In die Skriflig
versión On-line ISSN 2305-0853
versión impresa ISSN 1018-6441
VAN DER WALT, Bennie J.. A century of Reformed youth movement (1888-1988): A historical-evaluative reconnaissance. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.49, n.1, pp.1-13. ISSN 2305-0853. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/IDS.V49I1.1956.
For a century (1888-1988) a growing and flourishing Reformed youth movement, called the 'Jongeliedeverenigings op Gereformeerde grondslag' (abbreviated as JV) existed in South Africa. This more or less independent movement played an important role in shaping the Christian worldview of its members. This article starts with a motivation for this reflection; it then provides a brief historical sketch of the origin and development of the movement, followed by a review of the sources consulted. The next section of the article presents two case studies. Firstly, it provides an overview of the broad spectrum of the activities of a specific JV (viz. JV Gideon). Its activities enabled it to equip its members with a wide kingdom perspective. In the second case, activities (e.g. leadership camps and added publications) of the then 'Transvaalse Bond' (Alliance) testifies to the same encompassing formative power. In the light of the preceding information, the decision of the synod of the Reformed Churches of South Africa (1988) to terminate the JV's youth work to be replaced by the youth care of the churches is queried. The writer of this article is of the opinion that ecclesiastical care for its young members, as well as an independent youth movement, have a unique role to fulfil in the moulding and equipping of young Christians. It should therefore not exclude but rather complement each other. In the light of the growing secularisation in our country the conclusion emphasises the urgent need of re-establishing something similar to the erstwhile JV movement.