1.0 Introduction. 1.1 Background to the study. The 21st century ambassador as an agent of transformation remains a core vision of the royal ambassadors as a voluntary missionary organization for boys between ages 10 and 24. The royal ambassador started as far back as the 1920’s with the vision to touch the lives of boys and impacting the eternity of man towards the expansion of the kingdom and shining their light around the world. he quest for royal ambassadors to become agents of transformation would not only be vital to his home but with the influence and role played by him in all nooks and crannies of the society would enhance a transformed society aimed towards building a brighter future for the coming generation. With the various social vices around today, an ambassador should stand out for change as evident in the lives of biblical examples such as Joseph, Daniel and even our savior Jesus Christ.
An ambassador is expected to first transform himself before he can serve as a transformation agent to the society. A case study of Daniel’s life showed that he lived a disciplined life in order t stand for change in the foreign land. As an ambassador- representing a king at the court of another king, we are expected to live an exemplary life in order to effect change in our society. The book of Matthew refers to us as light and our light is expected to shine for others to see and glorify our father which is in heaven.
As an agent of transformation, we are expected to grow spiritually, be disciplined, and be a good steward of our life and to see to the growth of everyone around us. We should be ready to lead others on the wrong path to Christ by living an exemplary life worthy of emulation. As an agent of transformation, knowing fully well that the boy of today will eventually become men of tomorrow, any step taken today has an impact on our future therefore, and we need to be fully prepared to take responsibilities towards a great future.
The various discipleship and Christian education scheme in the organization isn’t for us alone but we are expected to share all we have learnt to the people around us and be prepare to lead them to the right path in Christ.
1.2 Statement of the problem. In discussing the problem associated with the 21st century ambassador as an agent of transformation, we would need to examine the various ordeals going on in this present generation and the influence of the society on the ambassador at large.
The various things experienced by ambassadors have served as a deterrent for them in order to effect change in the society. Imagine an ambassador under the influence of drugs, a drunkard, a cheat and worse still an ambassador who has not had contact with Christ, how will he be an agent of transformation?
To be informed is to be transformed and to be uninformed is to be deformed Oyedepo (2012). The content of whatever is stored in you will be what you will produce. The more of God you know is what you will share with others. An ambassador who really wants to be an agent of transformation would be ready to allow fresh and undiluted information into his system but it doesn’t seem to augur well with the various influences which the media is having on this century.
The various social media has been an instrument used by the devil to deny and rob ambassadors of their glorious destinies. The devil has used various forms of crafty activities to draw people to himself which in turn accounts for the low turnout in life changing programmes designed by the church to make the youths as a whole to grow and work towards the expansion of the kingdom.
The various activities which ambassadors engage in should hence be in accordance to God’s will in order for them to stand for change everywhere they find themselves. The life of Daniel remains a biblical character we refer to because of his attitude even in a foreign land. He stood as agent of transformation in the midst of idolaters which made them so curios to know more about the God he served.
The question therefore is how the 21st century ambassador has been able to serve as an agent of transformation in all facets of the society when he himself has not been transformed.
1.3 The objectives of the study. The general objective of the study is to analyze the 21st century ambassadors as agents of transformation. The specific objectives are to: i. Determine the socio-economic characteristics of the Royal Ambassadors. ii. Determine the means through which Royal Ambassadors are transformation agents. iii. Determine the influence of Royal Ambassadors as agents of transformation. iv. Ascertain the rate at which Royal Ambassadors influence had been effective.
1.4 The significance of the study. The study of the 21st century ambassadors as agents of transformation will help us remind ourselves of the fact that we have been called out of darkness into his marvelous light to the world. We are expected to portray good attributes, influence others positively and also provide solution to various things serving as an obstacle towards an ambassador towards being transformative agent.
The study is aimed towards making ambassadors stand out as agents of transformation by affecting the lives of coming generations positively through mentorship in various aspects of their lives. Being leaders of tomorrow, ambassadors should come to the consciousness of the fact that one day, the mantle of leadership would be given to them and if they can transform the society presently, they can transform the world. Ambassadors should rise to the challenge ahead in order to become useful and accountable ambassadors. We are stewards and we will give account of our lives, in essence, the world awaited our manifestations because our manifestations will transform others.
1.5 Research questions. The study of the 21st century ambassadors as agents of transformation has the following research questions outlined below: i. What are the socio-economic characteristics of the Royal Ambassadors? ii. What are the means through which Royal Ambassadors can be transformation agents? iii. What are the influences Royal Ambassadors would have as transformation agents? iv. What ways has the influence of the Royal Ambassadors being effective?
1.6 Hypothesis of the study. There is no significant relationship between the royal; ambassadors as agents of transformation and the society they live in.
1.7Limitation of the study. The findings of this study are limited to Lagos East Baptist Conference Royal Ambassadors. Hence, it may not hold sway in other conferences of the Nigerian Baptist Convention
1.8Definitions of terms. A. ambassador According to the Royal Ambassador manual, an ambassador is the one who represents a king at the court of another king. An authorized representative or messenger Oxford dictionary defines ambassador as an accredited diplomat sent by a state as its permanent representative in a foreign country or a representative or promoter of a specified country. B. agents
Wikipedia defines agent as a person who acts on behalf of another, in particulars. Oxford dictionary defines agent as a person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect. C. transformation
According to vocabulary.com, transformation is a dramatic change in form or appearance Free dictionary.com defines transformation as the act or an instance of transforming. Oxford dictionary defines transformation as a marked change in form, nature or appearance. Collins dictionary defines transformation as a change or alteration, especially a radical one; the act of transforming or the state of being transformed.
CHAPTER 2 2.0 Literature Review. 2.1 The Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria. The Royal Ambassador is the name of a Baptist worldwide missionary organization for boys between the ages of 10 and 35, an international organization found in many countries of the world, where there are Baptists. It is found on many continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. The organization in Nigeria is called Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria (RAN), Nigerian Baptist Convention.
In its mission education and ministry plan, RAN has a foundational Christian education plans for Junior RA, boys between the ages of 10 and 15, basic discipleship plans for intermediate RA, boys between ages 16-25 and solid mission education for Senior RA, who are boys within ages 26-35. It has the mandate of making real men out of boys.
The vision and work of the Royal Ambassadors (RA) started in the United States of America in 1908 among the Brotherhood Commission of the Southern Baptist convention, USA; and came to Nigeria as one of the world’s leading organizations for boys through SBC missionaries.
The Women’s missionary union sponsored the organization from the beginning until 1954 when it proposed that the men of the Nigerian Baptist Convention should take over boy’s work. The situation that led to the proposal of Men and Boys Department in1961 which served Men’s Missionary Union(MMU) and Youth Department before translating to be defunct Missionary Organizations Department. Since 2010, the MMU has a departmental state fondly called Quazi Autonomous status. Today, the R.A operates fully under the MMU.
Royal Ambassadors National Executive Committee (RANEC) comprises all elected national officers of the organization only; while the National Executive Council (NEC) includes all conference RA directors. The RA Marshal is the presiding officer in all meetings (executives or general meetings). But the council cooperates with the MMUNEC through an advisory representative designated RA council adviser, and operates from the MMU office, Baptist Building. The RANEC is replicated at conference and associational levels.
To the glory of God, RAN now exists in all Baptist Association (LGA) conferences (states) and the Convention, (Nigerian Baptist). Is also coordinates the activities of other RAs in West African sub-region and indeed the entire Africa. It has organized two All African RA summit successfully (2007, 2010) with the third (2013 edition) coming up in Accra, Ghana.
Today, the organization exists throughout Nigeria. It has state chapters other called Conferences in all 36 states of the federation including Abuja. In fact, in some state like Oyo, Lagos, three conferences exist. Other conferences include Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo, Kogi, United (Abuja), Ogun, Niger/Kebbi (Niger state), Ekiti, Delta, Bethel (Kaduna), Ondo, Osun, Kwara, Kafachan, among others. In these conferences, associations and local chapters exist.
The vision of the Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria is “touching the lives of boys…impacting the eternity of men!” The organization’s founding goals include- to become well informed, responsible follower of Christ, to have Christ-like concern for all people, to carry the message of Christ around the world, to work with others in sharing Christ, to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body.
The organization also has (7) seven cardinal objectives which include- helping boys in personal spiritual development and discipleship, equipping members for mission action, ensuring educational and career development of boys, promoting social awareness, responsibility and responsiveness, promoting personal and cooperate discipline and cohesion, promoting personal commitment demonstrated in stewardship of life, churchmanship and denominational interest, and understanding as well as appreciation of Baptist beliefs and practices and enabling members’ personality, potentiality and dignity development.
The foundation, vision and ministries of RAN are responses to the Lord’s command to make disciples of all nations. Our philosophy of ministry of boys is because it is easy to catch them young. One of the earliest motors of the organization is “it is easy to mould boys than to mend men.” Besides, today boys are men of tomorrow, who will be saddled with the social and spiritual responsibility of leading humanity and influencing decisions in families, societal, global and spiritual spheres of life. They must not be left in wrong hands.
The Royal Ambassadors motto is found in 2 Corinthians 5:50; we are ambassadors for Christ.” The Royal ambassadors Hymn is also known as THE KING’S BUSINESS with three stanzas and refrain all composed by E.Taylor Cassel. The Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria has a lot of programmes such as Jamboree, Leadership Training Conference, Community development Service, Hiking Exercise, All African Royal Ambassadors Conference, MMU National Congress, Mission promotion, National Parade competition, Anti Social Vices campaign.
The Jamboree so far, five has been held since inception in this order: Jos (1996), Badagry (2000), Port Harcourt (2004), Akure (2008) and Abuja (2012). It holds every four-four years. The aim of the leadership conference is to expose the boys to leadership skills with the intention of annexing the potentials in them for effective leadership orientation.
This conference holds annually every (3rd week) at Camp Young Ede or NYSC Orientation Camp, Ede for all National Leaders. The hiking exercise holds March every year is aimed at encouraging constant physical fitness and promoting other virtues such as holy living. It is an annual national event tagged “a walk for Christ.” Being an organization with the Baptist family, it also promotes missions activities with the aim of helping others in Jesus name by having Christ like concern for all people.
The ranking system- Ten ranking system exists starting from candidate to Ambassador plenipotentiary. Honorary awards also exist. The RA Marshal is the Chief Promotion Officer. The organization operates through a body called RA council headed by the RA Marshal. The council consists of elected National Officers and all Conference Directors. Programme booklets and materials are centrally produced and coordinated while various standing and adhoc committees exist to translate the ideas and ideals of the organization into reality.
Publications of the Royal Ambassadors include Embassy watch (Biannual, since 202 till date, Gifted Hands- for annual RA week celebration, Christ Ambassadors- for weekly meeting activities, National Transition Booklet- since 2000 for Royal wedding, RA manual- for full details about the organization, Anti Social Vice Club Publications- Society and Vices (2007), Standing Tall (2012).
2.2 Royal Ambassador and Social Vices: Anti Social Vices Club. The Anti social Vices campaign is being anchored by the Anti-Social Vices Club. It was founded in April 2004 at the Convention-In-Session in Abuja. Is is a pet project of the Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria and membership is open to all willing ambassadors wanting to check the spread of social vices in Nigeria.
The club is staged at various times across the length and breadth of Nigeria states like Oyo, Lagos, Rivers, Niger, Edo, Plateau, Osun, and Abuja have been visited by the club. The campaign comes in various forms: school campaigns (secondary and higher institutions) seminars and lectures, fliers and handbills, billboards, posters, tracts and jingles. The campaign focuses primarily on vices like thurgerry, drinking, smoking, HIV/AIDS, pre-marital sex, cultism, examination malpractices, political violence and other forms of vices. Campaign once held at BOWEN University, Iwo on October 20, 2011. A book project titled; Standing tall has also been published by the organization.
In preparation for the 2011 general elections, and as part of the club’s contributions to the success of the elections, “One man, one vote” campaign was embarked upon throughout the nation. Stickers and fliers were produced by the Anti-Social Vice Club of the Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria.
2.2 Biblical review: Daniel, an agent of transformation. Daniel lived at a time of momentous change. God allowed a foreign force (Babylon) to take his people captive. Daniel therefore, experienced the commencement of the times of the gentiles. As an inhabitant of Babylon, Daniel knew what it was to live away from home. As with Joseph, he refused the danger if conforming to the culture of his day which is an example for ambassadors as a whole.
Irrespective of the world power (Babylon, Medes and Persians), Daniel was elevated to great positions. Daniel and his friends in the opening chapter of the Bible were described as “children” Daniel 1:4, 17. The term is descriptive of young men and how they were able to live godly lives as youths and affected their society positively. Daniel was sensitive to the plight of God’s people even though he was from a family noble in character. The concluding chapters of 2 Kings present the Jews (both the nation and the royal family) as sinful, but Daniel was different. It is equally important for us, ambassadors, to remain faithful irrespective of how others live. Our life should affect others positively and accuse change in their lives.
Daniel was wholehearted in his commitment to please God and he sought to retain the distinction between himself and his captors. The son “Dare to be a Daniel” is apt for he was happy to speak out for the truth, no matter the personal cost. Men of principle are also men of power!
He was a man of prayer. His dependency upon God can be viewed in terms of the frequency, posture, spirit and content of his prayers. God remained the source of his wisdom. Daniel was undoubtedly influenced by his friends, particularly given their own devotion to God. The adage is true- “You get like the company you keep” .We should therefore choose our friends carefully as they will influence our outlook as Christians.
CHAPTER 3 3.0 Research Methodology. 3.1 The Study Area: Lagos East Baptist Conference Royal Ambassadors. The Lagos East Baptist Conference was inaugurated on the 23rd day of September 2010. This was based on the decision by two annual sessions of the former Lagos State Baptist Conference to multiply into three new ones. Others are Lagos West and Lagos Central Conferences. The east is significant to religion and society, for example, the gate called Beautiful in Jesus day was facing the east. The door of the temple always faced the east, and the Hebrews faced the east to pray. In ancient religion, people bury their dead facing the east. The Jews believed that Jesus would come from the east.
The Lagos East Baptist Conference Royal Ambassador came into full service on October 1, 2010 with 10 associations. These 10 associations include Abundant Life, Christ Love, Gideon 1, Gideon 2, Hephzibah, Itesiwaju, Irepodun, The Great Commission, Olaoluwa Baptist association.
The pioneer officers of the Lagos East Baptist conference royal ambassador are Director- Coun. Kolajo Laleye Deputy Director - Coun. Ojoawo Emmanuel Secretary- Coun. Sunday Adejumobi Asst (recording) secretary- Coun. Kehinde Adejumobi Mission officer- Coun Adeolu Adeleke Ranking office- Coun. Ojo Oluwatosin Financial secretary- Coun. Gbadamosi Ayodele
Treasurer- Coun. Oluwayemi Tope Parade commander- Coun. Oyeola Olagbami Anti social vices club coordinator – Coun. Gideon Akinola Public Relations Officer (PRO)- Coun. Adelowo Adediran
3.2 Population, Sample Size and Sample procedure The population respondents are 60 ambassadors in Lagos East Baptist Conference. These respondents are selected through multistage random sampling. First stage is random selection of stratified respondents from 10 associations in the conference, hence, a random selection of 6 associations out of 10. Second stage is random selection of 10 ambassadors from 6 randomly selected associations, hence, making a total of 60 respondents.
3.3 Data Source Data will be sourced through the use of questionnaires and oral interviews.
3.4 Data Analysis Data sourced from respondents shall be analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency table and percentages
QUESTIONNAIRE ON 21ST CENTURY AMBASSADOR: AGENT OF CHANGE. ROYAL AMBASSADOR OF NIGERIA Lagos East Baptist Conference Section A a. Name of association -------------------------------------------------- b. Age ------------------------------------------ c. Educational qualification: Primary school ( ) SSCE( ) NCE( ) OND ( ) HND ( ) BSC ( ) MSC ( ) OTHERS------------------- d. Occupation------------------------- e. Family size------------------------- SECTION B a. What social vices are inherent in your immediate society? Homosexuality ( ) Drunkenness ( ) Prostitution ( ) Drug Abuse ( ) Bet & Gambling ( ) Internet Fraud ( ) Hooliganism ( ) Smoking ( ) Others -------------------------------- b. Do you belong to Anti Social Vices Club (ASVC)? Yes ( ) No ( ) c. What means do the ASVC of your association uses to preach against these vices? Billboard ( ) Flyers ( ) Blogs & Internet ( ) Tracts ( ) Magazine ( ) Newsletter ( ) Others ---------------------------- d. How do you rate the impact of ASVC of your association in your locality? Not Effective ( ) Effective ( ) Highly Effective ( )