Emotional Discernment for Sabbath Programs

Emotional discernment is a critical skill that every sabbath programs leader should possess—being able to determine the emotions of your congregation, especially after significant events such as death, new milestones, accomplishments, etc. This discernment is crucial with regards to program planning.

Leaders must gauge the emotional temperature of the church. In cases of grief, your program should be of encouragement and a reminder that Jesus will come soon. In the case of celebration, your program should be of congratulations and acknowledgement that God gives many blessings to His faithful people. Your programs should aim to reach both the hearts and minds of the hearers and always turn their emotions heaven-ward.

As a church leader, it is our prerogative to communicate with members to get a feel of the type of emotions that are they are experiencing. This may take the form of telephone calls to random members, asking them how they are doing. Visiting members and having conversations about the situation. If you are not familiar with all the members, find specific members who are "connectors", the persons who have an ear on the ground. Ask them what they think is the general sentiment of the congregation.

After you have determined the emotional state of the people, research a topic that will appeal to their needs. If the emotion felt is negative, first, you must acknowledge the emotion, then sympathize with the feelings. Then present hope of a future time or place where this emotion won't have such a negative impact. Finally, you need to celebrate. Celebrate that joy and grace comes through Jesus, and emphasize through a written promise that he has better in store. Through faith in Christ, we will have the power to overcome any circumstance.

By following the strategy above, you will be able to acknowledge the sentiment of the congregation and transform the emotions into positive ones. 


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