5 Mistakes Program Planners Make Every Sabbath

With almost three decades of observing sabbath programs in churches across the world, I have seen many common mistakes repeated by program planners. Many may not even realize how detrimental these mistakes are or have no idea what to do to fix them. Today we will highlight five mistakes program planners seem to make every sabbath.

We pray that after reading this, last week would have been the last week you made them.


Late and Frantic Planning

Ideally, each week's program should be planned at least one week in advance; two weeks would be perfect. However, based on our experience, and the usage statistics of sabbathprograms.com, many sabbath program planners make plans the night before. Late planning does not afford time for deep biblical research, proper use of multimedia and props to make your program come alive. There is little to no time to practice, and it is more prone to cancellations or outright refusals from persons who should take part in carrying out the program. Not to mention the high levels of stress and anxiety place on the planner. Proper planning results in better programs, less stress and a greater impact!


Too Much Monotony

One of the main reasons a program, even a well-planned one can fail to reach the congregation is lack of engagement and creativity. No matter how well researched and relevant your content is, if it is not communicated in the right way, you would have lost your capacity to reach the entire congregation.

Make use of various types of presentation tools and styles to make your audience clearly understands exactly what you are trying to say. People learn in a variety of ways, if you want to reach as many as possible, ensure you are utilizing as many teaching methods as possible.

Ensure your program's appeal to the visual and verbal learner. Capitalize on your access to experts who can answer questions in a panel or as a Question and Answer session. Create group activities that involve the members of the church, especially activities that require collaboration and the use of physical moving about 


Unregulated Timing

Church programs that begin late destroy the church's reputation as early and timely. Bad timing can also cause programs to have gaps of inactivity and it may extend way beyond the scheduled time. 

When making plans for your program, ensure you have a list of all participants and the agenda. Communicate with each participant where and when they are required to participate, then have them queue up and prepared to carry out their role


Lack of the Word

It goes without saying, a program without a strong emphasis on the Word of God is a recipe for doctrinal disaster. Many program planners simply scour the internet (not our website) for content to create their programs. Many planners copy and paste verbatim whatever they find on the internet, and sometimes communicate incorrect doctrine without first comparing it to scripture.

Start each program with at least one base bible verse and build biblical ideas with related references.


One Person Show

The final mistake many program planners make is to plan and execute the program all by themselves. We know it is hard to find good and reliable help nowadays, and you may have been burned from previous experiences. We still highly recommend involving as many persons as possible in the planning and execution of every program. 

Involving others will:

  • Spark diverse ideas, and perspectives you may not have thought about.
  • Take some of the pressure from off the leader so they can spend time polishing the delivery.
  • Exercise the talents of persons who may not have had the opportunity to participate in church activities
  • Prepare future leaders by involving them in the process of planning and execution.
  • Allow for a diversity of presentation styles, talents and faces before the congregation each week.


We pray that as you read about these mistakes, you will strive to not fall into the trap of repeating them in your churches. The result will be better programs, a more engaged and fulfilled congregation as well as better leaders.


Click here to find the latest sabbath school lesson study resources to help in teaching and studying the sabbath school lesson.

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