Colporteur Ministry


Chapter 8—Fully Prepared

Thorough Preparation—Very much more efficient work can be done in the canvassing field than has yet been done. The canvasser should not rest satisfied unless he is constantly improving. He should make thorough preparation, but should not be content with a set form of words; he should give the Lord a chance to work with his efforts and impress his mind. The love of Jesus abiding in his heart will enable him to devise means to gain access to individuals and families.—Testimonies for the Church 5:396 (1885). CM 55.1

Let a class of canvassers be fitted up, by thorough instruction and drill, to handle the publications that shall come forth from the press.—Letter 66, 1901. CM 55.2

Knowledge of God's Word—The minds of all should be stored with a knowledge of the truths of God's word, that they may be prepared, at any moment when required, to present from the storehouse things new and old.—Testimonies for the Church 4:415 (1880). CM 55.3

A Knowledge of the Book You Sell—Canvassers should thoroughly acquaint themselves with the book they are handling and be able readily to call attention to the important chapters.—Testimonies for the Church 6:338 (1900). CM 55.4

Intellectual and Heart Culture—Young men are wanted who are men in understanding, who appreciate the intellectual faculties that God has given them, and who cultivate them with the utmost care. Exercise enlarges these faculties, and if heart culture is not neglected, the character will be well balanced. The means of improvement are within the reach of all. Then let none disappoint the Master, when He comes seeking for fruit, by presenting nothing but leaves. A resolute purpose, sanctified by the grace of Christ, will do wonders.—Testimonies for the Church 5:403 (1885). CM 56.1

Let canvassers be faithful students, learning how to make their work successful; and while thus employed, let them keep their eyes and ears and understanding open to receive wisdom from God, that they may know how to help those who are perishing for lack of a knowledge of Christ. Let every worker concentrate his energies and use his powers for the highest of all service, to recover men from the snare of Satan and bind them to God, making the chain of dependence through Jesus Christ fast to the throne encircled with the rainbow of promise.—Testimonies for the Church 6:339, 340 (1900). CM 56.2

Responsibility of Teachers of Canvassers—Teachers in the canvassing work have grave responsibilities to bear. Those who rightly comprehend their position, will direct and instruct those under their care with a sense of their personal accountability, and will inspire others to fidelity in the cause. They will be much in prayer, they will understand that their words and actions are making impressions that will not be easily effaced, but will be as enduring as eternity. They will realize that no other can come after them and correct their mistakes, or supply their deficiencies. How important it is, then, that the teachers’ subject, manner, and spirit are after God's order.—The Review and Herald, May 20, 1890. CM 56.3

To Be Educated and Trained—The presidents of our conferences and others in responsible positions have a duty to do in this matter, that the different branches of our work may receive equal attention. Canvassers are to be educated and trained to do the work required in selling the books upon present truth which the people need. There is need of men of deep Christian experience, men of well-balanced minds, strong, well-educated men, to engage in this work. The Lord desires those to take hold of the canvassing work who are capable of educating others, who can awaken in promising young men and women an interest in this line, leading them to take up the book work and handle it successfully. Some have the talent, education, and experience which would enable them to educate the youth for the canvassing work in such a way that much more would be accomplished than is now being done. CM 57.1

Experienced With Inexperienced—Those who have gained an experience in this work have a special duty to perform in teaching others. Educate, educate, educate young men and women to sell the books which the Lord by His Holy Spirit has stirred His servants to write. God desires us to be faithful in educating those who accept the truth, that they may believe to a purpose and work intelligently in the Lord's way. Let inexperienced persons be connected with experienced workers, that they may learn how to work. Let them seek God most earnestly. These may do a good work in canvassing if they will obey the words: “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine.” 1 Timothy 4:16. Those who give evidence that they are truly converted, and who take up the canvassing work, will see that it is the best preparation for other lines of missionary labor. CM 57.2

If those who know the truth would practice it, methods would be devised for meeting the people where they are. It was the providence of God which in the beginning of the Christian church scattered the saints abroad, sending them out of Jerusalem into many parts of the world. The disciples of Christ did not stay in Jerusalem or in the cities nearby, but they went beyond the limits of their own country into the great thoroughfares of travel, seeking for the lost that they might bring them to God. Today the Lord desires to see His work carried forward in many places. We must not confine our labors to a few localities.—Testimonies for the Church 6:329, 330 (1900). CM 58.1

Two and Two—Canvassers should be sent out two and two. Inexperienced workers should be sent out with those of more experience, who can give them help. They can converse together and study the word of life together, praying with and for each other. Thus both the younger and the elder Christian will receive the blessing of God.—Manual for Canvassers, 17 (1902). CM 58.2

In the Service of God—Canvassers should be impressed with the fact that the canvassing work is the very work the Lord desires them to do. They should remember that they are in the service of God. CM 58.3

Painstaking effort is required; instruction must be given; a sense of the importance of the work must be kept before the workers. All must cherish the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice that has been exemplified in the life of our Redeemer. CM 59.1

Sixth of Isaiah—Let the canvassers read the sixth chapter of Isaiah, and take its lesson home to their hearts: CM 59.2

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:5-8. CM 59.3

This representation will be acted over and over again. The Lord desires to have many take part in this grand work, those who are consecrated, whose hearts are humble, and who are willing to engage in any line that demands their service.—Manual for Canvassers, 18, 19 (1902). CM 59.4

Constantly Improving—The follower of Jesus should be constantly improving in manners, in habits, in spirit, in labor. This is done by keeping the eye, not on mere outward, superficial attainments, but on Jesus. A transformation takes place in mind, in spirit, in character. The Christian is educated in the school of Christ to cherish the graces of His Spirit in all meekness and lowliness. He is fitting for the society of heavenly angels.—Gospel Workers, 283 (1915). CM 59.5

God desires us to make use of every opportunity for securing a preparation for His work. He expects us to put all our energies into its performance, and to keep our hearts alive to its sacredness and its fearful responsibilities.—The Ministry of Healing, 498 (1905). CM 60.1