After reading different articles in THE MINISTRY about the Bible-marking method in evangelism, we decided that this was the time to try this new procedure. Only a few years ago it would have been unthinkable to advertise public lectures in France with the word "Bible" in their title. It was a word that immediately branded one as a Protestant, somebody of whom to beware. But what a change has taken place today. The Roman Catholic Church now organizes Bible shows and offers lectures on the Bible. She now uses this word, and so it sounds quite different in the hearts and minds of Catholics. We are convinced that this Biblical renewal will bring no changes into the doctrinal teaching of the Roman Church, but we must make use of the fact that no longer is the word "Bible" taboo. Some of the ecumenical sentiments manifested at the Second Vatican Council can also be used by us to advantage. We must not stumble over seeming obstacles, but use them as springboards.
Adventism and Ecumenism
The title of our advertisement read: "Great Bible-Marking French Campaign to Serve the Cause of Christian Unity." We followed the general plan as outlined in different articles of THE MINISTRY, with, of course, some adaptations to the particular conditions of our regular audiences.
We selected a hall with a seating capacity of 260, excellent accommodations, comfortable seats with armrests, blackboards behind the rostrum, projectors for slides and movie films, and roomy lobbies leading to the hall.
Appeals to Youth
At the first lecture we had an audience of 190; at the second, 240. We have now reached the eighteenth lecture, and the hall is still full. The French—and particularly the Parisian—public is considered to be neither docile nor naive. That is why all kinds of inconveniences had been predicted for us. But one must dare to take a risk in order to succeed. How rewarding it was to see these 250 persons, with a Bible in their hands, docile and diligent, as well disciplined as perfect schoolboys, opening the Book at the specified page, encircling the specified verse, underlining the text, and writing down the reference to the next Bible text! Young people find particular delight in this kind of lecture because they can participate.
We give copies of the lectures, for two reasons: first, to obtain the addresses of the people in the audience, and second, to create the occasion for a personal contact. We also offer to repeat in their home any lecture they may have missed; and this will be counted among the ten that are necessary to entitle them to keep the Bible as their own.
The results are gratifying—a regular audience without need of further advertisement; a frank contact with the audience, beginning with the very first lecture. Maybe the audience is not so large as at some lectures, but the people know that they have come to study the Bible. The personal contacts for home visitation are made a lot easier too. About ten fellow preachers have also launched this method in different French cities.
Sister White states that we will be amazed at the simplicity of the methods God will use to finish His work. I am convinced that the Bible-marking method is one of them, and it can be used in every church. Let us not neglect this God-ordained method of soul winning.