I spend each morning till 9:30 in reading and studying. After family worship, at which we study the Sabbath school lesson, I read three chapters in the Bible, following the chronological plan outlined in the Ministerial Reading Course. I then glance through the morning paper, reading the more important news,—for instance this morning concerning Japan and her war spirit and preparations, and the House vote on repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. Then I run over my Sabbath sermon, getting the outline fixed in my mind, so it will not be necessary to use notes when I preach. This plan I have followed all my ministerial life, and now it is a fixed habit that I would have great difficulty in breaking. I endeavor to have my sermons in mind for about a month in advance.
Next I engage in book reading; for I am never without some new book. Just now I am reading "The Day of the Cross," by Glow. I have consistently followed the Reading Course volumes. Last week I read through two books from the public library on a question I was studying, and I have sent for another on "Buchmanism—Is It of God or of Satan?"
About 9:30 I go down to my office or study at the church to meet those who desire to see me for help and counsel, remaining there till about 11. A.M. If I have any business to attend to, I look after it between that time and lunch. I stay at home usually till two o'clock, and every spare moment I have I spend in reading and studying.
My afternoons are spent visiting till about 4:30 or 5 P. M. This is almost an invariable rule, except that I do not visit so much on Friday and on Sunday. Friday is a poor day to visit, especially Friday afternoon; and likewise Sunday, for most of our people are out on Sunday, running here and there, and, too, I must get ready for the Sunday evening lecture. But quite often visits are made both on Friday and on Sunday, and oftentimes in the morning I make special calls on the sick.
My evenings are almost always occupied in school board or church council meetings, prayer meeting, and M. V. meeting. I am happy when I can have an evening at home, which I usually spend in reading and studying. But this does not happen often, Sometimes when I might have an evening at home, I visit where persons cannot be seen in the daytime.
Sabbath is quite a full day. I have the morning service, of course, and in the afternoon, one hour before sunset, we have the vesper study hour. When I first came here I gave, at this weekly period, an extended and thorough series of studies on "The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit." We are now studying the sanctuary. These studies will cover fully one year, as we are going into the subject in a thorough way.
I am holding Sunday evening evangelistic services. I have found it a little more difficult here than I did in Battle Creek and Detroit. In Detroit the church was on a prominent avenue where it was conspicuous, which made it effective for advertising; and the same was true in Battle Creek. The interest this year is only fair. Last year it was better, and we had quite good results. I enjoy holding Sunday evening evangelistic services. I have never been able to give myself up to be simply the pastor of a church. If a minister has any talent or ability whatsoever to give lectures on the truths of the message, I think he ought to make use of it, and not settle down to be only a pastor.
*By request of the Ministry, Elder I. C. Stevens, of Glendale, California, here gives the intimate details of his daily working program. Submitted a bit reluctantly— for the writer had no desire to admonish others, nor to be considered a model—his recital will, nevertheless, serve a most useful purpose for comparison by men similarly intrusted with the responsibility of shepherding large city churches.—Editors.