The Field School of Evangelism, as projected under the foregoing resolution, was born of recognition of the call of the hour for a greater evangelism. The enthusiasm with which the plan was received by the Southern Union committee and the workers present at the recent session of the Southern Union Conference, indicates that the time is ripe for a forward evangelistic movement in Dixie land, in keeping with God's call for this mighty hour.
The Lord has given us a band of noble young men ready to enter the harvest field. We believe that they are worthy of, and entitled to, the best help we can give them. But there is an unbridged gap at the present time between ministerial training in our colleges and the actual holding of, evangelistic efforts, with the successful binding off of the effort.
The truth is that many of our ministerial interns who attempt to hold efforts, flounder around, blunder along, and merely "muddle through" for lack of tutorage under such a plan as a comprehensive Field School of Evangelism.
For lack of this training, many of these young men settle down in pastorates as soon as their internships terminate. But we believe that with the proper training, they would be fired with true evangelistic zeal, and be inspired to dedicate their lives to full-time public evangelism with increasing success. Thus they would be able to play a large part in the finishing of the work under the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit for these last days. This new Field School of Evangelism, under God's blessing, can successfully bridge the existing gap between college ministerial graduation and successful soul winning in the field.
Such a course of training should, among other things, accomplish three distinct but related objectives:
1. It should, teach young ministers who take this course how to do effective personal work for souls. As they enter into all that is involved in altar calls in public meetings, and in the aftermeetings with those who respond, and spend all their afternoons for twelve weeks in actual personal work in the homes of the interested, they will learn methods and meet with experiences that will be of untold value throughout their future ministry.
2. They should learn how to conduct Community Bible Schools. We believe that such schools will be a most effective means of winning souls in this great Bible Belt in Dixie. The evangelists in training will take charge of Community Bible Schools under guidance. By thoroughly indoctrinating and instructing the converts, these schools, held twice a week in the homes of the interested, will stabilize and establish the results of the public meetings which are conducted five nights a week by the union evangelist. The Community Schools will, in turn become feeders to the public effort. As interested persons from the public lectures open their homes for these schools on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights, they will invite their friends to their homes for the studies, and these friends will in turn become interested and begin to attend the public lectures by the union evangelist on the other nights of the week.
3. This training in the successful technique and worth-while methods of holding an evangelistic effort in direct connection with an effort week by week, where the young evangelists see the principles applied before their own eyes, will enable these young men to go back to their home conferences and conduct successful efforts of their own. The twenty-four lessons on evangelistic procedure will be so timed that the instruction given each week will be worked out that week in a practical demonstration in the night meetings. Each step in the procedure will be analyzed for their benefit, and they will see why we follow a certain course of action, and why we avoid certain things.
We shall endeavor to lead these young men into a deeper consecration and a fuller surrender to God. We believe, with Mr. Varley, that God is waiting to show this world today what He can do through a group of men who are entirely surrendered to His will. A deeper consecration on the part of our young ministers, plus improved methods, will be a combination that is bound to win.
All this will mean hard work for their teacher. But the joy of seeing more souls won to God and the anticipation of looking forward a few years hence and entering into the fuller joy and success of these young men, should lead one privileged to engage in such work to dedicate his life gladly to the task set before him.