Preparation for the Campaign

Public evangelism in the context of full-time ministry.

H. L. CLEVELAND  Pastor, Cleveland, Ohio

The Preparation of the  Pastor-Evangelist

The nature of the full-time pastor's work prevents him from living with public evangelism on a year-round basis. I there­fore suggest that he may find it necessary to dust off and tune up his evangelistic talents for the big thrust. I would suggest that a pastor may find it necessary to climb out of the pastoral shell (if such exists) and fulfill the advice of the apostle and become all things to save some.

To the evangelist the following sugges­tions are purely elementary, perhaps even unnecessary, but the pastor may find them helpful. Read the book Evangelism through! Begin a series of personal weekly fasts, praying for the burden, the vision, the workers, the budget, the location, the churches involved. Weeks before the campaign begins, arrange to place most of the pastoral responsibilities on your elders or assistant pastor (if you are so blessed) and concentrate on 'becoming' the evangelist. There must be a shifting of your mental gears.

Where possible the evangelist should get away (before the campaign begins) for one or two weeks to rest, to clear his mind of pastoral tensions, to plead for power, to catch a fresh vision, and to become "all things." Three weeks before the campaign begins he might arrange for his assistant pastor, elder, or guests to preach at the Sabbath services. This will give the saints a rest from his voice, and on opening night they may even be glad to hear it again.

Talk faith! Don't be afraid to make a public commitment of what you want the Lord to do. He seldom disappoints a com­mitted man!

Study the area to be worked. Know the people! A preacher who neglects this may find himself preaching to the wrong town!

Study your materials! Revise old ser­mons! Devise fresh approaches.

Know the seven secrets to evangelistic success. Believe me, these are all I know: (1) Perfect faith and trust in Christ; (2) sincere fasting and prayer; (3) full conse­cration and total surrender; (4) purifica­tion of the preacher's motives; (5) humil­ity of heart; (6) organization and plan­ning; (7) hard work. God must be able to trust us with success.

Set a goal! Since God promises numbers, and heaven will be made up of numbers, ask for numbers. The more you "get" the more you'll "keep" when the "Sifter" com­pletes his work.

Establish an objective. Besides warning the lost and making disciples, our cam­paigns should be more than just an "ef­fort." It is my opinion in these days of "our organizational glory" that we should seek to establish monuments to the work, strengthening old congregations, establish­ing new ones, creating bases for our specialized services, to mention a few.

Spiritual Preparation of the Membership

Eight weeks prior to the opening day we launch the campaign for souls. This is done at the eleven o'clock hour. A special pas­toral letter announcing this big day is sent out to every family, urging their attend­ance. I preach a deeply spiritual message on that day, such as, "If Thou Would'st Believe, Thou Would'st See the Glory of God;" "Launch Out Into the Deep;" "Can Almighty God Be Limited?" et cetera.

A season of prayer is held after the mes­sage. Three or four persons, previously contacted, make fervent petitions to Heaven.

Mimeographed copies containing the fol­lowing items are then distributed to each worshiper:

  1. Theme song for the campaign.
  2. The schedule for the days of prayer and fasting. (Three are planned.)
  3. The schedule of midnight prayer meetings. (There are three.)
  4. The schedule of all-night prayer meet­ings. (One is planned.)
  5. The schedule of communion services (two).
  6. Times for the daily prayer chain.
  7. The members' conduct during the campaign.
  8. List of things for which to pray.
  9. A personal spiritual commitment slip is provided, and when signed it should be dropped into the basket.
  10. The member's personal prayer list is provided also. We request that he fill in the names of twenty people he wants to see baptized in this campaign. He hangs this at his favorite prayer spot in his home and prays for this list of people during his private devotions. He pledges his full energies to the salvation of these twenty in this campaign.
  11. A list of quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy setting forth the role and re­sponsibility of the laity in our city efforts. (Evangelism, pp. 110-115, has many good gems.)

A six-week Bible instructors' training class is begun to train the volunteer work­ers in our congregation. We keep these classes small (twelve to twenty). We use Louise C. Kleuser's book The Bible In­structor as our textbook.

Where feasible, preceding our long cam­paigns, a seven-day revival is held.

Organizational Preparation

Two weeks after the spiritual launching comes our organizational launching. A highly inspirational message is preached. Suggested themes: "The People Had a Mind to Work," "The Religion of the Ants," "His Truth Is Marching On," et cetera.

The atmosphere is charged with excite­ment and expectancy. Like soldiers arm­ing for battle, we pause to group our forces. What a day to be alive and working for Jehovah's kingdom!

The theme song is sung. We then pass out covenant sheet Number one. On this first sheet are listed the essential committees. While I don't tell the congregation this, we seek to involve the bulk of the mem­bers in this first covenant.

The following is a listing of the com­mittees, with a brief word about their func­tion:

1.   Handbill committee (150 members).

Divide territory into areas.

Prepare detailed map for leaders of each area.

Appoint leaders for areas.

Ask each worker to commit two hours weekly for ten weeks.

Each group sets a goal for souls.

 

   2. Telephone committee (cheapest good advertisement available).

Territory divided into areas.

Leaders assigned each area.

List of names and telephone numbers provided each group.

Each member assigned fifty names and numbers.

Prepared messages provided each caller.

Calling time: Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

   3. Car pools. Members are asked to dedi­cate cars in transporting members and friends to meetings nightly.

  4.   Sabbath dinner committee. The church auxiliaries rotate each Sab­bath in providing food for the work­ers, thus freeing workers from having to prepare Sabbath meals.

  5.    Nursery workers. Nursery care is pro­vided for mothers attending meetings. A special tent or rooms are provided for this care. Children from eighteen months through eight years are cared for here.
 
  6.    Watchmen. Three to five men desig­nated to police grounds at close of services through till morning. Each is equipped with walkie-talkie and riot helmet.

  7.    Police. Deacons police grounds, keep order during services.

  8.    Ushers. Regular boards of the church serve Sunday through Thursday. Spe­cial board of volunteers serves Friday and Sabbath in the tent.

  9.    Bible instructors' transportation.Cars are provided for Bible instructors (without cars) to do visitation. Work­ers provide gas.

 10.  Volunteer Bible instructors. Twelve to twenty select members are chosen and trained for six weeks to do Bible teaching on a voluntary basis.

 11.  Mailing group. Assist church secre­tary with mailing chores: weekly handbill cards, sermons, invitations, tickets, et cetera.

 12.  Priority Visiting List. Each member asked to supply at least ten prime in­terests for special labor—backsliders, Bible School interests, et cetera.

 13.  Red Gross and First Aid committees.
 
 14.  Engineers. Lights, P. A. system, ma­chines, record library.

 15.  Welfare activities. Manned by Dor­cas and Welfare departments. Cloth­ing, food, counsel to underprivileged.
 
 16.  Spiritual partners. Follow up. 
 
 17.  Vacation Bible School. Sponsored by Sabbath school departments. Oper­ated as day camp in tent (three weeks).
 
 18.  Custodian. Tidies tents daily.

 19.  Publicity. Distribute placards to business establishments; place bumper stickers on cars. Attend to public service, news releases, news media; coordinate city agencies in co-op programs.

The involvement committees are listed briefly as follows without explanation:

Flowers and decorating, pew captains, workers' daily refreshments, baptism, health-lecture series, lyceum series, Chris­tian fashion display, cooking demonstra­tions.

Implementation

Leaders and assistant leaders are chosen for each committee from the lists sub­mitted. The church secretarial staff makes up the list for each group. Mimeographed copies are made for each leader and assist­ant. Master copies are made for the pastor, assistant pastor, and associates. While the covenant sheets are being filled out, the organist plays softly or the choir sings. We usually allow five full minutes for the forms to be completed. Then the ushers collect them. Our second covenant sheet is then passed out. I call these the involve­ment committees. Realizing that with a large congregation it is impossible to get full cooperation in enlisting the member­ship in the "essentials," we pass out a sec­ond covenant sheet. These committees are used mainly for involvement, as I have not clearly ascertained their worth as relates to actual soul-winning results.

Five weeks before the opening, meetings are held with each group, defining their duties and admonishing them to faithful­ness. Weekly meetings are held with leaders, reviewing their plans and making sug­gestions.

On the Sabbath before opening, when all regular workers come for consecration, the leaders of each committee accompany the regular workers to the altar. All members of all groups are requested to stand in their places for the consecration services. This recognition tends to impress the com­mittee workers with the importance of their work.


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H. L. CLEVELAND  Pastor, Cleveland, Ohio

August 1968

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