Reaching Youth Not of Our Faith

Young People's Night for Evangelism.

By GLENN FILLMAN, Evangelist, Fort Dodge, Iowa

By A. W. PETERSON, Secretary, M. V. Department

Special Night Successful

 a general rule, the young are much neglected during our public evangelistic efforts. The advertising and the subjects pre­sented frequently have no special appeal for them, and thus the very ones who are most open-minded, and who would throw their strength and vigor into their new-found faith, are not reached.

In our public efforts, we have found it a good plan to set aside one evening each week, preferably Friday night, as "Young People's Night." This we advertised as such, and then conducted the service in such a way as to make it of special interest to young people. Where there is a strong Missionary Volunteer Society in the local church, it can be used to good advantage. On one occasion the young people gave an illustrated temperance program. Usu­ally, however, we would have a sermon pre­pared especially for the youth not of our faith, at which time our own young people would furnish the special music and act as ushers.

It is worthy of note that in some of our efforts, the Friday-evening attendance was even larger than the Sunday-night crowds. We would reserve the center section, or the front half of the tabernacle, for young people, this being designated by crepe paper tied to the ends of the seats. Then our Missionary Volunteers would meet the young people and seat them together near the front.

One way of advertising young people's night was to promise a souvenir to each person in attendance on Friday evening. By including this notice in the newspaper and handbills, and then mentioning it from the pulpit during the week, the response of the young people was most gratifying. And, of course, anything which interests young people also brings the older folks; so we had our best crowds on Friday nights.

For our souvenirs we had some bookmarks printed on silk ribbon, bearing the name of the tabernacle, an appropriate verse of Scrip­ture, and the names of the workers. The ushers pinned these on the people as they came in. We learned that many prized these sou­venirs very highly, and kept them in their Bibles.

Another way we used to advertise these special services was to give a short program, or talk, in the local high-school assembly, fol­lowed by an announcement of special young people's night at the tabernacle. At times it was possible to get the high-school glee club or orchestra to furnish some of the special

Autumn Council Recommends

We believe the evangelist could greatly multiply his fruitfulness by setting aside a time each week for special work for youth not of our faith who could be attracted to his meetings. Even where no such effort has been made, the young people baptized ap­proximate fifty per cent of the total number baptized. In one large union conference an analysis of the baptismal records of the union for one year revealed that 51.5 per cent of the total were young people. And in a recent large evangelistic effort, 52.5 per cent of the total number of baptisms were young people.

To win a young person for Christ not only means the saving of a soul, but it means the saving of a life for service. The financial aspects of work for youth should also be taken into account, for young people are just enter­ing into the period of greatest productivity with a maximum earning power.

Evangelist E. L. Cardey, while conducting a series of meetings in Nebraska, set aside one week in the midst of his series as a time for special effort for the youth. During this week he made two altar calls, and 135 came forward and signed cards. Of this number, 71 were young people. Among the youth in our large cities are thousands of young people who com­prise the most responsive and enthusiastic group to which the evangelist may address himself. The recent Battle Creek Autumn Council passed this important recommendation which is earnestly commended to all our min­isters:

We recommend, 1. That when an evangelistic series is being conducted in a community, our evan­gelists and pastors be urged to its so that the Mis­sionary Volunteer Society and ts activities shall not be disrupted.

2. That during such an evangelistic series, and wherever feasible, one night each week, or one night each •two weeks, be dedicated to special effort for non-Adventist youth, and that our own youth be enlisted by the evangelist in soul-winning effort for their fellows.

music for the services. The best way to get people interested in the meetings is to put them to work. So whenever talented young people attended the services, we used them for special music.

As a result of these special young people's nights, our candidates for baptism were largely young people, some of whom stepped out in the face of bitter persecution. I think there are unlimited possibilities in working for young people in our evangelistic efforts.

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By GLENN FILLMAN, Evangelist, Fort Dodge, Iowa

By A. W. PETERSON, Secretary, M. V. Department

January 1938

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