Our mission is to hasten the return of our Savior as we are instructed it is within our power to do so.
“By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord's return”
Desire of Ages (DA 633.3)
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God...”
2 Peter 3:12
Each one of us is to bear the responsibility of finishing the work. We must all be colaborers with God:
“...be a colaborer with God in the great work of human redemption...”
The Review and Herald, April 3, 1913
“For we are labourers together with God...”
1 Corinthians 3:9
However there is a special group who are uniquely qualified in this work.
The Spirit of Prophecy is clear that the youth are to be God’s helping hand. We are to empower the young people to finish the work.
“...in these days, the young men and young women of the Advent movement have been given an important part to act in the closing drama of earth's history.”
Messages to Young People (MYP 7.1)
“The Lord has appointed the youth to be His helping hand.”
Testimonies for the Church (7T 64.2)
One reason is because youth are the most effective evangelists of other youth and will be key in this final mission.
“there is no other class that can do as much good as young men and young women who are consecrated to God. The youth, if right, could sway a mighty influence...”
Testimonies for the Church (1T 511)
E.G. White’s Final Plea“Find true meaning of Justification by Faith”
In Ellen White’s final vision before her death she was given a message regarding the youth which was detailed in the Review & Herald, April 15, 1915 under the heading “A Message for Our Young People”.
I do not expect to live long. My work is nearly done. Tell our young people that I want my words to encourage them in that manner of life that will be most attractive to the heavenly intelligences, and that their influence upon others may be most ennobling. Now is our time and opportunity to labor for the young people. Tell them that we are now in a perilous crisis, and we want to know how to discern true godliness. Our young people need to be helped, uplifted, and encouraged, but in the right manner; not, perhaps, as they would desire it, but in a way that will help them to have sanctified minds. They need good, sanctifying religion more than anything else. It is my sincere wish for our young people that they find the true meaning of justification by faith, and the perfection of character that will prepare them for eternal life. Tell the young that they have had many spiritual advantages. God wants them to make earnest efforts to get the truth before the people. I am impressed that it is my special duty to say these things. ”
Our stated mission and strategy is to:
Hasten the return of Jesus by helping, uplifting and encouraging the youth to ‘live the gospel’ message
We are to achieve this mission by activating and preparing the youth, but in order for this to happen we need youth who are full of energy, enthusiasm and courage.
“In order that the work may go forward in all its branches, God calls for youthful vigor, zeal, and courage. He has chosen the youth to aid in the advancement of His cause.”
Gospel Workers (GW 67.2)
But we are behind in this work, greater effort needs to be made to spread the truth.
“Hundreds of young men should have been preparing to act a part in the work of scattering the seeds of truth beside all waters.”
Testimonies for the Church (5T 391.1)
We need youth who understand the times we are living in and who have a sense of urgency to finish the work.
“Our churches are called upon to take hold of this work with far greater earnestness than has yet been manifested. Every church should make special provision for the training of its missionaries”
Testimonies for the Church (5T 391.2)
The reality is that many of our youth are not yet truly converted.
“From what has been shown me, there are not more than half of the young who profess religion and the truth, who have been truly converted. If they had been converted, they would bear fruit to the glory of God.”
Testimonies for the Church (1T 158.1)
The way to wake them up is by pointing them to Jesus. They need to develop a personal relationship; this comes through practical faith and godliness.
“We are now altogether too near the close of this earth’s history to keep before the attention of the people a class of books which do not contain the message which our people need. Draw their attention to books treating on practical faith and godliness.”
14LtMs, Ms 80, 1899, par. 9
To achieve this we must provide a training program for the youth.
“With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world!”
The Review and Herald, May 16, 1912, par. 22
Our stated objective is to:
Train leaders through true education to understand the time, their identity & purpose leading to a decision to fully consecrate their lives in the service to Christ. ”
The following is the tactical plan for the Youth Leadership Training Program.
The foundation of the program is rooted in the guidance provided in True Education:
“True education means more than pursuing a certain course of study. It has to do with the whole person, and with the whole period of existence possible to human beings. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers.”
True Education (TEd 9.1)
“All true knowledge and real development have their source in a knowledge of God. Wherever we turn, in the physical, mental, or spiritual realms; in whatever we observe and study, apart from the blight of sin, this knowledge is revealed.”
True Education (TEd 9.4)
“Jesus followed the divine plan of education. The schools of His time, with their magnifying of things small and their belittling of things great, He did not seek. His education was gained directly from the Heaven-appointed sources; from useful work, from the study of the Scriptures and of nature, and from the experiences of life—God's lesson books, full of instruction to all who bring to them the willing hand, the seeing eye, and the understanding heart.”
Education (Ed 77.2)
“To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized—this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life.”
Education (Ed 15.2)
…to the image of our Maker
…our mental health
…our physical health
…our focus on what is important
…our mindset to remove cognitive bias
…mind, body & soul
…ability to reach others
The program centers around the theme of “Leadership” and the Army of God. This theme is inspired by many quotes from E.G. White as an analogy of the order, discipline and mindset of Spiritual warfare.
“The church of Christ may be fitly compared to an army. The life of every soldier is one of toil, hardship, and danger. On every hand are vigilant foes, led on by the prince of the powers of darkness, who never slumbers and never deserts his post. Whenever a Christian is off his guard, this powerful adversary makes a sudden and violent attack. Unless the members of the church are active and vigilant, they will be overcome by his devices.”
Testimonies for the Church (5T 394.1)
The metaphor of enlisting in the military and carrying the banner are fitting:
“Christ is calling for volunteers to enlist under His standard, and bear the banner of the cross before the world.”
The Review and Herald, June 16, 1891, par. 9
“...should seek to arouse the youth to prepare for active service in God's great field of battle.”
Gospel Workers (GW 74.1)