Multiplying Yourself by One Hundred

A heart-to-heart talk with your youth's leader

By ALFRED W. PETERSON, Secretary of the Missionary Volunteer Department

A distict leader or pastor of a church faces an almost insuperable task if he labors alone. He must multiply him­self. His task is to enlist others, to teach them, to plan and lay out systematic work for them. God sees the work to be done and also the burden which leaders in districts and churches must bear in an ever-enlarging work. He says:

"Time is short. Workers for Christ are needed everywhere. There should be one hundred earnest, faithful laborers in home and foreign mission fields where now there is one. The highways and the by­ways are yet unworked."—"Fundamentals of Chris­tian Education," p. 488.

But in pointing out the urgency of the time, the magnitude of the task, and the great need of workers, God also points out how this need can be met. How can the minister multiply himself a hundred times? He says: "The Lord calls upon our youth to labor as can­vassers and evangelists, to do house-to-house work in places that have not yet ,heard the truth."—Ibid. Ah, there is the secret of suc­cessful accomplishment. Enlist and train the youth!

How can the minister bind the young people to himself so that he can greatly multiply his effectiveness? Below are seven simple sug­gestions, gleaned from the rich literature given the church through the Spirit of prophecy, which will assure success.

1. Make the young people of your church feel that you appreciate them, that you want them. Young people like to be liked, and like to be wanted. The great forces which drive the soul on to destiny are "faith, hope, and love." ("Education," p. 192.)
 
2. Hold before the youth the destiny which God has planned for them. Pull aside the curtain of the future, and inspire them with the plans which God has for them. Make their hearts burn with the consciousness that God needs them. He "calls for youthful vigor, zeal, and courage. He has chosen the youth to aid in the advancement of His cause."— "Counsels to Teachers," p. 535. "He calls for whole armies of young men who are large-hearted and large-minded, and who have a deep love for Christ and the truth."—"11/les­sages," p. 224.
 
3. Make the church an interesting and pleas­ant place for the youth. Make their association with the church a happy experience.. Make Christ a real, a living, person. Make Christian experience an experience with a living Christ, and let this experience challenge the best that is in them. ("Counsels to Teachers," p. 502.)
 
4. Organize the youth into bands which shall have some specific, definite purpose. Youth are naturally gregarious. Group them accord­ing to their age levels and their interests. The M. V. Society has been set up for this specific purpose. When our young people's societies were called into being, the plan for band work was emphasized:

"Young men and young women, cannot you form companies, and, as soldiers of Christ, enlist in the work. .. . Let there be companies organized in every church to do this work. . . . Will the young men and young women who really love Jesus organize themselves as workers ?"—Signs, May 29, 1893. (See also "Missionary Volunteers and Their work," p. I.)

5. Teach them specific skills and knowledges. In learning these, they will also learn attitudes.

"It is not enough to show how much needs to be done, and to urge the youth to act a part. They must be taught how to labor for the Master. They must be trained, disciplined, drilled, in the best methods of winning souls to Christ. Teach them to try in a quiet, unpretending way to help their young companions. Let different bram-hes of missionary effort be systematically laid out, in which they may take part, and let them be given instruction and help.—"Gospel Workers," p. 210.

Keep a record of their achievements. Youth likes to see progress. The M. V. Progressive Class work for the various age groups has been set up for the purpose of teaching those things which will enable young people to do specific things. The Master Comrade Progres­sive Class work is designed to help young peo­ple "to act a part in well-organized plans for helping other youth." The Advanced Study and Service League classwork is intended to help senior youth qualify themselves to hold gospel meetings, to give Bible studies, to can­vass for our truth-filled books, to conduct branch Sabbath schools and Sunday schools, and in other ways to magnify the work of the church. These materials are at the minister's hand to help him in training the youth of his church.

6. Provide real, not imaginary, opportunities for young people to practice the skills and knowledges which they have learned. Interest in a matter depends upon one's sharing, identi­fying, himself in the experience. Sound edu­cational procedure requires that young people must engage in the activity if they are to become interested in it, and if the skills which they have learned are to become their own. A working band is a living band.

7. Provide opportunities for them to relate their experiences in the M. V. Society, and occasionally in the church.

"Do not imagine that you can arouse the interest of the young by going to the missionary meeting and preaching a long sermon. Plan ways whereby a live interest may be aroused. From week to week the youth should bring in their reports, telling what they have tried to do for the Saviour, and what success has been theirs. If the missionary meeting were made an occasion for bringing in such reports, it would not be dull, tedious, and uninteresting. It would be full of interest, and there would be no lack of attendance."—Ibid.

If twenty minutes of the regular society meeting were dedicated to telling experiences in service, the work of the band and of the individual would be tied into the life of the society, and what a life that society would have ! If the service bands in our young people's societies were integrated in this fashion with the society meeting, the work of the band would captivate the imagination of youth, and challenge and inspire the other members of the society.

Every minister and church elder has in the Senior. M. V. Society of his church the ma­terial from which he can greatly multiply his effectiveness as a worker for God. And if he utilized this material, not only would he mul­tiply his own effectiveness, but he would help save the young people to serve in the cause of Christ who might otherwise be lost.


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By ALFRED W. PETERSON, Secretary of the Missionary Volunteer Department

June 1942

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