Are you satisfied with your society? If you are, you need not read further, for the things we wish to discuss are intended for those who are not satisfied with the Young People’s Society of their church. If you feel that the ultimate has been achieved in the activities of your society and that no changes ought to be made in your society, we feel that this is a good indication that your society is becoming stagnant and lifeless.
In many respects a young people’s society is similar to the church of God. Although we should never think of our societies as a sort of church within the church, never the less our societies have a calling, a duty, a purpose, a proper place within the church of Jesus Christ. It is our intention to look at our young people’s society life to see if there is room for improvement, to see if constructive criticism is necessary.
First of all, what is the membership that your society has? When we raise this question, it is not our intention to suggest that numerical strength is a good standard in itself by which to judge a society but we do mean to say that if an appreciable group of young people in your church do not belong to your society certainly you ought to do something about it. There are several things that should be done. First a membership committee should be appointed; secondly, each society member should conduct himself in such a manner as to attract membership. Thirdly, use your personal influence among your friends in the church in order that prospective members will feel that they are among friends.
Does your society have an objective or goal? Do you have something to work towards in your society? Any live organization has aims and purposes. So, too, your society should have some concrete goal or objective. This goal or objective should, of course, be in harmony with the best interests of the church in which the society is situated and should be governed by Scriptural principles. The range of things for which a society might work is very broad. It may be that your church has certain needs which the young people can supply. I am thinking of church furnishings such as pulpit furniture, Psalters, Bibles for the pews, communion table or something of that nature. On the other hand, the society can seek to strengthen the witness of the church by exploiting the possibilities of the press and the radio. Particularly in this latter field much has been accomplished by our young people’s societies. The extensive scope and program of the Protestant Reformed Witness Hour was and still is essentially an activity operated through the active co-operation of several young people’s societies. More could be accomplished in this field. Why not investigate the possibilities of your society?
Does your society have interesting and profitable Bible discussions? Does the responsibility for the discussion fall on the president or is your membership willing and able to conduct a profitable Bible study? The secret of a good and edifying Bible discussion is preparation. If you come to society with little or no notion of what the Scripture passage will be, it is obvious that the contribution of such a member will be almost nothing. In preparing for the Bible study ask yourself as many questions as possible about the passage. If possible, look up a reference, read the context, compare with other Scripture passages. Seek to master the problems involved in every respect.
What about the after-recess program? Do you have to be coaxed or cajoled into a contribution to the program or are you willing to help as much as possible? Perhaps you feel uncertain and lack confidence to participate. Do your part regardless. Certainly mistakes will be made but bear in mind that such is the normal course of life. When you were a child, you took many tumbles before you were able to walk properly. So, too, as you participate in your society programs you will make mistakes but in time you will personally profit and so will your society.
There are many benefits, the group profits and the church as a whole will feel its influence, directly or indirectly. The society serves as a proving ground for the future church leadership. The active society members today are the backbone of the church tomorrow. Make your society a blessing to the church in which God has called you and given you a name and a place.