Securing and Holding an Audience

Guidance on advertising and persuasion.

K.J. Mittleider, Ministerial Association Secretary, North Pacific Union Conference

 

 

 I. "God is not pleased with your large outlay of means to advertise your meetings, and by the display made in other features of your work."—Evangelism, p. 127.

    A. We have found that radio, tele­vision, and newspaper ads, as well as handbills, bring very few to the meetings today.

    B. Certain classes cannot be reached by efforts: "In large cities there are certain classes that cannot be reached by public meetings. . . . Diligent, personal effort must be put forth in their behalf."—Ibid., p. 433.

    C. The only way we can get and hold  a crowd is through our laity.

II. Our Precampaign Organization.

A. Organizing the church.

  1. Simplicity is essential.
  2. Often pastors have been moved just prior to campaigns, thus the entire organization is built upon the laity. Pastor acts only as adviser.

B. Sabbath, during eleven o'clock service the day of organization, the sermon preached, the burden be­ing, "A Finished Work and the Second Coming of Christ." In the sermon an altar call is made, requesting only those who are willing to do purposeful work to respond to the call.

C. Church is asked to return for or­ganization meeting that Sabbath afternoon.

III. Sabbath Afternoon Service.

Share with them some of the Spirit of Prophecy counsel, assur­ing them that a finished work can be ours.

  1. Find out how many present are converts to the message.
  2. Ask what won them. Most will say they were "loved" into the message by someone.

IV. Fine Points of Organization.

A. Three men are chosen by the con­gregation as spiritual leaders.

     1.  The spiritual leader is deter­mined.

     2. Teams are chosen. Teams con­sist of either two men or two women working together.

     3.  It is the responsibility of the leaders to divide the territory, starting nearest the spot where the meetings are to be held.

     4.The object: each team to work in its area until four Bible studies are started. They are to maintain four studies until the series begins.

B. How they work the area and start Bible studies.

     1. First week cover only one city block. Use the "Survey Sheet" (see example).

     2. Leave one of the brochures en­titled, "The Colossal City in Space." This explains the Bible program in detail, emphasizing the lessons rather than the free Bible.

C. Call-back is made the next week as outlined in the brochure.

1. A sample of what they say the second week is here supplied.

Example:

"Here we are again. You've read the brochure we left last week about the gift Bible and free lessons that go with it. You've probably wondered what it looked like. Here it is. Now this set of lessons makes the Bible live. If you complete the 24 lessons, the Bible is yours. And, believe me, you'll find this a most enjoyable ex­perience.

"Are you interested?" (If yes, explain lessons and leave two lessons and Bible. If no, say, "Perhaps you are too busy at the present time to consider it, but if you change your mind, the offer is still good any time." Give telephone evangelism card.)

"On this card you'll find a telephone number. Call any time, twenty-four hours a day, and leave your name and tele­phone number.

"Incidentally, if you have any teen-agers in the home, they are also welcome to take a Bible and set of lessons."

2. Here is where we find a Code­a-phone a great advantage in working an area.

a. A Code-a-phone card is left.

b. They are urged to listen daily for inspiration, and we have picked up Bible studies of some who, on the initial contact, said they were not interested.

D. In our first experiment twenty-two city blocks were covered the first Sabbath. Fifty-two sets of lessons and Bibles were placed in those twenty-two blocks.

E. At the present time less than forty teams have more than two hundred Bible studies going.

  1. Personal contact and "loving" these interests into the message mean far more than the lessons themselves.
  2. So each team is instructed to let their interests correct their own lessons as they cover each point with them and make it apply to their own lives.

V. Organization Should Be Planned Well in Advance.

We put the organization into opera­tion at least six months ahead of a campaign.

VI. How to Hold the Crowd Once the Campaign Starts.

A. "Most startling messages will be borne by men of God's appoint­ment, messages of a character to warn the people, to arouse them. And while some will be provoked by the warning, and led to resist light and evidence, we are to see from this that we are giving the testing message for this time. . . . We must also have, in our cities, consecrated evangelists through whom a message is to be borne so decidedly as to startle the hearers." —Ibid., p. 168.

  1. People come to hear the spoken word.
  2. Don't kill the meeting with commercials. An outline of our program:

            a. 7:30 to 7:40, song service.

            b. 7:40 to 7:45, announcements —5 minutes allotted to this, opening night, only.

            c. 7:45 to 7:46, theme song.

            d. 7:46 to 7:47, prayer.

            e. 7:47 to 7:55, special feature of music and chalk artistry.

             f. 7:55 to 8:30, sermon.

            g. 8:30 to 8:35, gathering of the Bibles and receiving of the offering.

            h. 8:35 to 8:55, film.

B. Television has vitally affected all of our congregations.

  1. People are used to having things move rapidly. This must be kept in mind during the series of meetings.
  2. I discover if my sermon is from thirty to thirty-five minutes in length my congregation retains more of what was said.

VII. Be Conscious That We Are Living in an Ecumenical Age.

A. We avoid speaking in a derogatory way of any church.

  1. We do not use any church names in the public sermon.
  2. Keeping every sermon Christ-cen­tered will automatically cause the sermon to be kind, and nothing will be said that is harsh.

VIII. The Door to the Message and the Key to the Heart.

Health reform principles should be presented. "The medical mis­sionary work is a door through which the truth is to find entrance to many homes in the cities. . . . The principles of health reform are to be promulgated as a part of the work in these cities. . Let workers be selected who are qualified to teach the truth wisely in clear, simple lines."—Ibid., p. 533.

  1. We use a tobacco clinic in connec­tion with every series.
  2. I believe the only answer to our big-city evangelism is the medical work.
  3. I'm glad that we have the guide in the Spirit of Prophecy writings of how to work these large cities.
  4. As plans are laid with the Spirit of Prophecy writings as a guide, we will no longer try to get through a wall where there is no door.

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K.J. Mittleider, Ministerial Association Secretary, North Pacific Union Conference

 

 

August 1968

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