AMONG the most powerful allies the minister and laymen have at their disposal in the work of evangelism is the printed page. We are fully aware of the oft repeated statement that the larger number of those who will come into the church during the final harvest will trace their knowledge of the message to the reading of our literature. How important it is then, that we utilize our literature to the fullest! Literature plays an extremely important part in MISSION 72. The results in souls saved in the kingdom will be determined partly by the use that will be made of this important resource.
A Rich Source of Names
Have you taken note recently of the large army of literature evangelists that are out with our wonderful books day after day? These dedicated soul winners are in the front lines doing a tremendous job. If they were not earnest seekers after souls they would be in a different line of work, but compelled by the power of the Holy Spirit, they continue to go from door to door, praying that they will be guided to souls "waiting to be gathered in." Blessed is the pastor or church that has one or more of them in the district, for they are constantly developing or dis covering interests.
This being so, let us work closely with these untiring laborers as we go forward with MISSION 72. Even now there are in the offices of the Home Health Education Service (HHES), out of which literature evangelists work, the names of thousands of people who have purchased sets of books. Our publishing brethren are more than eager to share these names. They are good prospects for visitation and should receive special invitations to the Reach Out for Life meetings beginning March 4, 1972. And these names should find their place, along with others, on the standardized prospect cards and in the file. They will be a rich source for followup and future baptisms.
Our laymen cannot all be literature salesmen, but they can all be literature evangelists. MISSION 72 offers the finest opportunity and greatest challenge ever extended for every-member participation in such a role. The MISSION 72 tracts have been prepared with this in mind. They are geared to the times, prepared to meet today's mind. They are artfully designed and beautifully illustrated. The catchy titles will arouse an interest, and content will keep the reader with it until he has read it all.
There is no more effective way of reaching out into our communities for souls than by the heaven-born plan of personal visitation with message-filled literature. With every church and every member participating in MISSION 72, just think of the millions of pieces of literature that will be given out to arouse interests and fruit for the kingdom.
Books as Awards for Attendance at Meetings
Literature can also play an important role as a powerful ally during the Reach Out for Life meetings. It will be noted that according to the suggested arrangement of subjects, the second night's topic will be on the home. In this connection we are reminded that the Missionary Book of the Year for 1972 is Happiness Home Made, which is a new printing of The Adventist Home. In this volume statements particularly oriented to the Seventh-day Adventist reader have been deleted, making it an excellent volume for wide general distribution. It would be well to make special mention of this book on the night the subject of the home is presented; then have a good supply on hand. It can be offered as an award for attendance or for sale at a modest price.
Other books can be given special mention on other nights as they relate to the subjects being presented. As awards for attendance, there is nothing more appropriate than good literature. Beyond that, a choice supply of books may be attractively displayed and made avail able at a reasonable cost.
The Book Award Card
Along with many others, I have fol lowed the plan for many years of using a Book Award Card for increasing and holding attendance at evangelistic meetings. (See Shop Talk, page 39.) The card has numbers around the perimeter; a number is punched out each night as a record of attendance. A certain number of punches will entitle the bearer of the card to a gift book, either a particular book, or one he might choose. The more expensive books will require more punches. To build attendance a special punch may be awarded for each person in attendance for the first time as a result of the card-bearer's invitation. Also, a double punch might be offered as a special inducement to get folk out on particular nights when their attendance is especially important.
As the meetings progress and the mes sage is unfolded, the assortment of books available, either as gifts or to be sold, can be enlarged. These should be displayed in an attractive way with hospitable and courteous persons in charge.
The name of the card-bearer should appear on the card. When the card is turned in for a book, the name of the book should be written on the card. Also, the numbers punched should indicate the nights attended. That is, each number should represent that particular night of the series. Number 7 would refer to the seventh meeting, et cetera. There should be enough numbers to cover the series. Extra punches should be made to the side of the regular numbers.
Thus it is seen that the card bears very helpful information. Even before the card is turned in, the receptionist that does the punching should be alert to repeaters and convey helpful information to the pastor and evangelist.
These are but a few ways in which literature can play an important part in MISSION 72. There are others. Remember: "The Holy Spirit will impress minds as they read the books, just as He impresses the minds of those who listen to the preaching of the Word. The same ministry of angels attends the books that contain the truth as attends the work of the ministry."—Evangelism, p. 161, 162.