The Royal Ambassadors 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, wherever there are Baptists. It is found on the continents of Adrica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. The organization in Nigeria is called Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria (RAN).
In its mission education and ministry plan, RAN has a foundational Christian education plans for Junior RA, boys between the ages of 10 and 12; basic discipleship plans for Intermediate RA, boys from age 13 to 16 (or Secondary School age); and solid mission education and action plans for Senior RA, who are boys within ages 17 and 24.
The vision and work of Royal Ambassadors started in the United States of America in 1908 among the Brotherhood Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), USA; and came to Nigeria as one of the world’s leading organizations for boys through the SBC missionaries in the 1920s.
The Women Missionary Union sponsored the organization from the beginning until 1954 when it was proposed that the men of the Nigerian Baptist Convention should take over the boys’ work. The situation led to the proposal of Men and Boys’ Department in 1961 which served both men and boys, then later became the defunct Men’s Missionary Union & Youths Department, now known as Missionary Organizations Department since 1998.
At the Naional level, Royal Ambassadors National Executive Committee (RANEC) comprises of 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 (of executives or general sessions). But the council cooperates with the MMU NEC through an advisory representative designated RA Council Adviser; and operates from the MMU Office, Baptist Building, Ibadan through a denominational/administrative head of the unit. (NOTE: The setup of the RA NEC, as above, is replicated at conference and associational levels.)
To the glory of God, RAN now exists in all Baptist associations, conferences and the Convention, and is spreading its missions’ advancement tentacles to the West African sub-regions.
VISIONS, GOALS AND CARDINAL OBJECTIVES
Touching the lives of boys … impacting the eternity of men!
OUR FOUNDING GOALS
- 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.
OUR CARDINAL OBJECTIVES
- Helping boys in spiritual development and discipleship.
- Equipping members for mission action.
- Ensuring educational and career development of boys.
- Promoting social awareness, responsibility and responsiveness.
- Promoting personal commitment demonstrated in stewardship of life, churchmanship and denominational interest, and understanding as well as appreciation of Baptist beliefs and practices.
- 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 to boys is because it is easy to catch them young. One of the earliest mottos of the organization is: “It is easy to mould boys than to mend men.” Besides, today’s boys are the men of tomorrow, who will be saddled with the social and spiritual responsibilities of leading humanity and influencing decisions in families, societal, global and spiritual spheres of life. They must not be left to wrong hands.
As a Royal Ambassador I will do my best;
To become a well-informed, responsible follower of Christ;
To have a Christ-like concern for all people;
To carry the message of Christ around the world;
To work with others in sharing Christ; and
To keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body.
ROYAL AMBASSADOR MOTTO
The Royal Ambassador motto is found in 2 Corinthians 5:20: “We are ambassadors for Christ.”
ROYAL AMBASSADOR HYMN
“THE KING’S BUSINESS” (found in Baptist Hymnal 433)
I am a stranger here, within a foreign land,
My home is far away, upon a golden strand,
Ambassador to be of realms beyond the sea
I’m here on business for my King.
This is the message that I bring,
A message angels fain would sing:
“Oh, be ye reconciled,” thus saith my Lord and King,
“Oh, be ye reconciled to God.”
This is the King’s command that all men everywhere,
Repent and turn away from sin’s seductive snare;
That all who will obey, with Him shall reign for aye,
And that’s my business for my King.
My home is brighter far than sharon’s rosy plain,
Eternal life and joy throughout its vast domain;
My Sovereign bids me tell how mortals there may dwell
And that’s my business for my King
THE ROYAL AMBASSADOR EMBLEM
The Royal Ambassador Emblem is a blue shield on a background of a white circle. It has a gold edge around the circle. The shield represents a soldier. In Ephesians 6:16, the Christian is instructed to “take the shield of faith.” The shield reminds the youth to have faith in God whom he will represent as an ambassador.
The shield is divided into three parts: a torch, a wheel, and a crown. The torch is the symbol for Junior Royal Ambassadors; the wheel represents the Intermediate Royal Ambassadors, while the crown stands for the Senior Royal Ambassadors.
The wheel is the symbol of the rank of Apprentice. It represents the boy as a learner of trade (of becoming Ambassadors for Christ). It (the wheel) is a sign of movement and progress. It reminds the boy to progressively pattern his life after the Carpenter Boy from Nazareth and to qualify as His representative. The Intermediate boy is trained to know that there is no higher work than that of becoming an Ambassador for Christ.
The crown is the symbol for the Senior Royal Ambassadors. A crown represents a king. This crown represents a king. This crown represents Christ who is the King of kings and Lord of lords. It signifies that the Senior Royal Ambassador has reached an age, and acquired certain knowledge, that qualifies him to serve as an effective Ambassador for Christ, the King. The Senior Royal Ambassador will want to discharge his duty being loyal and faithful to the King.
THE ROYAL AMBASSADOR COLOURS
The Royal Ambassador colours are blue, gold and white.
The blue stands for loyalty:
- Loyalty to Christ the King
- Loyalty to the Church and her mission
- Loyalty to the Royal Ambassadors organization and its beliefs
The gold stands for value or worth:
- The worth of Christ to the boy as his Lord and Master; and
- The worth of the boy to Christ as His ambassador.
The white stands for purity:
- Purity of the body
- Purity of the mind
- Purity of the soul in the worthip of one God and Him alone.