The Bible instructors of the Columbia Union Conference met as a group in connection with the ministerial institute held at the Gibson Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 3-5. Thirty-five consecrated workers were in attendance at this special council, which met twice daily to discuss ways and means to do a more effective work in personal soul winning. We were also happy to have with us two young women from Washington Missionary College who are preparing for service in this specialized field.
At first it was planned to have one hour daily for our meeting; however, as we launched into the discussion of the specific problems confronting us, it was felt that another hour was necessary in order to cover the assigned topics as well as the round-table discussions.
Topics were assigned to various Bible instructors previous to the council. It was suggested that they have their material in written form so it could be made available for THE MINISTRY. Following these presentations, time was allotted for discussion and constructive criticism. Topics listed on the agenda were as follows:
1. Qualifications Essential for Success.
2. Physical and Mental Fitness.
Personal care of the body, time for rest and recreation, time for study and prayer.
3. The Bible Study.
Construction, each subject complete in itself, Christ the center, length, leaving copy of texts, introduction and conclusion, earnest appeal.
4. Introducing a Study to a Beginner. Order of Bible studies.
5. Holding and Maintaining Interest.
6. Bringing People to a Decision.
How long should one labor with a soul without seeing results?
7. How Often Should Interested People Be Visited?
8. Meeting Opposition and Overcoming Objections.
9. How to Deal With Bible Skeptics.
10. Giving Studies With or Without Notes.
The advantage of both ways.
11. Preparing a Candidate for Baptism.
12. How Long Should a Candidate Be Kept Waiting for Admittance to the Church?
13. Erecting Family Altar in Home of New Believers.
14. Experience in Studying With the "Better Class."
15. Reaching the Foreigners in Our Cities. How to secure openings for Bible studies.
16. Entering the Home.
Manner of approach, deportment while in the home, length of visit.
17. Uniformity of Standards.
18. How to Conduct a Successful Health Program With an Evangelistic Effort.
19. Conducting Cooking Classes.
20. Training Selective Lay Members as Helpers.
21. Children's Meetings.
A means of reaching parents and interesting them in the truth. Suitable lessons for children.
Charts, slides, or films. Authentic quotations, flannelgraph, use of blackboard.
23. Fitting the Spiritual into the Physical.
A deep interest was manifested on the part of all as the various topics were discussed. Especially keen was the interest when the subjects "How to Conduct a Successful Health Program With an Evangelistic Effort" and "Conducting Cooking Classes" were given. The two Bible instructors who presented these thought-provoking expositions have been very successful in this special field of endeavor. A lively discussion ensued.
The round table gave opportunity for discussions of the knotty problems which the Bible instructor encounters in her work. Helpful suggestions were, offered which will prove beneficial to all, especially to those just entering this sacred work.
L. E. Froom met with us on several occasions. He very forcibly stressed the importance and sacredness of the Bible instructor's work. "It is a high and holy calling," he said, "and just as important in the sight of God as that of the ministry." He further emphasized the need of a special part of each day for prayer, study, and meditation, in order to be a successful and fruitful soul winner.
D. A. Ochs, newly elected union conference president, was present at our opening meeting, and assured us of his deep interest in our work and its progress.
Miss Ada E. Dean, medical secretary of the Potomac Conference, gave very valuable counsel on how the Bible instructor should safeguard her own health, and the need of proper diet, regularity in eating, rest and relaxation. Miss Maybelle Vandermark, instructor at Washington Missionary College, was with us at our meetings. She asked us to be on the alert for promising young women who are capable of entering the field as Bible instructors, and help guide them into this sphere of service. The college stands ready to assist these potential workers.
Richard E. Harris, who has charge of the Visual Aids Department of Washington Missionary College, told how his department was being equipped to provide charts for Bible instructors. This was indeed good news to all, as there has long been a desire for charts that will meet the Bible instructor's need. He also spoke of the miniature prophetic beasts and other visual aid devices that can be used to enhance teaching the message.
At the close of our council all expressed appreciation for the blessed and profitable time spent together. Each one returned to her respective field with a new determination to put into effect the instruction given.