A NATION at war must have the full cooperation of all branches of its armed forces in order to be victorious. On the sports field a team can be victorious only as each member of the team fulfills his part toward the reaching of the over-all goal. In the work of God we too need close teamwork. Each department needs the cooperation of the other, for the objective of all is the winning of souls. Not only do our literature evangelists sell large quantities of message-filled books and magazines but it is their personal desire to cooperate with the ministry in finding persons interested in the message and seeing them converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Continued emphasis is being given to cooperative missionary aspects of the publishing ministry, and in recent months we have heard of several very practical examples of teamwork. The following letter from H. C. Morgan, publishing department secretary of the West Pennsylvania Conference, cites a concrete example of this teamwork:
"Early in March, seven literature evangelists besides myself and my associate worked as a group for one week in Meaville, Pennsylvania (population 19,000, Seventh-day Adventist membership 8). We aimed to leave some type of literature in every home that we visited. First of all, we tried to sell them Drama of the Ages. If they did not purchase that book, we offered them one of the small crisis books. Whether they did or did not buy anything, we enrolled them in the Bible correspondence course, if they would accept it, and gave them free literature.
"During the week we enrolled more than 140 people in the Bible correspondence course, gave out about 800 pieces of free literature, and offered prayer in 120 homes.
We found eight families who are now ready for studies. Some of the Bible studies have already begun.
"The conference committee voted to help us in a financial way to the following extent: They paid our literature evangelists four cents a mile in driving to the territory, paid hotel room expense, and also SI.00 a day per worker toward the food expense.
"The main purpose of this week of group canvassing was to lay groundwork for either a public effort or cottage meetings. We tried to use a strictly evangelistic approach to this program, therefore the conference was willing to help us with this experiment. The total cost to the conference was about $140.
"A heavy snowstorm hindered our work during part of the week; therefore, the total sales were not as high as we had expected, but we feel that the days together proved a real success. It is a wonderful plan to have a group of our workers together for one week. It creates a spirit of unity among them, which I think is very important. It also creates a strong spirit of unity between the field and the worker.
"This week together afforded a wonderful opportunity for my assistant and me to work with all these literature evangelists— to be right by their side and encourage them. This plan helps to put our workers on a regular schedule. When we are together we start at a certain specified time and have a regular program. When they go back to their territory the following week, they have become accustomed to a regular schedule. It also helps them to realize the great importance of the missionary angle of our work as literature evangelists, and the importance of leaving some type of literature in every home visited.
"This program also creates a wonderful spirit between the publishing department and the ministers of the conference. We had no more than finished this week of group canvassing when the reports got out into the field. We began to get requests from several other pastors asking us to come into their districts and help find new interests and open the way for evangelistic services. Group canvassing pays in many ways."
Here is a more recent report, from Texas:
"Our group canvass in Rusk was very successful, with six literature evangelists working. Twenty-seven interests for the Barron brothers' meeting, to be held in June, were found. More than 500 pieces of free literature were given away. Seventy-five message books were left in the homes, and 119 were enrolled in the Bible correspondence course. Brother Carter felt that a cottage meeting could be started immediately with at least two of the families interested.
"We want to commend the people of the church for the way they worked with us. Each hour of the day someone was praying for the success of the literature evangelists from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. the entire week we were there."—Albert Walters, Associate Publishing Department Secretary, Texas Conference.
This same idea of cooperative teamwork is being used in many other fields in North America, as well as overseas. In Germany and Austria our ministers are depending more and more on the pioneer work being done by faithful literature evangelists. In one union in Germany they plan to conduct twenty of these campaigns in one year—• campaigns where the literature evangelist and the minister, in many cases, will team up as a group and visit the homes of the people together.
Reporting on this fruitful type of program, E. Hennecke, president of the Southern Hanover Conference in Germany, reported the following:
"Nine literature evangelists and three ministers were assigned to work a town of 22,000 population. Every home was visited. Prayers were offered in as many homes as possible. During this time the literature evangelists sold many books. In addition to this they were able to secure the names of 87 people who indicated an interest in receiving Bible studies. Two months later there were 52 people taking Bible studies." In Austria a campaign was conducted in the city of Linz, where fourteen literature evangelists participated. During the special campaign they received the names of one hundred interested people. Our literature evangelists are happy to do this type of work when they know that a minister is systematically going to follow up their interests. This kind of cooperative teamwork will greatly increase the usefulness of our literature evangelists and will increase the number of baptisms by our ministers. Teamwork pays unusual dividends.