I joined Elder J. H. Meier, pastor of the La Crosse church in Wisconsin, in holding a spearhead effort from April 23 to May 1. This was the sixth spearhead effort held in the new Seventh-day Adventist church in La Crosse. During this recent effort more than a hundred enrollees were secured from those not of our faith. From twenty to thirty new members have been added to the church as the result of each effort held thus far. Elder Meier and his wife follow each series of meetings with a community Bible school and question box for those who enroll during the meetings.
Each night at the services literature is offered free to all who express a desire to enroll in the Bible school. The free literature is delivered, and a visit made to the homes of all enrollees the day after they sign their cards. Elder Meier and his wife do this personal work in delivering the literature and visiting the people in their homes, encouraging them to come to the Bible school in the church each Tuesday night; or they induce those visited to open their homes for cottage meetings and further Bible studies on 'doctrinal subjects.
If every effort held were followed up as faithfully as has been the one held in La Crosse, our churches could double their membership in a short time. There were only twenty members in the La Crosse church when the first spearhead effort was held. As the result of five spearhead efforts the membership of the church has increased to 130, and ten new members were ready for baptism when this sixth effort was inaugurated.
Personally, I greatly enjoyed engaging in this direct soul-winning work. During the first ten years of my ministry I was engaged in city evangelism. Since then, during the past forty-two years, I have been engaged in educational, temperance, and religious liberty work. It was most refreshing to me spiritually to engage again in soul winning, and to preach the gospel of salvation to those hungering for it.
This experience has taught me the value of spearhead efforts. Not only are they a great encouragement to old church members, as they witness new members being added to the church by the score, but they quicken their souls to engage in support of the effort as they hear the stirring messages.
Aside from advertising the meetings through the daily newspapers, such efforts cost the conference very little in finances and produce the best results in adding new members to a church for the amount of money expended. Far more of these efforts ought to be held in our churches than are now being held, provided they are followed up with earnest personal work. This would result not only in the strengthening of our churches, but in giving the public and newcomers to the city an opportunity to hear the stirring messages that are given during such a series.
The times in which we live and the events that are transpiring prepare the soil for an abundant harvest. There is no difficulty in drawing large audiences, because the people are anxious to know and understand the meaning of coming events.
It is a good thing for swivel chair workers to engage in such soul-winning efforts every now and then. It helps them to be more efficient and practical in their own special line of work, and has the tendency to bring about a more cooperative spirit between office and field workers, as well as the laity. It puts fresh water in the well and new gold in the coffer, and brings peace and prosperity to the whole household of God.
If every soldier of Christ had done his duty, if every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might ere this have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us.— Testimonies; vol. 9, p. 29.