Organizing for a Campaign

I believe we should secure the best hall or theater possible in the city where we labor. Let us no longer be content to work in a corner, unknown and unseen.

By C. A. REEVES, Evangelist, London, England

I believe we should secure the best hall or theater possible in the city where we labor. Let us no longer be content to work in a corner, unknown and unseen. Let us not merit this reproach of Mrs. White's:

"The work in England might now be much farther advanced than it is if our brethren, at the beginning of the work there, had not tried to work in so cheap a way. If they had hired good halls, and carried forward the work as though we had great truths, which would surely be victorious, they would have had greater success. God would have the work started in such a way that the first impressions given shall be, as far as they go, the very best that can be made."—"Gospel Workers," p. 462.

Some perhaps will ask : "But are we not limited by our budget?" Yes, but our faith and vision and courage can be absolutely il­limitable! Speaking of certain meetings held here in Europe, Mrs. White further says:

"The character and importance of our work are judged by the efforts made to bring it before the public. When these efforts are so limited, the im­pression is given that the message we present is not worthy of notice. Thus by their lack of faith our laborers sometimes make the work very hard for themselves."

"I am convinced that we might have had a good hearing if our brethren had secured a suitable hall to accommodate the people. But they did not ex­pect much, and therefore did not receive much. We cannot expect people to come out to hear unpopular truth when the meetings are advertised to be held in a basement, or in a small hall that will seat only a hundred persons."—"Historical Sketches," p 200.

"There is a fearfulness to venture out and run risks in this great work, fearing that the expendi­ture of means would not bring returns. . . . God will have men who will venture anything and everything to save souls. Those who will not move until they can see every step of the way clearly before them will not be of advantage at this time to forward the truth of God."—The True Missionary, January, 1874.

Some questions will guide in the right choice of a hall. Regarding its accessibility—Is it centrally situated? Is it on the main road ? Is it well served by tram or bus routes? As to suitability—Has it a good reputation? Is it comfortably seated? Has it a good plat­form? Is it well lighted? Regarding popu­larity—Are the principal local events staged there? Is it a well-recognized gathering place?

When engaging halls, it is well to get a written, signed agreement from the pro­prietors, so as to avoid disappointment later. As far as is possible, make sure of secondary halls before the campaign begins. It is im­portant that the midweek, Sabbath, and later Sunday night meeting halls be as near as possible to the primary theater or hall. For this reason it is generally found best to use a town hall at the beginning, as there afe usually smaller halls in the same building which can be used for follow-up meetings.

If the utmost degree of success is to be achieved, there must be cordial relations be­tween workers. There must be a good team spirit. "In loving sympathy and confidence," says Mrs. White, "God's workers are to unite with one another."—"Gospel Workers," p. 484. It is a real joy to work with workers possessed of such a spirit. The weekly work­ers' meeting affords the best opportunity to foster this good spirit. At these meetings we must plan the work of each assistant, giving each a definite district in which to visit. Here we are to discuss the development of the in­terest, week by week, and pray through our problems.

In the average-sized campaign, a suitable staff would be one Bible worker and a young man to assist the evangelist, though some preachers prefer two Bible workers, as they can usually find easier access to the homes of the womenfolk than can a young man. In a larger campaign, a young man and two or more Bible workers are necessary. The young man assists on the platform and organizes the stewards, or ushers, and engages in Bible work during the weekdays. In large city evangelism, a young man who can lead a choir is an invaluable help. This matter of musical assistance needs to be given fuller study than it has yet received. It is well to make the congregation acquainted with the workers early in the campaign. I have made it a custom to introduce the workers from the platform.

If there is a local church in the neighbor­hood, the attitude of the evangelist toward the local membership should be expressed in the motto, "Mobilize to Evangelize." Long before the effort begins, he must kindle the flame of enthusiasm, so that the opening night finds the members in real soul-saving spirit. In churches where the members need to be aroused, we have found it an excellent plan to conduct a series of revival meetings for the church members before the campaign is launched. In this way we soon have the whole church praying earnestly for the success of the work. By careful thought and planning we can use the great majority of the member­ship in various ways, such as distributing an­nouncements, singing in the choir, acting as stewards, and speaking at open-air meetings.

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By C. A. REEVES, Evangelist, London, England

June 1940

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