When departmental organization, however, is mentioned, the genius of the individual leader and teacher must come into play. The form of organization that may be successful with one leader may be a failure with another. This chance does not lie or inhere in the organization, but in the leader; for the gifts, talents, equipment and adaptability of leaders vary just as much in Sunday school organization as in the so-called secular forms of activity. The best form of organization, then, as well as the most successful form for the local school, is the "kind that works."
Three Proved Forms of Departmental Organization
Successful organization is the result of experiment. None but the result of experiment has a right to be exploited. Sunday school teen age workers have tried, proved and found satisfactory to their own liking, by its results, the following three kinds of teen age organization for the local school:
Intermediate and Senior Departments
The first of these is known as the Intermediate and Senior Departmental organization. Its characteristic is the dividing of the teen age into two groups -- Intermediate, 13 to 16 years, and Senior, 17 to 20 years. In some schools these departments meet separately for Sunday school work. Wherever this is done there should be at least a superintendent and secretary for each. While the general principles of the work are the same, the problems and details of the classes are sometimes different. The department superintendent should have special charge of his department and be responsible for building it up; also for department teachers' meetings, and should be personally acquainted with every scholar. The department secretary should keep an alphabetical and birthday card index of scholars; send welcome letters to new scholars; provide the superintendent with a list of new scholars, that they may be properly presented to the department; send lists of absentees to teachers; keep a record of correlated work accomplished by scholars, quarterly lesson examinations, etc.
Teen Age Department
In some schools the custom is to combine the Intermediate and Senior Departments into one and to regard the years, 13 to 20, as a series of eight grades. Several large schools are enthusiastic about this plan, and as the worship requirements are much the same in the teen years the Opening and Closing Services are acceptable to all grades. This arrangement also is adaptable to limited equipment, and affords a certain amount of hero-worship to the younger boy on account of the older boy being present. It also offers the older boy a field of service through helpfulness to the younger members of the department. In some schools this adaptation is known as the High School Department.
During the last few years separate Boys' Departments have come into favor with some Sunday school workers. These departments should not be attempted, however, until every class is organized (see chapter on The Organized Sunday school Bible Class), and there is efficient leadership to guide them. A premature start may be ineffective and prejudice parents and boys.
=The Departmental Committees=
The Executive Committee has direct oversight of the general affairs of the department and acts officially between sessions on matters needing prompt attention. It is made up of the officers, genDepartmental Progressive Steps
The steps in organizing a Teen Age Boys' or Secondary Division Department should be:
1. Appointment of Teen Age Superintendent.
2. Every class organized according to Denominational and International Standard.
3. Two-session-a-week classes -- Sunday and week-day.
4. Trained teachers.
5. Departmental organization.
There should be separate assembly rooms or divisions for these departments where they meet apart from each other. There should also be separate rooms or screened-off places for the classes to meet.
The outfit for the department and classes should include Bibles, tables, blackboards, charts, pictures, maps -- including maps for mission study, also relief maps, mission curios, etc.
Much should be made of promotions to and from the grades within the department. A certificate or diploma recognizing regular work should be granted on Promotion Day. Special work done is recognized by placing a seal upon the certificate. Promotion exercises should include some statement of the work accomplished.
Sunday School Spirit
In order to maintain a genuine spirit of Sunday school unity it is desirable to have the whole school meet together from time to time for the common tie and uplift of worship in the mass. The exercises of festival occasions also help to bring this about, and the common gatherings, regular or special, of the school, tend to magnify the united leadership of officers and teachers. These should never interfere with the work of instruction, the main objective of the school, but should supplement it. Departments should be made to feel their partnership in the Sunday school enterprise, and this may be brought about by the reading of the departmental and school minutes in each department. Continued emphasis should be placed on the oneness of the school -- "All one body, we." Thus we may hope for Christian comradeship and loyalty.
BIBLIOGRAPHY ON BOYS' DEPARTMENT
Boys' Work Message. -- (Men and Religion Movement) ([USD]1.00).
Cope. -- Efficiency in the Sunday School ([USD]1.00).
Huse. -- Boys' Department in Springvale, Maine (American Youth, February, 1911) (.20).
Stanley. -- The Boys' Department in the Sunday School (American Youth, April, 1911) (.20).
Waite. -- Boys' Department of the Sunday School (Free leaflet).