These Are the Tools

Tools for a new age.

DON YOST, Assistant Secretary, Missionary Volunteer Department

This is an age of words and paper, of forms and report­ing. The pastor is called upon not only to produce articles and reports but also to be familiar with the ample sup­ply of instruction and inspira­tion in our publications and those of other churches. By knowing the best sources of material and ideas, he is able to make the work of the lay leaders of the church easier and that of his own ministry more far-reaching.

A certain advertisement, seen recently in many popular magazines, shows a family counting up the number of electrical appli­ances it uses—toaster, vacuum cleaner, lamps, water heater, iron, drill saw, radio, TV, clock. The reader is also given a check list of appliances and told that the more he has, the higher his standard of living.

Electrical appliances may not be the only measure of a family's standard of living, and the quantity of printed matter he pos­sesses may not distinguish the novice from the craftsman in the field of pastoring, but a minister who knows the literature in his field is the minister who knows where he is going. Such a check list of his "appliances" may be an indication of his "standard of leading."

"How can I possibly keep up with all of the things that are bing published by our denominational press?" the committee-and­campaign-weary pastor asks. "I hardly have time to read our major periodicals."

The answer is simple. Does the minister have a dictionary or an encyclopedia in his home? Has he ever read these through from cover to cover? Of course not. But he knows where they are, what they are, and how to use them. He has learned in college and at the Seminary that we cannot know all the facts but we can know where to find them. We may not know all the answers, all the recommended leadership methods, all the evangelistic possibilities, but we can know where to get the information.

Have you stopped to think how large a proportion of the average congregation are between ten and thirty—the Missionary Volunteer ages? This group may encompass as much as half the church family. Its mem­bers are in nearly every home. And how the pastor teaches them and preaches to them means everything. For when a parent finds someone who understands his teen-ager, he feels that he has found a special friend.

For the segment of the church between ten and thirty years of age, and its leaders, the Missionary Volunteer Department pro­vides specific help in the form of courses, leaflets, books, and other publications. This article will provide the pastor with a pic­ture of the "appliances" at his disposal in his ministry for youth, and how to use them.

The advantages of having and knowing our youth publications and plans are:

  1. Every youth-minded pastor wants to have at his finger tips the story that will meet a youth's need at the time he needs help. He may point to an article in the Youth's Instructor or to a chapter in a re­cent MV Book Club selection. He may relate an incident in the life of another youth or he may suggest a recreational or service outlet for the youth's problem.
  2. The pastor will be acquainted with what young people are reading and think­ing.
  3. He will know and understand that there is a science of youth leadership.

It is the aim of the Missionary Volunteer Department to provide pastors, youth lead­ers, and youth themselves with materials that fill these needs. During the past five years the Missionary Volunteer Depart­ment of the General Conference has pub­lished the MV Voice of Youth Guidebook and Sermons, the Leadercraft Instructor's Guide, 20 titles in the MV Honors booklet series, 12 new MV leaflets, and countless other brochures and leaflets. Each year we send out to the field Camp Meeting Les­sons for Junior Youth, Pathfinder Day pro­gram material, 544 pages of programs and leadership articles in the MV PROGRAM KIT and the Morning Watch Calendar and devotional book. To know what these are and what they can accomplish is of great value to the pastor. He does not use them all regularly, but he needs them at his elbow.

As you watch a cabinetmaker work, you notice that there are certain tools he uses frequently—the hammer, the screw driver, the nail punch, the chisel, the mallet, and the rule. There are many, many others, however, that he may not use more than once a week. Yet when he needs them, he wants to know that they are in his toolbox and that they are in good shape and ready for use. If we were to recommend that a minister read from cover to cover all the "tools" of the MV Department, we might quickly be accused of asking the minister to neglect important phases of his work. But like the cabinetmaker, he will become acquainted with his tools and have them available when he needs them.


For nearly 107 years the Youth's Instruc­tor has been a regular visitor in the homes of Seventh-day Adventist families in all parts of the English-speaking world, and its articles and stories are translated into other languages. It has two great values: 1. It instructs youth in our teachings and holds them faithful to the standards of the church. 2. It reveals the attitude and aspira­tions of Seventh-day Adventist youth, for many of its articles and stories are pro­duced by teen-agers and those in their twen­ties.

Junior Guide, slanted to junior youth (ages 10 to 15) is, like the Instructor, a wonderful source of story ideas for sermons, Sabbath school talks, and campfire stories. How many times I have heard a pastor simply refer to a recent story in Junior Guide and have seen members of his con­gregation of all ages nod their heads, for they have seen it too.

The specialized magazine for youth lead­ers and pastors is the MV PROGRAM KIT, published quarterly and carrying in its pages a volume of material on almost every appropriate subject and level of in­terest. It serves the teachers who must pro­vide programs for the boys and girls of our schools' JMV Societies. It is packed full of ideas for the MV Society leaders as they plan their weekly meetings and special projects. It places in the hands of all our so­cieties the best programs that have been presented on our academy and college cam­puses and it keeps its readers up to date in the field of youth leadership.

For our young men in uniform there is the "Servicemen's Newsletter." Like a let­ter from home, it helps overcome loneli­ness and tells the draftee that the church cares for him.

Many denominations publish similar ma­terials for their youth, and the pastor or youth leader who wishes to go a step further in effective ministry may wish to become familiar with the program magazines and youth journals published by the Baptists, Methodists, Nazarenes, and other church bodies.


Each year a large committee of experi­enced men and women guided by readers' reports, select books which will become a part of the coming year's MV Book Clubs. These books are to be purchased by the society and by individual members of the church, for they represent the best that can be found for our youth. These are tools that can work for the pastor too. But they are more than that; they are like assistants which visit the homes of the youth to coun­sel and inspire them and point them to heaven, while the pastor may be making calls elsewhere.

The specialized manuals of youth leader­ship prepared by the MV Department con­tain more than lists of requirements and information needed only by the JMV super­intendent or the Master Guide. They con­tain material that cannot be surpassed for a sermon on the responsibility of the church toward its youth. At present there is the JMV Handbook and the Master Guide Manual. On the horizon is a handbook for the younger boys and girls who are fulfill­ing requirements for the JMV Advanced Classes, and also a major publishing ven­ture, MV Field Guide, a book of practical instruction in camping and outdoor living filled with how-to-do-it pictures.

During the months that leadership train­ing has been presented in the Seventh-day Adventist world through the MV Leader-craft Course, a great many leadership books have been studied and digested by those who instruct in the Leadercraft Course. The result of this analysis is a bib­liography found in the MV Leadercraft Study Outline—books that should be in every minister's library. They include Go­ing Places With Missionary Volunteers, the MV Leadercraft guidebook; MV Leaflets ("Plans and Planners," "MV Community Service," "Youth and Share Your Faith Evangelism," and "When You Preside"); and such specialized works as: Ways Youth Learn, Leadership and Participation in Large Group Meetings, Speaking for the Master, Using Visual Aids in a Church, and Christian Storytelling.

Other Publications

The MV Leadercraft Course is based on a loose-leaf notebook entitled MV Leader-craft Course Instructor's Guide. The ob­ject of the course is to teach senior youth leaders the importance of knowing leader­ship principles and instructing them in the specific areas of service to which the church has called them.

A companion course is available for those who are preparing for junior youth leader­ship. Its text is the Pathfinder Counselor's Training Course.

One of the most significant contribu­tions of the Missionary Volunteer Depart­ment to evangelism is the MV Voice of Youth set, including the Guidebook and Sermons. The two loose-leaf notebooks of this set provide the Missionary Volunteer Society with a set of plans for conducting a youth-for-youth revival in the community and contain the actual sermons which may he given. These notebooks form a valuable handbook for evangelism and are unlim­ited in their usefulness.

In the area of nature instruction offered through MV Class work, there are now available nineteen MV Honor booklets which give specialized instruction and in­formation needed to fulfill requirements for these honors. Many of them can well be used by the pastor as source material for nature talks and nature illustrations. Sources of information for all 110 MV Honors are given in the Master Guide Man­ual and the JMY Handbook.

A most valuable collection of material is the binder filled with the Missionary Vol­unteer Leaflets, grouped by topic. Some deal with youth leadership techniques, oth­ers with devotional plans, still others dis­cuss youth problems. The range is broad and new titles are being added continually. The problems of youth facing induction into military service and those in the armed forces are dealt with in a series of leaflets supplied by the youth department. Through these leaflets the pastor has ac­cess to much-needed information.

The most convenient source of supply for the materials listed is the conference Missionary Volunteer secretary. Many of these items he carries in stock. The General Conference Missionary Volunteer Depart­ment is always happy to answer questions and supply material which will be of the most help to those who are carrying the heaviest burden of responsibility for the boys and girls, the young men and young women, who are coming up through the ranks to take places of responsibility in the work of God.

The value of knowing what the minis­ter's "appliances" are and when they may best be used are fourfold.

  1. He becomes a more efficient counselor for youth.
  2. He is able to supply the MV Society leadership with accurate information and encouraging counsel as they take up their sometimes difficult duties.
  3. He has at his fingertips a wealth of sermon material on a broad range of topics.
  4. He is being kept up to date in the fields of leadership and youth problems, youth evangelism, devotional techniques, recreation, service activities, and Share Your Faith ideas.

It is no secret that the pastor who, by consistency and spiritual depth, has become a favorite of the youth is also a favorite with the older set. But because the youth are not predictable or settled in their be­havior, the pastor may feel he does not know how to reach them. With the help of the Missionary Volunteer Department at his fingertips, this need not be.

We can say with assurance that the man who can lead youth can lead all men. The Missionary Volunteer Department offers the pastor as youth leader the very tools he requires to become a craftsman in his trade, past master in the art of soul saving, a technician in the dynamics of leadership, a co-worker with Christ.

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DON YOST, Assistant Secretary, Missionary Volunteer Department

March 1959

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