Junior Room Challenge, Worldwide Solution

L inda and Ed Wagner had been involved in the leadership of the cradle roll and kindergarten Sabbath School classes in the Grants Pass (Ore.) Church for a decade, but when the nominating committee instead asked the couple to be the junior division leaders, Ed accepted while Linda continued in the kindergarten division. Ed soon found that there were a number of juniors who had a difficult time focusing on what was being presented.

Ed had never taught a Sabbath School lesson, but as a businessman, he decided to do what he knew how to do: create Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. He illustrated each lesson with pictures in unique ways. Ed told Linda that now she could be in both divisions at once by helping prepare the programs for the junior division while still teaching the kindergarten class.

They worked up to 20 hours on each program, which turned into a major success. The pictures and illustrations captured the juniors’ attention. Kids who previously did not enjoy attending Sabbath School came early and asked if they could see parts of programs that they had missed when absent.

Ed e-mailed a sample program to Kathy Beagles, General Conference (GC) editor of Sabbath School Bible study guides for juniors, earliteens and youth. Her response was positive: “Would you be willing to let us post these programs on the GC Web site so that other teachers would also be able to use them?” When asked to send a program every week, Ed knew that he would need more help.

During this time the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist School was looking for projects to hold the interest of the ninth- and tenth-graders. Ed, the school marketing committee chair, proposed that those grades make this their special project. The principal, Chuck Haller, became interested, and the junior Sabbath School programs became an exciting learning project for the students.

Other volunteers helping with this program include Randy Currier, a Grants Pass family physician, who has put a significant amount of time into developing PowerPoint Sabbath School programs. Beagles has also assisted by editing and proofing each slide show before it is posted on the GC site. Charlotte Ishkanian, the GC mission quarterlies editor, assists in the development of the PowerPoint shows by providing pictures taken while visiting mission fields around the world.

Now Sabbath School junior division leaders worldwide have access to high-quality PowerPoint slide show programs, including download instructions, at http://sspm.gc.adventist.org/EarliteenPage/PowerPoints.htm

July 01, 2003 / Oregon Conference