Singing Evangelism in Baltimore

MUSIC: Singing Evangelism in Baltimore

Singing Evangelist, Ohio Conference

The following counsel given to evangelists also applies to the singing evangelist:

"Formal, set phrases, the presentation of merely argumentative subjects, is not productive of good. The melting love of God in the hearts of the workers will be recognized by those for whom they labor. ... If you reveal the love of Christ to them, you may lead the hungering, thirsting ones to Jesus, and He will give them the bread of life and the waters of salvation," Evangelism, p. 485.

How imperative it is, then, that the song leader should have the love of Christ illuminating his very countenance as he leads a congregation in song or as he brings some special message in song! If this is so, then through the songs used the people will come to feel the love of Christ.

It has been my privilege to be associated with Melvin K. Eckenroth in the Baltimore, Maryland, evangelistic campaign known as the Prophetic Crusade. The Ohio Conference "lent" me for this series. We wanted an evangelistic choir, but in a small conference such as Chesapeake, finding enough experienced singers is well-nigh an impossibility, especially if one desires a large choir. We finally decided to give an open invitation for volunteers, and through personal work we did our best to encourage the nonbelieving husbands or wives "of church members to join the choir. By this means we hoped to interest them in the message, and experience has proved this to be a wise plan. These people then, in a sense, become part of the evangelistic team, and some take their stand for the truth.

Naturally, a volunteer choir must frankly face its limitations. But if the director will emphasize the fact that after we have done our best we can ask the angels of God to sing with us, we can thus bring the spirit of Christ into every rehearsal and then into every service.

Our choir spends a brief period of time in prayer at the beginning of the song service, praying for the music and for the service as a whole.

Use of Special Music

The metropolitan prayer list we have used is another important feature of our program. After the evangelist has talked about the prayer list and prayed for the names written on it, just as he finishes his prayer I step to the micro phone and sing as a prayer song the chorus of "I Have a Saviour" (No. 575, Church Hymnal), substituting for the word "I" the word "we." The song has a mellowing effect upon the audience and opens hearts.

Occasionally weaving in some particular song at a strategic point in the sermon impresses the message upon the mind more indelibly. During the discourse on Daniel 2, using pictures to portray the coming kingdom of Christ, we used a series of pictures of Jesus descending from the sky small at first and growing larger. As a background for this the choir sang from the balcony, very softly at first, then swelling in volume as Christ comes nearer the earth, the hymn "Watch, Ye Saints" (No. 549, Church Hymnal). However, we used the first two scores of the first stanza o£ No. 176 of the Hymnal as the last stanza of this special number.

We use an appeal song at the close of each service. The details of this, of course, should always be worked out with the evangelist choice of song, timing, and any other factors.

After the appeal prayer the choir usually sings the chorus of "Wonderful Peace." We have found this most effective and believe it leaves a lasting impression upon the minds of the audience.

These are just a few of the many means we have used endeavoring to lift up Jesus before our audience. And, fellow worker, if we lift Him up, has He not promised to draw all men unto Himself?

 

 

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Singing Evangelist, Ohio Conference

April 1952

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