Making small efforts successful means making a big thing out of a little thing! This is done by the use of the simple laws of addition and subtraction subtract the expense of a large hall, a staff of helpers, and all those things that go with the large effort. Then add an additional portion of the grace of God, and use a greater portion of your limited time in prayer--- Prayer that connects you with Heaven; for you are there alone, but your fellow brother is in the city with all its convenience and advantages. You cast your burden upon the Lord. Then, like John the Baptist, you go out into the wilderness and cry, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand."
John preached in the wilderness, and the people left their homes in city and village, and'- went to hear him. It was his message that attracted the people from every station in life. He was not preaching for his own glory or for- numbers on a report; he was preaching the'(kingdom of heaven, referring the people to the' glory of Jesus.
We have an advantage over John the Baptist because the kingdom of grace is at hand and also the kingdom of glory. The nearness of Christ's kingdom has opened up opportunities, "which things the angels desired to look into." Our success will depend on the use we make of the opportunities God has given us.
In the work of a small effort we may have just as much success as we may have in a large effort. The promises of God are that He will surely give us success, yet we must put forth an earnest effort as though success depends on our effort alone. We must do all that human energy can do, then ask in faith for divine aid.
The secret of success is the union of divine power with human effort. Joshua was successful because he had power with God. He commanded, "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon." He had power because he lay prostrate upon the earth before the Lord in the camp at Gilgal.
Men of prayer are men of power. One really needs to go through the experience of humble, self-denying sacrifice as did the apostles before the day of Pentecost. When the power from God is united with the methods of Christ, success will come. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. There are three steps of vital importance in a small effort: (i) soul evangelism, your own soul first; (2) church evangelism, your own church first; (3) then evangelism for others.
Revelation 12:11 gives us the law that governs success in evangelism: "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."
When the minister first has his own soul saved by the blood of the Lamb, when his life testifies of salvation from sin and he loves not his life unto death, when his church is saved from sin and testifies by living the gospel and willingly sacrifices all then only can he effectively appeal to the sinner.
There are some factors that regulate an effort that do not eliminate certain expenses. We must have a good meeting place one which is clean, well heated, preferably on the ground floor, and in a good location.
Unessentials in advertising must be eliminated, but secure the best medium, using carefully planned advertisements. In small efforts personal invitation is most effective. At one place there was no newspaper service where I was holding meetings, but one of our Spirit- filled brethren spent four hours before the meeting in personally inviting people. The result was a full house. I believe that if you cannot secure a good hall, it is better to begin your meetings in a good home with five to ten people, and end with twenty, than to begin with fifty people in a poor meeting place and end up with an empty hall.
Even though the meetings may be held in a home, they must be regarded as most important. And if it is to be a success, preparation is necessary prayer preparation and practice. The singing is just as important as the sermon. We must have good singing of simple gospel songs. The one leading the singing is as important, and must be as well prepared, as the one who preaches the message.
A great deal of the success of the small effort depends on visitation visit, visit, visit. We must spend much of our visiting time, first in praying with people, then later in Bible studies, and in interesting them in reading simple literature the ABC's of the gospel story. And in this way small, inexpensive efforts will be suc essful.