The Ministerial Council in Retrospect
By LOUIS K. DICKSON, Vice-President of the General Conference
Oft times the nearer one is standing to the object of retrospection, the more difficult it is to evaluate its effectiveness and results. This fact can therefore account for any inaccuracy in attempting to measure the truest values of the recently held Ministerial Council in San Francisco.
As the delegates gathered, prior to the General Conference session, to attend the Ministerial Council, it was not difficult to sense that they came filled with the great expectancy of witnessing an unusual blessing coming into this assembly of ministers and leaders in God's great cause. There seemed to be resting upon everyone alike a conviction that overshadowed everything else during these critical days—the need for application of all our energy and ability to rescuing the world from the forces of darkness.
Accompanying this conviction came also a most vivid sense of our own dismal inadequacy and incapacity to accomplish the task, to meet the opportunities, or to grapple with the problems of the cause that we serve. Because of all this, there was seen from the very first hour of the council a readiness on the part of everyone to spring into wholehearted response to the least suggestion of a call to consecration and to prayer. Hearts were found to be unusually tender and sensitive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit, as over and over again we stood before the Lord in covenant relation, or bowed humbly in united prayer for the power we so sorely need, in order to meet this hour with lives fully fitted for the Master's use.
How plain it was, and continued to be, that in order to accomplish what God is calling His servants to do and to be just now, the army of truth must cease being merely on the defensive, and assume the offensive. How clearly we could see, under the unveiling processes of the Divine Spirit, that only by the apostolic method of contagiously declaring the most telling principles of positive truth and warning, as it is in Jesus, we must now advance into new positions against the enemy on all fronts, and thus make greater strides of progress.
It was very evident that the whole plan for this great council was evolved out of the impressions which the Holy Spirit had given to those in charge of this important meeting. L. E. Froom and his associate leaders had left nothing undone to make the gathering a success. The decorations, the music, and the dispatch with which the different parts of the program, were carried out, day after day, were in a great measure responsible for the success of this un usually blessed fellowship together.
No one could note the splendid array of musical talent and ability of presentation of the different parts of the carefully prepared program without giving thanks to God for the excellence of the ministerial and musical strength that is growing up in the Advent cause. Never was the church better fitted with capable man power than at the present time. From every viewpoint on the human side the church is better prepared than ever in her history. With the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in its fullness, the church can quickly press forward now for the final advance and glorious triumph.
Council Influence Carried Into Session
One could not help comparing the personnel of the men who are now entrusted with the ministry of the church with those men who took part before Pentecost, especially from the human viewpoint. In those early days they were timid, pliable, unfaithful, ignorant, and untrained. In supreme crises they deserted the Master and fled. They were as reeds shaken in the wind—negative, hesitant, altogether uncertain, and lacking in energy and force.
The army of the Lord today, even lacking the possession of the fullness of the divine power, presents a much different picture in every way from those early ministers of Christ. Educated, well-trained, forceful, courageous, filled with fire and enthusiasm—what a mighty force they can be under the full power of God's Holy Spirit. Such a vision caught every heart in its grasp during the days we were together in council. We have every reason to believe that the fields to which these men of God have returned will feel and know a new power in the ministry of the Word and in the leadership of the people of God.
The full influence of the Ministerial Council moved in upon the General Conference session and was felt from the beginning to the end of the largest gathering together of God's people ever to be held in a General Conference session. This atmosphere pervaded every meeting and touched all who were in attendance, not only during the weekdays, but on the two Sabbaths of the meeting, when twenty thousand or more attended the conference. Over and over again we were conscious, both as preachers and as hearers, of the presence of the Lord in our midst. The converting power of the gospel was manifest constantly in the large week-end services. And powerful preaching was demonstrated hour by hour as this wonderful session passed into history.
Surely this is as it should be in such days as those to which we have now come. Who can tell whether we shall ever again be able to have such a great gathering of God's people this side of that greater gathering around His throne! The consciousness of these sobering facts made more precious the hours spent together in prayer and communion with God. The very spirit of prayer, consecration, and seeking after God for His power was evident throughout the entire period. We believe that this came about in answer to the thousands of prayers offered by our people and leaders everywhere in behalf of this great session. But in no little measure did the Ministerial Council prepare the way in our hearts for such an outpouring of the Spirit of God in refreshing showers.
How hungry were our hearts, as we waited before the Lord, for the rich outpouring of the latter rain in all its fullness! How firm were we in the newly fixed conviction that we will not cease our praying to God until He comes and rains righteousness upon His church. Just as in Pentecostal days, the energies of a glorious and new optimism have laid hold upon both ministers and people. While formerly it was easy to lose heart, we believe that there is sweeping over God's people a mighty change, which will result quickly in an attitude toward the finishing of God's work which cannot be held down. This will now be seen not only in a holy optimism, built upon powerful believing of the promises of God, but by a marvelous spirit of joy in service for the Master laying hold upon the multitudes of God's people in all lands. For this we must ever pray and allow our hearts to be filled with a triumphant expectancy.
The determination, by this great council, was more firmly fixed that this shall be true, and continue to be the experience of both leaders and followers in the church of God everywhere, so that there will be a new and powerful witnessing through the arresting magnetism of our own transfigured characters. We shall wit ness for Christ by a clearer and more enlightened apprehension of the gospel by which we have been redeemed. There will be a new* grip to our consecrated words and actions, which will be vitalized by the indwelling Spirit of God. All this shall be ours as we continue in Him and seek His matchless power in greater and still greater fullness.
As we lingered in council and in His presence, we were impressed that these are critical moments through which the church is passing. Critical because everything now depends upon whether we follow the Master to the heights of spiritual realities, far beyond our present attainments. As we reach those higher levels in spiritual culture, never being satisfied with only a casual belief in those great and precious promises which can bring to our lives the abiding presence of Christ, there will be no longer a dangerous silence upon vital truths and ear nest counsel from the Lord which the world and the church need just now.
In the spirit of anxious humility we came from this Ministerial Council to remain bowed low before the throne of grace, asking continuously for divine wisdom, guidance, and grace that we may not miss the way in finding safe ground. We are convinced that our greatest hope and necessity before the opening providences of God in this hour is honest thinking and holy living. God has given us a little taste of the showers of His rich, empowering blessing and presence in the council and session just closed. Let us continue in earnest expectancy and godly fear to seek a closer walk with God and in our seeking to find Him in all His power, so that the work may quickly triumph.
Introducing Your New Association Staff
By: LEROY EDWIN FROOM
MEMBERS OF THE MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATION THROUGHOUT THE WORLD:
It is with real satisfaction that I respond to the invitation to introduce to the readers of THE MINISTRY, your newly elected Ministerial Association secretaries for the next quadrennial period. The most spiritual, united, and progressive conference ever held in our history is over. The world leadership of the movement has been duly chosen by a representative nominating committee of sixty-seven, and has been elected by the full delegation of the session, as already announced in General Conference Bulletins 2 and 4, of July 13 and 16. This personnel included, of course, the secretaries of the Ministerial Association, who are elected both for the General Conference headquarters staff and for overseas divisions as well, which latter group will be introduced later.
Our new president of the General Conference, William Henry Branson, is, of course, ex-officio chairman of the advisory council of the association, the personnel of which is yet to be chosen and will likewise be listed later.
The general secretary of the association, our beloved Roy Allan Anderson, for the past nine years senior associate secretary, has most logically and wisely been chosen to lead the association work forward under the new administration, whose ringing watchwords are "Evangelism," "Revival," and "Reformation." As one of our most experienced and successful city evangelists, an able teacher of practices, and versed in the problems of our ministry through wide overseas travel and extensive institute work, Elder Anderson will lead out strongly and effectively.
Next we present the associate secretary, particularly for Bible instructor work, our esteemed Louise C. Kleuser, likewise for nine years energetically and successfully carrying forward this phase of association endeavor in field and classroom. Her contribution has been unique and solid.
And now we present our two able and successful associates, Melvin K. Eckenroth and George E. Vandeman. These two men are also well known to MINISTRY readers by now, for they have served in a similar capacity for the past three years, and have been wisely chosen to continue for the next term. Both are able evangelists in their own right, and both have taught successfully in the Seminary. Elder Eckenroth came to us directly from city evangelism, and Elder Vandeman from the practical theology division of Emmanuel Missionary College. Both are eminently fitted for their work.
I know of none in our ranks better fitted by clear vision of the task ahead, familiarity with the work involved, experimental knowledge of the means that alone can and will finish our commissioned task, and ability to successfully engage in team work, than these four association secretaries elected by the session. This action also ensures continuity of those larger principles of operation already established that were the result of united counsel. Personally I am sincerely happy over the choices. These secretaries merit the full confidence of our worker body. I therefore commend them to you, confident that you will give them your full moral and tangible support.
So, members of the association throughout the world, it is a pleasure to introduce your new staff. It is really the old tried and true staff, continuing practically intact. The high ideals and clear objectives of the association's service to the field in recent years will be carried forward with greater vigor and more success than ever. New and larger plans will be introduced. Much is rightly to be expected, and, under God, much will be achieved. The greatest days of the association are clearly just ahead.
Members of the staff for 1950-54, I am sure that you will have the fullest confidence, prayers and moral support of your fellow workers everywhere. God bless you each and all. I pledge you my own prayers and full support, and call upon all workers to join in this pledge. So, farewell and Godspeed, associates in service!
Worldwide Revivalism. Then Evangelism
By WILLIAM HENRY BRANSON President of the General Conference
The keynote of the great General Conference session recently held in San Francisco was "revival and evangelism, under the power of the Holy Spirit." For years we have longed and hoped for the coming of the latter rain. We have looked forward to the time when the judgment-hour message would go forth with a loud cry, and when the nations of earth would be mightily stirred by it.
It is God's promise that it will be so, and at this conference a mighty conviction seemed to fasten upon both ministers and people that in these things there must no longer be delay.
This is the "time of the latter rain." It is God's promise that the Spirit will be given, and that under the power of the Holy Ghost the church will go forth like a mighty army, to complete its heaven-appointed task. Surely, the time when this must be done is now.
The Holy Spirit has been given. He is ever present to empower the church to complete its task of making ready a people prepared for their Lord. But we must individually lay hold of the gift God has already made. We must accept it by faith. We must receive Him as the mighty Helper, recognize His presence, and go forth in the full assurance of faith that He will give us "all power" in our efforts to reach men with the truth.
We are told that "on the day of Pentecost" the disciples "grasped the imparted gift. And what followed?—Thousands were converted in a day. The sword of the Spirit, newly edged with power, and bathed in the lightnings of heaven, cut its way through unbelief."—Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 31.
They "grasped" the gift that was already imparted. They grasped it by faith. They said, "We believe the promise of the Spirit. We believe He is given. He will supply all our needs. He will give power to our messages. He will cause men to receive the truth. So we shall go forth in His power."
It was then that thousands were converted in a day. It was then that God honored their faith, and Pentecost was the result. So it must be now. We can no longer wait for the harvest. We must go out and gather it in now.
Revival Our Very First Need
But in preparation for the reception of the Spirit there must come to God's people a mighty revival and reformation. This, we are told, is the greatest of all our needs; and to seek this should be our very first work. This revival must come to all of us as an individual experience.
Revival involves a turning to God, away from every known sin and every wrong practice. There must be heartfelt confession of all that is wrong in the life and a yearning desire to become like Jesus.
Revival also involves a mighty work for God's people collectively. It must be carried on in all our churches. Our people must be called upon to forsake the sins of Babylon and turn to God with all their hearts.
This work of revival cannot wait. It must be done now. We earnestly request that plans be laid at once to carry this revival call to every Seventh-day Adventist church in the world. Will not those who are responsible for one or more churches see that every such church is immediately brought under the influence of strong revival meetings.
Evangelism the Inevitable Result
As soon as our churches have experienced a revival we must have them join us in the greatest effort of evangelism the world has ever witnessed. This must be carried on under the power of the Holy Spirit. Already mighty false revivals are sweeping over the world. But only God's true message can actually bring salvation to men, and it is this people who must give it.
Once again, as on Pentecost, "the sword of the Spirit" must be "newly edged with power, and bathed in the lightnings of heaven." It will then "cut its way through unbelief."
Every barrier will fall before the preaching of the great judgment-hour message under the power of the latter rain. "Light," we are told, "will be communicated to every city and town. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation. . . . The light of present truth will be seen flashing everywhere."
And of course, in all this larger work, under the power of the Spirit, the leaders must take the lead. Our ministers must step out in front and show our people the way. Our own hearts must be revived, mightily stirred, and filled with the Holy Ghost. We too must grasp by faith the promised blessing, claiming it in the name of the Lord.
And the time is now ! "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." At this very time the thousands who are to be gathered in a day are waiting. They are ready to respond to God's call.
But this new appeal, this loud cry of the message, which is called for now, must be given in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing short of Pentecost will suffice.
Under the power of the latter rain God's people will again turn the world upside down. The nations will be aroused, and a people gathered quickly from among the nations will be prepared to meet our returning Lord.
Who among our workers will respond to the call of God for this mighty hour and, claiming the gift of the Spirit, go forth in the name of Jesus to undertake this larger task?
August 8, 1950.
Revival and Evangelism Keynote of the Session
By R. ALLAN ANDERSON, General Secretary of the Ministerial Association
The greatest General Conference session ever held," "The most spiritual meeting we have ever attended/' "A session that will make history, because first things are being made first"—such expressions were heard on every hand. And the recent session was indeed a great meeting—great in numbers, great in representation, but greater still in spiritual fervor.
Its color, pageantry, organization, and unique ways of stimulating our imagination will all long be remembered. But far greater than all these was the consciousness that God was with us, guiding in the councils and appointments. This conviction was unanimous and was just as evident in the smaller committees and departmental meetings as in the mam moth auditorium meetings. God was truly with His people, and the influence of this great gathering will be felt to the earth's far ends.
Day after day the horizons of our thinking were pushed back, as the reports were given showing what God is doing for His cause in lands that to most of us are little known, and doubtless some present had never even heard their names. A well-equipped and efficient group of news reporters, under the able direction of J. R. Ferren, kept the great dailies well posted with conference news. No previous Adventist conference or any other church convention ever received such news coverage! This splendid demonstration of news reporting should make our evangelists and leaders everywhere conscious of the possibilities of the press.
Evangelism was the keynote of the session— not an evangelism that is based on a certain method of procedure, but an evangelism which grows out of firsthand dealing with God. In the pre-session meetings of the General Conference officers, where plans were laid for the session, as well as in the pre-session ministerial and departmental meetings, where hundreds of our ministers and leaders had gathered for counsel, this spiritual emphasis was evident. The Holy Spirit was a constant topic of study.
In the midst of the pressure and planning for the meetings of the .session the officers set aside a whole day for prayer and quiet waiting on God. And from that meeting came a recommendation that the opening day of the session be set aside for fasting and prayer. This was done, and it was truly inspiring to see hundreds, yes, thousands, gathering in the auditorium before six o'clock in the morning, anxious to have part in this special season of intercession. Over and over again during that first day one caught the note of appreciation from delegates and visitors alike that this was indeed an answer to their prayers. All were conscious that we are in the time of the latter rain, and thousands had been praying before coming to the session that God would honor His promise by pouring out His Spirit upon His people.
President's Appeal Crystallized Into Resolutions
In his first sermon W. H. Branson, our newly elected president of the General Conference, called for a revival and a reformation. "Only a Spirit-anointed ministry can meet the need of the hour," he said, "and only a Spirit-filled church can finish the work of God in the earth."
This appeal was later crystallized into a set of resolutions which came before the delegation from the plans committee. The enthusiasm with which this was received gave evidence that the hour had clearly come for advance. Each of the leaders of the world divisions spoke on the resolution, commenting on its various sections. And the spontaneous discussion by scores of delegates from the floor was also heartening. All the discussions were made interesting and profitable because of the excellent amplification system, for which we are largely indebted to Leston Post of the Pacific Union Conference.
Although the resolutions on evangelism have already appeared in the Review and Herald Bulletins of the conference, we republish them here because they so vitally affect the work of our ministry at the moment. Each section is important, and calls for a spiritual awakening, to be planned for and led by the ministry and lay leadership of every church throughout the world. This set of resolutions combines the work of several committees, some of which actually began their work during the pre-session ministerial council. Beginning with a call for revival, this experience for the church carries over, as all true revivals must do, into a definite evangelistic program. History reveals that the church has always moved forward into a program of enlargement under the influence of true revivalism. It may be difficult to say which comes first—the revival or the soul-winning program. Each is part of the other.
Doubling Our Membership Our Aim
To double our world membership is our aim, and by the grace of God the church has set her hand to the task. The resolutions will be found on the next page.
Different sections of this history-making program will form the basis of future articles in this journal, but we hasten to get this before our ministry, praying that the God of Elijah will imbue us with His Spirit, and enable us each as ministers and leaders to make it a glorious reality in the territory where we serve. .Let us plan big things for God while we watch for His opening providences. The cloud is moving; let us advance with our God.
Resolutions From the Conference
Calling the Advent People to a Concerted Action and the Finishing o£ the Work
The hour is late. World conditions testify that the close of probation looms ahead. Multitudes have perished without the saving knowledge of the gospel, and additional millions will not hear God's last message of mercy unless the remnant church in concerted action quickly lightens the earth.
It is made clear to us by the Lord's messenger that if the Advent people fulfill certain conditions they will arrest the attention of a world plunging blindly on to doom. We read:
"If Christians were to act in concert moving forward as one, under the direction of one Power, for the accomplishment of one purpose, they would move the world."—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 221.
To us it is clear that the "one Power" is the Holy Spirit. "The accomplishment of one purpose" can mean nothing less than the finishing of God's work on earth. To "act in concert, moving forward as one" is a clarion call to all God's workers. This call challenges conference and mission administrators, evangelists, pastors, departmental secretaries, Bible instructors, medical workers, teachers, colporteurs, institutional workers, adult church members, youth, and children everywhere to mobilize and coordinate now their resources, talents and efforts in a concerted, unparalleled and worldwide evangelistic campaign. To our supreme objective we subordinate every other interest.
In view of the lateness of the hour, and this call from Heaven for united and coordinated action under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and recognizing that the outpouring of the latter rain cannot be given in its fullness until all sin is put away,
We recommend: i. That a revival effort of one week to ten days' duration be held in each church, school, and institution around the world as soon as possible after this General Conference session, and further, That the Sabbath services, the prayer meetings, workers' meetings, the Missionary Volunteer week, the fall Week of Prayer, and the camp meeting be recognized as appropriate seasons for these special revival services.
a. That the purpose of these meetings be to call our ministry and our people to a complete renunciation of sin and a full reconsecration of our hearts and lives to God.
b. That in order to reach all our churches as quickly as possible, General, division, union, institutional, and local administrators personally take the lead in preaching and visiting; and also arrange for ministers, departmental secretaries, office workers, and capable lay men to join in this revival.
c. That the burden of instruction given at these meetings be:
(1.) Confessing and forsaking of all sin.
(2.) Walking in the full light of all revealed truth.
(3.) Maintaining victory over sin's power through Jesus Christ.
(4.) Receiving the Holy Spirit by faith.
(5.) Rejoicing in the peace and power of fellow ship with Jesus.
(6.) Dedicating our all now, that God may finish His work through us.
2. That we unitedly work toward the immediate objective of doubling our world membership.
a. That in the large cities of the world evangelistic teams conduct representative evangelistic campaigns.
b. That district leaders and ministers conduct evangelistic campaigns in all parts of the area assigned as their field of labor.
c. That capable laymen be called upon to unite their efforts with the ministers and church officers in these evangelistic endeavors.
d. That our churches be helped to recognize that the minister's urgent task is the gathering in of the lost, and that church officers assume greater responsibility in the effective operation of the church, and further that trained laymen be directed in neighborhood evangelism.
e. That special efforts be made to reach the un entered and unworked sections of all our fields, and that these endeavors, wherever possible, be preceded by well-planned Bible correspondence course campaigns, radio evangelism, young people's "Share Your Faith" activities, literature distribution, home visitation, branch Sabbath schools, colporteur evangelism, health evangelism, the conducting of cooking schools and home nursing classes, and the holding of outdoor meetings.
f. That the division, union, and local conference, and mission field committees take the lead in planning their budgets so as to provide operating funds for evangelism.
3. That the various departments—Ministerial, Home Missionary, Sabbath School, Missionary Volunteer, Medical, Educational, Publishing, Temperance, Radio, Religious Liberty, and Press Bureau—along with the schools, sanitariums, food factories, and publishing houses, give special study to synchronizing their efforts, products, literature, and equipment to this united soul-winning advance.
4. That we appeal to our people to speed this for- word evangelistic move by a faithful stewardship of the means which God has placed in their hands, and that our ministers educate our people in the payment of an accurate tithe, and counsel them to sell their surplus property and to prepare their wills and legacies so that now God's cause may have ample means to implement this worldwide soul-winning program.
Evangelism in Metropolitan Centers of the World
WHEREAS, We believe that we have no time to lose, the end is near, and
WHEREAS, We have been told that we must plan to place in the cities "capable men who can present the third angel's message in a manner so forceful that it will strike home to the heart. Men who can do this, we cannot afford to gather in one place to do a work that others might do" (MS, 53, 1909); and
WHEREAS, We believe the time has come, and is long overdue, when definite plans should be put into operation to fulfill this inspired counsel and to realize the fulfillment of the promise that "servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to pro claim the message from heaven" (The Great Controversy, p. 612. Italics ours.) ;
1. That special evangelistic teams, consisting of at least an evangelist, a singing evangelist, and a personal worker, be organized for work in the larger cities of the world.
2. That union conferences be responsible for the organization and locating of these teams.
3. That each union conference study ways by which the necessary funds can be made available for evangelizing the cities in its territory.
4. That definite steps be taken in the union conferences of North America to organize and set in operation these evangelistic teams, and that a report be rendered at each Fall Council from each union in North America as to what has been done in organizing these teams and a resume of the results of the operations of the said teams.
Diversified Demonstration Night
By GEORGE E. VAXDEMAX, Associate Secretary of the Ministerial Association
One intensely interesting and practical feature of the Ministerial Council program was the discussion and demonstration time devoted to visual aids. Saturday night was designated as "demonstration night." Polk Hall "A," crowded beyond capacity, watched three demonstration features—a model cooking school, conducted by Mrs. H. W. Vollmer and associates ; new and improved visual-aid methods and devices, described by R. Allan Anderson; and a film presentation of television possibilities under the direction of Paul Wickman.
The excellent cooking school conducted that night and the television plans will be covered in separate articles and in the council report in book form. The visual-aid program, begun that evening, carried over into a specially appointed hour during the session for further discussion. One unique feature was the display of William Ward Simpson's original multifold chart, designed and arranged by him in Battle Creek before the turn of the century. Our workers will recall a statement in Evangelism regarding his work, referring particularly to his papier mache beast symbols:
"I am pleased with .the manner in which our brother [Simpson] has used his ingenuity and tact in providing suitable illustrations for the subjects presented— representations that have a convincing power. Such methods will be used more and more in this closing work."—Page 205.
There was seated in the auditorium that evening an associate who had worked with Brother Simpson in that very city (San Francisco) nearly fifty years before. Many agreed that the ingenuity and neatness in art and design would need little improvement if shown today. However, alongside this early attempt to visualize our prophetic and sanctuary truths, there was demonstrated the new Selectroslide projector. By a light touch of a button in the speaker's hand, 2" x 2" slides are automatically changed. This method eliminates crude signaling devices and creates a smooth and representative performance.
Among the cutout displays shown that night were the sanctuary furniture pieces used by Andrew Fearing. These life-size articles were perspective paintings on plywood, cut out to give the three-dimensional effect when seen at a distance. Aaron likewise was painted on ply wood and mounted on a small movable plat form, or dolly. Brother Fearing walked about with Aaron, simulating a conversation. The plan is most realistic and promises to impress this basic sanctuary truth vividly on the minds of the viewers.
For a number of years the Pacific Union Conference has been experimenting in the production and use of motion pictures depicting our vital truths. The field is deeply indebted to the generous support this union has given to exploring this modern field of evangelism. E. Toral Seat, in counsel with the union committee and the expert assistance of Leston Post and his associates, has produced sound color films on Daniel 2, the sanctuary, and the twelve great signs, as well as several Kodachrome musical pictures for evangelistic use, in addition to special projects such as "For Time and Eternity," a promotion feature for the Signs of the Times and the Voice of Prophecy picture.
A representative group of evangelists and pastors gathered at a designated time to see one of the most recent productions, The Twelve Great Signs. After its showing these brethren discussed the entire range of the use of motion pictures in evangelism. Summarizing their questions and suggestions, we would list the following:
1. The group generally agreed that well- filmed mission pictures be prepared for evangelistic use.
2. Doctrinal and devotional subjects, if pre pared with preaching on the film, should be short (approximately fifteen minutes) for use as an early-audience attraction, because the full-length pictures rob the song service and preaching time.
3. If doctrinal and devotional subjects be prepared, the preacher should not be seen on the picture. Thus the evangelist could turn off the background music or narration to speak with the picture. Such a plan would enable the production to be used both by laymen who would use the sound and by the evangelist who would not.
4. Short, silent, motion-picture shots of illustrative material on such phrases as signs of the times, prophetic symbols, tithing, Sabbath- keeping-, Spirit of prophecy, and forceful statements by noted men should be prepared in one-, two-, or three-minute lengths to be ordered separately by number. This plan would enable the evangelist to make up any length of illustrative material to be shown silently on the screen to fit exactly his own sermon preparation and to be returned to a central library when not in use.
5. Our leading singing evangelists should prepare song services in sound motion pictures of twelve to fifteen minutes in length for special features to assist our pastors and evangelists who may not have suitable singing help for their meetings. The words are to appear across the screen as the singing evangelist leads the music in lifelike fashion. This plan has worked especially well in gathering and holding out door crowds for a song service. The suggestion and invitation was left with the Pacific Union Conference visual-aid department to prepare such films to circulate about the field in an endeavor to test their merit.
Panel Discussions Prove Highly Helpful
By M. K. ECKENROTH, Associate Secretary of the Ministerial Association
Probably no other feature of the Ministerial Council, held at San Francisco immediately preceding the General Conference session, met with such enthusiastic reception as did the five panel discussions on Sunday, July 9, and Monday, July 10. These were unique and most effective in bringing to the forefront various phases of the subject under consideration. These panels will be reported individually, in detail, in the printed report to be issued this autumn. However, in this general survey we can give a fair and honest appraisal of the reception accorded by the workers who were in attendance at the pre-session council.
The panels covered broad discussions in the field of pastoral evangelism, personal evangelism, radio evangelism, health evangelism, and the evangelistic possibilities of the various departments of the church. It is difficult, indeed, to say which discussion was the most effective or most appreciated. Each made its own distinct contribution in its assigned field. Each topic was discussed by men and women who had distinguished themselves in their particular fields of activity. The discussions were spirited, constructive, frank, and extremely practical.
Workers of experience, drawn from executive, educational, medical, ministerial, and evangelistic labors, could and did contribute helpful and practical information, techniques, and suggestions. This material was obviously drawn from solid experience, and was not set forth as a vicarious theoretical fantasy. This is what made the panels so appealing.
From six to twelve participants entered into the various panel discussions in these different fields. Under the guidance of the panel chair men these discussions concentrated on the theme, yet afforded sufficient diversity and individuality to make the discussion quite representative of the combined thinking of our workers in the field. Because of the extreme time limitation on each speaker in the panel, it was impossible to afford ample audience participation. But the representative and diversified personalities comprising the panels were able to give a broad picture of the subject under consideration.
It can be said quite freely that the panels proved to be highly instructive and the most popular feature of the council. In fact, the panel discussion on Sunday night (reported in detail in the printed volume), on "Channeling All Church Departments Into Soul Winning," opened up tremendous new fields. Here were representatives from every major church department around a table discussing frankly how they could best coordinate their program into a common evangelistic advance. Such is surely the crying need ! Surely the time has come to concentrate on the one great single objective of every feature of God's work ! Here at last in the Ministerial Council an attempt was made to get these departments together, candidly and fully discussing their common aim! And such was the end result of each panel discussion.
Truly the contributions of these panels will be felt throughout our ranks, as we see before us the great new evangelistic advance.
Our Bible Instructors at the Conference
By LOUISE C. KLEUSER, Associate Secretary of the Ministerial Association
The long-anticipated San Francisco General Conference is now history. A few months ago we were wondering just how many Bible instructors would be attending this great world conference. We were happy to observe that many were present at the very first meeting of the pre-session Ministerial Council. (At one of the later meetings we attempted to count the women in attendance, both Bible instructors and ministers' wives, and found that the number was beyond 250.) Of course, these precouncil meetings were of equal interest to ministers, their wives, and our Bible instructors. Our sisters were keenly alert to all he topics under discussion, and many expressed their hearty appreciation of these inspiring meetings.
Many interesting points pertaining to the Bible work were presented in a panel discussion during the pre-session meetings. Mrs. Dorothy Conklin, Bible instructor in the Texas Conference and formerly a teacher of English in a New England high school, related why some years ago she made the decision to enter the Bible work, which has afforded such wonderful opportunities for soul winning. Mrs. Etheline Porter, of the Missouri Conference, shared her views. Formerly in the schoolroom, she had heard God calling her to work for her people in evangelism.
Next to speak was D. E. Venden, who, formerly an executive, is an evangelist at heart and has a deep interest in our Bible instructors. He encouraged our ministry to be kind and understanding, and to plan well for their work. Next G. D. King showed how in the British Isles, Bible instructors are considered invaluable to evangelism. He brought greetings from these personal workers overseas, and told us that England was setting us a good example by having the Bible instructors represented in per son on the conference committees.
Mrs. Ellen Curran, of Glendale, California, gave some timely suggestions on searching out the interest. She also stressed how Bible instructor couples can make their special contributions to evangelism. Robert Spangler, of Mobile, Alabama, one of our younger evangelists, injected another note—that of using the ministerial intern in house-to-house work. Al though women are invaluable in visiting families, he believed that every minister should be an efficient Bible instructor.
This panel discussion created great interest in Miss Mary Walsh's discussion of lay Bible work. Miss Walsh, well trained in field evangelism, has for the last decade guided the work of our laymen in the churches of the Columbia Union Conference. Elder Eckenroth believes in using our members in evangelism, and we wanted to hear more on this point, but the panel had to be concluded when interest was at its height. If one listened to an occasional conversation on the part of groups heading for cafeterias, he realized that the discussion had stimulated general interest.
Perhaps one of the greatest blessings of this conference was a better acquaintance with those who are working in overseas countries. The experiences told by R. Detmar, of Germany, and Axel Varmer, of Northern Europe, brought a new vision to our group. To learn of the remarkable experiences of our Bible instructors, who, during the war years, when our ministering brethren were in the service of their country, held public evangelistic services with most inspiring results, brought new courage to every Bible instructor. Our sisters recognized that God continues to bless their faithfulness in teaching this last-day message. Such reports lift our vision beyond the smaller problems which at times tend to weigh down the personal worker.
The administrative duties of the many committees of the session, and the promotional responsibilities of our various departments, reveal how the General Conference is charged with a tremendous business for God. Bible instructor meetings became, of course, a part of this busy over-all planning for our great world field.
At the first meeting for Bible instructors during the regular session, after a cheering welcome by the chairman, Elder Detmar brought us the greetings of our Bible instructors in Central Europe. Next our newly elected Ministerial Association head, R. A. Anderson, assured us that the Bible instructor cause has been rapidly progressing and that the future of the Bible work looks bright. His note of cour age was a fitting beginning for our special Bible instructor meetings. Regarding some of the practical problems of the Bible instructor in her daily work, a most interesting discussion followed, by Rachel May Lemon, of the Texas Conference. Miss Lemon, with her characteristic enthusiasm, well presented the up-to-the- hour contact methods of the Bible instructor. (These discussions will appear in the later full report of the association meetings in book form.)
At the second meeting Elder Varmer gave some inspiring experiences of the Bible instructors in Northern Europe. Marguerite William- son and Bess Ninaj set forth the increasing opportunities of the sanitarium Bible instructor among the patients, and also by assisting in teaching evangelistic methods to student nurses. This field holds great attraction for younger women who have the background of nurses' training. Mrs. Ellen Curran, of Glendale, a well-trained evangelist's assistant, then led out in discussing how the Bible instructor helps to build the evangelistic interest and finally leads those who are studying the message to recognize the need of its full acceptance.
The third meeting gave attention to other expanding opportunities for the Bible work. Mrs. Esta Wyrick, with the background of experience at "The Quiet Hour," talked to us about the correspondence school, presenting helpful techniques as well as experiences. Elder Eckenroth, of the Ministerial Association, highly endorsed a trained and skilled leadership for conducting a profitable correspondence school in connection with our evangelistic meetings.
The closing meeting for Bible instructors gave special guidance to our personal spiritual needs. The overtone note of the precouncil— the Holy Spirit's power in our ministry—was not missed in this meeting. Miss Mary Saxton, of Washington, D.C., stated as her own conviction, that the Bible instructor's greatest need is the daily infilling of the Holy Spirit, and gave us practical suggestions on how to increase in spiritual power. Miss Mary Walsh, Columbia Union Bible instructor for training laymen in giving Bible readings, next presented some excellent points on how this Gift of all gifts aids the Bible instructor in securing timely decisions for Christ. Realizing the late ness of the hour for teaching our message, a worker must have great spiritual power and be very much in earnest.
Dr. W. H. Teesdale, of the Home Study Institute, suggested to our Bible instructors how they may keep growing in this profession. He called attention to the rather recent correspondence Bible instructor course. L. E. Froom, who has for many years guided in the development of the Bible work through the Ministerial Association, urged our workers to keep in mind that the Theological Seminary provides most helpful refresher courses for personal workers as well as for ministers. (In appreciation of his constant interest in the work of the Bible instructor, the group presented Elder Froom with a small travel clock, and Mrs. Froom received a gardenia corsage.)
During these meetings Mrs. Dorothy Conk- lin, of the Texas Conference, assisted with her skillful reporting ability. E. C. Banks, of Southern Missionary College, used his wire recorder to record the discussions of these Bible instructor meetings, to appear in the printed report.
As we now look back to these Bible instructor gatherings we sense that it was the occasion of a helpful fellowship. As we bade, fare well to one another before starting our journey back to our respective fields, warm handclasps spoke of each worker's appreciation of these inspiring meetings. We then felt that we would long remember this wonderful spiritual feast. By faith we claimed the promised power for service in the ranks of our Bible instructors. We wish all our group who could not attend might have been with us, but you were included in our prayers and planning. As you here read about these wonderful meetings, pray that God's Spirit may make very real to you what we so signally felt at this great gathering.
"Health and Happiness Kitchen"
By MABLE H. TOWERY, Assistant Editor of "The Ministry"
Not a seat was left when the time approached for the demonstration hour on Saturday night during the Ministerial Council. In fact, scores were standing all around the walls of large Polk Hall "A," the vestibules were densely packed, and hundreds had to turn regretfully away for lack of standing room.
The air was filled with expectancy as the crowd waited. The first demonstration was a model cooking school by Mrs. Marion Vollmer, with the assistance of Miss Eva Beeler, medical secretary of northern California. Just before the demonstration, short talks were given by Dr. Wayne McFarland and Mrs. B. R. Spear. These speakers said, in part:
DR. MCFARLAND : "The greatest argument in favor of Christianity is a loving and lovable Christian. A sour disposition is often caused by a sour stomach. Health and nutrition are in separable. An unhealthful body casts a shadow over the mind."
MRS. SPEAR: "The right arm does most of the work of any of our limbs. Healthful cookery is a field of fishing. Don't say, 'Don't, don't, don't,' but provide something positive. For instance, I have recipes for one hundred entrees that will rival meat dishes as substitutes."
At the front of the platform several large colored charts were displayed, giving information on nutrition and foods. Dr. McFarland explained that the color chart, "Conserving Minerals and Vitamins," by General Mills, had originally cost thousands of dollars. This great company had been impressed by Life and Health contacts and had given us permission to reproduce the chart without sharing in this initial expense. Behind the charts a shiny new Westinghouse refrigerator and Champion electric stove were to be seen, together with some white worktables. Mrs. Vollmer had brought kitchen curtains to hang, but had to abandon this part of the decorations because the appointments did not lend themselves to this feature.
Also she was keenly disappointed because no one was able to locate an overhead angle mirror, even though a thorough search was made. The overhead mirror makes it possible for the audience to observe the demonstration more closely.
On one of the tables there was a large tray with a colorful array of fresh vegetables artistically arranged. Other vegetables, which were to be used in a tossed salad, had been partially prepared.
When Mrs. Vollmer in white uniform came to the platform, an Altec baby condenser breast microphone was hung from her shoulders. So she was able to move about freely, working and talking with ease at the same time. She spoke in a neighborly, conversational manner, addressing the audience as if they were a group of women in a real cooking school. She explained that this was to simulate the fourth in a series of health lessons—a fifteen- minute feature preceding the evangelistic meeting. (This series of lessons can be obtained through our Book and Bible Houses, published by Pacific Press. It is in the Home Health Education series of twelve lessons.)
A menu for the day was portrayed on a flannel graph board by placing there a colorful picture of each food, mounted on flannel. For instance, an orange in sections, cereal (natural rice), fresh strawberries, corn muffins, and Breakfast Cup made with milk, represented a properly balanced breakfast.
The actual demonstration for the evening was a summer salad, listed for the dinner in the balanced menu, (See recipe at end.)
The day's lesson had been passed out before the demonstration, and six of these lessons bore numbers. Mrs. Vollmer asked for those who received the lucky numbers to raise their hands, and then told them they were entitled to prizes (a package of Ruskets, a six months' subscription to Life and Health, and foods prepared for the demonstration, et cetera).
The demonstration came to a close all too soon. The ministers as well as the women present were eager for more, but this part of the demonstration had to give way to the next item of the evening. There was a sympathetic response from the audience when Mrs. Vollmer was told she had only two minutes left to finish her part, and then quickly she asked, "Who took my time?"
A more complete report, a resume of the three speeches, and some of the recipes will be given in the book covering the Ministerial Council meetings which is being prepared for the 1951 Ministerial Reading Course.
Recipe for Summer Salad
1 cup shredded head lettuce
1/4 cup cucumber slices
4 radishes, sliced thin
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
2 green onions sliced thin
1/2 cup cauliflower flower flowerets
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1 large tomato cut in wedges
Toss the prepared vegetables lightly with the tomato French dressing. Garnish with small and very crisp sprigs of watercress or parsley. Serve from large bowl or on a lettuce leaf on individual plates.