Bible Workers' Program
(Lake Union Quadrennial Session)
When Elder Guthrie asked me to arrange for the Bible workers' round table meetings in connection with the union session, I said to him, " I cannot do it! " It really seemed impossible to undertake such a responsibility. But I was asked to reconsider and to pray over the matter, and as a result there came the conviction of duty. The Holy Spirit impressed my mind with the fact that it is not anything I might do which could meet the needs of the Bible workers representing the various conferences in the union, but the secret lay In what I would permit the Lord to do through me as the instrument of planning and arrangement; and I surrendered to the divine guidance.
A printed program of " Topics for Bible Workers' Round Table Meetings " was prepared, and although the time was limited in which to notify those who were to take part, there was a ready response on the part of all. The topics covered by this program are as follows:
1. The Bible worker as a teacher.
2. The opportunities of the Bible worker in connection with evangelistic meetings, Sabbath school, church, and prayer meetings.
3. Successful methods of securing readers:
a. When no evangelistic meetings are under way.
b. When a series is being conducted.
4. What is your idea of an ideal Bible worker?
5. How to interest our readers in the Sabbath services.
6. How may the experienced Bible worker be of help to those of less experience?
7. How should the Bible worker relate herself to the missionary privileges of the church?
8. How to secure co-operation between the Bible worker and the pastor and members of the church.
9. Relation of the Bible worker to a city effort.
10. The Question Box; miscellaneous topics.
At our first meeting, twenty Bible workers were in attendance, and others came in on succeeding days, making a group of about thirty who met together daily at the appointed hour. It was a great joy to meet old friends and fellow workers, and to make new acquaintances. A number of excellent papers were presented by the Bible workers, which we hope will appear in our much-appreciated periodical, The Ministry, in due time. The deep interest manifested on the part of all, and the freedom with which all entered into the discussion of the various topics, were most encouraging.
At one of our meetings, several ministers were present by special invitation, for the purpose of making suggestions to Bible workers concerning closer co-operative effort between minister and Bible worker. Time permitted only brief remarks by three speakers, who gave the following hints for consideration:
Elder W. A. Westworth, who may be called the " radio evangelist " of Emmanuel Missionary College, urged Bible workers to lend a hand in following up widespread interest on the part of the radio audience. He stated that hundreds of letters received from people who listen to the radio programs of WEMC indicate that people are longing for truth; but the radio evangelist is handicapped by working in the air without sight of or personal touch with his audience. He made a plea for the Bible worker to consider every house with a radio wire above it as if a sign were hung on the front door saying, " We have a radio," and therefore extend an invitation to talk radio. He suggested: " Knock at the door of every such home, and in a friendly way say, ' I notice you have a radio! Are you tuning in on WEMC and getting the Lighthouse programs?' If they are doing so, then ask them what they think of the programs, and develop interest in your work of teaching the same truths from the Bible in their home. If they have not tuned in,' then tell them how and when to do so, and weave in an appointment for Bible studies at the same time. There is no trouble at all about getting into the homes to talk radio, as everybody is interested and enthusiastic over the matter; and God intends that we shall make use of this invention for the proclamation of the message."
Elder Harold A. Lukens, pastor of the South Side (Chicago) church, urged Bible workers to develop habits of promptness and accuracy, and also to repose such confidence in the minister's word as to avoid being " fussy," as indicated by repeatedly calling him up over the telephone to make sure that he will keep an appointment. The minister also must be able to depend on the promptness and reliability of the Bible worker in keeping her part of the appointment. He emphasized that ministers are busy, and have many things on their mind, and greatly appredate a Bible worker's consideration in this respect.
Elder E. H. Potter, home missionary secretary of the Chicago Conference, considers that a very important part of the work of a Bible worker is to lead others in service, and suggested as one medium for hei efficient leadership, the Home Bible Study League,— a plan by which the lay members can readily join in efforts which crystallize into appointments for Bible studies. He urged that the Bible worker encourage the lay members to give the Bible studies which are called for as the result of their personal work through the Home Bible Study League, and that she go with the lay members to the homes of the people in getting started, and in every possible way instruct and help them to do successful Bible work.
These good suggestions made a lasting impression, and we shall seek to profit by them.
All felt that our meeting together had been a most profitable occasion, and I am sure that as Bible workers we return to our fields of labor with a better understanding of what is required of us, and with a determination to put forth greater sefforts in behalf of souls. God has richly blessed us. Let us pray earnestly for a spirit of humble surrender to the directing influence of the Holy Spirit, that our work may redound to the honor and glory of God.
Battle Creek, Mich.