Every preacher in our ranks has longed to win more souls to Christ. And God has told us how this can be done:
If, in connection with the theory of the truth, our ministers would dwell more upon practical godliness, speaking from a heart imbued with the spirit of truth, we should see many more souls flocking to the standard of truth.—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 375.
The messenger of the Lord explains what this practical godliness teaching consists of. We continue the above quotation:
Hearts would be touched by the pleadings of the cross of Christ, the infinite generosity and pity of Jesus in suffering for man. . . . The mighty argument of the cross will convict of sin. The divine love of God for sinners . . . is the study of a lifetime. I ask you to study anew the cross of Christ. —Ibid.
Let us briefly summarize the above quotations:
- Preach the theory of the truth.
- In connection with the theory, dwell more upon practical godliness.
- As ministers our hearts should be imbued with the spirit of truth.
- People's hearts will be touched by the pleadings of the cross, and with the infinite generosity and pity of Jesus in suffering for man.
- The mighty argument of the cross convicts men of sin.
- The minister should make the divine Iove of God his lifetime study.
- We must study anew the cross of Christ.
Preaching "the theory of the truth" is not enough; we must dwell more upon "practical godliness." When our own hearts are imbued with the spirit of truth, people's hearts will be touched. Nothing convicts of sin like the cross. That is why we are exhorted to "study anew the cross of Christ." The infinite generosity and pity of Jesus in suffering for man will touch the people's hearts.
Instruction in practical godliness can be given in two ways; publicly and by personal interviews.
The work of Christ was largely composed of personal interviews.—Evangelism, p. 58.
It is those workers who follow the methods that Christ followed who will win souls.—Gospel Workers, p. 468.
How often we find the Master with a one-soul audience! Results will surely come if we follow this soul-winning procedure. As God's ministers we must learn to work as Christ worked, i.e., in personal interviews and by dwelling more upon practical godliness. When we do we will see tremendous results. Thousands, we are told, will in the eleventh hour see and acknowledge the truth. And decisions will be made with a rapidity that will surprise the church.
Here in Africa we have endeavored to follow our Lord's counsel in our approaches to the people, and truly we have seen His Spirit at work. In recent months ministers, colporteurs, and laymen have been working in two major efforts and schools of evangelism classes in Homa Bay and Kisii among the Luo and Kisii tribes in Kenya. In these areas large numbers have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. As a result of following our Lord's method more than five hundred persons accepted Christ as their Saviour and have been baptized. But even more encouraging is the fact that more than one thousand have joined the baptismal classes. Many backsliders have returned to the faith. Hearing what God has done our union president, M. E. Lind, exclaimed: "Let the Lord's name be praised!"
Senior Chief Reaecepts Christ
Among those recently baptized are some influential people. One of these is the much-decorated and prominent senior chief, Musa Nyandusi. For years he has been the senior chief over the entire Kisii tribe. Thirty-seven years ago he apostatized from the faith. All those years he was a chief, and for the past twenty-four years the senior chief. He used to be one of our successful evangelists. How wonderful that he has now returned to the Lord.
Thousands were present on December 19, to witness his baptism. He is planning to continue his work for Christ by going on safari with the ministers among his Kisii people to give his testimony of the saving grace of his Lord and Saviour. Truly this leader has turned "from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God." He has separated from his more than a dozen "extra" wives and is living a humble life of trust and obedience. He is probably as well known as any senior chief in Kenya, and his testimony is and will be a living witness to the truth. It was by "personal interviews" and by dwelling more upon "practical godliness," that Chief Musa was won to Christ. One of our retired ministers in company with a young evangelist sought him out. Even before he attended any of the public meetings he had already surrendered his heart to God.
Jesus taught His disciples to win men by personal interviews and practical godliness. This prepared them for the great decision. Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, and the blind man who received his sight are noble examples of our Lord's technique.
May God teach us His ways and make us successful soul winners.