The Future of the Bible Work

What are the prospects for Bible workers?

L.C.K. is an associate editor of the Ministry.

Recognizing that there was a time when the recognizing of denominational Bible work as a profession was somewhat in the balance, the question, "Just what are the prospects now?" deserves a fair answer by those who have the leadership of its interests. Here is our reaction: We are sincerely convinced that there is a growing enthusiasm for the profession. On every hand we observe care­fulness in the selection of the proper type of individual for this work. Conferences continue to press their requests for Bible instructors, and young people have discovered the charms of this ministerial service. A surprising number of stu­dents still in college continue to inquire about the prospects of overseas Bible work. The future is bright.

Where five years ago an occasional student in training for Bible work was usually fitted into an adapted ministerial course, today a number of our colleges are prepared to offer a specialized train­ing for young women interested in evangelism. Student programs, Bible instructor clubs, and sim­ilar features are promoting the profession in a most attractive setting. Bible instructors in train­ing are keeping step with young ministers in prep­aration. In fact, this new enthusiasm on every hand has presented a new challenge to them.

The college-trained Bible instructor is primarily a skillful Bible teacher, and often as efficient as the minister. She is capable in both public and personal work. She is also at home in the field of art, cookery, music, advertising, and commerce. Her personality has been developed so that she is skilled in guiding conversation, and in making contacts for the full acceptance of the message. She is definitely a church leader—not trained to do the largest share of the work for the church, but rather to lead the church into service.

Young men preparing for the ministry need more than an agreeable companion; the profession calls for ministerial leadership on the part of the wife as well as the husband. One who marries a minister must become a partner in the profession, and should be trained in ministerial and evange­listic responsibility. Our educators are now mind­ful of these needs, and college courses are provid­ing more efficiently for the prospective minister's wife.

During the last five years especially, the Minis­terial Association has given close attention to the development of our field Bible instructors. Help­ful councils and Bible instructor institutes have been conducted in many centers. The Association secretary of the Bible work has become personally acquainted with our field workers, and a sound building program has been proceeding. Contact with evangelistic groups has been promoted to a point where this leadership has brought guidance and assurance to the profession. THE MINISTRY has become the channel for expression as well as method, and the Bible Instructor section of the journal has already made its distinctive contribu­tions not only to Bible instructors but to the minis­try at large.

Perhaps one of the most encouraging features of progress is the new consciousness in our church that the Bible instructor is now more than just the doorbell-ringer type of worker. Another good omen is the discovery of the true pattern of her service, as given us in the Spirit of prophecy, in place of the confused patterns of former days. The Bible instructor has been set apart from the mere church visitor, and the dignity of her professional skill will mean much to the future.                 

L. C. K.

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L.C.K. is an associate editor of the Ministry.

June 1946

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