The words of the title were chosen by the Canadian Union workers as the slogan for their ministerial institute. Elder Ochs with his union officers, had prepared an excellent agenda, which covered the whole scope of ministerial activity. These topics were introduced by written presentations which occupied not more than ten minutes each. Thus the men from the field laid before the council things which had particularly exercised their minds. The discussions that grew out of these presentations were most helpful, and at times were both challenging and illuminating. Workers' councils conducted in this seminar method, where wholesome discussion is stimulated, can prove an enriching experience. One thing which made this institute of particular benefit was the commendable way in which all present entered into the discussions.
Opportunity was given for the study of specific problems. The enthusiastic discussion by the evangelists and pastor-evangelists on the immediate problems of soul-winning evangelism was an experience that will not soon be forgotten. This group, always eager for fresh ideas, refused to notice the passage of time, and went on pressing home their questions until late into the night. Our Canadian workers seldom get the opportunity to meet in this way, for wide distances separate them. Each, better equipped, was eager to return to his field.
The workers in this union had caught a vision of larger service, and were eager to learn how others carried forward their work. Success in the ministry of the Word is the result of a combination of things. A successful fisherman needs more than good bait. Technique plays its part in making the catch. Knowing how to bait the hook of truth is vital to the success of the evangelist. And how much there is to learn in this field! Discovering ways of reaching people in areas in which they cannot be induced to attend week-night meetings, and then how to organize and conduct district cottage meetings, as well as methods of visual evangelism for public meetings, all came up for study.
The technique and power of open-air preaching, methods of harnessing our lay membership for evangelism, ways by which ministers can win the children and youth, getting our literature into the hands of new members, making the Sabbath worship hour worshipful, how to teach new converts to pay tithe, the place of music in soul winning and cultural worship—these, and many more, were the subjects that claimed our attention during the five or six days of the institute.
A series of studies on the Scriptural foundation for noncombatancy was given by Carlyle B. Haynes. These studies were truly inspirational and educational. Radio work, how to make it self-supporting, and ways of harvesting the interest were thoroughly discussed, the report of which will appear shortly in THE MINISTRY. Other subjects will also be found in later issues of this journal.
There was evidence of a genuine desire on the part of everyone—evangelists, educators, and administrators—to accept the challenge of the hour and plan for a greater evangelism. Some remarked, "We can hardly wait till we get back to our fields. We have prayed that the Lord would show us the way to larger things, and He has. And now with vision enlarged we determine to preach Christ, and by His grace win more."
Their slogan might well become the battle cry for our world field, for surely this is no time for small plans. The hour has come to advance. It is true that greater difficulties confront us today than ever before, but the words of the great apostle to the Corinthians seem almost to have been written for this very time : "A great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries." Someone has commented on this text in these words, "Had we been writing, we would have said, but there are many adversaries,' making the adversaries an excuse for lack of success. How different is the great missionary-apostle's attitude to problems !" True, indeed !
Let us view our difficulties through the eyes of Paul, and learn the lesson he brings to us. The very presence of adversaries demands advancement. Opposition becomes opportunity; the challenge becomes the chance. Canada has caught the vision, and the Winnipeg council may well Mark the beginning of greater things for this northern field.,
God grant it.
R. A. A.