Editorial

1971 and MISSION '72

MISSION 72! By now these words should send a thrill through our souls every time they appear. Although in the formative stage it was referred to as Evangelism 72, the official term has since become MISSION 72. . .

MISSION 72! By now these words should send a thrill through our souls every time they appear. Although in the formative stage it was referred to as Evangelism 72, the official term has since become MISSION 72. The plan, with its details developed by representative committees, has now been presented to administrative groups, to workers' gatherings, and to many laymen. Pastors have had the opportunity to speak of MISSION 72 to their churches. The Review and Herald and other publications have brought it to the attention of our people.

The response has been positively inspiring. From the day the plan was first en visioned there has been marked evidence of the Lord's leading. For this we give Him praise! Many examples of this could be cited, one being the enthusiasm with which every department of the General Conference entered into the spirit of the program and their readiness to lay aside or modify particular programs so that the greater objectives might be realized.

Also, in materials already in the planning stage it was more than coincidental that in several instances these were such as to fit perfectly into the very pattern required. Notable examples of this relate to the nature of the Sabbath school lessons for the past two quarters and those to fol low; also a series of tracts to be developed for the preparation of the field for the public thrust to begin March 4, 1972.

A most notable illustration of the over ruling providence of God in this venture was the designation of 1971 as THE YEAR OF THE LAYMAN, an action taken months before MISSION 72 was envisioned. The success of such a major venture as the 72 thrust encompasses lies first in the recognition of the important place that the layman must fill in such a program. This involves enlisting them for greater involvement, training them for more effective service, and uniting more fully in a team relation ship with the ministry in the work of soul-saving. This is exactly what Laymen's Year is designed to accomplish.

MISSION 72 also presupposes a vast amount of both seed sowing and nurturing of interests. This calls for a wider distribution of Christ-centered, problem-orientated, message-filled literature than ever before attempted. It calls for a maximum use of the Gift Bible Plan. It means utilizing to the fullest every possible means of communicating the gospel and arousing interest in the message that is to prepare a people for the return of our Lord. It means a tremendous increase in the number of names in the prospect file of every church. And it necessitates the faithful fostering of these interests. Over-all, it calls for the creation of such an image of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that people everywhere will want to listen to what we have to say.

This is a big order. Yet this is what THE YEAR OF THE LAYMAN is to accomplish. 1971 is as important to the success of MISSION '72 as is the public campaign itself. Every wise pastor will capitalize on the added incentive of all-out lay involvement that Laymen's Year affords.

Recognizing the importance of Laymen's Year and its unique relationship to MISSION '72, we are presenting in this issue of THE MINISTRY several articles that will be particularly helpful. Included are two articles written by consecrated laymen offering helpful suggestions on layman-pastor relationships. We ought to be listening to the layman more than we do, if we are really to enjoy the team experience that we covet.

An important part of MISSION '72 will be the working kit to be placed in the hands of every minister or layman who will be leading out in a public campaign. This attractive package will include count down instructions from preparation of the church and the field to the important work of follow-up; a series of preparatory tracts for mass distribution preceding the campaign, guidelines and materials for a special week of revival meetings to precede the public series, sample advertising pieces, suggestions for the use of radio and TV, and suggestive titles and outlines for the public series including printed summaries of the messages to be given out at the close of each meeting.

The need of professional assistance in the preparation of these materials was evident. We have been very fortunate to secure such assistance from one of the nation's top advertising agencies, an agency whose president and major stock holder is a consecrated Seventh-day Adventist layman, Paul Nelson, of Glendale, California.

From his experience in dealing with the public mind, Mr. Nelson has come up with striking features that we are confident will arouse the interest of many heretofore untouched by our message. He has been working in close conjunction with the committee on promotion and materials, and the artistic and provocative creations have met with unanimous endorsement. You too will be pleased as the finished work is placed in your hands.

As indicated previously, every department of the church is cooperating in the preparation of the materials and in the development of the total program. We are confident that this same spirit of unity will be constantly evident at every level of our organization from the General Conference through the union and local conferences and in every church.

Surely the time has come for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to make a major impact on the vast population of the earth. As independent churches, each left to develop and conduct its own little program, this is impossible. But in the cooperative effort of all churches, conferences, and institutions, using the advantages of mass printings, national advertising media, and more important than all, the combined witness of every Seventh-day Adventist minister and layman, young and old, we may expect tremendous results.

The plans for Laymen's Year and MISSION 72 have grown out of much prayer, wide counsel, and a most earnest desire to develop what will captivate and arouse the interest and active participation of the entire church far beyond anything hitherto experienced. Let us not measure the future by the past. Never has any program approaching the magnitude of these objectives, and involving such all-out participation at every level, even been suggested. This is indeed the biggest challenge and greatest opportunity that has ever come to our church. It is hoped that none will take it lightly, or ignore the tremendous opportunity it affords.

As the theme United in Hope and in Service, bathed in the power of the Holy Spirit, becomes a reality in 1971 the results we seek in MISSION '72 and in a finished work, will surely be realized.


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April 1971

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Presidents Discuss MISSION '72

TWO very profitable hours were spent in the discussion of MISSION '72 with the union presidents at Loma Linda on February 1. J. R. Spangler, M. H. Reeder, and Paul Nelson were present and clearly outlined the vital areas of the entire program. The presidents were most eager to see MISSION '72 succeed and gave wise and helpful suggestions, which are being incorporated into the plans.

1971-Laymen's Year: An Unusual Opportunity for the Ministry

"Realizing that fulfilling prophecy signals the rapid approach of probation's end and challenges laymen to concerted evangelistic action, and recognizing the urgency of coordinated soul winning, 'the minister and the church-members are to unite as one person in laboring for the up-building and prosperity of the church. . . .

What a Difference the Church Makes

IT IS almost an awesome phenomenon the way the movement of the Spirit of God in our public meetings is dependent upon the spiritual condition of our church members. Our campaigns are either fruitful or mediocre in a church, usually in direct proportion to the zeal, interest, and dedication of the church members. . .

Remedy for the Overworked Pastor

OUR family, like others, enjoys eating out occasionally and we have a special cafeteria in our town where we often go. Franke's offers a large variety of tasty foods colorful salads, a nice selection of vegetables, savory desserts, and refreshing drinks. The choice is difficult, but we usu ally end up with a salad, two or three vegetables, a dessert, and a drink. . .

The Incredible Credibility Gap

I AM a layman and my hope is that I speak collectively for all laymen who find themselves on this side of the in credible credibility gap. I feel that it is time that the layman's voice be heard; time for the layman to be more concerned with his own destiny as a Christian. It is time for the re-establishment of effective dialog be tween the laymen and the clergy in order that the gap that exists between us may be closed. . .

Spectators or Participators?

Spectators or participators? In which category do the members of your congregation fall?

A Layman Speaks

Let it be understood that we laymen hold our pastors in the highest regard. We love you and we want you to be happy in your work. We don't want you to develop heart conditions or nervous breakdowns. We don't want you to become discouraged with your ministry or get the feeling you are not appreciated. We want you to have the time to generate high and lofty thoughts, to prepare helpful sermons, and to perform good and noble deeds. . .

The Scope of Prophecy

THE Bible is unlike any other book ever written, and there are millions of books in print. The books written by men are naturally finite and temporal, for a river cannot rise higher than its source. But God's Book, like its Author, is infinite and eternal. Its message should not be limited to one generation only, nor its prophecies to one fulfillment. In this article we shall consider several prophecies and their two fold applications. . .

Is Your Hospitality Showing?

I KNOW that I should be more friendly and hospitable, but I feel so self-conscious that I freeze up. I simply do not know what to say." I could hardly believe my ears, for this was a good friend of mine, as well as the wife of a very personable minister who was speaking. Although this was a shocking confession, she voiced the sentiments of many of us ministers' wives. . .

Summer Is Coming!

MANY successful ministers think of summer as an opportune time to plan for the church year which starts the first Sabbath of September and ends the second Sabbath of June. Time spent in careful preparation of a long-range program will save many hours of frustration from having to face one crisis after another. . .

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