The Company Form of Evangelism

By ROBERT L. BOOTHBY, Union Evangelist, Columbia Union Conference

Efficient Evangelistic Methods and Pastoral Technique

By ROBERT L. BOOTHBY, Union Evangelist, Columbia Union Conference

Organization is a very important part of evangelistic work. "Whether the- &dui) is small or large, there should be an under standing of what duties each member participating in the campaign is to carry. This becomes more and more essential as we consider the larger campaigns. It is self-evident that the evangelist could not encompass all the duties. The group of workers should be so organized that each one has his work to carry, and has freedom to operate within his sphere. There should be such fellowship and sympathetic understanding between the workers that the evangelist can freely counsel with the members of his staff, and they in turn can feel free to come to him with their problems. The following plan of organization may be adapted to fit individual needs.

I. Music Plays Important Part.—A most important part of successful evangelistic meetings is the music. Heart-stirring, soul-winning singing has accompanied every great revival. In our staff of workers L. R. Mansell has complete charge of the music. In every problem he has been free to seek my advice, but on the other hand, I want him to have absolute freedom in planning and carrying forward this responsibility. He directs in selling the songbooks and has charge of passing out the literature-request cards. This is done during the song service, to conserve time. Giles Rob erts is our pianist and works very closely with Mr. Mansell.

2. Publicity and Advertising—Another very important feature of an evangelistic campaign is the publicity. Our song leader has charge of this part of the work. We keep a complete file in scrapbooks of all our display advertising, which we have worked out together. Whenever I feel that some part of the advertising should be changed as to composition or form, or in some other way, I talk over these suggestions with him, and he carries them out. He makes all contacts with the newspapers and becomes responsible for all the news stories, both before and during the process of the meetings.

3. Personal Work By Staff.—Another impor tant part of an evangelistic meeting is the personal work. We first secure a map of the city and di vide the city into districts. The number of dis tricts is determined by the number of workers in the campaign staff. Every conference worker in the company is placed in charge of a district. As the names of persons requesting literature come in from week to week, these names naturally become the responsibility of the worker in charge of the distriCt to which they belong. The workers record all their names on report cards prepared for this purpose. The report cards are kept in duplicate, and each worker gives the a set of his cards. Thus I am able to keep informed on the interest and the prospects.

4. Personal Work by Laity.—The church members also need to be organized to carry their part in the success of the meetings. They can be used in distributing program circulars and in visiting the interested. In large city campaigns capable laymen are assigned to districts to work under the conference laborers. The worker in charge of the district assigns the lay member to a designated territory in his district. This layman makes a report in triplicate as follows : One for himself, one for the conference worker in charge of the district, and one for the evangelist. When a lay worker finds that someone with whom he is studying is definitely interested, and that interest develops to the place where a decision should be made, the conference worker in charge of that district comes to the aid of the church member.

5. Bible Instructor's Responsibility.—When the campaign has reached the point where many are in the valley of decision, the evangelist or an experienced Bible instructor endeavors to help the worker in charge of a district to gain decisions. Miss Mary Walsh has ably cared for this feature and has given valuable help in assisting our lesser experienced workers.

6. Part the Pastor Plays.—The local pastor can also give excellent help in assisting inexperienced workers to gain decisions. In a large campaign we choose a pastor to act as the platform manager. The pastors are also organized to plan for the baptisms.

The plan for gaining decisions operates as fol lows: Each district leader makes a list of those who should be brought to a decision, and the evangelist or one of our more experienced workers is assigned to help that district leader on a certain day, or days, according to the need. This plan has a twofold blessing. First, it gets the decisions for baptism and church membership ; and second, it trains the inexperienced workers. Some of our Bible instructors who have been with us in only a few campaigns are growing into real strength, and have become very efficient in getting decisions.

7. The Campaign Secretary.—Another important part of our work is keeping the names properly filed and answering the radio mail. My wife has done this work in some of our earlier campaigns. In later campaigns we have had the services of a stenographer or Bible instructor as campaign secretary.

8. The Book Stand.—An attractive book stand, placed in the lobby, is cared for by one of the workers, who is responsible for ordering and selling the literature. There is close co-operation between the evangelist and the one in charge, so that appropriate books, tracts, and magazines will be available on the various topics presented, as well as a supply of Bibles and songbooks.

9. Organizing the Ushers.—A corps of capable ushers is selected from the church members, if there is a church large enough to furnish the required number. They are thoroughly organized and instructed in their duties, with a chief usher and an assistant usher in charge. If there are two or more floors, such as found in some large auditoriums, then an usher is put in charge of each floor. One usher is usually assigned to the rostrum to care for any emergencies that may arise. If there is no church where the meetings are being held, then the company workers can be organized to do the ushering. The apostle Paul has admonished, "Let all things be done decently, and in or der." I Cor 14:40. Proper organization adds character and quality to the campaign.

10. Handling the Baptismal Feature.—Ail experienced Bible instructor is responsible for supervising the baptismal candidates, to see that they come out in the proper order to the baptistry. Under her, either a conference worker or a church member is made responsible for the dressing rooms when the candidates are preparing for baptism. A man is put in charge of the men's room, and a woman in charge of the women's room. They are assisted by other conference workers and the deacons and deaconesses of the church or churches. The one in charge of each dressing room is responsible for providing baptismal robes and mak ing sure that each candidate has proper care; also for directing the prayer and Scripture reading, and keeping the dressing room neat and tidy.

As the campaign progresses, several lists of the baptismal prospects are made, and each worker and pastor is given one of these lists. Then just before the baptism, each pastor is given a new list, constituting those who have qualified for baptism. Before the baptismal service each worker in charge of a baptismal dressing room has one of these lists. The Bible instructor, who has complete charge of organizing the candidates in the order that they are to come into the baptistry, also has one of these lists. The list is so arranged that whole fam ilies come to the baptismal tank together.

11. The Campaign Treasurer.—Another important part of the organization is a treasurer.

Before the meetings begin, someone is selected to act as campaign treasurer. This is oftentimes one of the pastors. All the offerings are turned over to him each night, and he handles all the funds belonging to the campaign, and pays all the bills. However, if some item is unusual, he then counsels with the evangelist, for in the end the evangelist is responsible to the conference for the cost of the campaign and therefore should always be in formed concerning the financial status.

12. Weekly Workers' Meeting.—Every Monday morning we have a workers' meeting. At this time prayers are offered, plans for the week dis cussed, and prospective names considered. These meetings unify the understanding and work of the whole company.

Organization makes for understanding and fellowship in a campaign. It may truly be said with the psalmist, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

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By ROBERT L. BOOTHBY, Union Evangelist, Columbia Union Conference

September 1944

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