In speaking with a number of our active evangelists and others who have had ministerial interns working with them, I have discovered that there are three particular qualifications which these men would like to see their interns possess. These, in the order of their preference as they have been stated by the workers, are (I) consecration, (2) experience in personal work, and (3) willingness to learn.
In seeking to give adequate preparation in the second field—that of personal work—we have tried a new plan at Pacific Union College this year. A number of the young men, working in pairs, have been going to near-by Calistoga and distributing literature. We are using the Good News series of tracts, which have been especially prepared to lead up to the giving of Bible studies. As a result of this literature distribution and personal contacts, eleven Bible studies and cottage meetings are being conducted at the present time by our ministerial students. There are a number (c)f other good prospects, which we hope will be ready to begin studies in the very near future.
In addition to those in these studies each week, there are others who wish to continue to receive literature, and several who are taking the series of Bible lessons by correspondence. The young men are mailing the lessons, and correcting the papers, and will-take advantage of the opportunity to call at the homes of these people occasionally to keep up personal contacts.
Meeting the people in this house-to-house work has been of utmost benefit and inspiration to the young men. This is the first experience that many of them have had in personal evangeli-sm. As one remarked, "I have never done anything so thrilling." It has resulted in a deeper consecration on the part of many of the young men. They are enthusiastic about the Bible studies which they are giving each week, and I believe that the whole experience has been and will continue to be one of blessing, both to the students who are taking part and to those who are receiving the instruction.
When one group visited a man who was to receive a study, and found that he had been removed to the hospital, they went to the hospital and for several weeks have been giving him brief studies there, and praying with him. They have extended their contacts now to his neighbors in the ward and expect to do even more personal work in the hospital. The members of one group are studying with an evangelist of another denomination and having a remarkable experience.
The territory surrounding all our colleges has been worked with student evangelist efforts for so many years that it seems quite discouraging to the students to be sent back into this worn-out territory to conduct a series of evangelistic meetings. However, there are those everywhere who may be reached by personal contact. Many of these people would not come to public meetings, but they are willing to receive literature and studies in their homes. This fact, combined with the need of our young men for training in personal work, seems to indicate that in many places we would do well to follow a plan similar to this one.
I am convinced that our results, both in souls saved and in valuable experience gained, will in many places be greater than that obtained in the customary series of student evangelistic meetings.
At present I have a young man working on a complete classified index of all THE MINISTRY articles since the beginning of their publication. The idea is to gather together into one index titles and pagings of all the articles that deal with any particular subject. For instance, under "Evangelism" we have sections on "Evangelistic Preaching," "Evangelistic Visitation," "Evangelistic Music," etc. This will give us quick and easy access to all the excellent material that is contained in THE MINISTRY each month. After the index has been completed, it will be kept up to date each month as the new MINISTRY comes to us. This involves a great amount of work, but we feel that the results will warrant the expenditure in time, energy, and money.
It may be that our other schools or some of our workers would be interested in copies of the MINISTRY index. If this is the case, I am sure that some plan could be worked out whereby it might be duplicated and distributed at cost.