The Call for a More Spiritual Ministry

Omaha Presidents' Council: Listening in on the First Day's Session, October 23, 1930.

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

Every serious-minded worker in this cause will be greatly blessed by the  reading of the presentations and responses clustered around the opening theme of the Presidents' Council; or, as it appears on the agenda, "How can we inspire our ministry to greater spirituality, piety, and usefulness?" With­out controversy, this was the foremost question that could possibly be brought before the assembly on that first day, for the spiritual lies at the foundation of all true evangelism, and of strong pastoralism. It is likewise the funda­mental basis of all really successful departmental endeavor. And it lies equally at the heart of all abiding financial achievement.

The question was deemed of such importance that practically the entire day was devoted to its study. First, the principles were clearly set forth by the leaders and freely discussed by the council, and then the application to specific problems followed. This latter phase must, because of space limitations, be reserved for a later issue of the Ministry. But from stenographic reports pro­vided for the secretary, the essential portions of the contributions as made, can be reproduced here, that all may share in the actual background of the "Solemn Appeal" to the ministry appearing in the Review of Nov. 27, 1930; and subse­quently in leaflet form, available through your conference office.

Wisely directed discussion is invalu­able in our work. Despite any depre­ciating attitude concerning it, it still remains one of the most helpful, edu­cational, and molding provisions that operate in deliberative assemblies. It enlarges the vision. It crystallizes and unites the diversified ideas. It brings out into the open the strength and weaknesses of the presentations. It portrays as nothing else can the ani­mating spirit that controls; and in this instance will doubtless prove of as great value as the formal actions voted subsequently by the Autumn Council.

It is a wholesome thing for the rank and file of our workers to know the heart burdens and to catch the actual expressions of the men whom God has placed in leadership in our general work, as well as to hear the expressed responses of the burden sharers in union and local fields. A clear, mutual understanding is the foundation of united endeavor. Actions usually seem so formal, cold, and impersonal that the background of discussion, either leading to their formulation or fol­lowing upon their presentation, throws upon them the warm light and glow of the spirit that gave them life; and it is primarily this factor that will make them grippingly real and abid­ingly effective.

Picture the scene: The local and union executives of North America are assembled, together with the full General Conference staff, and the vice-presidents of most of the divisional fields outside America. Elder J. L. McElhany, vice-president for North America, is chairman, and places the question in its larger aspects squarely before us. Elder C. H. Watson, our president, then leads us briefly but earnestly into the very heart of the problem; Elder O. Montgomery, gen­eral vice-president, follows, going fur­ther into the details of the problem; and Elder A. G. Daniells, general secretary of the Ministerial Association, deals with the foundation of our need and its supply.

The atmosphere of a meeting of that character cannot be easily conveyed to those who were not present, though these verbatim reports will help. But the sober, intensely earnest spirit of those charged with leadership was ap­parent to all, and twice during the day's session, at the height of the dis­cussion and at the close, there were prayer seasons marked by solemn and earnest importunity, and men laid hold on God. As the chairman has opened the session, let us now tune in, as it were, on the proceedings.              

L. E. F.


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L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

February 1931

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