A Bible Instructor's First Year

A bible instructor's first year is more im­portant than any other year in her expe­rience, because it is the foundation year.

By Miss M. P. GRAVES, Bible Instructor, South England Conference

A bible instructor's first year is more im­portant than any other year in her expe­rience, because it is the foundation year. If she is courageous in the work at the start, her contacts with the people will be pleasant, and she will make better progress. As she sees the fruit of her labor, it will give her zeal and courage to continue the good work which she has begun. If, on the other hand, her first im­pressions are unpleasant, she will be unhappy and more likely to create an unfavorable im­pression on the people. Because of this, she will not make such good progress, and may become discouraged before she is thoroughly established in the work.

In order that the first year may be a happy and fruitful one, it is to the advantage of the young worker that she be placed with one of more experience. In this way she can be in­structed, counseled, and encouraged. A little practical experience along with a more expe­rienced worker will help to inspire her with confidence.

The first year in the Bible work not only requires much earnest prayer for guidance, but as at no other time, the worker needs to study. It is difficult at first to keep the many texts of Scripture in mind, and yet it is very necessary. So often questions are asked, and it becomes necessary to give a study on a subject for which one is not prepared. This is difficult for the young worker, but it pays to lay a good foun­dation of Bible study in the first year. Unless there is much study, there is also the danger that the lessons she gives will become stereo­typed, losing their freshness and beauty.

During the first year many things happen for the first time, and consequently the new worker is liable to experience great extremes of feeling —either joy or grief. She has no past expe­rience with which to compare the various hap­penings, and so the likelihood is that she will at times become either elated or else downcast. I remember the first time one of my readers promised to come to church on Sabbath. My heart overflowed with joy and gratitude to God, and I came away feeling that I could not be happier. I also remember the feeling of de­jection which came over me when, in one day, two very promising women told me that they felt quite content to remain in their own churches.

Each person is different and reacts differ­ently to the truths presented. During the first year the worker begins to recognize types, but it takes experience to do this successfully, and so, more than at any other period, each new person she contacts is somewhat of a mystery. Some will talk ; others remain silent. Some show very definitely that they sincerely appre­ciate the Bible truths, and others do not. I visit one woman who keeps a large notebook in which she jots down the texts and my comments on them. She is very particular, and it takes time for her to compile sentences which will satisfy her. In complete contrast, I visit an­other woman who says nothing at all. Ques­tions bring forth no definite answer from her, and I have as yet gained no knowledge of her attitude in respect to our message.

Some readers are a joy to meet. One woman, without any mention being made of the matter, realized that theatergoing is not consistent with Christian living, and quite voluntarily stopped the practice. Another woman had gone every Saturday afternoon for over twenty years with her husband to play whist. When she realized that Saturday is the Sabbath, she felt she could not go again, and she has not been since, even though it has made her husband very angry.

It is well for the new worker to develop the talent of getting Bible studies started in every home possible. Not only is she thus gaining experience, but she so enlarges the sphere of her influence that God will in this way bring the Bible truths for these days to many souls.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By Miss M. P. GRAVES, Bible Instructor, South England Conference

August 1943

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Laws in the Art of Persuasion

Four ways to hold people's attention.

Strive for Colorful Preaching

Nothing so palls on the ears and minds of an audience as to have to listen to sermon after sermon that is drab, colorless, and dry.

Important Supreme Court Reversal

A fundamental decision which affects our entire literature distribution.

Called to be Preachers or Lecturers?

Papers Presented at Local Worker Gatherings.

Ministers and Temperance Work

Should we cooperate with other temperance organizations?

Important Plank in Our Platform

Protecting religious liberty.

Why So Many Apostasies?

Plans and Methods, Experiences and Problems.

Sabbath School and the Minister

The Sabbath school was ordained of God for the purpose of instructing His rem­nant church in the truths of the Bible.

Greater Bible Work—No. XIV

The responsibility for establishing the new believer does not rest entirely with the evangelistic workers who made the contact.

Editorial Keynotes

Candor of the Good old Days

A Five-Cycle Evangelistic Campaign

Efficient Evangelistic Methods and Pastoral Technique.

The Minister and the Newspaper

Some of our ministers maintain a close working relationship with the local news­papers.

Free Cuts For Advertising

My attention was called recently to a new source of effective cuts which can be ob­tained free of charge for use in our handbill and newspaper advertising.

Financing the Local Effort

The subject of finance deals with an all-absorbing question to every conference ex­ecutive, every evangelist, minister, Bible in structor, and lay member.

The Time for Medical Missionary Work

Is this the time for medical missionary work?

Ministering to a Sick World

How do we minister to a sick, dark, pessimistic world?

Fundamentals of Gospel Song Directing

A Discussion of Ideals, Objectives, and Technique.

Oriental Village Work

How can our message impact even those who are not even aware they are human beings?

Zulu Woman's Observation

Are our standards too low?

Radio Reading Room Progress

An update on the progress made in the last year.

Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)