PASTOR: Colporteurs Helpful Church Workers
For the past two years the publishing leaders and the colporteurs of the Pacific Union have been trying to develop a plan whereby the colporteurs can cooperate more definitely with the home missionary department, the pastor, and the local church organization in soul winning. In the development of this plan of cooperation we have kept in mind such statements as: "Many are on the verge of the kingdom, waiting only to be gathered in," and, "The greatest help that can be given our people is to teach them to work for God."
Our churches are already organized into certain groups for soul winning. It is not our idea that this should be changed in any way. However, we fully believe that if the information the colporteurs naturally receive while they are in the homes can be passed on to the pastor, this information can be of almost inestimable value in starting and keeping these soul-winning groups of the church functioning. The church groups as they are now organized are:
Group 1.—Bible Study. Here is how the colporteurs can fit into group 1. Some colporteurs, after they have worked a territory from four to six weeks, will have found enough persons ready to take studies to keep at least one person busy giving studies six nights a week. Remember, the colporteur visits every home. He finds the persons who have been Seventh-day Adventists, and are just waiting for a little encouragement to return to the church. Perhaps the husband or wife is not an Adventist, and he or she desires studies in the home. The colporteur finds the people who have attended a few meetings at one time and are still interested and willing to take studies. He finds the people who have taken a few studies and have stopped for some reason, but haven't forgotten those impressions made under the influence of the Holy Spirit while the studies were being given. Some of them are happy to take further studies. The colporteur finds the persons who have read books, and now they are wondering why no one is keeping the right Sabbath. A colporteur visits every home; he talks to these people; he tells them about the great truth. What a wonderful thing for him to be able to turn all this information over to the pastor! What a tragedy to leave such persons without passing the information on to the pastor!
Group 2.—Press Secretary and His Assistants. How well the colporteur can fit into the press secretary's work! He is intimately acquainted with his territory. He knows when a new family moves into the neighborhood. If he gives this name to the pastor, the pastor can turn the name over to the press secretary, who can write a letter * of welcome and invite the family to church if they have no church home.
The colporteur finds new babies. The hearts of parents are tender when a new baby comes into the home. For instance, although he didn't profess Christianity at all, our neighbor stopped smoking for a year when the baby came. The colporteur can give the name of the new baby and the names of the parents to the pastor. The pastor can pass these names on to the press secretary, who can write a letter * of congratulations and invite the family to church if they have no church home.
The colporteur finds where immediate and recent deaths have taken place. This information would enable the pastor or the press secretary to write a letter * of sympathy.
The value of a program of that kind simply cannot be overestimated. Your press secretary and his. assistants with the help of the pastor then become the public relations department of the church, which is one of the most important functions of the church in its relationship to the community.
Group 3.—Transportation Group. The colporteur can also fit into group 3. He finds the persons who know the truth and are willing to attend church, but who have no transportation. The colporteur finds persons who know the truth, who for some reason will not attend church, but are glad for their children to at tend if transportation can be provided. The colporteur finds Seventh-day Adventists who are not attending church because of transportation problems. If this information is passed on to the pastor, he will probably find persons in the church who cannot give Bible studies, but who- have just as great a desire to have a part in giving the message as the person who delights in giving Bible studies. Such a person would, no doubt, be happy to say to the pastor, "Call me by eight-thirty Sabbath morning, and I will go anywhere in the city and pick up a carload and take them to church and take them home after church."
Group 4.—Welfare or Dorcas. The colporteur can furnish much information for this group. He will find the people who are destitute and in need of food and clothing. He will find the people whose houses have burned or who have other emergencies.
Group 5. Sunshine Band. The colporteur finds the people who are sick, and he can make arrangements for the Sunshine Band to visit them. They can take flowers. They can care for children while parents are visiting the doctor or doing the shopping, etc. The colporteur will find crippled children to whom Christian juniors can bring happiness.
Group 6.—Medical. The colporteur will find places where he feels that simple home treatments can be helpful and will be appreciated. He will find homes where he believes that the mother would appreciate help along the line of balanced diets. After these people are visited, perhaps they can be encouraged to enroll in one of our health courses.
Group 7.—Branch Sunday Schools and Sab bath Schools. The colporteur usually works over a small amount of territory, and all the interested people he finds are in one section of the city, making it easy for these people to attend branch Sabbath schools and branch Sun day schools.
Special blanks * have been prepared and printed for the colporteur to use in passing on information that will be helpful to the church. Our colporteurs are happy that they are now taught that a definite part of their work as colporteur evangelists is to cooperate in furnishing their pastor with all soul-winning information found in their territory.
May God be with us as we coordinate our departments and endeavor to harness all the resources of our laymen for the great task of quickly giving the message.
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* The sample letters and blanks referred to are available on request. Write to Publishing Department, Pacific Union Conference.