Much as been written about the privilege afforded our lay members in giving the message to their neighbors and friends, and much has been said to encourage our members to go into the homes of the people and give Bible studies. But I have sometimes wondered if we as leaders have done all that we might do to make a practicable program for volunteer workers to follow.
Our evangelistic campaign in Baltimore this past winter was conducted in a large auditorium near the center of the city. Since we could secure the building for only seven weeks, we held the meetings every night of the week. Names of interested persons came in from all parts of the city. Our home missionary secretary and his wife undertook the task of mailing out, twice a week, hundreds of Present Truth to these interested persons, until twenty numbers were sent out.
The one conference Bible worker we hoped to have was unable to connect with the effort on account of illness. We then decided to ask certain lay sisters to visit the people at the auditorium before and after meetings, and also to do what visiting they could with the people in their homes. We found the assistance of these volunteers to be most helpful.
As the meetings closed, we were confronted with the problem of follow-up work for the hundreds of people who were more or less interested. We knew that if large results were to be obtained, we must study with the people in their homes. Scores were already asking for Bible studies. The' service of eight lay members was offered and accepted. In order to give them careful direction and to aid in their studies with the people, we decided on the following method:
Groups were formed consisting of readers living within walking distance of each other. I then made up definite Bible studies and had them duplicated on loose-leaf-notebook paper. Each student as well as the teacher was given the printed lesson, to be kept in his notebook for permanent reference. Seventeen lessons touching the vital points of our message were prepared. The first lesson is reproduced here as a sample. One hundred and fifty copies were made each week, and these were given out in about thirty different study groups.
On Wednesday nights, I sought to conduct a model Bible study at the church. At this study, numbers of people not of our faith were present as well as the lay workers giving the studies. The latter took notes, and then went forth to give from one to four studies each during the following week. In this way we have been able to keep close supervision over the work of the various groups, and with gratifying results. This definite, concrete program has made it easy for inexperienced workers to obtain good results.
In visiting the study groups, we have been impressed with the evidence that these lay workers, who had not been previously trained to do this kind of work, were very acceptably giving the message and bringing people to a decision. In one group, five took their stand, in another three, and so on. We feel that we have been given conclusive evidence that our lay brethren and sisters can do effective work in soulsaving,
Labor for Higher Classes
The so-called higher classes are coming to our meetings in increasing numbers. Among these are many- who are looking toward the light and inquiring, "What do these things mean?" We believe that such must be given special attention in their homes. Social relationships and financial adjustments make it difficult for them to take their stand with this people. Much work in the home is therefore required. With the proper type of Bible worker laboring for them, they will come in, and make our best members, Our churches have lay members who are well fitted to make these contacts. Following is a sample Bible study such as we used.
* Since this article was written, Elder Cardey has been transferred to South Africa, where he is engaged in city evangelistic work.