Qualifications for the Mission Field

Mission work must never be re­garded as a career. The incentive of the true missionary is never to build up a reputation, but his one ambition is to save lost men and women from eternal death.

By W.H. Branson

Mission work must never be re­garded as a career. The incentive of the true missionary is never to build up a reputation, but his one ambition is to save lost men and women from eternal death. The graduate student missionary, coming direct from the portals of the college to the mission field, must never lose-sight of the fact that he is entering upon his " com­mencement." His college education prepares him to recognize in the expe­rience of his predecessors the textbook for further study, and he will humbly seek help and advice, rather than im­mediately endeavor to change all plans in operation which inexperience might deem subject to decided improvement.

Our need in the mission field is for men and women who possess the es­sential qualifications:

1. It is of first importance that the individual be thoroughly converted, that he believe every phase of the third angel's message, and that he pos­sess a missionary heart. To be a suc­cessful missionary requires the ability to love the people to whom sent, in spite of any and every repulsive char­acteristic. He must believe with all his heart that God has made of one blood all nations, and that it is no condescen­sion on his part to be called to labor among uncivilized, unlearned, primi­tive people. A proud, haughty, domi­neering spirit is of no use in the mission field. Rather, it is a great detriment, and should never be allowed to land on mission soil.

2. He must not be an extremist on any point.

3. He must have ability to adapt himself to conditions,— eat all kinds of food, live in cottage or grass but without complaining, and be as willing to ride a donkey, or to walk, as to travel by motor car.

4. He must be a confirmed optimist, and thereby immune to " the blues." In the mission field, one is separated from kith and kin; many of the ordi­nary comforts of life are lacking; un­healthful climate, poor housing facil­ities, and still poorer equipment must be encountered. Any tendency to mel­ancholia thrives under such conditions, but a sunny, happy disposition helps to surmount all these difficulties.

5. He must be an all-round specialist. There is no place in the world where all-round men are more needed than in the mission field. The missionary may be a recognized specialist in some particular line, but this should not hin­der him from helping in any other line. He may be an ordained minister of the gospel, a professor, or a doctor, but he must also be qualified to lend a help­ing hand in building, farming, brick making,— any kind of practical work which is to be done. He must be a missionary first, and a specialist second.

A call for recruits has just come in from Elder W. H. Anderson, one of our pioneer missionaries, now in charge of the work in West Africa, and his needs are clearly stated as follows:

"Find me men and women who will go into these native villages and love men and women who are dirty, filthy, repelling; men who will spend days and weeks away from home in the in­terests of the work, wives who are will­ing to remain at home alone while their husbands are gone. It is neces­sary for every woman in the Angola field to be separated from her husband for weeks at a time. Those who are not willing to do this, cannot do the work. Let them stay at home and not come to Angola.

"We want just plain, common, solid, sensible human beings. We do not want faddists of any kind, nor ex­tremists along any line. We need men and women who are straight on all points of this message, and who are sure of its speedy triumph, and will­ing to do anything to save souls and finish this work. We want mission­aries who will live on the earth among men, and not up in the clouds of imagi­nation.

"We need men who can teach and preach. They need to know the rou­tine of church school work, so they can supervise and inspect our outschools, and they must be able to do the work of an evangelist. We are not looking for officials, but for workers,— real ' buck' privates in our ranks in An­gola."

Such are the actual qualifications de­manded in the mission field. Where are the men and women possessing them? Only the Spirit of God, who " searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God," can locate them, and our prayer is to the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into the field who are prepared to stand under the burden and heat of this great day of opportunity. We must have missionaries, but we must have those who understand and possess the qualifications which the mission field re­quires.

Claremont, South Africa.

Forward With Evangelism

By Carlyle B. Haynes

The most important duty our min­isters and workers have before them at the present time is the organizing of their churches for service, so that the resources of this movement in men and money may be thrown into a great evangelistic forward movement for lost souls. Unless this is done, there can be little hope that our cause will en­large and grow as it should.

I know of a place where a Seventh-day Adventist worker has a church of forty members in a surrounding popu­lation of 100,000, and the forty mem­bers get 75 percent of his time and strength, while the 100,000 get the 25 per cent. I know of another place where 175 members in a population of 400,000 receive 90 percent of the min­ister's time and energy, and the 400,000 get the remaining 10 per cent. I know of a conference of 600 members in a territory that has 5,000,000 inhabitants, and the 600 members claim and use fully 90 per cent of the time, energy, and strength of the eleven workers in the conference, and spend 90 percent of the operating income on themselves, while the 500,000 get what is left of time and money and effort.

My brethren in the ministry, these things ought not so to be. And the change which ought to be made should be brought about at once. To enlist every member of the church as a worker for God should now be the first work of every pastor, every evangelist, and every executive. Nothing is quite so important as this just now.

Begin by preaching to your churches the principles of Christian service. Lay upon the hearts of your members the responsibility of laboring for God. Announce that the church is about to be organized for work, and every per­son will be placed in some band, and will be expected to report with regu­larity. Then sit down quietly with your church officers, or alone, and carefully go over the list of your church members. If not already existent, de­cide upon what bands you will form. You will need a literature distributing band, a correspondence band, a Bible readers' band, a visiting band, and such others as may meet the need in your church and neighborhood. Get slips of paper and head them with the names of these bands you are going to or­ganize. Now go down the list of your members, and put their names, one by one, into these various bands, writing them in on the slips of paper under­neath the name of the band in which you think they are fitted to serve. Then read your lists to the church. If changes need to be made, be ready to make them. But don't stop until every person in the church is a member of a band. Then inform each band just what its duties will be. Make these very plain. See that it has material to do it with. Then, most important of all, search out and train leaders and assistant leaders for these various bands, and place them in charge of these working groups.

There ought not to be one member in our churches without a definitely assigned task in connection with the work of God. There ought not to be one drone among us. There is work for all, and God expects all to work.

Buenos Aires, South America.

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By W.H. Branson

September 1928

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