Follow-Up Work in Near-by Areas
By H. H. SCHMIDT, Pastor-Evangelist, Missouri Conference
Radio knows no boundary lines. As we broadcast from the powerful station KFEQ in St. Joseph, we receive many responses from listeners in Missouri and the surrounding States.
Since we have only a fifteen-minute broadcast once a week, it will be some time before our entire message can be brought to our listeners, although we are endeavoring definitely to present our distinctive message. This we are doing by giving "The Millennium," for example, in a series of three talks. "The State of the Dead and the Resurrection" is given in a series of three or four talks. Between these various series of studies, we find it advisable to present something in the way of inspirational or devotional material. This makes for variety, and serves as an appeal to listeners who may not be following the broadcast every week.
We try to follow the plan of making a strong heart appeal at the end of every talk, whether it is doctrinal or inspirational. And because the Lord has blessed us with a voice to sing, we always plan for at least two stanzas of a gospel hymn to close the program.
In view of the fact that some length of time will elapse before the entire message is brought before the public, we are making strong use of the Bible Study Correspondence plan. This brings the message before the people even though they may not hear all of it over the air. Enrollments come in from a dozen States. Since radio has no boundary lines, there must be some plan for following up those in other conferences who are finishing the correspondence course. After having studied the Sabbath question, many write in and say, "We are trying to keep the right Sabbath, but how are we going to find other Sabbathkeepers or the church that keeps the Sabbath?" These must be followed up and visited.
Our plan is to write a letter to the president of the conference in which such an interest arises. In this letter we give a brief summary of our contacts with the interested person, and perhaps enclose a letter received from him. We ask the president to assign this interest to the worker in whose district the interested person lives. If his address is a box number or rural route, the postmaster will usually give information to a minister, which will aid in finding the person. From there on the interest can be more fully developed, and the person further instructed and brought into the church. To sum up, in our radio work we have before us these four objectives:
1. To present our distinctive message definitely over the air. This we do by giving the doctrinal subjects in a series of talks. In each talk we make a brief heart appeal.
2. To intersperse these doctrinal series with a devotional subject of a more general nature.
3. To make strong use of the Bible Study Correspondence plan in bringing the message before people who do not listen regularly to the program. Even though they do listen regularly, they will learn the truth and become Seventh-day Adventists in a much shorter period of time if they take the study course.
4. To follow the plan of turning over definite interests which arise in another conference to the president of the proper conference, with the understanding that he will assign the interest to a district leader.
Harvesting Radio Results
By PASTOR L. C. NADEN, President, West Australian Conference
How have you harvested your radio work? is the question I have been requested to answer through the columns of the Ministry. The aim of every preacher of the third angel's message is undoubtedly to make good Seventh-day Adventist Christians of his audience. From the beginning of my radio experience in 1937, when I was appointed pastor of the Advent Radio Church* in Sydney, Australia, I earnestly planned and prayed that I might win souls for this message through the avenue of radio preaching. I set about to harvest my radio work in the following manner.
1. Copies of the addresses broadcast were offered to any listeners who would write in for them.
2. A permanent mailing list was built up by requesting listeners to have their names listed to receive copies of the broadcast regularly.
3. The next step was the compilation of a loose-leaf book in which a page or more was set aside for every person who corresponded with us. The names were inserted in alphabetical order. On each page we recorded the date of receipt of letters, with any items of interest or expressions of appreciation culled from them. Thus we were able to tell at a glance the number of times a person had written in, and from the information recorded we could quickly note the interest.
4. When a definite interest was noted, that person would then be invited to join the Radio Bible Class. The response to this invitation was usually good. Studies were held with the idea of gaining the absolute confidence of the readers (a) in the ability of the pastor to present Bible studies clearly ; (b) to establish faith in the word of God; and (c) ultimately to lead people to the place where they would unhesitatingly accept the testing truths of the third angel's message.
The "testing" truths were not presented until approximately four months after the reader received the first study. In order to help my readers meet some of the objections that are usually presented when people become interested in the message, I tried an experiment which proved helpful. Along with the studies on the Sabbath question, I began posting some of the main objections to Sabbathkeeping and their answers as found in F. D. Nichol's book, "Answers to Objections." I was rather reticent about placing these objections in the hands of my readers, but I learned from this experience that very often the answers to the objections arrived at the right time, and many were helped by them. My experience with a radio Bible class conducted in this way has been that a large percentage of those taking these studies have accepted the message.
1. In addition, I have found that placing the names of interested people in the hands of our evangelists in different towns has met with good results.
2. Then, too, there is no more helpful way of quickly harvesting one's radio work than to conduct missions [evangelistic efforts] in various places under the title of "The Radio Broadcast." For instance, we always advertise "The Advent Radio Church Mission." Announcements during the broadcast concerning the mission are always helpful.
3. I am always glad to give a fellow minister a boost. If he were opening his mission in another city, I would announce during my broadcast that Mr._________ , a friend of mine, would be commencing a series of prophetic and Bible lectures in ____ ; and his subject the opening night would be --. Then I would conclude with a strong appeal to my radio friends in that district to attend this mission. Thus this was a help in harvesting the radio interest in that place.
Just a few experiences, culled at random from my files, will show at a glance that we have had the joy of doing some harvesting in the past.
Meeting Members of Another Church.—It was my privilege to address twenty-three adults in a home at Auburn (a suburb of Sydney) just recently. I was invited there by the members of a certain church. They were very enthusiastic about the meeting, and invited me to give them studies fortnightly during the coming year. These people know that I am a Seventh-day Adventist, but the Radio Church had broken down all prejudice, and all present on this occasion showed a very friendly spirit by addressing me as 'lbrother." They assured me of larger congregations in the future.
Baptism in Bathtub.—An old Church of England gentleman, a retired master builder, eighty-two years of age, was listening in one night and heard for the first time the truth concerning baptism by immersion. He was so much concerned about the matter that he purchased no less than fifteen books that he might be sure in his own mind as to the right mode of baptism. He also visited the minister of St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, with the result that the minister wrote a ten-page treatise on the subject of infant sprinkling for him, but still he was not satisfied.
After his first visit to my office he said, "Pastor Naden, will you baptize me some day ?" I replied, "Nothing would give me greater pleasure, Mr. _ ." I heard no more from him for weeks. The other day I received an urgent request to come to his home. When I arrived at the door, here was the old man in his pajamas and dressing gown. He greeted me by saying, "Pastor Naden, I have been praying and studying about the subject of baptism. Heaven is too precious to lose, and I want to do all that the Lord requires of me. I have filled the bath. Please, I would like you to baptize me now."
Before the old gentleman went into the watery grave he prayed, "0 Lord, wash away my sins and prepare me for Thy kingdom." He also handed me an envelope with the following note enclosed : "In grateful appreciation of your spiritual help and guidance, to help you in your good work—£5," This experience reminded me of the Ethiopian who said to Philip, "Here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?"
Hospitals Tuned In.—We have ascertained that the Royal Prince Alfred and the Coast Hospital, two of the largest hospitals in New South Wales, are regularly tuned in to the Advent Radio Church. Quite a number of private hospitals listen in as well. We are pleased to know that those in charge think so much of our services that they tune these great institutions in to our broadcasts for the benefit of the sick within their walls.
One-Time Drunkard Converted.—A drunkard was converted while listening to our services one Sunday evening. I did not hear from this man again till last week, when he walked up to me on the street and made himself known. I was eager to know just how he was getting along, and in reply to my question, he said, "Pastor Naden, do you know what is running through my mind all the time, even while I am speaking to you?"
"No," I replied, "I do not."
"Well," he said, "the words of that hymn, 'What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my heart.'" He rejoices in the deliverance that God has given him over the drinking habit, and he told me of his happy little family that goes along to church each week, all rejoicing in the love of God. These people are now good Seventh-day Adventists. Truly the radio is a means of interesting people in our message.
"The Family Hour" Program
Announcer [Play one stanza and chorus of "Near to the Heart of God," then announce] : We wish to remind you that it is just a half hour until the Voice of Prophecy will be heard over this station ! In the meantime, stay tuned in for "The Family Hour," a program of story, song, and inspiration for the whole family, presented each Sunday evening at five-thirty by members of the Seventh-day Adventist church, the people with a message.
Myrtle Lee: Father, I want you to meet my friend, Miss Betty Whitlock, from Marshall, Texas, who is here visiting friends in Texarkana. She sang for us in Sabbath school yesterday, and I enjoyed her singing so much that I invited her over to sing for us this afternoon.
Father: I'm surely happy to meet you, Betty, and we shall be delighted to hear you sing ! Won't you give us a number right now?
Betty: Why, yes, if Myrtle Lee will play for me. [She sings : "Why Should He Love Me So?" Time, 3 minutes, 15 seconds.]
Mother: That was very beautiful, Betty. And now, I believe it is time for our Sunday afternoon story hour. Let me see, this is Father's Day, isn't it? Do we have any stories that would be suitable for Father's Day?
Alida May: I was just thinking about that story in the Youth's Instructor that was called "A Defense of Daddyisms." And Betty could sing the song that the girl in the story sings !
Mother: Yes, that would be fine. Would you like to read it for us, Alida May?
Alida May: Yes, I'd be glad to ! [She reads "A Defense of Daddyisms," Youth's Instructor (Nov. 29, 1927). Time, II minutes, 30 seconds.]
Father: We always have a little devotional period at this time on Sunday afternoon. I have been reading to the family from the little book "Steps to Christ." Would you like to listen in with us this afternoon, Betty?
Betty: Why yes, I would. I have read that little book myself, but it is so helpful that I always enjoy hearing it again.
Father: Let us bow our heads for a moment of prayer before we begin. Father in heaven, we are indeed thankful to Thee for the joys and blessings of this day. We thank Thee for the temporal blessings of life, but most of all, we are thankful for the gospel, and for what it does for human hearts and homes. We ask that as we endeavor to learn more about the plan of salvation, Thou wilt open our understanding and help us to bring our lives into complete harmony with Heaven's plan for us. We would not be selfish in our requests. Wilt Thou bless every home in our community. Remember those especially who have asked that we pray for them. We ask Thee to hold in check the forces of evil, and make our homes places where the angels of God will delight to dwell. Forgive our mistakes and shortcomings, and prepare us for a place in that glorious home where we shall know Thee, our Father, face to face. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
Now we shall go on from where we left off last week on the subject of prayer. [He reads from "Steps to Christ."]
I see that it is time for the Voice of Prophecy, so we shall stop here for now. Will you turn on the radio, Myrtle Lee?
Announcer: You have been listening to "The Family Hour," presented each Sunday afternoon at five-thirty from the studios of KCMC by members of the local Seventh-day Adventist church, the people with a message. If you are enjoying these weekly programs, why don't you sit down and write a letter of appreciation to the people who are giving their time and talent for your pleasure and profit? That's the only way they have of knowing how much good they are doing. And remember, if you wish to join the group of sustaining friends who make this broadcast possible, you may still have your choice of a copy of "Steps to Christ" or "Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories." Just address your letter to "The Family Hour," KCMC, Texarkana.
* The Advent Radio Church in Australia corresponds to the Voice of Prophecy in America.