By William H. Perkins Jr.
JACKSON, Miss. (BP)--Where there's a will, there's a way.
At least, that's what the Mississippi Baptist Convention's youth ministry team believes when it comes to getting the Ten Commandments into schools across the state.
While legal battles rage throughout the country over the posting of the Ten Commandments in public locations such as schools and courthouses, the MBC youth ministry team has quietly come up with a way for Christian teens to display the commandments and also share their faith with lost friends and classmates.
It's as simple as a trendy bookcover -- and the back of one's hand.
The Ten Commandments, along with the messages of God's love and the plan of salvation, are prominently displayed on the bookcovers and utilized in witnessing by the five digits and back of one hand.
According to youth ministry team chairman Don Lum, the team spent five months designing the materials with the assistance of the MBCB desktop publishing department.
Cooperative Program gifts funded the first printing of 8,000 bookcovers, and Lum predicted a second printing will be needed shortly after the initial wave of the bright-colored bookcovers and Bible studies are in the hands of youth leaders across the state.
"When students see the bookcovers, they're going to want their own," Lum said.
The goal of the project, he noted, is to provide resources to help churches be most effective in reaching out to teens.
"We're not openly defying any court orders, and we're not trying to make a political statement. We just want to help teenagers live for Christ and be able to share their faith with their classmates," Lum said.
"We believe this is a tool you can use to help your students to not only share their faith with their classmates, but also give them the encouragement and boldness they need to stand for Christ."
The bookcovers are accompanied by three Bible studies to prepare young people to utilize the bookcovers as witnessing tools. The three Bible studies are:
-- The Ten Commandments: a detailed explanation of each commandment.
-- "Hand to Hand, A Student Witness That Changes Lives:" a guide for approaching lost people with the message of salvation.
-- "Be The One:" a challenge to young people to share their faith by exercising their power as one person to make a difference.
Also included in the package is a detailed diagram of the meaning of the hand and a "One-Minute Witness" resource.
"We're hoping to put thousands of these in the hands of teenagers. We prefer churches order in bulk so the three lessons can be taught as the bookcovers are handed out.
"Without the Bible studies, all you've really got is a bunch of nice-looking bookcovers," Lum said.
Members of the youth ministry team are consultants (employees) who have youth ministry responsibilities in various MBCB departments. In addition to Lum, a consultant in the MBCB evangelism department, the team is composed of Tammy Anderson and Robin Keels, consultants for Mississippi Woman's Missionary Union; Harvey Ellis, consultant for the MBCB discipleship and family ministry department; and Mark Lott, consultant for the MBCB Sunday school department.
Used with permission.