Adapting Evangelism to War

Have war conditions made necessary any change in titles for an evangelistic series, a change in subject sequences, in public service programs, in evangelistic literature?

By S. G. JOYCE, Evangelist, North England Conference

Have war conditions made necessary any change in titles for an evangelistic series, a change in subject sequences, in public service programs, in evangelistic literature?

The choosing of good titles for lectures is important to attract an audience interested in the Bible, to make Seventh-day Adventists, to herald Christ's return, to bring the message to the largest number of people. Do not use titles that offend or that anticipate the decisions which are to be urged upon the congregation.

The sequence of the subjects is also impor­tant in heralding Christ's return, in building up an audience on popular topics (Armageddon and Death are both still in this category), in bringing the Sabbath to the notice of the largest possible number. Therefore it should be pre­sented in the best possible hall. The Papacy and evolution or creation are good subjects to introduce the Sabbath question. We must teach all truth, and make Seventh-day Advent­ists. We must not add to the people's fear (Luke 27:26) by continually preaching war crisis after crisis ! Jesus said if He be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him. So lift Him up, not the earth's woes, troubles, and politics.

For a public service program, feature the idea "Home Before Dark !" War conditions, blackouts, air-raid-precaution activities and fire watching, and the disturbed mental state of the people, as well as home and shopping diffi­culties, all demand services of only one to one and a half hours in length. Inject life and movement into the meetings. We are to kindle fires in people's hearts and arouse a movement toward the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore we must not be static.

As for evangelistic literature, the best and most appropriate literature is that prepared by our own publishing houses. It is much better than the evangelist's own proud effort.

Discussion by R. L. Murdoch: Today's con­stant topic of conversation is the war. This affects the preacher. He is in danger of be­coming a recruiting agent, of arousing racial feelings, of encouraging hatred, and of for­getting the international character of the ad­vent message. An ordained minister is not or­dained to preach politics, but to preach the Word ! In wartime preaching, we are to--

1. Avoid preaching fear; preach love.

2. Avoid preaching news of today ; preach the good news of the kingdom.

3. Avoid preaching communism, militarism, pacifism, and other "isms;" preach Christ.

4. Avoid misuse of the prophecies.

5. Avoid doubting the old landmarks.

Discussion by H.K. Munson: Four ways to adapt evangelism to wartime conditions :

1. Overcome the blackout problem.by starting campaigns very early in autumn or very early in spring.

2. Increase evangelistic staffs to allow the holding of more meetings by at least two co­workers in the same campaign.

3. Make literature more versatile and up-to-date. More attractive, arresting tracts on fun­damentals are needed.

4. Teach the simple gospel truths.

5. Keep away from condemnatory subjects and preach positive truth that turns people from error.

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By S. G. JOYCE, Evangelist, North England Conference

November 1942

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