Missionary volunteers believe the time has arrived for God's youth to join hands with the pastors in active soul winning. Years ago the servant of the Lord wrote that there should be one hundred workers where there is now one. Problems of finance have so far made this impossible, but this godly counsel can still become a reality. We believe that Sister White was actually calling for individual church member participation. Now the Advent youth are taking a step in the direction of assuming this responsibility.
1964 will become a year of great significance to our youth movement. Through the North American Division MV TARGET 3000 is being received with tremendous enthusiasm. It is a plan calling for every Missionary Volunteer Society to engage in direct soul-winning evangelism this year. One thousand youth evangelistic projects are planned, and we are praying that three thousand baptisms will result. In the world field we anticipate five thousand projects with fifteen thousand baptisms.
Within the senior youth segment of the church there are thousands of young men and women who with the proper counsel and direction can become mighty soul winners. This army of youth could be a great source in producing baptism candidates for the pastor each year.
Experience is a good teacher. In working with our youth we have discovered that they can become very successful in giving Bible studies, preaching the Word, touching hearts with their friendship, and in organizing branch Sabbath schools. We have also discovered that these endeavors, concluded by a special series of evangelistic meetings conducted by the pastor, bring large numbers to decisions. This is why the youth are reaching out their hands to join the pastors in finishing the task.
During 1964 each Missionary Volunteer Society is being asked to conduct one of four recommended evangelistic projects, to be followed immediately by special meetings conducted by the pastor, evangelist, or conference MV secretary. The four suggested projects are (1) An MV Voice of Youth series, (2) Operation Fireside, (3) Friendship Teams, or (4) a branch Sabbath school. An attractive pamphlet titled MV TARGET 3000, describing every detail of this program, is being sent to each pastor in the North American Division, and sufficient copies will be provided for the MV Society leadership.
The pastor is always looking for new methods to develop interest and spiritual awakening among the church at large. MV TARGET 3000 has the potential of producing an entirely new outlook throughout the church. Both young and old can develop a new experience in God as they strive to help their fellow men prepare to meet the Lord. Many perplexing problems of youth discipline within the church will disappear when the youth are challenged to use their talents and energies in service for Christ. The greatest program of training successful laymen for now and tomorrow can be achieved in teaching our youth to become soul winners through actual participation in evangelistic projects.
Within your church there may be youth who have really never tasted the saving grace of Jesus but who can be reached for Christ through your personal interest in assisting them in these evangelistic projects as outlined in MV TARGET 3000. The following counsel places a tremendous responsibility on the shoulders of the pastor in his relationship to the youth.
When the youth give their hearts to God, our responsibility for them does not cease. They must be interested in the Lord's work, and led to see that He expects them to do something to advance His cause. 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 branches of missionary effort be systematically laid out, in which they may take part, and let them be given instruction and help. Thus they will learn to work for God.—Gospel Workers, p. 210.
The MV objective of three thousand baptisms in the North American Division during 1964 is by no means to be lightly considered. It represents the equivalent of an organized conference. When the pastor accepts the extended hand of youth in winning souls, we believe MV TARGET 3000 will be a success. It will prove to be the beginning of still greater things. The hour is late. The coming of Christ is soon to be revealed. It is time for the youth to join hands with the pastor in finishing the work, that Christ may come.