25 August 2014

Four Great Reasons to Study Your Sabbath School Lesson

I hear a lot of reasons why people don't want to study something so predictable as a Sabbath school quarterly.

While many of those reasons are good--for example, choosing a different topic or method of study might lend itself to a particular group's present needs--I tend to love the well planned, well thought out studies that delve into a topic for three months at a time. 

Maybe it's just my inner researcher.

Whatever it is, since we're still close enough to the beginning of the week to get a great start on studying this week's lesson (and if you're part of a different faith group, maybe there's something similar or equivalent in your church), I thought I'd share four of the reasons I think it's great to study your Sabbath school quarterly.

1.  It's global.

One of the awesome things about being part of a world-wide faith group and movement is that you have family members, so to speak, all the way around the world.  I can't begin to tell you how many times I've been blessed by that throughout my life.  And one of the things that's great about the Sabbath school lesson is that people all around the world are studying the same things from week to week.

Whether I'm at home in my own church studying the lesson in my second language, visiting family in Alaska, or traveling to any other part of the world, I can be a prepared and active participant in church life.

2.  It's prepared in advance.

I know many other methods of study could be classified as systematic.  Yet I think there's something even more beautiful in the system set up to prepare the Sabbath school quarterly.

There's a bit of a tendency to think that something planned and prepared several years in advance and sent through an intense editorial process isn't as Spirit-led as something given in answer to prayer a few days--or, let's face it, moments--in advance.

Let's think for a second, though, about the Bible itself.  Have you ever been blessed by it, reading in its pages something that seemed to be written just for you?  How many hundreds of years ahead of time did God inspire the thought He knew you'd need today?

I don't mean to elevate the quarterly to Biblical status by any means.  But I love that the process of preparing well-unified weekly studies on a single topic can be blessed by God in the hands of potentially many laborers who keep each other faithful in writing the truth, and bound up in a little well-designed volume that often holds within its pages the keys to answers for which I've searched long and hard.

3.  It's all about participation.

I don't know about you, but the more I know about something, the more I have to say about it.  I do tend to be introverted, which means it can also be hard to formulate my thoughts on the spot in order to participate in a discussion.

Hence, on both counts, the beauty of preparation.

And when I've studied something all week?  I start to notice how it's related to other things I read on my own or in family worship, and as I spend more time thinking about the topic, it gives God the opportunity to press upon my heart the things He wants me to learn.

Then when I come to a class discussion, I have more questions, and I have more meaningful things to share with others based on the things God teaches me during the week.

I love it when I'm surrounded by a group similarly prepared for the discussion by the growth they've experienced during the week.  It's completely inspiring.

4.  It's habit forming.

Studying the Sabbath school lesson doesn't take very many minutes during the day.  It's just one strategy to turn our thoughts toward heaven, but for me it's an incredibly effective one.

In addition, because it doesn't take an hour of commitment to study it, taking time for the Sabbath school lesson each day is a wonderfully easy way to form a new habit, whether you'd like to add a few extra minutes of Bible study to your morning routine, to your mid-day meal, or to your evening.

If you're like me, the more you try it, the more you'll like it, and before you know it you'll have a great habit in your days.


  1. Thank you for the encouragement! I need to get back to studying my Sabbath School lesson. :)

  2. Yes! It's amazing to think that a lesson prepared more than a year in advance can be perfectly relevant on the week that it's studied! I love the thought that so many others are discussing the same topics in classes around the world at the same time.

    1. Yes, it's so neat to me to think how the lessons are personally a blessing, and also just what it seems like our churches need to hear at a given time. God is good!


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