A young worker may have plenty of energy and enthusiasm, and be full of theories, but these good qualities may be valueless unless directed by one who has trodden the road before. Each week's work should be well organized. The workers' meeting should be an interesting, swiftly moving time, when the evangelist shows his interest in the young workers' progress in detail. Nothing is more demoralizing than to leave workers week after week without this detailed interest.
Teach young workers to visit with a purpose, promoting some vital phase of the work each time, even among members of long standing. Do not use the "How is your parrot this morning?" or "How is your pet corn this wet afternoon?" kind of visiting. It is imperative that young workers be shown the dangers of familiarity with members and interested ones. Let us all be friendly, very friendly, but never familiar. Encourage young workers to prepare sermons and to speak whenever opportunity allows. Encourage studious, purposeful reading.
In recent years some have considered the idea of preaching without notes, or at least of scrapping the notes after they have been used. "Never preach the same sermon twice" seems to be the slogan. Then they come into a town where they have to preach at least four new sermons a week, and have nothing to use. The people are not concerned whether the sermon is new or old, but whether it is living and adapted to the wants of the hearers. Old sermons have their rights. They represent thought and faithful toil. But they must be faithfully revised and improved. The habit of preaching old sermons without revision is ruinous. Show how to use the latest methods in all things. Example is the best way to do this.
Give these assistants responsibility in seeing that the church and halls are kept clean and neat. We often moan about not reaching the higher classes, and I believe the condition of some of our churches and halls can be cited as a chief deterrent. Sometimes it is necessary to advise new workers about their dress and deportment. Let us do so, if called for, for nothing should detract from the work in which they are engaged. But let us approach them tactfully and with due regard for differences in taste.
Teach your young assistants to operate the lantern for the lantern or stereopticon lectures, and to choose up-to-date slides. Then there is the all-important question of voice culture. I am amazed at the amount of instruction we are given in the Spirit of prophecy on this very important subject. No professional speaker should enter upon his duties without instruction. If we can encourage a little specialized attention by a good teacher, especially in taking lessons on how to strengthen the voice, the worker will be grateful to us in later years.
Impressions gained during the first years after college stay by us. Precept freezes, example warms. If we expect young workers to begin the day early, we must do so ourselves. A minister who rises late and wastes the morning is not a suitable person to train young workers. "Punctuality and decision in the work and cause of God are highly essential."—"Testimonies," Vol. III, p. 500. Expect the young workers to attend all the services, including Sabbath school. The worker who overlooks the importance of Sabbath school is failing to recognize one of his strongest auxiliaries, and shows a definite weakness in leadership.
Let us have sympathy and understanding, and be less critical. No two of us have precisely the same problems. It is easy to concentrate on points of difference, and one never knows where the end of such concentration may lead. When the enthusiasm of those who work with us has dimmed a little, and they begin to see the blotches and daubs as we do when we view an oil painting at close range, let us help them to get the right perspective. "Be thou an example" is a command that humbles us and gives us a true sense of our responsibility.