Planning an Integrated Evangelistic Service

MUSIC: Planning an Integrated Evangelistic Service

"Sabbath or Sunday? Which Day Shall We Keep, and Why?"

Evangelist, South England Conference

It is the twentieth week of our South Lon don Evangelistic Crusade, and we are planning the Sunday evening service. We have had three Saturday afternoon services; otherwise, until now, the Sunday service has been our only meeting (with an aftermeeting every time since the fifth Sunday). We are at a critical period of the crusade, having presented the Sabbath truth for the first time a week ago under the title "The Great Betrayal," climaxing a series of preparatory services dealing with prophecies on the Antichrist.

Our crusade has earned a reputation from the outset for thoroughly planned services, carried through without a hitch. But tonight we are especially anxious to make every song, every word, carry full weight as we lead the people a step nearer the Sabbath decision in a full study of the first-day texts, under the title "Sabbath or Sunday? Which Day Shall We Keep, and Why?"

Earlier in the campaign the evangelist and the song director have spent hours planning each service, but by this time the program is simplified and streamlined to make the message paramount. But it is still just as vital that every item shall be well chosen and carefully executed. The song leader has prepared the program, has checked it by telephone with the evangelist, and has made sufficient copies for all participants. But on our arrival at the Lambeth Town Hall, a hitch occurs. The artist is late with the illustrative devices for the evening's subject. He has had an accident, and arrives an hour later than scheduled. Thus a last-minute rush momentarily threatens the smoothness of the evening's plans. But all is ready now, and the doors are opened only one minute late.

The Song Service

Recorded music fills the beautiful hall as the early arrivals find their seats. It is 6:15 P.M. [Evening services in England are usually held at an earlier hour than in America.—EDITOR.] After about five minutes of this recorded music, including a request number, the song leader, with a smile, walks briskly to the pulpit and welcomes the people to the song service. He has not long tonight, just ten minutes, but in that time he must prepare the people—"condition" them—for the message. He has not been using many choruses, for the English people seem to prefer the old hymns, but tonight he breaks away with something different and refreshing —two choruses that had been introduced in the earliest meetings, and one hymn. (He has a chorus in reserve, but there is not time to use it tonight.) What has he chosen? Remember, this is the twentieth week; these people believe in the nearness of the Advent. So he leads with "I Want to Be Ready," Gospel Melodies, No. 181. The first time through it is ragged; people are coming in, and folks just have not settled down. A kindly reminder to make the "pleasures grow dim" (softly) "while I'm waiting for Him" (climax), and it goes really well this time.

"Now, the Lord will keep you until He comes, if you are willing, if you are willing to serve and obey Him. Let us turn to number 36. What does it say? 'Make me willing, Lord Jesus' and 'give me grace to obey.'" This is sung through several times, earnestly now, for the people are catching the theme of the service. "Now, friends, you may be finding—it is a strange thing—that as you draw nearer to Jesus and to doing His will, some of the folks you have always thought were your friends are forsaking you. It does happen that way sometimes. But let's sing number 62—'Earthly friends may prove untrue, doubts and fears assail; One still loves and cares for you, One who will not fail: Jesus never fails.' "And, oh, how they sing this time! This is the assurance they need as they approach the test of the Sabbath.

The Sermon

The song service is over. The opening hymn of the main service follows: "Creator Spirit," Gospel Melodies, No. 107. It is a song of praise and supplication, but note its message—"Make us eternal truths receive, and practice all that we believe." During the last stanza another associate evangelist has come onto the stage, and he leads the congregation in a short but earnest prayer, then makes the announcements and receives the offering. Recorded music for the offertory is faded out during the offertory prayer. As the evangelist in the wings shuts off the turntable, the associate evangelist leaves the stage, the song leader steps forward from his seat on the stage, and in a sentence introduces the evangelist and his subject and virtually "bows him on."

During the address tonight the song leader occupies a seat near the illustrative device. As the evangelist deals with the first-day texts, six large placards (making up the word SUNDAY, with the references upon them) are removed one at a time by the song leader, until a full banner appears: "The seventh day is the SAB BATH of the Lord thy God." Without asking for an outward sign of decision, the evangelist has appealed to the people to follow the example of Jesus in the keeping of the Sabbath. The address is over.

The Aftermeeting

The song leader again steps forward. "I am glad that so many of those present last Sunday had the courage to return tonight. I urge you to have the courage to return to the services next Saturday afternoon and next Sunday night. [Titles are given.] All the evidence on this Sab bath question has not yet been presented to you, and you will want to hear it all in order to make a full and intelligent decision. While you have been sitting here tonight you have been saying to yourself, 'All that Pastor Lacey is saying is true, for it is from the Bible. But what can I possibly do about this Sabbath question? How can I possibly keep it?' You will be greatly helped and encouraged by the aftermeeting, with the subject: 'How to Do That Which Seems Impossible.' I hope you can stay for the aftermeeting and fellowship with us."

Then a hymn is sung: "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus," Gospel Melodies, No. 221. Read it through and note its militant challenge to obedience—"The trumpet call obey, . . . 'Ye that are men now serve Him'"; "Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there." The benediction follows. The people are requested to be seated (note the psychology of this) for silent prayer. Then as the evangelist takes his place down in front of the people, the song leader calls the folks to fill the front seats for the aftermeeting. A good-night is said for the few who are having to leave, and the evangelist takes over. The members of the team greet those who are leaving and then return to support the aftermeeting. (From the fifth night of the campaign almost the same number of people have stayed for the aftermeeting—about 170 nonmembers out of a highest nonmember attendance of 550 on the third and fourth nights of the campaign.)

The program of this service has been presented in some detail to show how the work of the speaker-evangelist can be built up and enhanced in its effectiveness by the items of the program and by the keen and sympathetic cooperation of the associates, whose execution of the program may be just as vital as the speaker's work in the winning of souls for the Lord Jesus Christ.

The evangelistic team in the South London Evangelistic Crusade is only a part-time one, in that the three ministers have heavy pastoral commitments also. Kenneth Lacey is leader and speaker. Gordon M. Hyde is song leader, publicity secretary, and program manager. W. H. Frazer is associate evangelist. The Bible instructors are the Misses Kathleen Mahon and Margaret Emm. The ministers' wives serve as receptionists. Prospects are good for a baptism that will be large in comparison with recent experience in the London area. The team is blessed with an excellent spirit of comradeship and good will one toward another, and God is placing upon them His richest blessings and power to our combined efforts.




Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

Evangelist, South England Conference

September 1952

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Men of the Word

"Promotion, administration, public evangelism, youth guidance, finance, teaching, pastoral work all these come within the scope of the ministry, but whatever our particular work, as individuals we must each be men of the Word."


Contains three articles and two sermon outlines


Includes three articles

EVANGELISM: I Preached in Africa

I now know that city evangelism, like village evangelism, can contribute to the gathering of God's "firmament of chosen ones" from Africa.


Includes two articles and two study outlines

SHEPHERDESS: Read, Mark, Clip!

Our ministers' wives will profit by these practical suggestions on how a ministerial couple can work together in collecting material for sermons, articles, et cetera.—B. c.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Propel Conf Medium Rect (300x250)

Recent issues

See All

Latest Videos

See All
Advertisement - Propel Conf Wide Skyscraper (160x600)