Youth Can Win Souls!

Any youth old enough to be baptized is old enough to win souls." This new slogan, adopted by the Mis­sionary Volunteer department of the Southwestern Union, is proving that our youth are able to assume responsibilities of church membership.

MV Secretary, Southwestern Union Conference

ANY youth old enough to be baptized is old enough to win souls."  This new slogan, adopted by the Mis­sionary Volunteer department of the Southwestern Union, is proving that our youth are able to assume responsibilities of church membership.

What the church needs in this hour is a program that will win and hold its youth, and at the same time produce a satisfactory evangelistic endeavor for unbelievers lead­ing to baptism.

Operation Fireside, the unique new Gen­eral Conference Bible study plan, has cap­tivated the minds of the youth in this un­ion. About six months ago this program was launched with the aim of enlisting our youth to join their pastors in a combined Bible study and revival program. More than fifty such Operation Fireside endeav­ors have been concluded thus far, resulting in nearly 250 actual baptisms. Here is con­clusive proof that our youth, ages sixteen to thirty, when given the opportunity, will win new believers for the pastor to baptize. But of even more importance is the new experience that comes to the youth who participate. There is a broader vision, a spiritual strength, and a burning desire to go and do more for the Master when they are led into an evangelistic experience. Any endeavor that leads our youth into soul winning is the surest way of holding them for God.

We praise God for the fact that some 1,000 senior youth have been giving Bible studies to more than 8,000 nonbelievers in this united program. You should hear their ringing testimonies at rallies, and read their personal letters telling of new-found joy in a living Saviour! Our youth are will­ing and ready to set the pace in leading the church into total evangelism.

I have often wondered why our churches are not filled with laymen engaged in soul winning. The reason is obvious—because we have neglected to train and develop in our youth a burden for souls. We are faithful in teaching the little ones to give their nickels and quarters so that when they become mature they will give their dollars to help carry on the Lord's work. But are they taught that money alone will not finish the task?

The servant of the Lord has repeatedly emphasized that the work will not be fin­ished until each and every member of the church, both young and old, personally shares his faith.

We must take a new look at the leaders of tomorrow. The words of Jesus when a twelve-year-old, "I must be about my Fa­ther's business," must take on new empha­sis in the training of our children.

Let the ten- to fourteen-year-old learn the art of giving Bible studies through Operation Lamplighter, and as he grows into his older teens he will want to con­tinue such soul-winning endeavor because he knows he has already successfully mas­tered the art. And as the years go by we will find he has developed into the type of evangelistic layman we so desperately need in the church today.

Evangelism must be the key to all church-centered youth activity if we would be faithful servants in giving proper guid­ance to our young people. Brethren, we must hasten the Lord's coming. Let the youth help us finish the task.


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MV Secretary, Southwestern Union Conference

October 1961

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