Utilizing Our Ministerial Graduates

Our ministerial graduates are very naturally anxious for assured conference employ­ment, though the immediate future does not hold forth the promises of recent decades. However, we believe there are avenues of serv­ice and ways of work open to the consecrated individual.

By M.A. Hollister

Our ministerial graduates are very naturally anxious for assured conference employ­ment, though the immediate future does not hold forth the promises of recent decades. However, we believe there are avenues of serv­ice and ways of work open to the consecrated individual. If such do not constitute a first choice, they may at least offer something. The ministerial graduate may not see a salaried po­sition ahead of him, but if he feels the urge of the "woe" of which Paul speaks, it will lead him to work for souls, and at the same time be self-supporting. He may receive support from sources other than the conference pay roll to aid him in meeting his Heaven-appointed task —the winning of souls. This will call for faith and courage, but this is something Heaven de­mands of the true worker.

Last year in the Indiana Conference, we ex­tended an invitation to certain ministerial grad­uates from the college in our union territory to enter upon service on a self-supporting plan. Two young men accepted the invitation and the responsibility. One is yet with us. The other was called to another conference to labor under a similar plan. The plan is as follows:

We ask one of our small companies to agree to find room and board for a graduate and his wife, who are willing to work for souls in the vicinity by means of evangelistic efforts and Bible readings. In exchange they render this assistance to the church.

In the meetings held, offerings are received. And after running expenses are paid, the re­mainder is put into the hands of a special treas­urer whose duty it is to see that the workers' needs are supplied by the membership. This provision includes food, such as fruit, vegeta­bles, eggs, milk, etc., and other necessities are purchased from the surplus funds.

After this provision is made, if there be any surplus cash, it is sent to the conference office with the report of achievements, and is in turn forwarded monthly by check to the worker through the conference treasurer, either with or without supplementary aid from the confer­ence treasury.

The worker sends in a regular monthly re­port of labor performed, the same as the reg­ular workers, itemizing expenses, receipts, and ministry performed, that the conference may know just what he has been doing.

When an interest is developed, a regular worker is sent to associate with the beginner in completing the effort, to bind off the interest created and to baptize the converts. After the worker has proved himself, and the committee agrees, he is recommended to the union and the General Conference for acceptance under the interneship plan.

It is understood by the youthful recruit, and by the membership of the church, that he is not to accept tithe; this must go into the regular channels. Such offerings as he receives are re­ported on the conference labor report, and are handled as has been previously described. This enables us to know how much aid he will need, which we gauge from his report as well as from that sent in by the special treasurer.

The young man who proves his calling under these conditions is surely worthy of the sup­port which is his due. And we believe that every man called of God to assume these re­sponsibilities will feel the urge upon him, and will not hesitate to enter upon such a plan, but will go forth in the fear of the Lord, trusting His promise.

Many of our church school teachers are in about the same situation. Some have shown their willingness to accept the responsibility of conducting school, even though they see little promise of much money ahead. But as the re­sult of their sacrificing efforts, the educational work in the conference has been greatly strengthened, and these young people merit the loyal support of the membership of the church.

The colporteur work affords another excel­lent opportunity for young men turning toward the ministry. It gives as good a foundation as any ministerial graduate can secure. In fact, it seems desirable that every young man entering gospel work should have some prac­tical experience in the colporteur field, for in so doing he will become a better minis­ter. We believe there is a large field of op­portunity even now open to our graduates, and that our conferences may well study and plan along these lines. If equipment and places of labor can be provided, no young man who aspires to the ministry need hesitate.

* The problem of utilizing our theological graduates in this time of economic stress is a vital and ines­capable one. The training and absorption of ministe­rial recruits must go on. At the same time balanced budgets are imperative for our conferences. We be­lieve, therefore, that this recital of how Indiana is seeking to meet the problem will be read with both interest and profit at this time.—Editors.

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By M.A. Hollister

November 1933

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