Pointers for Preachers

Geographical distribution of Adventist physicians, "Medal of dishonor", Evangelistic potential

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF ADVENTIST PHYSICIANS

It is customary to hold what has been known as an interdepartmental meeting on coordinated evangelism following al­most every meeting of the General Conference Com­mittee on Thursday morning of each week. Elder V. G. Anderson, the chairman, calls this committee together, and we listen to reports of evangelistic en­deavor from the various departments of the Gen­eral Conference. When Doctor Flaiz was reporting for the Medical Department he pointed out that doctors had in the past tended to concentrate around CME until quite recent years. He went on to say: "In the late 1940's we started a program that was designed to get our physicians out across the country. This has brought about a great change, as illustrated in a sheet which we are now distributing entitled 'Geographical Distribution.'" Doctor Flaiz pointed out that the Southern and Eastern States are now getting more and more of our doctors, and he added that this was largely the work of Elder Sundin and the conference presidents who were co­operating with him. Every State is on the list, and only two Eastern States had only one doctor.

"What can we do to keep this trend going?" asked Doctor Flaiz. He suggested in reply that one special help would be for our administrations to encour­age our doctors to regard themselves as part o£ the conference working forces. They could well be in­vited to attend workers' meetings, and at times spe­cial meetings for medical personnel could be held. It was suggested that The Ministry magazine might be supplied to our physicians as a tangible evidence that we regard them as members of the conference staff.

We pass on this report by way of suggestion for the consideration of our leaders and committees in various parts of the world, for we think it has merit. At the moment of writing this paragraph definitely encouraging word has come from one conference that has decided to supply The Ministry regularly to each of its doctors.

H. W. L.

"MEDAL OF DISHONOR"

What will or will not work depends upon the worker. The air is full of counsel and the shelves full of books, each explaining a way to get the job done. It is probably true that the best method is yet undiscovered, and the best book unwritten. Con­tentment with the old and suspicion of the new constitutes a most serious barrier to progress. Some wear their conservatism as a "medal of honor." In the name of "orthodoxy" they "mark time" on "the double." They worship the "good old days" as though they were an idol. To them a new idea, like a rattlesnake, must be approached with caution. With feet firmly planted on principle, God's men were never loathe to experiment. Joshua's conquest of Jericho was a study of unconventional warfare. Factions may quarrel with Gideon's method, but who can question his results? Perhaps the central question is this, "Does this method produce Christ-loving Christians, loyal to the church mission?" To paraphrase the apostle, "One man esteemeth halls above tents. Another esteemeth every method and meeting place alike." In the fear of God let every man advance with what he has.

E. E. C.

EVANGELISTIC POTENTIAL

The center of all true evan­gelism is the individual. The parable of the Ninety and Nine forever teaches the lesson, that one straying soul cannot be replaced with another easier to reach. The individual always counts with the Saviour.

It is good to check up on our motives. Are we eager to win the individual—the particular indi­vidual who is lost and whose name we have been given? Or are we seeking only for numbers— numbers that will label us as a successful soul winner? Does not our conscience need probing a bit if we find it easy to toss away a name that does not quickly change to a number? Can three or four "easy baptisms" take the place of this particular soul? What if this soul were you—or I? Just how evangelistic is the whole program of our church? Just how concerned are we with the individual? We announce Sunday night meetings. We call it evangelism. Do we realize that the Sab­bath school is evangelism—that it ought to be and can be?

We think of the Dorcas Society as a necessary part of the Lord's work. Has it occurred to us that the Dorcas meeting itself could be evan­gelistic? Have we turned our eyes out to the needy and the hungry, and forgotten the need and the soul hunger of one who may sit silently sewing at the Tuesday Dorcas?

Music is not neglected in our program. We are careful that it should be representative and dig­nified. Do we actually think of it as a soul-winning tool? Do we choose the choir number or the solo to make a good impression, to make a name for something or someone? Or do we choose while deeply conscious that someone may sit in the back row on Sabbath morning—someone who needs God and might find Him through our song?

The choir practice is a routine, necessary sort of thing. And suppose we are conscious of the needs of Sabbath morning listeners? Has it oc­curred to us that someone might find a new hold upon God even at the choir practice?

When we have learned to think of the individual, to love the individual, to plan the whole program of the church for the individual, then will the church become truly evangelistic.

 


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September 1960

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