With deep satisfaction we greet the workers of the advent movement, the world around, through the medium of The Ministry. It has long been the journalistic custom for a new periodical, in its initial issue, to present to its readers an "apology" for its appearance. This apologetic feature is deemed appropriate because of the intrusion of the newcomer into the voluminous list of journals already in the field. There are secular magazines of every description, and non-Adventist religious papers that range between good, bad, and indifferent. Apart from this motley array, we have our excellent denominational jolrrnals, already established, designed for the general information and instruction of our whole body of believers.
But never until now, in the eighty-three years of this movement, have we had a designated medium of communication just between our worId group of gospel workers, a vehicle wherein counsel could be given by our strong, experienced leaders, where our special problems could be discussed with frankness and profit without becoming common property, and where methods of labor could be talked over apart from the full observation of our church membership. The need was patent.
Clearly the hour had struck for this forward stride, for each passing. year adds to the complexity of our world task.
Upon the faithful rank and file of the ministry rests the chief responsibility for world evangelization, for church leadership in spiritual life and gospel service, the winning and holding of our youth, the support of every branch of special or departmental endeavor, and for carrying the brunt of the financial support of our gigantic program. Plans initiated by our General leaders pass through the division, union, and local organizations, and come to rest with full pressure upon the loyal evangelists and pastors and their associates, included in the membership of the Ministerial Association. We therefore conclude that if an apology is appropriate, it should rather be for tardiness in launching The Ministry. It might be added appropriately that this medium of inter-communication between the members of the Association will in no wise encroach upon the field of any existing journaI of the denomination.
While the mimeographed bulletins heretofore used have exerted a pronounced infiuence and have proved a Godsend to our workers, as hundreds of grateful Ietters testify, they have never been satisfactory either to the field or to the Association officers who have prepared them. But they were a necessary stepping-stone to this ideal provision commensurate with the needs. Then, too, the mimeographed documents from headquarters have been confined virtually to the workers of North America. Of course copies have been sent to each divisional Association secretary. Some of these have been modified to meet the needs duplicated and disbursed in certain divisions, notably by the Africa, Inter-American, and Far Eastern. Recent ventures along this line have a been made in Europe and South America, while Australia has for some time had a printed exchange for the ministers of that division. From now on the bonds of a world-embracing journal should draw us together in deeper spiritual fellowship, leading steadily toward increased effectiveness in our common task.
The advantage of a paper for our English-reading gospel workers is obvious. The will be compact, permanent, and will meet our purposes and needs. Each special group of evangelical workers will be enabled to know what the other groups are discussing; and, best of all, it is designed to reach all the English-reading workers in our sisterhood of eight divisions. While there are fifteen hundred English reading Association members in North America, a like number reside outside this continent. The British Isles, Auseralia, Mew ZeaIand, the Philippines, and many other sections are almost wholly English speaking. And while there are seventy-five languages in Europe, for example, the number of those who read English there is remarkably large-- eighty-three in the Central European Union, forty-four in the Scandinavian Union, and so forth. English is doubtless as nearly an international medium of expression as will ever be realized in this sin-tainted world. God speed the day when we shall all speak one language--the language of heaven!
Last spring the proposal of a printed medium was brought to the attention of the officers of the General Conference, who suggested that it be laid before the delegates of the Autumn Council at Chattanooga for decision, as representatives would be present from nearly every division and the whole of North America. This procedure was followed. Preliminary responses from letters to the foreign division fields are assembled under "Around the World Circle," page 13.
Without a dissenting voice the authorization was recommended by the Finance Committee and formally gassed by the Council. Thus it came into being. The action appears under " For Your Information," page 32.
We are persuaded that The Ministry has been established in the providence of God at a time when it is most needed to aid the world ministry of this movement in these rapidly advancing hours of earth's twilight.
Workers for Christ and His Bast message to men, let us unitedly renew their vows of allegiance to Him, redoubling our efforts for greater efficiency in service, seeking our God and the power of His Spirit. Let us march forward in solid phalanx for the finishing of our God-given task.