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Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

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This work seeks to construct and implement in two Baptist churches a viable congregational model for doing youth ministry, which can be used to improve positive self-esteem in Black children, ages ten thru eighteen.

Positive self-esteem is examined in the congregational settings by posing and answering six (6) questions: What is Self-Esteem? Who is God? Who am I? Who are you? Who are we in Christ? and What ought we do? These six (6) questions form the essence of positive self-esteem.

The model uses family relationships between adult presenters and the intended youth, adult presentations on Christian identity and action in the congregation, field trips, Black history materials in the homes, and visual aids as the vehicles to accomplish the improvement in the positive self-esteem of the youth.

The model responds to the threat to positive self-esteem of many of the youth as evidenced by racism and discrimination in American society, the presence of several indicators of negative or low self-esteem, problems in the very institutions that influence positive self-esteem, and adult perceptions of the social environment. It is based on the premise that the church must provide the family with the tools to help our children survive in this society. This will be accomplished by preparing our youth to affirm positive actions that build and affirm positive self-esteem and to reject the negative actions that counter it. This project seeks to use the extended family system and the conjugal family system of the children in their quest for positive self-esteem because of its potential as a positive influence.

Finally, this work seeks to place the responsibility of the children in the hands of the entire church family, which is called to actively work to nurture them in this crucial and critical time in their lives.

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