Ideal Supervision of a District

In order for a district to be properly supervised, it is important that the superintendent of the district give personal attention to the many problems that arise, and carefully super­vise the promotion of conference and local church projects.

By CARL J. ASHLOCK, District Leader, Alabama-Mississippi Conference

In order for a district to be properly supervised, it is important that the superintendent of the district give personal attention to the many problems that arise, and carefully super­vise the promotion of conference and local church projects.

 

In the proclamation of the third angel's mes­sage to the entire world, there are of necessity many calls for money. The minister must have a burden for our world-wide mission program and frequently make personal appeals to our people so that sufficient funds will be brought into the treasury. The Lord has sent us this message, "A solemn responsibility rests upon ministers to keep before the churches the needs of the cause of God, and to educate them to be liberal."—"Acts of the: Apostles," P. 341. He should also have a well-planned organization in each church in his district, so that the mission­ary activities of the church may be properly cared for. On this question the messenger of the Lord has stated :

"As we near the final crisis, instead of feeling that there is less need of order and harmony of action, we should be more systematic than heretofore. All our work should be conducted according to well-defined plans. I am receiving light from the Lord that there should be wise generalship at this time more than at any former period of our history."--Ellen G. White, Letter 27a, 1892. (Quoted by C. C. Crisler in "Organ­ization," p. 141.)

The district superintendent must have officers under his direction who will work as leaders in the churches of his district and be responsible for certain duties in his absence. Therefore, it is very essential for the district superintendent to give close study to his membership some­time before the meeting of the nominating com­mittee. He should meet with the nominating committee of each church of his district and guide in the selection of the officers upon whom will rest the responsibility of the work.

Since the Lord has told us that "all our work should be conducted according to well-defined plans," it is necessary that the church under­stand these plans. Plans should first be pre­sented to the church board by the pastor. There should be a regular time each month to meet with the church board and discuss these plans with them. Under the guidance and direction of the minister, such plans should be put into operation.

In order that each officer of the church may perform his work acceptably, the pastor should have a special meeting when he can discuss their duties and responsibilities with the newly elected officers. I have followed the practice each year of presenting these duties to the officers of the church in the following manner. First, at the eleven o'clock service I speak about the sacred responsibilities entrusted to an officer of the church and deal with the spiritual and moral phase of his responsibilities. Then, the follow­ing Sabbath at the time of the missionary serv­ice, or at a special meeting, I bring before the newly elected officers their individual duties. It is very important that we make these duties known to the newly elected and re-elected offi­cers. They will not be able to perform them all unless they know what they are.

There are many conference and local church programs that need our personal attention. Therefore, it is very necessary that every pro­gram and campaign be launched on time, or perhaps ahead of schedule.

When there is a campaign to raise money, it is well for the appeal to be made a few Sabbaths before the special offering is to be received, in order that the members may have time to be ready for the special offering. For instance, some few weeks before the Religious Liberty Offering is to be received, the appeal should be made, at which time pledges may be made for this particular offering. 'I he same plan should be followed in other major campaigns.

I like to present as many of the appeals as possible during the missionary service and devote the eleven o'clock service to some phase of Christian experience. However, it is necessary to devote a portion of the eleven o'clock service to the promotion of certain appeals, such as the Religious Liberty fund, Midsummer Offering, Week of Sacrifice, the signing of Sabbath school pledge cards, and the tithe question.

There should be a clear understanding be­tween the pastor and the missionary leader as to what will be presented during the missionary service. I believe that such topics as the pro­motion of Ingathering work, Missions Extension, and the Review and Herald should be under the direction of the pastor. During the campaign period the missionary leader has the responsibility in the absence of the pastor. The pastor and the missionary leader should work together on every conference program.

Just as the pastor gives counsel, help, and guidance to the church board and to the missionary leader, he must also maintain the same relationship to the Sabbath school council and the Sabbath school superintendent. He should meet with the Sabbath school council at least once a month. He should give counsel in the selection of teachers, and on the various problems that arise. He should study the missing member problem and help devise plans for enroll­ing such members in the Sabbath school. When the superintendent is promoting the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering and taking pledges, the min­ister himself should be ready to make a liberal pledge. Whenever it is possible for him to do so he should attend the teachers' meeting, and he should take an interest in the Sabbath School Training Course.

The youth are another group that need the attention of the pastor. He should meet with the Missionary Volunteer council and help guide this group in their missionary activities, their programs, and socials.

The duties and responsibilities of the district superintendent are many. Although it is necessary for him to take a personal interest in every program of the church, it is also essential that an organization be perfected to carry forward many of these responsibilities, in order that he may devote his time to the greatest of all his duties, that of evangelism. While every program of the church should be of a soul-winning nature, either at home or abroad, the minister should organize his program so that he has time to devote to personal and public evangelism.

The responsibility of the minister of God is twofold. He is not only to make disciples, but he is also to teach them. He is to bring them to Christ and then build them up into Christ. He is to be an evangelist, but also a shepherd of the flock.


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By CARL J. ASHLOCK, District Leader, Alabama-Mississippi Conference

June 1943

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