The successful evangelistic effort functions like a well-oiled machine. It does the work efficiently and economically, with a minimum of fuss and friction. Even the smallest effort needs to have its various features organized, if the evangelist is to conserve his valuable time and use it to the best advantage. Advertising plans should be laid well ahead, with the list of topics to be presented all arranged in orderly fashion. This does not mean that a rigid program must be followed. Adjustments and changes to suit the conditions can easily be made after the complete outline is at hand.
The financial side calls for careful planning and foresight. Overeconomy in initial advertising and arrangement of the tent or hall may result in failure to draw a crowd. And on the other hand, needless expenditure may result in a curtailment of the effort at a crucial moment.
The actual conduct of the services requires the working out of detailed plans if we are to represent the truth aright and attract a refined class of people who are orderly and tasteful in their habits. A poorly conducted service does a distinct disservice to the cause we love and is out of harmony with the kingdom of which we are representatives. In a larger effort, in which there are a number of helpers, careful organization is vitally necessary to eliminate friction and misunderstandings, and to promote the utmost efficiency.
The work should be divided into sections—one for advertising, one for the music, one for finance, and another to plan for the arrangement of hall or tent, including provision for ushers and handling of the people, and still another for visiting and keeping in touch with all interested persons. It may be necessary for one worker to serve in more than one capacity, the division of labor depending entirely upon the size of the staff. If the staff is of sufficient size, the evangelist should be relieved of detail work. Although acting as the coordinating agent for all departments, he should be free to throw his energies into the spiritual work of preaching the Word and establishing contacts with the interested.
Such a plan calls for the delegation of responsibility as well as a clear definition of duties. With sympathetic and wise leadership, careful planning pays large dividends by having every phase of the work cared for and operated with an economy of time and effort achieved in no other way. Where a measure of responsibility is not delegated to the various members of the staff, the evangelist consumes much time in attending to the innumerable details connected with the work, and is unable properly to cope with the supreme task of soul winning. Frequently both health and temper suffer under such a strain, whereas a degree of organization would have conserved energy and resulted in a larger ingathering of souls.