The Boy and the Sunday School - A Manual of Principle and Method for the Work of the Sunday - School with Teen Age Boys
by John L. Alexander
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A Manual of Principle and Method for the Work of the Sunday School with Teen Age Boys


Superintendent Secondary Division International Sunday School Association Author and Editor "Boy Training," "The Sunday School and the Teens," "Boys' Hand Book, Boy Scouts of America" "Sex Instruction for Boys," etc.

Introduction by MARION LAWRANCE

General Secretary, World's and International Sunday School Associations





The Sunday school chapter of Church history is now being written. It comes late in the volume, but those who are writing it and those who are reading it realize—as never before—that the Sunday school is rapidly coming to its rightful place. In the Sunday school, as elsewhere, it is the little child who has led the way to improvement. The commanding appeal of the little ones opened the door of advance, and, as a result, the Elementary Division of the school has outstripped the rest in its efficiency.

Where children go adults will follow, and so we discover that the Adult Division was the next to receive attention, until today its manly strength and power are the admiration of the Church.

Strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless true, that the middle division, called the Secondary, and covering the "Teen Age," has been sadly neglected—the joint in the harness of our Sunday school fabric. Here we have met with many a signal defeat, for the doors of our Sunday schools have seemed to swing outward and the boys and girls have gone from us, many of them never to return. We have busied ourselves to such an extent in studying the problem of the boy and the girl that the real problem—the problem of leadership—has been overlooked.

The Secondary Division is the challenge of the Sunday school and of the Church today. It is during the "Teen Age" that more decisions are made for Christ and against him than in any other period of life. It is here that Sunday school workers have found their greatest difficulty in meeting the issue, largely because they have not understood the material with which they have to deal.

We are rejoiced, however, to know that the Secondary Division is now coming to be better understood and recognized as the firing line of the Sunday school.

What has been needed and is now being supplied is authoritative literature concerning this critical period. Indeed, the Sunday school literature for the Secondary Division is probably appearing more rapidly now than that for any other division of the school.

This book is a choice contribution to that literature. It comes from a man who has devoted his life to the boys and girls, and who is probably the highest authority in our country in this Department. The largest contribution he is making to the advancement of the whole Sunday school work is in showing the fascination, as well as the possibilities, of the Secondary Division. We are sure this little book will bring rich returns to the Sunday schools, because of the large number who will be influenced, through reading its pages, to devote their lives to the bright boys and fair girls in whom is the hope, not only of the Church, but of the World.

Marion Lawrance.

Chicago, June 1, 1913.



Foreword 13

I The Home and the Boy 23

II The Public School and the Boy 32

III The Church and the Boy 37

IV The Sunday School or Church School 41

V The Boy and the Sunday School 48

VI Fundamental Principles in Sunday School Work with Boys 57

VII Method and Organization 62

VIII The Organized Sunday School Bible Class 74

IX Bible Study for Boys 93

X Through-the-Week Activities for Boys' Organized Classes 104

XI The Boys' Department in the Sunday School 120

XII Inter-Sunday School Effort for Boys 135

XIII The Older Boys' Conference or Congress 138

XIV The Secondary Division or Teen Age Boys' Crusade 158

XV Sex Education for Boys and the Sunday School 176

XVI The Teen Boy and Missions 193

XVII Temperance and the Teen Age 202

XVIII Building up the Boy's Spiritual Life 208

XIX The Teen Age Teacher 215

XX Danger Points 265

XXI The Rural Sunday School 268

XXII The Relation of the Sunday School to Community Organizations 277


A great deal of material has come from the pens of various writers on boy life in the last few years. Quite a little, also, has been written about the Sunday school, and a few attempts have been made to hitch the boy of the teen years and the Sunday school together. Most of these attempts, however, have been far from successful; due, in part, to lack of knowledge of the boy on the one hand, or of the Sunday school on the other. Generous criticism of the Sunday school has been made by experts on boy life, but this generally has been nullified by the fact that the critics have had no adequate touch with the Sunday school or its problems—their bread-and-butter experience lay in another field.

"The Men and Religion Forward Movement," in its continent-wide work, discovered not a few of the problems of the Sunday school, and attempted a partial solution in the volume on boys' work in the "Messages" of the Movement. It was but partial, however, first, because the volume tried to deal with the boy, the church and the community all together, and second, because it failed to take into account the fact that there are two sexes in the church school and that the boy, however important, constitutes but a section of the Sunday school and its problems.

In view of this, it may not be amiss to set forth in a new volume a more or less thorough study of the Sunday school and the adolescent or teen age boy, the one in relationship to the other, and at the same time to set forth as clearly as possible the present plans, methods and attitude of the Sunday school, denominationally and interdenominationally.

In the preparation of this little book I have utilized considerable material written by me for other purposes. Generous use has also been made of the Secondary Division Leaflets of the International Sunday School Association. A deep debt of gratitude is mine to the members of the International Secondary Committee: Messrs. E.H. Nichols, Frank L. Brown, Eugene C. Foster, William C. Johnston, William H. Danforth, S.F. Shattuck, R.A. Waite, Mrs. M.S. Lamoreaux, and the Misses Minnie E. Kennedy, Anna Branch Binford and Helen Gill Lovett, for their great help and counsel in preparing the above leaflets. Grateful acknowledgment is also made to Miss Margaret Slattery, Mrs. J.W. Barnes, Rev. Charles D. Bulla, D.D., Rev. William E. Chalmers, B.D., Rev. C.H. Hubbell, D.D., Rev. A.L. Phillips, D.D., Rev. J.C. Robertson, B.D., and the Rev. R.P. Shepherd, Ph.D., for their advice and suggestions as members of the Committee on Young People's Work of the Sunday School Council of Evangelical Denominations. The plans and methods of these leaflets have the approval of the denominational and interdenominational leaders of North America. I wish, also, to make public mention of the great assistance that Mr. Preston G. Orwig and my colleague, Rev. William A. Brown, have rendered me in the practical working out of many of the methods contained in this volume. Two articles written for the "Boys' Work" volume of the Men and Religion Messages, and one for "Making Religion Efficient" have been modified somewhat for this present work. The aim has been to set forth as completely as possible the relationship of the Sunday school and the boy of the teen years in the light of the genius of the Sunday school.

No attempt has been made in this volume to discuss the boy psychologically or otherwise. This has been done so often that the subject has become matter-of-fact. My little volume on "Boy Training," so generously shared in by other writers who are authorities on their subjects, may be referred to for information of this sort. "The Sunday School and the Teens" will, likewise, afford valuable technical information about the Sunday school, it being the report of the International Commission on Adolescence.

This book is largely a volume of method and suggestion for leaders and teachers in the Sunday school, to promote the better handling of the so-called boy problem; for the Sunday school must solve the problem of getting and holding the teen age boy, if growth and development are to mark its future progress. Of the approximately ten million teen age boys in the field of the International Sunday School Association, ninety per cent are not now reached by the Sunday school. Of the five per cent enrolled (less than 1,500,000) seventy-five per cent are dropping from its membership. Every village, town and city contributes its share toward this unwarranted leakage. The problem is a universal one.

The teen age represents the most important period of life. Ideals and standards are set up, habits formed and decisions made that will make or mar a life. The high-water mark of conversion is reached at fifteen, and between the ages of thirteen and eighteen more definite stands are made for the Christian life than in all the other combined years of a lifetime.

It marks the period of adolescence, when the powers and passions of manhood enter into the life of the boy, and when the will is not strong enough to control these great forces. Powers must be unfolded before ability to use them can develop, and instincts must be controlled while these are in the process of development. The importance of systematic adult leadership during this period of storm and stress cannot be too strongly emphasized.

The teen age boy is naturally religious. Opportunity, however, must be given him to express his religion in forms that appeal to and are understood by him. In other words, his religion, like his nature, is a positive quantity, and will be carried by him throughout the day, to dominate all of the activities in which he engages.

The problem also reaches through the entire teen years and must be regarded as a whole, rather than as a series of successive stages, each stage being separate and complete in itself.

The great problem, then, which confronts us is to keep the boys in the church and Sunday school during the critical years of adolescence and to bring to their support the strength which comes from God's Word and true Christian friendship, to the end that they may be related to the Son of God as Saviour and Lord through personal faith and loyal service.


Alexander, Editor.—Boy Training (.75). The Sunday School and the Teens. (The Report of the International Commission on Adolescence) ($1.00).

Alexander, Editor.—The Teens and the Rural Sunday School. (The Report of the International Commission on Rural Adolescence.) In preparation.

Boys' Work Message (Men and Religion Movement) ($1.00).

Fiske.—Boy Life and Self-Government ($1.00).

Hall.—Developing into Manhood (Sex Education Series) (.25)

Hall.—Life's Beginnings (Sex Education Series) (.25)

Secondary Division Leaflets, International Sunday School Association (Free).

1. Secondary Division Organization.

2. The Organized Class.

3. State and County Work.

4. Through-the-week Activities.

5. The Secondary Division Crusade.

Swift—Youth and the Race ($1.50).


Three institutions are responsible for the education of the adolescent boy. By "education" is meant not merely the acquisition of certain forms of related knowledge, but the symmetrical adaptation of the life to the community in which it lives. The three institutions that cooperate in the community for this purpose are: the home, the school, and the church. There are many organizations and orders that have a large place in the life of the growing boy, but these must be viewed solely in the light of auxiliaries to the home, school and church in the production of efficient boyhood and trained manhood.


Draper.—American Education ($2.00).

Payot.—Education of the Will ($1.50).



The greatest of the three institutions affecting boy life, from the very fact that it is the primary one, is the home. The home is the basis of the community, the community merely being the aggregation of a large number of well-organized or ill-organized homes. The first impressions the boy receives are through his home life, and the bent of his whole career is often determined by the home relationships.

The large majority of homes today are merely places in which a boy may eat and sleep. The original prerogatives of the father and mother, so far as they pertain to the physical, social, mental and moral development of boyhood, have been farmed out to other organizations in the community. The home life of today greatly differs from that of previous generations. This is very largely due to social and economic conditions. Our social and economic revolution has made vast inroads upon our normal home life, with the result that the home has been seriously weakened and the boy has been deprived of his normal home heritage.

To give the home at least some of the old power that it used to have over the boy life, there must needs be recognized the very definite place a boy must have in the family councils. The general tendency today, as far as the boy is concerned, is an utter disregard on the part of the father and mother of the importance of the boy as a partner in the family. He is merely the son of his father and mother, and their obligations to him seemingly end in providing him with wholesome food, warm clothing, a place to sleep and a room in which to study and play in common with other members of the household. Very little thought is given on the part of the father and mother to the real part the boy should play in the direction of the family life. Family matters are never determined with the help of his judgment. They are even rarely discussed in his presence. Instead of being a partner in the family life, doing his share of the family work and being recognized as a necessary part of its welfare, he is only recognized as a dependent member, to be cared for until he is old enough to strike out and make a place for himself. This sometimes is modified when the boy comes to the wage-earning age, when he is required to assist in the support of the family, but even then his place in the family councils to determine the policy of the family is usually a very small one.

In the home of today few fathers and mothers seem to realize the claim that the boy has upon them in the matter of comradeship. The parent looks upon himself very largely in the light of the provider, and but very little attention is paid to the companionship call that is coming from the life of his boy. After a strenuous day's work the father is often physically incapacitated for such comradeship and only the strongest effort of will on his part can force him to recognize this fundamental need of his boy's life. It is just as necessary that the father should play with and be the companion of his boy as it is for him to see that he has good food, warm clothing, and a comfortable bed to sleep in. The father generally is the boy's hero up to a certain age. This seems to be an unwritten, natural law of the boy's life, and the father often forfeits this worship and respect of his boy by failing to afford him the natural companionship necessary to keep it alive. In addition to a place and a voice in the councils of the family, it is necessary that the boy should have steady parental companionship to bring out the best that is in him.

The ownership of personal property and its recognition by the parent in the life of the boy is fundamental to the boy's later understanding of the home and community life. Comparatively few fathers and mothers ever recognize the deep call of the boy life to own things, and frequently the boy's property is taken from him and he is deprived of its use as a means of punishment for some breach of home discipline. In many families the boy grows up altogether without any adequate idea of what the right of private property really is, with the result that when he reaches the adolescent years and is swayed by the gang spirit, whatever comes in his way, as one of the gang, is appropriated by him to the gang use. This means that the boy, because of his ignorance, becomes a ward of the Juvenile Court and a breaker of community laws. The tendency, however, today in legal procedure is to hold the parents of such a boy liable for the offenses which may be committed. Instead of talking about juvenile delinquency today we are beginning to comprehend the larger meaning of parental and community delinquency. Out of nearly six hundred cases which came before the Juvenile Court in San Francisco last year only nineteen, by the testimony of the judge, were due to delinquency on the part of the offender himself. The majority of the remaining cases were due to parental delinquency, or neglect of the father and mother. A real part in the home life may be given to the boy by recognizing his individual and sole claim to certain things in the home life.

Failure on the part of the father and mother to recognize the growth of the boy likewise tends to interfere with normal relationships in the home. Many a father and mother fail to see and appreciate the fact that their boy really ceases to be a child. Because of this, parents very often fail to show the proper respect for the personality of the boy, riding rough-shod over his feelings and will. There follows in matters of this kind a natural resentment on the part of the boy which sometimes makes him moody and reticent. This, in its turn, causes the parents to try to curb what they consider a disagreeable disposition on the part of the boy. Sometimes this takes the form of resentment at the fact that the boy wishes at times to be alone, and so fathers and mothers are continually on the watch to prevent the boy from really having any time of his own. All of these things put together have but one logical result, the ultimate break between the boy and the home, and the departure of the boy at the first real opportunity to strike out for himself, thus sundering all the home relationships.

Perhaps one of the saddest things in the home life today is the neglect of the father to see that his boy receives the necessary knowledge concerning sex, that his life may be safeguarded from the moral perils of the community. This is not always a willful breach of duty on the part of the father, but usually comes from ignorance as to how to broach this subject to the boy. A great many growing lives would be saved from moral taint and become a blessing instead of a curse if the father discharged his whole duty to his growing son, by putting at his disposal the knowledge which is necessary to an understanding of the functions of the sex life.

To recapitulate, several things are necessary to bring about real relationships in the home life between the parents and the boy. These are: a place for the boy in the family councils as a partner in the home life, the boy's right to companionship with his parents, the privilege and responsibility of private ownership, the right a boy has to his personality and privacy, and tactful and timely instruction in matters of sex. This might be enlarged by the parents' privilege of caring for and developing social life for the boy in the home, a carefully planned participation in its working life, instructions in thrift and saving, and a general cooperation with the school and the church, as well as the auxiliary organizations with which the boy may be connected, so that the physical, social, mental and spiritual life of the boy may become well balanced and symmetrical. Add to this the Christian example of the father and mother, as expressed in the everyday life of the home, and especially through family worship and a recognition of the Divine Being at meal time, and without any cant or undue pressure there will be produced such a wholesome home environment as to assure the boy of an intelligent appreciation of not only his father and mother, but of his home privileges in general, and of the value of real religion.


Allen.—Making the Best of Our Children. Two vols. ($1.00 each).

Field.—Finger-posts to Children's Reading ($1.00).

Fiske.—Boy Life and Self-Government ($1.00).

Kirkpatrick.—Fundamentals of Child Study ($1.25).

Putnam.—Education for Parenthood (.65).



Of the primary institutions that are cooperating in the life of the boy today, without a doubt the public school is the most efficient and most serviceable. Today the school offers and compels a boy to get certain related courses of study which will make him a better citizen by fitting him in a measure for the procuring of an intelligent and adequate livelihood. The school by no means is perfect in this matter, and as long as over fifty per cent. of the boys fail to graduate even from the eighth grade in the grammar school, and but one per cent. go to college, there will be great need of a reconstruction of its methods of work. Without question, the curricula of the public school should be modified so as to meet the needs of all the boys in the community and vocational and industrial training should have larger place in our educational plans. The boy who is to earn his livelihood by his hands and head should receive as much attention and intelligent instruction as the boy who aims at a professional career. However, with all its limitations, the public school is the only institution which has a definite policy in the education of the boy. The leaders of the public school system know whither they are going and the road they must travel to reach the goal.

Perhaps the greatest weakness of our public school system today is the inability, because of our division between church and state, to give the boy any religious instruction in connection with what is styled "secular education." For the first time in the history of the world has religious instruction been barred from the public school, and that in our free America. Most intelligent Christian men now realize that, because of the division between church and state in our country, religious instruction in the public school is impossible, as the school is the instrument of the state in the production of wealth-producing citizenship. The men who with clear vision see these things also see this limitation of the public school system and recognize that the church has a larger mission to fulfill in America than in any other country, it the education of the boy is to be symmetrical and well balanced.

Perhaps the problem of our public school system of education which has not yet been solved is the vast possibility of the directed play life of our boys. It is well known by students of boy life that the character of the boy is very largely determined by the informal education which comes from his part in sports and play. In some cities the public school has sought to give partial direction to the play life of the boy through public school athletic leagues, but even these leagues touch but a small part of the boy life of any community. Besides the injection of industrial and vocational training in large quantity in public school curricula, more thought and place will have to be given to the expression of the boy life in play than is now provided for.

In addition to this, the home and the church must render a united cooperation to make the school life of the boy what it ought to be. The Parents' and Teachers' Association in the public school is doing much to bring this about between the home and the school, and it may be that a Teachers' Association, consisting of officials and teachers of the public school and the officials and teachers of the Sunday school, might bring about a closer cooperation in the secular and religious education of the boyhood of the community. Both these associations, if fostered, would certainly tend to create a wholesome school atmosphere, which would render a tremendous service in safeguarding the moral life of the boy.


Baldwin.—Industrial-social Education ($1.50).

Bloomfield.—Vocational Guidance of Youth (.60).

Brown.—The American High School ($1.40).

Crocker,—Religious Freedom in American Education ($1.00).

—Religious Education (.65).



If the foregoing facts considering the home and school life are absolutely true, and the consensus of opinion of the students of boy life would have it so, it means that the church has a larger opportunity than formerly supposed to influence the boy life of the community.

The investigator into the life of boyhood has revealed to us the fact that a boy's life is not only fourfold—physical, social, mental and spiritual—but is also unified in its process of development. If this be so, there must be a common center for the boy's life, and neither the home nor the school can, because of social or economic or political conditions, become this center. The only remaining place where the boy's life can be unified is the church.

The life of the church, generally speaking, is largely manipulated in the services of worship, the Sunday school, and such auxiliary organizations as the Brotherhood, Christian Endeavor, Missionary societies, and other like organizations. At the present time the church organization itself is but little adapted to the needs of the growing boy, the church being a splendidly organized body for mature life. On the other hand, until lately, the Sunday school has been recognized as a place for children under twelve years of age. With the Adult Bible Class movement of the past few years, there has come a revival in the Sunday school in adult life, so that the place of adults and children in the Sunday school has been magnified. There still remains, however, the need of a modification of Sunday school organization to meet the need of the adolescent boy.

The opportunity that faces the church and the Sunday school in this adaptation is tremendous. Investigations of the past few years have demonstrated beyond a doubt that the time to let loose impulses in the life for the development of character is between the ages of fourteen and twenty, or the plastic years of early and middle adolescence. Recent studies have shown that the break in school life occurs at about fourteen and a half or fifteen years, and that the majority of cases in the juvenile courts fall in the same period. More souls are born into the Kingdom of God in the early years of adolescence than at all other ages of life put together, and the vantage ground of the church lies at these ages, the effort necessary being the minimum and the results being the maximum that can be attained.

The problem of the church in touching these adolescent years is to make the right use of all the facts of boy life. Too long has the church looked upon the boy as a mere field of operation. Too long has she considered the boy as a dual personality and regarded life as both secular and spiritual. Today she is beginning to understand that all boyhood life is spiritual; that there are no secular activities in boyhood, but that every activity that a boy enters into has tremendous spiritual value, either for good or for bad. It is especially true in a boy's life that the spiritual finds expression through the physical. It should be true of all life, but a boy especially lives by physical expression.


Foster.—The Boy and the Church (.75).

Gray.—Non-Church Going, Its Reasons, and Remedies ($1.00).

Hodges.—Training of Children in Religion ($1.50).

Hulbert.—The Church and Her Children ($1.00).



The Sunday school is the biggest force of the church in the life of the boy. At times he refuses to attend the stated worship of the church, but if the Sunday school be in the least interesting he will gladly attend it. Its exercises and procedure must, however, be interesting, and rightly so. The boy has the right to demand that the time, his own time, which he gives to the Sunday school, should be utilized to some decently profitable, pleasurable end. Education, even religious education, is not necessarily a painful process. Discipline of mind or body has ceased to be a series of disagreeable, rigid postures or exercises. Medicine has no virtue merely because it is bad to the taste, and modern medical usage prescribes free air and warm sunshine in large doses in place of the old-time bitter nostrums. Even where the boy spirit needs medication, the means employed need not be sepulchral gloom, solemn warning, other-world songs, and penitential prayers, with great moral applications of the non-understandable. The germs of spiritual disease give way before the sunshine of the spirit, just as fast, if not faster, than the microbes before the sun. The Sunday school, then, should be a happy, joyous, sunny place, brimful of ideas, suggestion and impulse; for these three are at once the giants and fairies of religious education, and are the essential elements of character-making.

To produce all of the above, three things are needed: adequate organization, careful supervision, and common-sense leading. The first is imperative, because all education is a matter of organization. The second is part of the first, as supervision is the genius of organization. The third is fundamental, for all expression—true education—depends on the teacher or leader, whose innate idea of the fitness of things keeps him from doing, on the one hand, that which is just customary, or, on the other hand, that which may appear to be just scientific. The science of yesterday should be the tradition of today; that is, if we are making progress in educational processes. Today's science also should be fighting yesterday's for supremacy. Common sense lies somewhere between the two.

The only two of these three Sunday school essentials that this chapter deals with are organization and supervision.

The Sunday school should be a kind of a religious regiment, martial both in its music and its virtues for its challenge to the adolescent boy. Now, every regiment, in peace or war, is properly organized with battalions, companies, and squads. Everything is accounted for, arranged for, and some one definitely held responsible for certain things—not everything. The organization covers every member of the regiment; so should the Sunday school.

In Sunday school nomenclature the regimental battalions are "Divisions"—Elementary, Secondary, and Adult, by name. The companies likewise are named "Departments," each division having its own as in the "Elementary"—"Cradle Roll," "Beginners," "Primary," and "Junior." The squads in each case are the "Classes" that make up the Departments. It is essential that the Secondary, or Teen Age Division, which enrolls the adolescent boy, be adequately organized.

Regiments, Battalions, Companies, and Squads must be properly officered—must be supervised. Colonels, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants and Corporals are the arteries of an army. In Sunday school language, the head of the regiment is the General Superintendent, and all the heads of divisions and departments are likewise named Superintendent. The leader of the squad is the Teacher. Then a properly supervised Sunday school is organized not unlike an army, and would be, according to a diagram, like the following:

General Superintendent + -+ + + -+ - Elementary Secondary Adult Special Superintendent Superintendent Superintendent Superintendent

Cradle Roll Intermediate Organized Bible Superintendent Superintendent Class Superintendent

Beginners' Senior Home Superintendent Superintendent Superintendent or Primary Teen Age Superintendent Superintendent or Junior Boys' Superintendent Superintendent and Girls' Superintendent

Thus the modern school of the church would have at least twelve superintendents to oversee its work, to say nothing of the special workers, such as Training, Missionary and Temperance. This may seem like an unnecessary array of officers, but the experienced will admit that they are essential to good results in teaching boys and girls of varying requirements. Not until the Secondary or Teen Age Division is adequately supervised, will the teen age boy or his religious education be properly cared for.


Frost.—The Church School (.65).

Cope.—Efficiency in the Sunday School ($1.00).

Lawrance.—Housing the Sunday School ($2.00).

—How to Conduct a Sunday School ($1.25).

Meyer.—The Graded Sunday School in Principle and Practice (.75).


DIVISIONS AND DEPARTMENTS ============================================================ ELEMENTARY SECONDARY ADULT SPECIAL - + Cradle Roll (A) Adult Missionary (1 Minute-3 Intermediate Bible years) Department Class (13-16 years) Department Temperance Beginners' - (21 years +) Department Senior (4-5 years) Department Home[1] Purity (17-20 years) Department Primary ============== Visitation Department (B) Department Training (6-8 years) Teen Age or High School Junior Department Parents Department ============== Girls' Department Parents and (13-20 years) Teachers (C) Boys' Etc. Department (13-20 years) ============================================================



There are two factors in the above subject—the factor of the boy and the factor of the Sunday school.

The factor of the boy is the more important of the two, as the Sunday school exists merely for the purpose of serving the boy. The boy, therefore, should be thought of first, and the Sunday school should be planned to meet his needs.

What then is the factor of the boy? "The boy is a many-sided animal, with budding tastes, clamorous appetites, primitive likes and dislikes, varied interests; an idealist and hater of shams, a reservoir of nerve force, a bundle of contradictions, a lover of fun but a possible lover of the best, a loyal friend of his true friends; impulsive, erratic, impressionable to an alarming degree." Furthermore, the boy is maturing, traversing the path from boyhood to manhood, is unstable, not only in his growth, but also in his thought, is restless because of his natural instability, and sometimes suffers from headiness and independence. Between boyhood and manhood he travels swiftly, the scenery changes quickly as he travels—but he is traveling to manhood. No railway train or vehicle can keep pace with his speed. Morning sees him a million miles farther on his way than night reckoned him but half a day before. And yet, in all of it, he moves by well-defined stages in his journey towards his destination of maturity. Today he is individualistic, tomorrow heroic, a little later reflective and full of thought, but in all of it is progressively active, moving forward by leaps and bounds. His needs also increase with his pace, and must be fully and timely met, if he is to reach symmetrical maturity. He needs but three things to attain his best: proper sustenance, unlimited activity, and careful guidance. Given these three rightly and at the proper time, the quality of his manhood will go beyond our fondest hope. The sustenance must be in keeping with his years, the activity in line with his strength, and the guidance adapted to the needs of his spirit—firm, compelling, but not irksome. In it all the boy is to be encouraged in self-expression, resourcefulness, and independent manhood. Such is a partial appreciation of the boy and his wonderful capacities, a passing glimpse into a treasure house of wealth and possibility.

What now is the Sunday school? In the days that are past, it was looked upon merely as a weekly meeting of boys and girls. Today it is regarded as an institution for the releasing of great moral and religious impulses into life. Of late there have even crept into its life the names and some of the methods of our public school system. Grading and trained teaching have also come into its life to stay; the modern Sunday school is but little like that of a decade ago, and the changes are not yet done with. Some of the innovations will be proved by experience and retained with modification, while others doubtless will be eliminated as worthless for the purposes of the Sunday school in its ideals of moral and religious education. Improvement, however, is in the school atmosphere.

However, with all the change, past, present and contemplated, the school proper has but little time for the doing of its work. Fifty-two sessions a year, of an hour's or an hour and a half's duration at best, fifty-two or seventy-eight hours a year, only one-third of which is given to Bible study, furnish a meager opportunity to accomplish its aim. Compared with twelve hundred hours a year in the public school, or the twenty-eight hundred hours a year a boy may work, it seems pitifully small, for the aim of the Sunday school is bigger than the other two. The Sunday school purposes to fit the boy to play the game in public school and work and life. It seeks to give him impulses that will help him to keep clean, inside and outside, to work with other boys in team play, to render Christian service to his fellows, and to love and worship God as his Father and Christ as his Saviour. The means it employs for these great purposes are Bible study, Christian music, the association of the boys in classes, and Christian leadership. To these the school is beginning to add through-the-week meetings for what have been called its secular activities. All this has come after a great deal of campaigning on the part of groups of devoted men and women interested in boy life and welfare. The Sunday school has had to overcome many handicaps in reaching the boy of teen age, among which were the lack of efficient, virile teachers, a misunderstanding of boy nature, lessons not adapted to the boy's needs, music that was not appealing, and the indiscriminate grouping of boys with members of the other sex. These, however, have been rapidly overcome, and today the school is fairly well organized to meet the needs of the boy.

There are yet some definite things to be written into the life of the Sunday school to win and hold the boy of teen age in its membership for life.

The first of these is the incorporation into the Sunday school activities of those things that interest and touch and mold every phase of a boy's life. It means the allotment of a definite part of the school period for the discussion of the things the group of boys will engage in during the week, and a through-the-week meeting as a real part of the school work. This allows and provides for the athletic, outdoor, camping, social, and literary outlet for the boy spirit.

Another forward step is graded Bible study, graded athletics, graded service, graded social life, and graded mental activities. The work of the school, to hold the boy, must be new and diverse in its interests, and big enough and broad enough to command his constantly changing attention. As his years so shall his interest be. To his years the work of the Sunday school must correspond.

The Organized Bible Class that is self-governing must be added to the above. Better have the gang on the inside of the church with a Christian-altruistic content, than to permit the boys to organize under self-direction on the outside. The Bible Class, too, has advantages over every other form of organization. It has the Bible at its heart, the one thing necessary to assure permanence, and never allows the thought of graduation. Other boy organizations meet the need of certain specified years; the Bible Class meets all the needs of all the years, and is flexible enough to include all the special needs that are met by other forms of organization.

The greatest need of the Sunday school is capable teaching. By it the Bible Class becomes efficient or the reverse. For the boy the teacher should be a man, a Christian man, who has personality enough to command the boy's respect, and ability enough to direct the boy in doing things. This means a comrade-relationship of work and play, Bible study and athletics, spiritual and social activity, Sunday and week-day interest, and a disposition on the part of the leader to get the boy to do everything—government, planning, presiding, achieving—for himself. This is true teaching and leadership. The greatest thing in the Sunday school is the teacher. For now abideth the Lesson, the Class, and the Teacher, but the greatest of these is the Teacher.

In view, then, of all that has gone before, what shall be said of the Sunday school and the boy? Each to each is the complement; the two together form a winning combination. On the one hand, the modern Sunday school should meet the boy's need at every stage of his development in a physical, social, mental, and spiritual way. It should give him variety and progression in the processes of his maturing, and suitable organization and trained leadership for character-building and man-making. On the other hand, the boy will render the Sunday school and church his service, and through both give his heart's thought, devotion, and worship to his Lord. This is the whole matter of the Sunday school and the normal boy, and is our vision of the future of the church. The past did not do it! The past is dead!


Boys' Work Message (Men and Religion Movement) ($1.00).

Foster.—The Boy and the Church (.75).

Lewis.—The Intermediate Worker and His Work (.50).

—The Senior Worker and His Work (.50).

Robinson.—The Adolescent Boy in the Sunday School (American Youth, April, 1911) (.20).



Five fundamental principles must be kept in mind when work with boys in the Sunday school is attempted, and without these five principles very little will be accomplished:

1. The first of these is the Fourfold Life. A boy lives physically, socially, and mentally, as well as spiritually. He lives seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, not merely an hour or an hour and a half on Sunday. His spiritual impulses are received and find their expression in the physical, social and mental activities in which he is engaged during the week. Any work that is attempted with a group of boys which ignores this fourfold life of the boy cannot be a success. The man, then, who plans to work with boys must plan to touch the various phases of the boys' lives as he works with them, and he must also do this work in proportion, not putting too much emphasis on any one phase, but allowing equal emphasis on all. The ideal for a perfect work with boys is that which is gleaned from a study of the boyhood of Christ, for the boy Jesus, "grew in wisdom" (mentally), "and in stature" (physically), "and in favor with God" (spiritually), "and with man" (socially). The secret of the life of the Christ as a boy lies in his symmetrical and well-balanced growth.

2. The second principle is Progression. In a successful church work with boys the activities must be graded and progressive. The public school could not command the presence of a boy if the work which it gave him today was the same as that of last week, and that of last week the same as that of a year ago. The inherent interest of the public school to a boy is that he is discovering new things for himself, or being taught new things all the while. This principle must be incorporated in church and Sunday school work to keep the continued interest of the boy. It must be observed, not only in Bible study (and this should be graded), but also in the physical, social, mental and service activities in which the boy finds himself engaged.

3. The third principle is Service. Too long has the church bribed her boys and expected them to remain with her and in her service after offering them wages for doing the thing which they ought to have done for sheer love of it. Socials and clubs and athletic organizations and other devices have been used as a bid to hold the boy, instead of being used because the church owed these things to the boy as part of his all-round development. "Where the treasure is, there will the heart be also"; and it stands to reason that the heart of the boy will be where he is giving most of himself. If he is investing himself heavily in the interest and service of the church, that is where his interest will be.

4. The fourth principle is Organisation.

The law of the boy life in adolescence is organization, or the gang. The church has its choice, either to let the boys organize themselves on the outside, under self-directed and therefore incompetent leadership, or to organize the boys on the inside of the church, provide a definite place for this organization, and so permeate the gang instinct with the spirit of Christian altruism. Every church organization for boys, the organized Bible class, the church club, and other church forms of organization, are aiming to do just this thing. The law of the boy's life is to associate with his fellows and the expression of his purposes is team work. The church, through suitable organization, can meet this need of the boy life.

5. The fifth and last principle is Leadership. Leadership is inseparable from organization, and organization is useless without leadership. The leadership which is necessary for a group of adolescent boys is that of a man, and the problem which is presented to a leader with a group of boys in the adolescent years is not that of teaching, but of awakening virile ideas and purposes in the boy life. The leader must be able to enter into sympathy with and in at least a partial way into participation with all the activities of the group. Everything that a boy does is just the thing that the man used to do. There is, therefore, little hardship, but instead the joy of living again, when a man becomes the leader of a group of boys.


Alexander (Editor).—Boy Training (.75).

Boys' Work Message (Men and Religion Movement) ($1.00).

Robinson.—The Adolescent Boy in the Sunday School (American Youth, April, 1911) (.20).




By organization is meant, of course, boy organization, the form of organization that attempts to keep the adolescent boy tied up to the interests of the church. Today the forms of organization for this purpose are legion, and strangely enough every such form but one has its headquarters outside of the local church it seeks to serve. The one exception is the form known as the Boys' Organized Bible Class, an integral part of the Sunday school with no allegiance of any sort or kind to any organization but the local church of which it is a part—bone of its bone, flesh of its flesh, muscle of its muscle.

These organizations that flourish in our modern church life naturally fall into three classes: religious, semi-religious and welfare. Other nomenclature, characterizing them might be used, and would be by their founders, but these words classify them for the purpose of our investigation. The religious organizations have for their sole aim the deepening of the religious impulse, and the missionary objective of carrying this impulse to others. The semi-religious are built around religious and symbolic heroes, make a bid for the heroic and the gang spirit, and seek to inculcate more or less of religious truth by the sugar-coat method. The welfare type aims at the giving of all sorts of activity in order to keep the boy interested and busy, and so raise the tone of his life in general.

The religious type of organization includes the forms that may be classed under the church brotherhood idea—the junior brotherhoods of various sorts. They originated because of the need of some kind of expression for the religious impressions that were continually coming to the boy in his church life. The idea was good, but its release poor. Senior forms of organization were imitated, adult forms of worship and service diminutized, and juvenile copies of mature experience encouraged. Junior brotherhoods and junior societies thus have tended to destroy the genuine, natural, spontaneous religious life of boys, and have unconsciously aided the culture of cant and religious unreality.

The semi-religious organizations have gone a full step beyond those of the religious type. Societies like the Knights of King Arthur, Knights of the Holy Grail, Modern Knights of St. Paul, and others of such ilk have in symbolism sought to teach and find expression for the religious impulse. The method has been more or less the religious type in disguise—ancient titles, elaborate ritual, initiations, and degrees, red fire, fuss and feathers, and something doing all the time to attract the boy. The result has been and is a play-idea of organization and a make-believe environment on the part of the boy. In his thought it never classifies with his school or home or general church life. It is a thing apart, some thing or place to retire to, to forget the everyday thing for a moment of romance. The mature mind that is responsible for all of this, however, seeks to bend and use this make-believe world for the inculcation of religious truth; and the product is an astonishing variety of results. Most of it is beyond the grasp of the ordinary man, the only man who at present or at any time will do this work in the church; and where set programs or ritual are followed the work itself loses its fire and misses its effectiveness.

The welfare type of organizations has multiplied in the past few years, and their less religious activities have served to keep the religious and semi-religious types alive. The Boys' Brigade, the National First Aid Association, the Woodcraft Indians, Sons of Daniel Boone, Boy Scouts, and others of like type, are in season and out of season appealing to American boyhood. Their aim is not specific, but general and vague: "Something to do, something to think about, something to enjoy, with a view always to character-building." Their appeal is mostly to the physical and the out-of-doors; their philosophy that of the recapitulation of the culture epochs. Their promoters do not claim that they touch all of life. They seek to dominate the leisure time only, and to produce goodness by affording no free time for positive wrong-doing. The domination is also physical expression, and the mental and spiritual in the boy and his home, school, and church life are not vitally affected directly.

All three types, however, have done splendid work in the past, and are rendering good service in the present as they will in the future. The success of each depends entirely on its leadership. If a leader be steeped in the Idylls of the King, the Knights of King Arthur will be popular with the boys and the church. If the superintendent of the brotherhood or society be human and magnetic, the church and the boy will sing its praises. If the scoutmaster is an out-of-door man and has a point of contact with the boy, the Boy Scouts will be the solution of all our difficulties. Here lies the crux of the whole matter. If boys are added to the church through any organization, it is not because of the method, but because of the worker of the method. The method counts because it is part of the worker—is in his blood.


The aim of all church work should be the production not merely of manhood but Christian manhood. The vision is to see the boy a Christ-like boy—a physically, socially, mentally and spiritually balanced man in the making. The organizations used, then, in boys' work should be selected with this aim in mind.

Again, modern psychology has demonstrated to us that all boy activities must be graded according to each stage of a boy's development, and that there are several such stages. In the adolescent boy these may roughly be classed as the heroic and reflective stages, or as early, middle, and late adolescence. Boy activities, then, must group themselves to minister to the needs of each separate stage in order to work effectively. But psychology has also shown us that the activities of any one stage must also be graded to meet the needs of that one stage. Thus the heroic may run from the twelfth to the fifteenth year, and the activities of this phase should be graded to meet the development of the phase. This is well illustrated by the Tenderfoot Second Class Scout and First Class Scout degrees of the Boy Scouts which operate in this period.

The factors of the problem, then, to be considered in the method are: First, Christian Manhood; second, the fact that there are distinct and separate stages of growth in a boy's development, each stage having its own well-defined steps of growth; and third, the selection of existing boy organization activities to meet the need and produce the aim or desired result.

By way of illustration, let us consider a group of boys just past their twelfth year. All their physical, social, mental, and spiritual needs are to be met. The boys are just adolescent and their outlook because of that is altruistic. They have reached the "ganging" period, and so must have some form of organization. What organizations can be used to lead them into Christian manhood between the twelfth and fifteenth year? There are the Knights of King Arthur, the Boy Scouts, the Junior Brotherhood, the Christian Endeavor, and the Sunday School Bible Class. There are others—hosts of them—but these widely known forms will suit the purpose. For physical purposes we have the Scouts, for social purposes the Scouts, Knights, and the Bible Class; for mental purposes the Knights, and for spiritual purposes the Knights, Brotherhood, Endeavor, and the Bible Class. To see a boy get his own full development under this plan he must needs belong to at least five organizations; and the principle of association among boys is not gangs but the gang. However, much can be done under difficulties. The Scouts will afford free, physical, outdoor expression, without which there is no boy. The Knights will furnish mental ideals and objectives; for the Knights of King Arthur is the mental expression of the Boy Scouts and the Boy Scouts is the physical expression of the Knights of King Arthur. Both of them, with the Bible Class group, will furnish social stimulus and the Bible study, and the more or less valuable devotional expression of the Endeavor and Brotherhood will take care of the spiritual. In using an organization, a clearly defined idea of the end sought should always be in view.


In all church work for boys, efficiency should be sought. It should also be kept in mind that it is church work for boys.

In all our discussion two things must seem striking: first, that we must at present use at least five organizations to meet the boy need, five gangs, when the principle of boy association is not gangs but the gang; and second, that all of these organizations, with the exception of the Bible Class, have their headquarters outside of the local church itself. The headquarters are in New York, Detroit, Boston, Cincinnati, Baltimore, etc., while the work they seek to do is the local church's business. Further, they have all had their birth in the misunderstanding of the church as to her mission for boys. The church, however, has now a new vision of her mission, as manifested by her patience and forbearance in trying out and listening to the voices of all these organizations that would help her from the outside. The church is awake to the need, but is confused in the method, because she recognizes that no single organization that knocks at her door is sufficient and complete enough for her task. She needs all their methods without their organization. She cannot assume their organization, because it is not of her own flesh and blood.

A boy's allegiance cannot be split up among gangs. He must be a member of the gang. One organization is all that he can comprehend with loyalty at one time. This organization must be also of the local church. But the church needs no new organization. All she needs is activities suitable to the boy's growth. She has an organization that the boy cannot outgrow—the Organized Bible Class. At fifteen he is through with the Scouts and the Knights, and at eighteen or twenty he is through with fraternities and orders, or ought to be; for, if a boy be not starved for these things when a boy, he will outgrow them as he outgrows a suit of clothes. Graduation from these orders very often means graduation from the Sunday school and church; for no single organization can be conceived, that with ritual and form can bind together the activities of twelve to fifteen, fifteen to twenty, and twenty to thirty. However, there can be no graduation from the Organized Bible Class, flesh of the church's flesh, blood of her blood, muscle of her muscle; and the Organized Bible Class is flexible enough for an adjustment to every stage of boy development, and to all its physical, social, mental and spiritual needs. The organized class between twelve and fifteen can include all the interests of those years, and when the next stage of growth is on, can discard these for the interests that lie between fifteen and twenty, and so on to the end.

The Organized Bible Class is simple in organization, is modern and elastic, affords the minimum of organization and the maximum of efficiency, is big enough to meet all the boy's needs, and is the church's own. Into it can be poured all the activities of all the organizations ever known, and it can be made the richest and best adapted organization to the boy life of the Church that has yet been conceived.


Alexander (Editor).—Boy Training (Chapter on Auxiliary Organizations) (.75).

—Sunday School and the Teens (Chapter on Organizations) ($1.00).

Foster.—The Boy and the Church (Chapter on Books and Notes) (.75).



When all the plans and methods of work are reduced to a minimum, there is but one. This finds expression in the gang or club life. Boys get together in a group, elect their own officers and select a man who is to be their adviser. Then they go out and do the thing they have organized for in what is to them the simplest and best-known way. It may be stamp collecting, or star studying, woodcraft, or camping, or the hundred and one other forms of boy activity which are so common today. Seventy-five per cent. of these clubs are formed solely for the purpose of physical expression in athletics. Hundreds of such clubs exist today to meet the various needs of the growing boy. The Knights of King Arthur, the Boy Scouts, the Woodcraft Indians, the Sons of Daniel Boone, the Knights of the Holy Grail, the Knights of St. Paul, and dozens of others have been conceived and born for the purpose of meeting the needs of boys, as the founders of the organizations saw them.

In harmony with all the other boys' organizations, and yet bigger than all of them put together, is the Sunday school organization for boys—the Organized Bible Class. It is purely and simply a church organization, and owes no allegiance to any organization outside of the local church. It is also a distinct part of the church life and an organic part of the Sunday school, which is large enough to hold the boy's interest from the cradle roll to the grave. The other organizations serve their day in the life of the boy and cease to be. It is difficult, almost an impossibility, to get normal boys, after fifteen years of age, to take much interest in the so-called boys' organizations, because their lives have outgrown these activities and there is no longer any need of them. The Organized Bible Class presents a method that can never be outgrown. It also has at its heart Bible study, which is the one essential to permanence in any work with boys.

Class Organization

Objective.—Class organization is of no value unless the class has definite objectives. The members should be made to feel that there is some great purpose in the organization. The objectives for a teen age class should be:

1. The winning of the class members to personal allegiance to Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord; and

2. The proper expression of the Christian life in service for others in the name and spirit of the Christ. Thus one strengthens one's self and helps others.

Why Organize.—(a) It is natural for a boy to want to get into an organization of some kind. Seventy-five per cent. of the boys of a community are, or have been, connected with some sort of organization. These organizations, rightly controlled, and dominated by strong Christian leadership, can be made a power for good in the community and in the lives of their members. It matters not what the organization may be connected with, it is the activities that appeal.

Why should not the Sunday school take advantage of this natural, God-given instinct, to plan such organization in the church as will present the strongest claim for the loyalty of the boys in the teen age?

(b) The organization is in the hands of the members of the class, activities are planned by them, and discipline, when necessary, is administered by them. The position of the teacher is thereby strengthened. Instead of being an "autocrat" or "czar" in dealing with the class, the function is that of counsellor and friend.

(c) It develops initiative, self-reliance, self-control, and the ability to do things; character is thereby developed, and strong Christian character is what the church needs today.

(d) The Organized Boys' Bible Classes will, without a doubt, become as universal in their scope as Organized Adult Bible Classes. To be affiliated with the biggest teen age organization in the world will, in itself, appeal to every teen age boy and girl.

(e) Organization increases class spirit. The organized class becomes "our class," not the "teacher's class." The unorganized class suffers greatly if the teacher is removed, and sometimes is obliged to disband. The organized class helps to secure another teacher, and, in the interim, maintains its class work and is thus kept together. Though much depends upon the teacher, the permanency of the class should not rest wholly upon his personality and work. Changes must necessarily come.

(f) Organization enables the class to do things. The appointment of special committees, the assignment of definite work to each committee, and the introduction of various class activities does much toward realizing the ideal—"an adequate Christian service for every member." Large and permanent success is assured when this ideal is attained.

Standard of Organization

1. The class shall have at least five officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Teacher. It shall also have as many committees as necessary to carry on its work.

2. The class shall be definitely connected with a Sunday school.

3. A Sunday Bible session and, if practicable, week-day session or activities.

4. The age limits of the class shall be not less than thirteen or more than twenty years.

How to Organize

Secure Secondary Division Leaflet No. 2, of the International Sunday School Association.

Study this leaflet carefully, noting especially the standard of organization and the suggestive constitution, which seek to define an organized class. Distribute leaflets among those whom you wish to interest and enlist. Organization should not be forced on the class. Do not go at it as though you were laying a trap. Observe the following:

(a) Think it through yourself; then put yourself in the pupil's place and ask yourself the question, "How would I like to have this presented to me?" This will give you the viewpoint of your class, and you are then ready to go ahead. You must believe in it thoroughly, enthusiastically, before you can hope for the interest and enthusiasm of your class.

(b) Next, get two or three of your "key" pupils, and talk it over with them. Show them the possibilities of the organization, emphasizing the physical, mental, social and spiritual activities.

(c) Follow this with a special meeting of the class, to be held either at the home of the teacher or one of the class.

(d) Make the organization genuine, and show that you mean business. The teen age abhors shams, and will readily detect any weak spots in the organization. Impress upon them the necessity of selecting capable officers. Adopt the class constitution, which follows, select class name and motto, and elect the officers.

(e) Then let the officers conduct the meetings, both in the Sunday and the mid-week sessions. The teacher is one of the class and is the director of activities; the officers and committeemen do the work.

(f) In all things keep in close touch with the general superintendent and the departmental superintendent of the school. Seek the strength that comes from advice and cooperation.


A class constitution is not essential, but is often helpful. The following form of constitution is merely suggestive and may be changed to conform to the needs of the class.

Article I—Name.

Our class shall be known as ___ ___ and shall be connected with, and form a part of, the ___Sunday school of__.

Article II—Object.

The object of the class shall be the training of Christian character for Christian service in the extension of Christ's Kingdom by means of Bible study, through-the-week activities, mutual helpfulness, and social fellowship, in addition to the winning of its members' allegiance to Christ as Saviour and Lord.

Article III—Class Spirit.

To create an individuality in class spirit, loyalty and enthusiasm, the class shall have an emblem, a motto and a color. It may also have a flower, a song, a yell, a whistle, or such other additions as may seem wise.

Article IV—Membership.

Any boy may become a member of this class on invitation of the class.

Article V—Officers.

The class officers may include the following: Teacher, President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. The officers shall be elected by ballot semiannually by the class, and no officer shall serve in the same position more than two terms in succession, except the teacher, whose election or appointment is governed by the church or Sunday school. The teacher may be elected by the class from a list provided by the church authorities.

Article VI—Committees

There shall be as many committees in the class as necessary, such as Social, Literary, Music, Athletic, etc.

Article VII—Meetings.

The class shall meet at _o'clock each Sunday for its regular Bible study session. Week-day meetings may be held each week. Special meetings may be called at any time by the president, and the presence of one-fourth of the enrolled membership shall be necessary for the transaction of class business.

Article VIII—Duties of Officers and Committees.

Sec. 1. The teacher shall teach the lesson, shall be an ex officio member of all committees, and shall work cooperatively with the president in promoting the interests of the class.

Sec. 2. The president shall preside at meetings of the class, shall have general supervision over the officers, and shall see that the work of the class is pushed in accordance with its object.

Sec. 3. The vice-president shall take the president's place in case of absence, and shall render such assistance to the president as may be required of him.

Sec. 4. The secretary shall make class announcements, keep minutes of all meetings, write to absent members, and report any information to the teacher which may be desired.

Sec. 5. The duty of committees shall be defined by the activity each carries on, said committee being responsible to the class for the work entrusted to it.

Article IX—By-Laws.

From time to time the class may amend this constitution and pass such by-laws as seem wise in carrying forward the work of the class.

A careful study of the Organized Class diagram on another page (86) will furnish the teacher with a workable plan. In all cases it should be adapted to local conditions.

Mid-week activities should be planned as a part of the weekly program, keeping in mind the fourfold life of the pupil. The planning of these activities should be left almost entirely to the class; any plans that the teacher may have should be turned over to the class by way of suggestion. Place the responsibility on the members of the class, and once they have caught the idea there will be no lack of suggestions on their part.

THE TEEN AGE BOYS' ORGANIZED CLASS ORGANIZATION + -+ -+ OFFICERS COMMITTEES President [A] Athletic Vice-President [A] Social Secretary [A] Membership[3] Treasurer [B] Program[4] Teacher [B] Etc. CLASS MEETING + + + SUNDAY SESSION THROUGH-THE-WEEK SESSION Opening Services Class Lesson DETERMINED BY ACTIVITY Discussion of Through-the-Week Activities ACTIVITY COMMITTEE IN CHARGE Closing Services RANGE OF CLASS ACTIVITIES + + + + + PHYSICAL MENTAL SOCIAL SPIRITUAL SERVICE

[A] Older Boy [B] Adult

Prepared by John L. Alexander, Superintendent Secondary Division International Sunday School Association.

The class session on Sunday should be in charge of the president of the class. The opening services may consist of a short prayer by the teacher or pupil volunteering; reading of brief minutes, covering the mid-week activities and emphasizing the important points brought out by the teacher in the lesson of the previous Sunday; collection and other business. The president then turns the class over to the teacher for the teaching of the lesson. The closing services of the class should by all means be observed.

Committees.—Short-term committees are the more effective, covering the activities when planned. The short-term committee plan, however, need not be suggested to the class until it discovers that the long-term or standing committee has failed. They will doubtless be the first to suggest the new plan.

Class Grouping and Size

It should be sane and natural and not too large. This should be specially borne in mind in working with boys; a "gang" usually consists of from seven to fourteen. The girls' class is different, and the size of the group does not materially matter. The class, however, should not be so unwieldy as to make it impossible for the teacher to give personal attention to each individual.

It is impossible to get the best results when pupils of twelve and eighteen are members of the same class, for they are living in two different worlds of thought. A teacher cannot hope to hold together a group in which there is such disparity of age. A working basis is (13-14), (15-17), (18-20). This is but a foundation on which to work. The correct grouping should be on a physiological basis instead of chronological. A pupil ofttimes will not fit into a group of his or her own age; physiologically, they may be a year or two in advance of the rest of the class, and are mingling through the week with an older group. Adjustments in such cases should be made so that the pupil is permitted to find his or her natural grouping. Like water, they will find their level.

Under no ordinary circumstances should classes be mixed (boys and girls together).

Class Names and Mottoes

Names.—A class name will help to create a strong and healthy class spirit, and is valuable as a means of advertising the class and its work.

Some prefer to take class numbers or letters, thus recognizing their relationship to the Sunday school; others select names from the Bible to indicate their relation to Bible study; others choose names that indicate some kind of Christian service, thus committing the class to Christian work; while others take names of heroes or use Greek letters.

Mottoes.—A motto is perhaps more important than a name. It will help to place and keep before the class a definite purpose. If often repeated it will aid in producing in the class the spirit expressed in the motto. The following well-known mottoes may be suggestive: We're in the King's Business—We Do Things—The World for Christ—We Mean Business—The Other Fellow—Every Man Up—Quit You Like Men.

International Teen Age Certificate of Recognition

The International Sunday School Association, through its Secondary Division, issues a certificate, or charter of recognition.

This certificate represents a minimum standard of organization for classes, which is considered practical for scholars of these ages. It gives the class the recognition of the International, State or Provincial Associations; and to the schools whose denominations add their seal and signature, or provide a joint certificate, denominational recognition as well. The certificate of the Secondary Division is beautifully lithographed, and is suitable for framing for the class room. For classes of the Intermediate age (13-16 years) an Intermediate seal is affixed, and a Senior (17-20 years) or Adult seal may be added upon the advance of the class to these departments. It can be secured by filling out the application blank at the end of this leaflet, and by sending the same, together with twenty-five cents to cover the cost, to your State or Provincial Association, or Denominational headquarters. Seals may be secured from the same sources.

This certificate and registration links the class to the Sunday school teen age brotherhood throughout the world.

The royal blue and white button (white center with blue rim) has been adopted for both the Intermediate (13-16 years) and Senior (17-20 years) Departments, the blue indicating loyalty and the white purity.

Application Blank for International Certificate of Recognition

Secondary Division Years 13-20.

Name of Class Name of Sunday School Name of Denomination Town or City County State or Province Has the class the following officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer? Is the class of intermediate age (13-16), or senior age (17-20)? What is the average age of the members of your class? Name of Class Teacher Post-office address Name of Class President Post-office address Does the class use the Secondary Division Emblem? Class motto Date of organization Present Membership Date of Application 19 Filled out by: Name Post-office address Kindly fill out this blank carefully. Detach and send same with twenty-five cents to your State Sunday School Association office.


International Leaflets on Secondary Adult Classes (Free).

Pearce.—The Adult Bible Class (.25).



The study of the Bible that contributes to the boy's education is now generally accepted to be that which is adjusted to the known characteristics of boys. At one time, not so very far distant, all Scripture was supposed to be good for a boy's moral and spiritual character-building. One part of the Bible was held to be as good as any other, the important thing necessary being to get the Bible into the life of the boy, somehow. It did not matter much whether the boy understood all he read and was told, or not. It would prepare him for some future crisis and enable him some time to better meet a possible temptation. It was to be a sort of preventive application, very much as vaccination now is administered to ward off dreaded disease. And, to tell the exact truth, it often did, and the treatment proved more efficacious than some of the present-day Bible study methods, where mere knowledge is attempted. The mistake was the misunderstanding (for misunderstanding it was, and not a desire to merely plague the boy) of the fact that boys were developing creatures, spiritually as well as physically, and that Bible study could be made pleasant as well as profitable. It was a mistake due to a purely mature point of view and a failure to know that the boy mind needed different treatment from that of the adult. Lately we have discovered, thanks to general education, that a boy's Bible study can be adapted to a specific purpose, and to a present, clear, distinct and practical need of boy life.

A recent writer has said, "We have come to a fairly definite understanding that we must take the boy as he is; we must inquire into his needs; we must consider the conditions of his religious development. We must ask, then, of the Bible, how far it can be effective to meet these needs and this development. The fixed factor is the boy, not the Book. At the same time, we are not obliged to begin always as if the Bible were a new thing in the world, and its claim to value as religious material were to be considered afresh. We know that the Bible has proved itself good. We know that it has been effective in the life of boys. The question, then, really before us is, What parts of the Bible are really desirable for the boy, and how are they to be presented so as to be most useful?"

This, in other words, is Graded Bible Study, and, possibly, were we to give a Bible to the boy and induce him to read it, the parts which he would read would help us a lot in determining the material that would challenge his interest. The parts he skipped over would also fix our problem for us.

The writer had a unique experience in his boyhood. His folks were members and officers of a church where long doctrinal sermons were the rule. These had little interest for the growing boy, but parental persuasion kept him in the pew for hours at a stretch. The boy, under these circumstances, had to do something in self-preservation, so he spent the long hours in reading the Bible. The stories of the Patriarchs, the Judges, the Kings, and the Acts were his peculiar delight. The sermon period ceased to be tiresome and often was not long enough. He never read Leviticus, or the Prophets, or the Gospels, or the Epistles, however. They had no meaning for him. As well as he can now remember, between his ninth and twelfth years, his favorite Scripture was the Patriarchs and Judges. Between his twelfth and sixteenth years he was passionately fond of the Kings and the Acts. After that he began to feel interested in the Gospels. He was pretty well grown up before he cared either for the Prophets or the Epistles; they were too abstract for him.

The writer's experience corresponds fairly well with the growing modern usage in Bible study with boys. The philosophy underlying Graded Bible Study is merely to meet the present spiritual needs, as indexed by the characteristics of the period of his development.

At present there are many schemes of Graded Bible Study for boys on the market. Some of it has been prepared to meet a theory of religious education. The University of Chicago Series of textbooks and the Bible Study Union (Blakeslee) Lessons are examples of this trend. Both of them are exceptionally good. Other courses have sprung up, being written and used among boys here and there, and later worked together into a Bible study scheme. The Boys' Bible Study Courses of the Young Men's Christian Association are recognized as such. Then there is the present system of Graded Bible Study of the International Sunday School Association. Fifteen complete years of Graded Bible Study, from the fourth to the eighteenth year, may now be used in the Sunday school. Great care has been exercised in the selection of the material with the aim of fixing definite ideals of Christian life and service. These courses are divided as follows:

Possible Present Use of the Graded Lessons

Departments Years Courses of Study

Beginners Four Five A Unit of two years.

Six Primary Seven A Unit of three years. Eight

Nine Lower A Unit of two Ten years. Junior Eleven Upper A Unit of two Twelve years.

Thirteen Lower A Unit of two Fourteen years. Intermediate Fifteen Upper A Unit of two Sixteen years.

Seventeen A Unit of one year. Senior Eighteen A Unit of two years. Nineteen Twenty

Lesson Committee Leaflet No. 2, International Sunday School Association.


Divisions Departments Age or Grade Themes of Lessons

/ /Four 1st year God the Heavenly Father, BEGINNERS / our Provider and Protector. Five 2d year Thanksgiving, prayer, helping E others. L /Six 1st year God's power, love and care, E awakening child's love, trust M and confidence. E Seven 2d year How to show love, trust and N PRIMARY / obedience, in Jesus' love and T work for men; how to do God's A will. R Eight 3d year People who choose to do God's Y / will; how Jesus revealed the Father's love and will. /Nine 1st year Stories of beginnings, three patriarchs, Joseph, Moses and Jesus. Ten 2d year Conquest of Canaan, stories of New Testament, life and JUNIOR / followers of Jesus. Eleven 3d year Three Kings of Israel, divided kingdom, exile and return, introduction to New Testament. Twelve 4th year Gospel of Mark, studies in Acts, winning others to God, Bible the Word of God. / / /Thirteen 1st year Biog. studies in Old Testament, religious leaders Lower / in N.A. salvation and service S Fourteen 2d year Biog. studies in New E INTERME- / Testament, Christian leaders C DIATE after New Testament times. O /Fifteen 3d year Life of the Man N Upper / Christ Jesus. D / Sixteen 4th year Studies in Christian A living. R /Seventeen 1st year World as a field for Christian Y service; problems of youth in social life; Ruth; James. Eighteen 2d year Religious history and SENIOR / literature of the Hebrew people Old Testament. Nineteen 3d year Religious history and literature of the New Testament. Twenty 4th year

ADULT Grading and Classification and Courses now being studied by a Special Committee of the International Association.

Prepared by Professor Ira M. Price, Secretary International Sunday School Association Lesson Committee.

These International Lessons are undoubtedly the best on the market at the present time, although they are very far from being perfect. Gradual changes, coming from experience in the local Sunday school, will modify them considerably in the next few years, and they may actually prove to be forerunners for an almost entirely new series of courses and lessons. They have been generously received by the eager workers in the local Sunday school, as an advance on the Uniform Lessons, and where they are now being tried satisfaction, for the most part, is being evinced. A great deal of dissatisfaction has been found with the treatment of these Graded Lessons in some quarters, the Lesson Helps being too mature for teen age boys. However, in appraising the value of these Graded Lessons, two things should be kept in mind, viz.: the selection of the Lesson Material, and the Lesson Help Treatment of the selected material. Opposition to the lessons should never be taken because of the Lesson Helps. These can be remedied by the denominational publishing houses, if their attention is called to the weakness or mistake of treatment, and the teen age teacher can give great assistance to the denominational editors by counseling with them.

Here and there the suggestion has sprung up for a Graded Uniform Lesson. That is precisely what the treatment of the Uniform Lesson was for a number of years, and is yet. It is not adaptation of treatment that is needed, but adaptation of material that is demanded—courses of study that fit the religious, spiritual need of the various stages of development. This much is positively settled.

There is, however, some good reason and very strong ground for uniform cycles, based on seasonable development rather than on chronological years and intellectual rating. In some places the present Elementary International Graded Lessons are being used just this way, although they do not yield themselves readily to this usage. Cycles of four courses for the three main divisions of boyhood, nine to twelve years, thirteen to sixteen years, and seventeen to twenty years, four courses to each period, based on the general, seasonable development of each period, have much in their favor. Thus we might have four courses built on Individual Heroism, four on Altruistic Heroism, and four on the Social Adaptation which marks the reflective period between seventeen and twenty. Boys do not mature by years. Growth and development is a jump from plateau to plateau.

This would fit in also with the general objective of the Sunday school, and is not the mere impartation of information, but the letting loose of moral and religious values in life. The latter is produced more by contact of personality with personality than by intellectual processes. Should such a plan ever be adopted the courses of study must be pedagogically arranged and in keeping with the best findings of psychological usage.

At any rate, whatever be the course of study, the teen age boy needs to have his life and activity center about the dynamics of the Bible. "The Art of Living Well" can only be learned out of the textbook of the experience of the ages. The ordinary tasks and interests of boys, as well as daily conduct, can be made great channels for life's best achievement only in proportion to the dynamic throb of the Word that has inspired men to heroism amid the commonplace and the uncommon, to self-sacrifice and peace.


Alexander.—Sunday School and the Teens ($1.00).

Horne.—Leadership of Bible Study Groups (.50).

Starbuck.—Should the Impartation of Knowledge Be a Function of the Sunday School? (.65).

Use of the Bible Among Schoolboys (.60).

Winchester.—The International Graded Sunday School Lessons (American Youth, April, 1912) (.20).



The Sunday school has at last begun to realize that a boy demands more than spiritual activity to round out his life into symmetrical development. It also comprehends that religion is more than a set of beliefs—that religion is a life at work among its fellows. "For to me to live is Christ"—to live, play, love, and work. Because of these two reasons, the Sunday school assumes its obligation to direct and foster the through-the-week life of its boys, as well as the Bible period of the Sunday session of the school.

Contact.—Of course, for a long time the leaders and teachers of Boys' Organized Bible Classes have felt the need of a through-the-week contact with the members of the class. The school period of one hour or an hour and a half has been found by most teachers to be too meager for a healthy class life. Then, too, most teachers are realizing that really to touch the life of the boy more contact than the teaching of the Bible lesson is necessary. Some teachers are taking an interest in the school or working conditions of the teen boy. Quite a few teachers are now deeply interested in the leisure time of their pupils, and have begun to direct the physical, social and mental activities of the teen years, as well as the spiritual. They have realized that the teen age is not made up of disjointed and disconnected activities, but is in a continual process of development, and that its growth is normally symmetrical and its activities intertwined.

The Organized Class.—The great majority of Sunday school teachers have no desire to try any auxiliary organization in combination with their classes. They are somewhat dubious of the machinery, ritual, etc., which are concomitants of these schemes. Again and again they have voiced a demand, not for new organizations, but for activities to deepen interest in the organization that the teacher understands—the Bible Class.

The Organized Boys' Bible Classes operate in the Secondary Division or teen years of the Sunday school, from 13 to 20, and include both the younger and older boys. The earlier and later adolescent periods are separate and distinct groups. Plans and activities that have proven successful with one group will prove to be ineffectual with the other. All things should be planned to meet the development of the group. In the following list of activities the group interests have not been separated as they intermingle with each other. If the class be allowed to choose and voice its sentiment, the right activity will always be selected. Besides, if the members make their own choice, there can be little complaint at results, and they will work harder for the success of their own plans. All this develops character, which is one of the real reasons for these through-the-week activities.

Activities for Teen Boys' Organized Bible Classes



Free Hand and Calisthenic Drills Fire, Ambulance, Life-saving Drills Single Stick and Foil, Boxing Swimming Water Polo Water Sports Jumping and Running Shot Put Discus Throwing Baseball, Indoor and Outdoor Basket-ball Football Volleyball La Crosse, Bowling Tennis


Observation, Agility, Strength, Fun—Indoor and Outdoor Quoits


Semaphore Wig Wag Heliograph Wireless


Tracking and Trailing Bird, Plant, Tree, Grass and Flower Lore Star, Wind and Water Knowledge Stalking with Camera Wild Life


Tent and Tepee Making Moccasin Making Huts, Lean-to, Shacks Grass Mat Weaving Map Making Knot Tying Fire Lighting Boat Management Boat and Canoe Building Canoeing Fishing Camp Cooking Week-end Camps Indian Camps Over-night Camps Hikes, Tramps, Walks, Gypsy and Hobo Hill Climbing


Care of body, eyes, nails, teeth, etc. Laws of recreation, Hiking, etc. Kite Making and Flying Gliding and Aeroplaning Circus Stunts Sport Carnival Corn, Apple, Clam Roasts, etc. Moonlight Trips, Rides, etc. Cycling Skating Hockey Skiing


Home Socials: Stag Ladles' Nights Parents' Nights

Entertainments: Playets Minstrel Show Lincoln Night Washington Night Stunts and Skits Mock Trial Declamation or Oratorical Contest Glee Concert

Game Tournaments: Checkers Caroms Chess Ping-Pong Bowling

Hayseed Carnival Parlor Magic Athletic Stunts Independence Day Political Campaign Town Meeting Sex Instruction Practical Citizenship

Exhibition: Pet Show Mandolin and Guitar Fests Fireside and Joke Nights Spelling Bee History Bee Geography Quiz Hallowe'en Night Pop-corn Festival Masked Partners Library Party Supper or Banquet Father and Son Spread Class Guest of Class Calendar Exhibit Coin Exhibit Stamp Exhibit Arts and Crafts Photographs Wild Flower Tree and Plant Sea Shell Post-cards

Social Sing: Popular Songs Old Familiar Songs School Songs Patriotic Hymns Church Music


Practical Talks: Elementary Mechanics Applied Electricity Wireless Chemical Analysis Natural Science Mineralogy Nature Study First Aid Thrift and Property Use of Library

Life-work Talks: Ministry Law Medicine Teaching Business

The Trades: Blacksmith Carpenter Plumbing Printing Painting Bricklaying Masonry Farming Seamanship Architecture Art Chemistry Forestry

Engineering: Mechanical Electrical Surveying

Citizenship: The Township or Municipality—Town Meetings Select and Common Councils Commission Government

The State—The Legislature The Courts The Governor's Staff

Literary Stunts: Declaiming Extemporaneous Speech Editing Paper

Educational Trips: Community Visitation—Shops and Factories Fire Houses City or Community History Public Buildings Public Utilities, etc.

Neighborhood Visitation—Famous Places Great Industries Coal Mines, etc.

Arts and Crafts: Drawing Bent Iron Work Clay Modeling Basket Making Hammock Weaving, etc. Stamp Collecting Coin Collecting Sketch Collecting Kodaking and Photographing Debating Reading Night and Courses Discussions Congress and Senate Poster Making Travel and Science Talks Stereopticon Moving Pictures

Literary Stunts—Essay Writing and Reading

The Nation—Congress Army and Navy Civil Service Diplomatic and Consular Service

Duties of Citizen—Elections Jury Service Maintenance of Law

Current Topics


Graded Bible Study

Daily Readings

Systematic Instruction: Church Membership Benevolences Missionary Operations

Supplemental Talks: General Church History Denominational History Local Church History

Church Organization: Denominational Local Church Sunday School Auxiliary Societies

Teacher Training Class

Cooperation in Church Activity Personal Evangelism Directed Reading

NOTE: Of course all the activities enumerated in this leaflet are Spiritual. This list merely emphasizes a few activities usually designated spiritual.

Service Activities

Christ challenged men to self-sacrifice. He said: "He that would be greatest among you let him be the servant of all." In this way adolescent boys must be challenged to lives of unselfish, altruistic, Christ-like service. There is no other test for the teacher. It is his business to get teen age boys to serve. This the boy does, first by the desire to help another, then by right living, doing right for the sake of right; then by religious belief, which forms a cable to bind him back in simple faith on God, until he comes face to face with the Master of men, living right, doing right, thinking right, loving right, serving right, with all his life, because of his love for Christ.

Physical Service—

Organize and manage Boys' Baseball Nine.

Organize and manage Boys' Football Eleven.

Organize and manage Boys' Basket-ball Five.

Organize and manage Boys' Track Team.

Organize and manage Boys' Tennis Tournaments.

Coach younger boys in baseball.

Coach younger boys in basket-ball.

Coach younger boys in football.

Coach younger boys in track athletics.

Coach younger boys in tennis.

Train younger boys in free-hand gymnastics.

Train younger boys in life-saving drills.

Assist in the running of inter-class athletics.

Assist in the running of inter-school athletics.

Lead gymnastic groups for the local school.

Teach boys to swim.

Assist in the running of aquatic meets.

Leaders to encourage boys to get into athletics.

Leaders to encourage boys in outdoor life.

Leaders to encourage boys in camps and hikes.

Leaders to encourage boys in woodcraft and scouting.

Lead a gymnastic class in Social Settlement.

Manage and coach athletics in Social Settlements.

Assist as Play Leader in public playground.

Organize, manage, and umpire Boys' Twilight Ball League.

Assist in sport carnival, circus, exhibits, etc.

Make a specialty of some form of camp life and teach it to boys.

Social Service—

Become responsible for some boy.

Plan a social time.

Assist in planning an entertainment.

Manage and coach musical activity.

Teach games to backward boy.

Assist in exhibit.

Manage celebration.

Promote class and school picnics.

Secure home for boy from country.

Take boys home for meal and social time.

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