Phaseout or Emphasis

ISN'T the Bible work gradually being phased out?" This question was recently asked of a conference Bible instructor by a layman of the church. . .

-Bible Instructor, Ohio Conference, at the time this article was written

ISN'T the Bible work gradually being phased out?" This question was recently asked of a conference Bible instructor by a layman of the church.

From whom had he received his information? Or what gave him this impression?

Why did a college religion department head this past school year discourage several young women from training for Bible work? What led him to tell them that there is little future for the Bible instructor?

Are we phasing out the Bible work with out admitting to it? Are we waiting for the few remaining Bible instructors to reach retirement age, discouraging any new ones from entering the work, so that within a few years the profession of women ministers among us will have become extinct?

It may seem so at times! Bible instructors often feel that their work is ignored, unappreciated, or barely tolerated. They may spend their lives quietly, unassumingly, winning souls for the kingdom, never caring who gets the credit. They may think no one notices, and many onlookers may have the impression that the Bible work is being phased out.

But I want to set the record straight. The God of heaven has plans for His "women ministers."

When a great and decisive work is to be done, God chooses men and women. . . . There are women who are especially adapted for the work. ... If there were twenty women where now there is one, ... we should see many more converted to the truth. . . . This question is not for men to settle. The Lord has settled it.—Evangelism, pp. 469, 471, 493. (Italics supplied.)

Women as Well as Men Needed

Yes, God's plan is that women as well as men are to have a part in the finishing of the work. We know too, that many men of God in this great movement—General Conference leaders, conference leaders, pastors, and evangelists—believe in God's plan and have no intention of phasing out the Bible work.

Then where did the rumor start? We believe there is a plan to phase out the Bible work, but it didn't originate with the Ministerial Association.

The enemy of all soul winning would like to cripple one of the mightiest agents of our evangelistic endeavor—personal work. Consequently he has been plotting for a long time to make the Bible work appear as unattractive as possible, keeping all Bible instructors out of the limelight so that no one could possibly guess what an exciting and challenging profession it is. His plan has been to give the false impression that Bible instructors are "dear little ladies" who go around reading the Bible to people, but are incapable of little else. He has planted the idea that young women couldn't possibly do the work, and no man would want to humble himself to such a lowly task.

And we fear that all too often his plan to phase out this important work has been successful. But God's purposes still stand!

New Emphasis Sought

No, the Ministerial Association of the General Conference has no plan to phase out the Bible work. Instead, our leaders are interested in giving it a new emphasis and the respect and dignity that it deserves.

Study is being given as to how the needs of our Bible instructors can be better met, and how others can be recruited for this important work.

One suggestion under discussion is the possibility of a professional letter to circulate quarterly among all Bible instructors, retired and prospective ones included. This news-type letter would include exchange of Bible studies, ideas, methods, reports of work, and helpful articles.

The purpose of such a letter would be to keep Bible instructors in closer touch with one another, provide professional aids, and serve as an impetus for the recruitment of new workers.

A venture such as this would be successful only if Bible instructors and others interested would cooperate and participate to make it work. Therefore the Ministerial Association would like to know your reaction to this idea. If you are a Bible instructor, a Ministerial secretary, pastor, evangelist, or a college Bible teacher, please let your response and suggestions be known. Address all comments, suggestions, or questions to the General Conference Ministerial Association.

Phaseout or emphasis? Which will it be?


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
-Bible Instructor, Ohio Conference, at the time this article was written

December 1971

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Apples of Gold in Baskets of Silver

New words seem to be capturing the minds of men and women every day. Every new dictionary is bulging with words not used or understood fifty years ago, yes, even ten years ago. . .

Futility or Utility?

NEWSWEEK recently reported a study of the American clergy made by Notre Dame sociologist John Koval which estimates that one in four U.S. Roman Catholic priests is ready to forsake his vows and one out of every eight Protestant ministers is seriously thinking of resigning his pastorate. . .

No Man Has Ever Converted a Soul

NOT long ago I sat with many others listening to one of our ministers trying to inspire the audience with his message. Although he was a very good man, well liked and highly respected by young and old as a Christian, somehow he did not succeed in communicating very well. The response was meager. He tried very hard, and perhaps that was his difficulty. . .

Good Listening is Enlightening

CAREFULLY cultivating the practice of good listening—really paying attention to what is being said, no matter who is saying it—is one of the best shortcuts for a church leader who seeks to accumulate current information that is pertinent. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that persons in leadership positions often are poor listeners, largely for these reasons. . .

Does a Seventh-day Adventist minister have a Health Obligation?

THE Adventist minister has in his possession a wonderful gift—a gift that the Jewish people once treasured greatly. What is this gift? The health laws given to Moses by God and the health reform message as given to Ellen G. White. . .

Three Angels' Messages Personal and National

IT DOESN'T matter whether you are spraying roses, taking medicine, or exterminating termites, if the instruction on the label advises, REPEAT TREATMENT, you cannot blame anyone but yourself for the mediocre results you will get if you neglect to follow this direction. . .

The Spirit of Prophecy

WRITING on the Spirit of Prophecy and its continuing influence as God's guiding gift to the church, Elder W. A. Spicer in his excellent and enlightening book, Certainties of the Advent Movement, page 227, makes the following statement of assurance: "The gift still speaks its messages, its counsels covering even future times, and out lining experiences yet to come before the movement reaches the Land of Promise. . ."

The Undershepherds

THE pastor is the shepherd of the flock, the local elder the undershepherd. Together they have the responsibility of caring for the sheep. On the Sabbath day they help to provide proper spiritual nourishment, inspiration, and encouragement through Bible study, worship, and fellowship. The Sabbath should be a high experience for every Seventh-day Adventist Christian. . .

Hastening the Day of the Lord

"You should look forward to that day and hurry it along."

Thoughts on Colossians 2:14-17

THE objection is sometimes raised by those who do not wish to keep the seventh-day Sabbath that this passage teaches that the Sabbath was nailed to the cross and that, therefore, Sabbath-keeping is no longer binding upon Christians. . .

This is Life!

NO ONE—not even a tightrope walker, whom I would think knows all about exciting experiences—could say that life in the mission field is dull. . .

Is There a Way to Control Costs and Morals in Denominational Schools?

EDUCATORS, lend me your ears! There is no doubt that today an ever-lessening commitment to Christian education is found on the part of church leaders and church members of all denominations. Both leaders and laity have ceased to promote the principles of Christian education with the vigor exercised only a few years ago.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Healthy and Happy Family - Skyscraper 160x600