How often a pastor is perplexed when he thinks of the responsibility of getting each church member to do something for God. When missionary work is mentioned many are ready with the familiar excuse that we are not all alike, we do not have the same talents, and we cannot all do the same thing. There is, however, one line of missionary endeavor in which all can and should engage:
"Let every believer scatter broadcast tracts and leaf lets and books containing the message for this time.. Papers and books are the Lord's means of keeping the message for this time continually before the people."—Christian Service, p. 145.
Here, then, is the answer to our desire for a systematic plan of missionary effort in which everyone, young and old, can have a part. No one is excused. We are by no means to leave the impression that this is the only important work. Many are capable of laboring in other fields. But even those who dedicate their lives to other branches of His service are not excused from obligation to engage in literature ministry.
The work of a pastor, evangelist, or Bible instructor is much more effective if supplemented by our good literature. A Bible instructor who visits a home once a week to give Bible studies should keep her readers supplied with literature. This may mean as much or even more than the studies in developing well- grounded believers.
Our laymen, whether on the farm, in the office, in the shop, or in the home, should be brought to realize the obligation of being constantly alert to place our literature in the hands of the people.
In our city we have some good Seventh-day Adventist doctors who believe that, although by their very profession they are engaged in a highly important missionary work, yet they are not thereby released from the every member responsibility of passing out literature. In their office no other literature is to be seen except that which contains some phase of the message. The patients who desire to read while they wait find our good message-filled literature and nothing else.
A while ago I received a report of a young woman who visited one of these doctors' offices as a patient. She had been prejudiced against Seventh-day Adventists, and did not suppose a Seventh-day Adventist doctor would be very popular. But she called on the advice of a relative, who knew the character of the men who work in this office. When talking with her mother a few days later she said: "There was nothing but Seventh-day Adventist literature in the office, but in spite of that the of fice was filled, and many who could not get seats were standing. The literature was in evidence everywhere, and everybody was reading."
Not only is this office supplied with our good magazines, but many of our smaller books are placed in the various rooms where patients are examined or treated, as well as in the waiting room. Books are on the doctor's desk, and as a patient is interviewed by the physician his eye falls on an intriguing title. He picks up the book and is told by the doctor that the books are free to anyone who wishes to take them. The Conflict Series and other Spirit of prophecy books are there also.
It is encouraging to find that all our good people, in whatever walk of life, are becoming more and more conscious of their personal responsibility to promote the circulation of our truth-filled literature. If those who shepherd the flock will suggest ways and means for erature, the laymen are ready to cooperate. It seems hardly necessary to discuss methods of distribution. The Spirit of prophecy gives many suggestions, and our good home missionary leaders have outlined definite plans for everyone to engage in this good work.