The purpose of this section is to give some helpful suggestions to serve as a guide in youth work as it relates to the Woman's Baptist Home and Foreign Missionary Convention. It is to give aid, to encourage, to strengthen, and to inspire youth work. Also, it will be a great help in deepening the spiritual life and character of the younger groups of our convention.
The Woman's Convention desires that the energy, enthusiasm, and mature
intelligence of its youth will be brought into a vital and personal contact
with the mission call for today and tomorrow.
The growth and development of the youth department of the Woman's Baptist State Convention have been most interesting. History records that Sister Sallie Mial, a zealous missionary, very early in the work of the convention organized Sunshine Bands and W.I.C. (What I Can) groups for girls.
Year after year, these young people grew in numbers and became a necessary part of the Convention. Sister Annette Ransom started the Cradle Roll for babies, and her guide for the carrying on of the Cradle Roll group has helped many to be more thoughtful of the possibilities in a baby's life and the responsibility of missionary women to them.
Other workers listed in the History of the Woman's Convention added more groups and offered working plans for them. Notably, Sister Beatrice Underwood, Supervisor from 1936-43, launched a program to build a Standard Junior Department. This standard Junior Department caused the work among the Juniors to grow and greater enthusiasm was realized. In 1937, advisors were added to work with the Junior Supervisor and Junior officers in planning for the progress and work for the Junior Department.
Mrs. Lavine McGrier became Junior Supervisor, with Miss Eva Merritt (Pratt) as Junior President, and together they led the department to take greater strides financially. The department assumed full responsibility for the salary of the Junior Missionary in Africa, Miss Minnie C. Lyon.
The Junior Department was later changed to the Youth Department and
took on new challenges for this age group.
THE YOUTH DEPARTMENT ON THE STATE LEVEL
On the state level, the Youth Department of the Woman's Baptist Home and Foreign Missionary Convention consists officially of a Supervisor, an Associate Supervisor, twelve (12) advisors, local supervisors, and youth officers as stated in the by-laws of the Youth Department.
Youth officers for the state department usually serve in a learning position. They only work when the State Convention is in session, unless otherwise directed by the Woman's Convention through the State Youth Supervisor.
When youth are elected to an office on the state level, it should be
conceived as an honor. They are expected to give their best service in
time and talent. Churches should be made aware of their election and see
to it that they are sent to meetings when they are supposed to be present.
It is understood that youth are not in the work market and therefore cannot
be responsible for their being present. The Circle is the "Mother" of the
youth department and should be aware of their children's involvement.
THE STATE YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Youth Advisory Council is made up of twelve (12) adult advisors who are recommended by the Youth Supervisor and approved by the Executive Committee/Board of the Woman's Convention. They serve as advisors or helpers to the Youth Department in order to share the responsibilities for the meetings being carried out in decency and in order. They are expected to attend the annual planning meeting called by the Youth Supervisor and assume duties as assigned by her.
They share the planning session with the elected state youth officers.
It must be understood that the State Supervisor and the Associate Supervisor
are responsible for reporting the Council's plans to the Executive Committee/Board
EVERY MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH SHOULD HAVE A YOUTH
Every Christian is obligated to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). When trained in missions, a Christian can do a better job of carrying out this task of soul-winning and the teaching of Christian Education.
The Youth Missionary Department emphasizes in each age group the study of the Bible from a missionary point of view and specializes in mission study, which is the core of the Missionary Baptist Church.
A Youth Department gives an opportunity to serve and to use a young talent in the church and the community.
The Youth Department begins with the very young and continues through
young men and young women in training in mission education. Youth are taught
early how to be sensitive to the needs of others at home and abroad.
A Youth Missionary Department
HOW TO ORGANIZE A YOUTH DEPARTMENT
The success of the Youth Department depends greatly upon the preparation of the leaders and plans made for the work before the organization is formed. Thorough preparation of leaders will mean a strong, flourishing department.
See Section on How To Organize A Youth Department in your Missionary
Guide and Handbook.
GROUPING THE YOUTH
THE CRADLE ROLL - Birth to 3 years
The purpose of this group shall be to get the babies of the Baptist church family connected with the Youth Missionary of the church. A kind, motherly member who loves babies should have charge of this group. This group begins the Missionary Movement and is considered the "Who" is involved.
The leader should visit the homes when babies are born to families in the church. The leader should also make friends with mothers in the community who are not members of any church and enlist those babies. In the meantime, as visits are made to the babies, the leader should have talks with the mother or parents about their acceptance of Christ as their Lord.
Have Cradle Roll Days as often visit is convenient with all the mothers and babies present. See that each baby has a certificate presented, signed by the pastor and the Circle president.
Encourage mothers to read Bible stories with their children. Upon visitations, leaders should leave short stories with mothers. Write to the Woman's Convention for suggestions of literature.
When the toddlers reach four (4) years of age, they should be promoted to the "Eager Seekers" group. Visitations should be made as often as the leader and supervisor agree upon.
EAGER SEEKERS - Ages 4-8
The purpose of this group is to train and involve girls and boys who are eagerly seeking the Christian training and involvement to help them become Christians and grow in Christ. They constantly ask "Why".
At this early age, children should be taught about Christ so as to lead them to an early commitment of their lives to the Christian way of living. Teaching them Bible stories, verses,and literature that stress missions will help them to become good stewards.
Children should be taught to think of themselves as evangelists, which means helping others to come to Christ. Early in childhood, right attitudes can be more easily developed and personality traits acquired.
Children should be taught about Christ and the purpose of public profession after their conversion. They should be taught to give to missions and become good stewards themselves.
It is important that the leaders of this age group understand that children of this age group are:
-FIDGETY: Because their span of attention is very short, children of this age are not expected to sit still and listen for long periods.
-POSSESSIVE: Children of this age are mostly concerned with their own wants and wishes and no one else's. By nature they hesitate to share. Therefore, the leader must maintain justice and impartiality.
-SYMPATHETIC: This age group is very sympathetic. They become upset over seeing much suffering in any form. Care must be taken when presenting the needs of people around the world. Their approach should be that of sharing with others.
-INITIATIVE: Because children of this age look up to their leaders, they usually imitate what they see. This spirit can be used to advantage through the example given in stories and conversation instead of mood changes.
-QUESTIONING: It is more important to answer questions than it is to carry out a planned program. The leader must know the difference between questions to get attention and those for information. Make room for questions in all meetings.
-UNSOCIABLE: Crowding usually brings trouble at this age. The meeting room should be large enough for freedom and individuality.
-IMAGINATIVE: Leaders must leam to "PLAY ALIKE" with the children
and enter into the spirit of their play and lessons.
CALVARY CLIMBERS - Ages 9-12
The purpose of this group is to train and involve boys and girls as they strive to grow, develop, and pattern their lives after the Christ of Calvary.
The boys and girls in this group are a part of the Missionary Circle and the Woman's Baptist Home and Foreign Missionary Convention. They are taught social and devotional phases of their life. They will get the experience in learning to think and talk publicly about their church, their Christ, and themselves.
The object of this group is to encourage boys and girls to live exemplary Christian lives; study the Bible and other good books; read missionary literature; give to missionary work; be modest in behavior and dress to encourage a high standard of morality; be kind to the aged and less fortunate: share their resources with others; and concentrate on making Christ a part of their lives.
These boys and girls should be taught about the objectives of the Convention.
They should know that each time they give in an offering, they are supporting
YOUTH IN ACTION - Ages 13-15
The purpose of this group is to be active as they Study God's Will in the lives of missionaries and outstanding religious leaders; to develop members physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually.
This age group is filled with responsibilities; they are indeed youth action. It will help the Youth Department to cultivate these young people and really get down to some serious missionary work. This age group thinks fast and responds fast. They will waste time if the leader permits; they will work hard if so motivated.
Their theme should center around "Giving regularly of my time, talent, and money to Christ's Program."
MOTTO: "Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth" (Ecclesiastes
The overall purpose of this age group is to continue the mission education that was begun with them early in life. They enjoy worthwhile programs to enhance the program of their church. They are ready now to talk.
These are older youth who are learning and sharing with their peers and others the missionary message. This is the age that young people give up frivolity and decide a more definite way of life. Most of them have their goals and are thinking of a career, making friends, dating, and marriage. They are learning how to live with people. Many have their own philosopy They need Christian guidance and counsel to complement the guidance they receive in school. Most of them have accepted Christ as their Saviour and are active workers in the church. Now, they begin to ask questions and to deserve answers.
Leaders must be of adult age. They should not try to be "buddy buddy"
with these young people. They need a friend who is friendly but firm in
Christian principals. Teach them. Love them. Be a roll model for them
SOME DISCUSSION TOPICS BY MONTHS
(Leaders are urged to be creative-- these are guides):
JANUARY - STEWARDSHIP MONTH
- What to Give - How to Give - When to Give
- Focus on the life and works of Martin Luther King, Jr.
FEBRUARY - HEART MONTH
- Have a Heart for Missions (send contribution to Woman's State Convention)
- Your Life's Work
- Opportunities in the Field of Religion
- Considering our abilities and tendencies
- Woman's Convention History
MARCH - MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE
- Etiquette on manners, dress, social grace
- How to find a mate who is a Christian
- Responsibilities to family life
APRIL - "HE IS RISEN"
-Study the, Easter Story-the meaning of Lent, etc.
MAY - MOTHERHOOD THROUGH THE AGES
-Mothers of the Bible, of Famous Sons, of Today-my mother and my father
and mother's mother
JUNE - MISSIONARY EMPHASIS
-Our Woman's Convention's history and program
-The J.J. Johnson Baptist Assembly
-The Youth Bible Camp, J.J. Johnson Baptist Assembly, Laurel Hill, NC
- Why do missionaries have a Convention?
- History of the State Youth Department
- History of Sisters Beatrice Underwood, Martha J. Brown, Ellen S. Alston, Annie L. Filmore, Lavine McGrier, Eva Merritt Pratt, and Berthenia D. Horne
- Add others as time permits--See History of Woman's Convention
- LEADERSHIP GAMES WITH EMPHASIS ON MISSIONS
- The need for leadership training
- Purpose of Youth Bible Camp
- What Baptists believe and why--the Lott Carey Baptist Convention
- Who may pray? How shall I pray? Hindrance to prayer
- Discuss "Being a Christian on the school campus"
- Discuss the value of the family and youth's roll in it
- The National Baptist Convention - USA, Inc.; Progressive American
- SHAW UNIVERSITY, OUR BAPTIST SCHOOL IN RALEIGH, NC
- Shaw's history--famous sons and daughters of Shaw--what Shaw offers
today's youth--sources of financial support (Shaw Project)
-THANKS AND THANKSGIVIVING
- Why we give thanks
- Considering the "least of these"
- LOVE GIFTS
- The Greatest Gift to mankind
- Making Christmas Christ-like
In this world the one thing supremely worth having is the opportunity coupled with the capacity to do which is of vital consequence to the welfare of mankind----
--As we redicate ourselves to the task ahead, let each of us faithfully
"Study to show ourselves approved unto God, workman that need not to be ashamed"
Source: The Missionary Guide and Handbook