Welfare Ministry


Chapter 12—The Effectiveness of Visitation Evangelism

The Place of Visitation Evangelism in Finishing God's Work on Earth—How can the great work of the third angel's message be accomplished? It must be largely accomplished by persevering, individual effort, by visiting the people in their homes.—Historical Sketches, 150. WM 97.1

One of the most effective ways in which light can be communicated is by private, personal effort. In the home circle, at your neighbor's fireside, at the bedside of the sick, in a quiet way you may read the Scriptures and speak a word for Jesus and the truth. Thus you may sow precious seed that will spring up and bring forth fruit.—Testimonies for the Church 6:428, 429. WM 97.2

Repaid a Thousand Times—Wake up, brethren and sisters. Don't be afraid of good works. Be not weary in well-doing, for you shall reap in due time if you faint not.... Encourage in yourselves a love of hospitality, a love to help those who need help. WM 97.3

You may say you have been deceived, bestowing your means upon those unworthy of your charity, and therefore have become discouraged in trying to help the needy. I present Jesus before you.... One soul wrenched from Satan's grasp; one soul you have benefited; one soul encouraged! This will a thousand times pay you for all your efforts. To you Jesus will say, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Should we not gladly do all we can to imitate the life of our divine Lord?—The Review and Herald, April 20, 1886. WM 97.4

Vital to Our Own Eternal Destiny—As you engage in this work you have companions unseen by human eyes. Angels of heaven were beside the Samaritan who cared for the wounded stranger. Angels from the heavenly courts stand by all who do God's service in ministering to their fellow-men. And you have the cooperation of Christ Himself. He is the Restorer, and as you work under His supervision you will see great results. Upon your faithfulness in this work, not only the well-being of others, but your own eternal destiny depends.—Christ's Object Lessons, 388. WM 98.1

Christ Enters the Homes With Them—The Lord desires that the truth shall come close to the people, and this can be accomplished only by personal labor. Much is comprehended in the command, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.” There is a work to be done in this line that has not yet been done. Let God's workers teach the truth in families, drawing close to those for whom they labor. If they thus cooperate with God, He will clothe them with spiritual power. Christ will guide them in their work, entering the houses of the people with them and giving them words to speak that will sink deep into the hearts of the listeners. The Holy Spirit will open hearts and minds to receive the rays coming from the Source of all light.—The Review and Herald, December 29, 1904. WM 98.2

Bring Hope to the People—It is impossible for the man who believes in Christ to see the work that needs to be done and yet do nothing. Daily we are to receive from Heaven the healing balm of God's grace to impart to the needy and suffering. Christ's followers are to learn of the woes of the poor in their immediate vicinity and seek to bring them relief. Those who have a dark and disagreeable life are the very ones whom we should bid to hope because Christ is their Saviour. Are there not those who can go from house to house, from family to family, and repeat the A B C of true Christian experience?—The Review and Herald, April 11, 1912. WM 98.3

E. G. White's Experience in Visitation—I remember when the converting power of God came upon me in my childhood I wanted everyone else to get the blessing that I had, and I could not rest till I had told them of it. I began to visit with my young companions and went to their houses to talk with them and tell them my experience, how precious the Saviour was to me, and how I wanted to serve Him, and how I wanted them to serve Him also. So I would talk of the preciousness of Christ, and I would say, “Won't you kneel down and pray with me?” Some would kneel and some would sit in their chairs, but before we gave up, everyone would be on her knees and we would pray together for hours, till the last one would say, “I believe that Jesus has forgiven me my sins.” Sometimes the sun would begin to make its appearance in the heavens before I would give up the struggle. There is a great power in Jesus.—Manuscript 10, 1888. WM 99.1

The “First Works” Bring Results—The reason so many fail to have success is that they trust in themselves altogether too much, and do not feel the positive necessity of abiding in Christ, as they go forth to seek and save that which is lost. Until they have the mind of Christ and teach the truth as it is in Jesus, they will not accomplish much.... WM 99.2

The atmosphere of the church is so frigid, its spirit is of such an order, that men and women cannot sustain or endure the example of primitive and heaven-born piety. The warmth of their first love is frozen up, and unless they are watered over by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, their candlestick will be removed out of its place, except they repent and do their first works. The first works of the church were seen when the believers sought out friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and with hearts overflowing with love, told the story of what Jesus was to them and what they were to Jesus.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 167, 168. WM 99.3

You Are a Letter; Deliver It!—The apostle Paul says to the disciples of Jesus, “Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ,” “known and read of all men.” In every one of His children Jesus sends a letter to the world. If you are Christ's follower, He sends in you a letter to the family, the village, the street, where you live. Jesus, dwelling in you, desires to speak to the hearts of those who are not acquainted with Him. Perhaps they do not read the Bible or do not hear the voice that speaks to them in its pages; they do not see the love of God through His works. But if you are a true representative of Jesus, it may be that through you they will be led to understand something of His goodness, and be won to love and serve Him.—Steps to Christ, 119. WM 100.1

The Literature We Leave in the Homes Will Bear Fruit—“Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” you will be prepared to walk from house to house carrying the truth to the people. Sometimes you will find it very trying to do work of this kind; but if you go forth in faith, the Lord will go before you, and His light will shine upon your pathway. As you enter the homes of your neighbors to sell or to give away our literature, and in humility to teach them the truth, you will be accompanied by the light of heaven.—The Review and Herald, November 11, 1902. WM 100.2

God will soon do great things for us if we lie humble and believing at His feet.... More than one thousand will soon be converted in one day, most of whom will trace their first convictions to the reading of our publications.—The Review and Herald, November 10, 1885. WM 101.1

The Best Way to Reach Souls—In the very shadows of the houses of God there are multitudes of godless sinners, without a knowledge of the truth, without hope.... In every city, in every settlement where Christians meet to worship God, there are men and women and children to be gathered into the fold. Many never hear a discourse on God's Word. Who will take upon himself a burden for souls? Who will learn from the Great Teacher that the best way to reach souls is by direct, personal appeal to erring individuals, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to behold their uplifted, crucified Redeemer, and live? Christians, let your hearts be filled with sympathy and love for those who know not the truth.—Manuscript 81, 1900. WM 101.2

Situations Adapted to Our Talents—If the teachers of His Word are willing, the Lord will lead them into close relation with the people. He will guide them into the homes of those who need and desire the truth, bringing them into the situations best suited to their talents.—Letter 95, 1896. WM 101.3

Talents of All Needed—The Lord has a place for everyone in His great plan. Talents that are not needed are not bestowed. To every man God gives talents, which are to be improved according to His several ability. Supposing the talent is small, God has a place for it; and that one talent, if used, will do the very work God designed that it should do. The talents of the humble cottager are needed in house-to-house labor and can accomplish more in this work than brilliant gifts. And he who uses aright his one talent will be as verily rewarded as he who uses aright five talents. It is for working according to the ability given that God rewards His servants.—Letter 41, 1899. WM 101.4

How to Find Time for Neighborly Visits—If the young men and the young women would solemnly consecrate themselves to God, if they would practice self-denial in the home life, relieving their tired, careworn mothers, what a change would take place in our churches. The mother could find time to make neighborly visits. When opportunity offered, the children could give assistance by doing, when quite young, little errands of mercy and love to bless others. Thus thousands of the homes of the poor and needy could be entered. Books relating to health and temperance could be placed in many homes. The circulation of these books is an important work, for they contain precious knowledge in regard to the treatment of disease—knowledge that would be a great blessing to those who cannot afford to pay for the physician's visits.—Manuscript 119, 1901. WM 102.1

“Do Not Wait to Be Told Your Duty.”—Do not wait to be told your duty. Open your eyes and see who are around you; make yourselves acquainted with the helpless, afflicted, and needy. Hide not yourselves from them and seek not to shut out their needs. Who gives the proofs mentioned in James, of possessing pure religion, untainted with selfishness or corruption?—Testimonies for the Church 2:29. WM 102.2

Break the Spell: “Go to Work, Whether You Feel Like It or Not.”—My brethren and sisters, do you desire to break the spell that holds you? Would you arouse from this sluggishness that resembles the torpor of death? Go to work, whether you feel like it or not. Engage in personal effort to bring souls to Jesus and the knowledge of the truth. In such labor you will find both a stimulus and a tonic; it will both arouse and strengthen. By exercise your spiritual powers will become more vigorous, so that you can with better success work out your own salvation. The stupor of death is upon many who profess Christ. Make every effort to arouse them. Warn, entreat, expostulate. Pray that the melting love of God may warm and soften their icebound natures. Though they may refuse to hear, your labor will not be lost. In the effort to bless others your own souls will be blessed.—Testimonies for the Church 5:387. WM 103.1

Carrying the Atmosphere of Heaven—Visiting the sick, comforting the poor and the sorrowful for Christ's sake, will bring to the workers the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and even the countenance will express the peace that dwells in the soul. The faces of men and women who talk with God, to whom the invisible world is a reality, express the peace of God. They carry with them the soft and genial atmosphere of heaven, and diffuse it in deeds of kindness and works of love. Their influence is of a character to win souls to Christ. If all could see and understand, and be doers of the words of God, what peace, what happiness, what health of body and peace of soul, would be the result! A warm, kindly atmosphere of love, the pitying tenderness of Christ in the soul cannot be estimated. The price of love is above gold and silver and precious stones, and makes human agents like Him who lived not to please Himself.—Letter 43, 1895. WM 103.2

“Hundreds and Thousands Were Seen Visiting Families.”—In visions of the night representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God's people. Many were praising God. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought. A spirit of intercession was seen, even as was manifested before the great day of Pentecost. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the Word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lighted with the heavenly influence. Great blessings were received by the true and humble people of God. I heard voices of thanksgiving and praise, and there seemed to be a reformation such as we witnessed in 1844.—Testimonies for the Church 9:126. WM 104.1