll send several church members to lead it." "Would they really come to my house?" she asked. "Of course. You're part of the family!"

For the church to grow rapidly and consistently, it needs to quickly train and develop new members as growing Christians and soul winners. How did the early Christian church do this when they grew from 120 to 3,120 in one day? They welcomed the new members into their hearts and homes daily for Bible instruction, food, prayer and missionary activity. The results? The church soon passed the 5,000 member mark, continued growing rapidly and within a few decades had taken the gospel to the entire world.

New members need special love and attention from their church family, especially during the first few months after baptism. They need to learn how to study the Bible for themselves and how to find a ministry they enjoy. They need a Sabbath School class that reinforces their daily study and a friendly mid-week small group. "When souls are converted, set them to work at once. And as they labor according to their ability, they will grow stronger. … One truly converted soul will reach out in faith to save another and still another" (Ellen G. White, Evangelism, 351–357).

Does your church have a Sabbath School class for new members and a plan to help them get started? Why not assist with or start one of these vital ministries? (For more insights on integrating new members into the Advent Movement, read Evangelism, chapter 10, and Pastoral Ministry, chapter 35.)

Featured in: May 2007


Dan Serns

North Pacific Union Conference Ministerial director

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