Evangelism the chief role of the church

WITHIN the soul of the Seventh-day Adventist Church there must ever remain a living spirit of aggressive evangelism. This is not a department of the church, nor just one of its lines of activity. It is the task of the church and its main line.

President, General Conference

WITHIN the soul of the Seventh-day Adventist Church there must ever remain a living spirit of aggressive evangelism. This is not a department of the church, nor just one of its lines of activity. It is the task of the church and its main line. An Adventist worker cannot leave evangelism for some other line of activity within the church. In God's plan, evan­gelism faces the worker in every phase of our denominational activity. Medical, publishing, Dorcas, relief, and educational work are all parts of the one great program of soul winning. ­The gospel plan, as outlined by the Master Himself, can be nothing less than this.

Public evangelism from the very inception of our work has been highly re­garded and given first place in importance. When, as a denomination, we had nothing else we had evangelists. There were no institutions in our early days to influence the people, no church activities to win words of commendation from non-Adventists and to create a favorable atmosphere. Our workers preached the message in tents, in schools, in homes, in churches, and wherever possible. They had just one thought and task—evangelism. Their dedication to it was so complete that obstacles and hindrances, such as opposition of enemies, lack of funds, personal interests, and lack of companion workers, were all by-passed in attaining their prime objective—the proclamation of the special gospel message committed to this people to as many as possible, in as many places as possible.

As institutions sprang up and organizations developed, evangelism still re­mained the chief objective. The success of institutions, as well as all other organi­zations, was measured by their accomplishments in soul winning. This was logical, for this was the motive in founding institutions and organizing the various units comprising our work. It still remains the purpose today. It is this aggressive spirit and clear vision of evangelism that has spread our work around the world. Everything, therefore, that we can do to enhance and enlarge upon this concept strengthens and establishes us as a people and hastens the day of our Lord's return.

The true evangelist will not give up when the going is hard. "Woe is me," he ever feels, "if I do not preach the gospel!" Such a dedication to the cause of soul winning will enlist the hearty support of administrators and members alike. As we go forth, we must not believe that the greatest days of public evangelism are in the past. We must believe that they are here now. "For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth" (Rom. 9:28).

 


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President, General Conference

September 1960

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