Compiled from Ellen White’s writings, Counsels on Sabbath School Work is a valuable resource for anyone connected to this branch of ministry. Click here to browse the book in digital format.
Some Advice for Students:
- “Let the Sabbath school lesson be learned, not by a hasty glance at the lesson scripture on Sabbath morning, but by careful study for the next week on Sabbath afternoon, with daily review or illustration during the week. Thus the lesson will become ﬁxed in the memory, a treasure never to be wholly lost” (43).
- “The student of the Sabbath school should feel as thoroughly in earnest to become intelligent in the knowledge of the Scriptures as to excel in the study of the sciences. If either is neglected, it should be the lessons of the six days” (18).
- “The student of the Sabbath school should be in earnest, should dig deep and search with the greatest care for the precious gems of truth contained in the weekly lessons. The privileges and opportunities which they now have of becoming intelligent in regard to the Scriptures should not be neglected. God would have those who profess to be His followers thoroughly furnished with proof of the doctrines of His word. When and where can this be better obtained than in youth at the Sabbath school?” (22).
- “While there is need of thorough investigation of the word of God, that precious truth may be discovered and brought to light, we should be guarded, that the spirit of controversy does not control in our discussions of the Sabbath school lesson. In bringing out points upon which there may be a difference of opinion, the grace of Christ should be manifested by those who are seeking for an understanding of the word of God. There should be liberty given for a frank investigation of truth, that each may know for himself what is the truth” (27).
Some Advice for Teachers:
- “The Sabbath school, if rightly conducted, is one of God’s great instrumentalities to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth. It is not the best plan for teachers to do all the talking, but they should draw out the class to tell what they know. Then let the teacher, with a few brief, pointed remarks or illustrations, impress the lesson upon their minds” (115).
- “In some schools, I am sorry to say, the custom prevails of reading the lesson from the lesson sheet. This should not be. It need not be, if the time that is often needlessly and even sinfully employed, were given to the study of the Scriptures. There is no reason why Sabbath school lessons should be less perfectly learned by teachers or pupils than are the lessons of the day school. They should be better learned, as they treat of subjects inﬁnitely more important. A neglect here is displeasing to God” (117).
- “The teacher should not conﬁne himself to the repetition of the set words of the lesson, yet he wants to be perfectly familiar with the words as well as the ideas. Every teacher, before he stands at the head of his class, should have his plans distinctly laid out in his mind as to what he wants to do for that day and on that occasion. Reciting a lesson yourself before the class is not teaching it; you want simple words and plainly, clearly stated ideas. Make sure that your scholars understand you. If they cannot comprehend your ideas, then your labor is lost” (118).
- “In every grade, in both primary and advanced classes, teachers need to look constantly to the great source of light for wisdom, for grace, and for power to mold the hearts of their scholars, and that they may deal intelligently with the purchase of Christ’s blood. Each teacher should be a humble follower of Him who is meek and lowly in heart. No one should study or work that he may be considered a superior teacher, or a person of unusual ability, but that he may lead souls to Christ. There will come temptations to weave self into all that is done, but the work will be marred if this is done, for it will lead to making dry, lengthy remarks that will fail to interest or benefit the minds of the children” (122).
- “Where sincere piety is lacking, where daily communion with God is neglected, the teacher in the Sabbath school will be dry and tedious in his manner of teaching. His words will have no power to reach the hearts of his pupils” (119).
- “Every Sabbath school worker who has passed from death unto life through the transforming grace of Christ, will reveal the deep moving of the Spirit of God upon his own heart. Those who attempt to direct others, who make a pretension of guiding souls to the path of holiness, while their own life is marked with pleasure loving, with pride, and with love of display, are unfaithful servants. Their life is not in accordance with their profession; their influence is an offense to God” (91).