Ministers Giving Bible Readings

Short Talks—More Bible Readings—Avoid lengthy sermons. The people cannot retain one half of the discourses which they hear. Give short talks and more Bible readings. This is the time to make every point as plain as mileposts.—Letter 102a, 1897. Ev 439.3

Not to Be Shifted to Helpers—We must embrace every opportunity to put forth personal labor. The personal labor must be done, even if there has to be less preaching done..... Ev 439.4

This part of the pastoral work is not to be neglected or shifted upon your wives or some other person. You must educate and train yourselves to visit every family that you can possibly get access to. The results of this work will testify that it is the most profitable work a gospel minister can do. Ev 440.1

If he neglects this work, the visiting of the people in their homes, he is an unfaithful shepherd, and the rebuke of God is upon him. His work is not half done. If he had given personal labor, there would have been a large work done and many souls gathered. Ev 440.2

No excuse will God accept for thus neglecting the most essential part of the ministry, which is the proper binding off of the work, and binding the messenger bearing the truth up with the flock, the sheep, and the lambs of the Lord's pasture. The Lord Himself makes the human instrument a channel of light to the people, through his personal efforts, in identifying himself with the people for whom he is laboring. Ev 440.3

The weak of the flock need strengthening at the right time—words spoken that will comfort, strengthen, and establish them that they will become rooted, grounded, and established in the faith. This is the way and the means God has ordained to meet the people where they are. I recognize in the places where I have thus far labored, the very places which have been lost to the cause of God because the messengers who have brought to them the truth have not ministered because it was not pleasant business to engage in this work.—Letter 18, 1893. Ev 440.4

Work Cannot Be Done by Proxy—By personal labor reach the people where they are. Become acquainted with them. This work cannot be done by proxy. Money loaned or given cannot accomplish it. Sermons from the pulpit cannot do it. Teaching the Scriptures in families,—this is the work of an evangelist, and this work is to be united with preaching. If it is omitted, the preaching will be, to a great extent, a failure. Ev 440.5

Those who are seeking for truth need to have words spoken to them in season; for Satan is speaking to them by his temptations. If you meet with repulse when trying to help souls, heed it not. If there seems to be little good resulting from your work, do not become discouraged. Keep working; be discreet; know when to speak, and when to keep silent; watch for souls as they that must give an account; and watch for the devices of Satan, lest you be led aside from duty. Do not allow difficulties to dishearten or intimidate you. With strong faith, with intrepid purpose, meet and overcome these difficulties. Sow the seed in faith, and with an unsparing hand.—Gospel Workers, pp. 188, 189. (1915). Ev 441.1

Teach—Hold Bible Readings—You love to preach, and should have a chance to preach wherever you go. You can do a good work in this line, but this is not all the work essential to be done—the people need to be taught, to be educated. Many of the sermons given would, if cut short one half, be far more beneficial to the hearers. Ev 441.2

Take time to teach, to hold Bible readings. Get the points and texts fastened in the minds of the hearers. Let them ask questions, and answer them in the plainest, simplest manner possible, so that the mind can grasp the truths presented..... Ev 441.3

Teach as Christ taught, study His example, His methods of teaching. He preached few sermons, but wherever He went, crowds gathered to listen to His instruction. The ministers must be educated to work more according to the divine pattern. You have not yet taken up the work of educating. The people will listen to sermon after sermon, and they can retain but a very few points in the discourse, and these lose their force upon the mind; other things come in to choke the seed of truth. Now the Lord's way is the best way, to impress upon minds, point by point, the truths that are for their eternal interest to know. Let the soil of the heart be prepared and the seed so planted that it will spring up and bear fruit.—Letter 29, 1890. Ev 441.4