ADVENTIST YOUTH SOCIETY
Adventist Youth Society (AYS) – The church works for and with its youth through the AYS. Under the leadership of AYS leader, youth are to work together in development of a strong youth ministry that includes spiritual, mental, and physical development of each individual, Christian social interaction, and an active witnessing program that supports the general soul-winning plans of the church. The goal of AYS should be to involve all youth in activities that will tie them closer to the church and train them for Christian service.
“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.”—GW 210.
“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!”—MYP 196. The duty of the AYS committee is not merely the planning of AY programs and rostering of AYS time, but is to meet as often as necessary to develop short- and long-range goals and plans for the holistic development of our youth.
AYS Officers - The church elects these AYS officers: youth leader, associate youth leader, secretary-treasurer, assistant secretary-treasurer, chorister, pianist or organist, and sponsor (who may be an elder). Since music plays an important role in the formation of youth character, musicians should be as carefully selected as the other AYS officers. (See pp. 92, 96.) This group forms the nucleus for the AYS committee, which in counsel with the youth appoints other officers, (example band leaders). In smaller churches one person may carry several responsibilities.
The AYS leader must exemplify Christ-like graces and have a burden for soul winning and contagious enthusiasm. In helping motivate youth to work together and take responsibilities, the leader will be in the background - guiding, counseling, and encouraging youth, helping them gain experience and the joys of achievement. The leader should study the youth profile of the church and seek to involve every youth in the AYS. The leader will keep in touch with the pastor, the sponsor, and the conference youth ministries director, taking advantage of opportunities for in-service training and leading the society into a cooperative relationship with the church and the conference.