The Versatile Singing Evangelist

The place for the singing evangelist.

RAYMOND M. TURNER, Singing Evangelist, Texas Conferenc

Since singing is an integral part of worship, there is a definite and important place for the singing evangelist. A song will long be remembered after the sermon has been for­gotten.

When God passed out the talents, He gave each one of us something that we could do. God expects us to de­velop that talent and enjoy using it to His honor and glory. Remember, it is your duty to use your talents. If you do not use, you lose.

Martin Luther said: "Beside theology, music is the only art capable of affording peace and joy of the heart like that induced by the study of the science of Divinity. The proof of this is that the Devil, the origina­tor of sorrowful anxieties and restless troubles, flees before the sound of music almost as much as he does before the word of God. This is why the prophets preferred music before all the other arts, proclaiming the word in psalms and hymns."

Some singers feel that there is no future in singing evangelism. To me, this is a mis­taken idea. I have been in this line of serv­ice twenty-seven years and have never lacked for opportunities to work. Our life­work is usually what we make of it. If we go into it halfheartedly, with perhaps an idea of changing someday if the going becomes difficult, naturally we will not suc­ceed. The power and influence of a man increases steadily by continuance in one direction.

However, the singer should be versatile because there are a number of things that he may have to do to make his work more fruitful. The singing evangelist's work does not consist in singing alone. There is al­ways a heavy program of visitation con­nected with meetings. This is a work I have always enjoyed. Certainly the speaker can­not do all of this work, and I have yet to see the evangelist who is not happy to have someone take part of this load of visitation from his shoulders. Teamwork, in this way, is vital to any successful evangelistic en­deavor. We must share our talents with our fellow workers.

Many details in connection with the preparation for the meetings have to be cared for. Here the singer can be of great help. Then the public address system, the projector, et cetera, have to be kept in good running order. Sometimes I feel that sing­ing is a small part of my work. Nevertheless, it is an important part. I am only stating some phases of work that the singer can engage in to make his task more interest­ing and profitable. The true calling of a Christian is not to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things in an extraordi­nary way. There is a definite demand in our ranks for the singing evangelist who can be versatile and still hold a dignified place as a singer.

It is a definite advantage to the singing evangelist to have a wife who can accom­pany him and play for the meetings. My wife has been a great inspiration and help to me through the years in this way.

Remember, it isn't where you serve but how you serve that gives you true satisfac­tion and happiness. Along with your God-given talent, perseverance and common sense are necessary to make a success as a singing evangelist.

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RAYMOND M. TURNER, Singing Evangelist, Texas Conferenc

November 1963

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