Credit Where Credit Is Due

If somehow we could only catch the vision of what it means to be united workers in this last great message, giving each department of the effort the amount of credit due, I believe the Lord would bless very definitely with more souls.

By DON HIATT SPILLMAN, President of the Washington Conference

One word that Charles Lindbergh made famous in his never-to-be-forgotten flight across the Atlantic Ocean, and one that we are too often prone to forget in our evangelistic meetings, contains just two letters—"We." It is easy for the evan­gelist to grow careless in rendering his reports, both verbal and written, and allow the word "I" to creep in too frequently. If somehow we could only catch the vision of what it means to be united workers in this last great message, giving each department of the effort the amount of credit due, I believe the Lord would bless very definitely with more souls.

There are many ways in which this can be done. For instance, at the beginning of a campaign each worker should be individually introduced to the audience, with a short word of explanation about his or her work. It is well for the women workers to dress alike, wherever possible, perhaps in a simple white uniform (with a blue cape) or in other suitable garb, so that in the evenings to follow members of the audience will be able to identify them and come to them with their ques­tions and requests for literature.

If the effort is being held in a large city where the evangelist has one or more pastors associated with him, it is well to have them on the platform with him each evening, offering the prayer and the benediction. This will serve several purposes. First, it will help the pastor to feel that he has a definite part to take in the night meetings, and second, it will enable the people . to become ac­quainted with the minister who will perhaps be their pastor after the evangelist is gone. While I was doing evangelistic work in Seattle some time ago, I had associated with me three ordained local ministers besides our singing evangelist and others who did personal work and operated our projectors.

If the evangelist has a good group of workers, I do not believe it hurts him or the workers or the audience for him to express confidence in them publicly from time to time, as well as to express his personal appreciation for their faithful work. There is certainly a difference between cheap sentimentalism and sincere appreciation, and while we rightfully have no place for the first in our dealings with our fellow workers, we should be just as careful not to omit the second. If some of our evangelists had to go back to leading their own music, handling their own finances, doing their own Bible work, taking care of the tabernacle and a host of other things equally important, I believe they would appreciate more the blessed privilege of being associated with the faithful men and women who lighten the load in so many ways.

There are times during a baptismal service when it does not come amiss to mention the fact that the candidate going forward in baptism found his Lord and this message under the personal work of a certain member of the tabernacle staff. If Pictured Truth lecturettes are being held before the song service starts, attention should be called to this fact verbally and in the various methods of advertising. The one having charge of this part of the service should be introduced to the people in the beginning, and his name should be mentioned from time to time during the meetings. If the names of the evangelistic company are listed on the letterheads, this gives definite recognition to all who have a part, and provides suitable station­ery that all can use.

I also believe it to be quite fitting for the evan­gelist, as he reports to the conference president from time to time on the progress of the work, to mention the faithfulness of the various members of the tabernacle company and the good work they are doing. When the results of the effort are com­puted at its close, let our evangelists reflect on the important part the music, the personal work, the Pictured Truth, and the prayers of fellow workers have played in the final results.

It goes without saying that the members of the company are expected to be loyal to one another and to the evangelist, and to do their best in every way to make the effort a success. Our tabernacle group in Seattle consisted of eleven people, and never have I seen a more loyal, co-operative spirit manifested than was shown all the way through the meetings. What a wonderful privilege it was to work with consecrated, wholehearted, happy men and women who had but a single purpose—that of finishing the work of God on earth so that Jesus may soon come and take His loved ones home.

When the people of God engage in this work with real travail of soul, there will be manifest a decided change in cities and villages. This hov­ering about churches to keep them propped up, makes them more dependent on human effort. . . .

We are not to hover over the ninety and nine, but to go forth to save the lost, hunting them up in the wilderness of the large cities and towns. . . This is no time for the messengers of God to stop to prop up those who know the truth.—Testi­monies to Ministers, pp. 231-233.

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By DON HIATT SPILLMAN, President of the Washington Conference

April 1945

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