Getting Acquainted With the People

Meeting the People as They Come and Go—In conducting the important interests of meetings near a large city, the co-operation of all the workers is essential. They should keep in the very atmosphere of the meetings, becoming acquainted with the people as they come in and go out, showing the utmost courtesy and kindness, and tender regard for their souls. They should be ready to speak to them in season and out of season, watching to win souls. O that Christ's workers would show one half as much vigilance as does Satan, who is always on the track of human beings, always wide awake, watching to lay some gin or snare for their destruction.—Testimonies For The Church 6:46 (1900). Ev 156.1

Evangelist's Responsibility to the Interested—It is important that all who design to labor in the cause of God should learn the very best manner of prosecuting their work.... I have been shown that many efforts which have been made at great expense to present the truth, have been in a large measure unsuccessful, because the very kind of labor that is required has not been done. We have tried for years to present before our people the necessity of working more intelligently.... Ev 156.2

When the discourses are given in the desk, the work is just entered upon. Then the minister should, by personal effort if possible, become acquainted with every one of his hearers. If they have interest enough to come out and hear what you have to say, you should respond to it by a decided interest on your part to make their personal acquaintance.... Ev 157.1

Satan and his agents are sharper than our workers. While he is planning and devising and laying his nets to take souls unawares, our brethren are frequently taking things in a very easy manner, and Satan out-generals them almost every time. Now, if they would have the field preoccupied by God and by heavenly angels, they must throw their whole being, soul, body, and spirit, into the work of God, and not make a pretense of doing the work, when it is not half done.... Ev 157.2

The discourse given from the desk should not be lengthy, for this not only wearies the people, but so draws upon the time and strength of the minister that he is not able to engage in the personal labor which should follow. He should go from house to house and labor with families, calling their attention to eternal truths in the Word of God. [See also pp. 429-455, “Personal Work.”] If he does this labor in the meekness of Christ, he will surely have the angels of God to work with his efforts. But we are altogether too faithless and too narrow in our ideas and in our plans.—Manuscript 14, 1887. Ev 157.3

He will become acquainted with the parents and children in his congregation, and will speak kind, earnest words to them.—The Review and Herald, January 21, 1902. Ev 158.1

Get Into the Families—Come close to the people; get into the families when you can; do not wait for the people to hunt up the shepherd. Bear with you the confidence and assurance of faith which evidences that you are not trusting in idle tales but in a plain “Thus saith the Lord.”—Letter 8, 1895. Ev 158.2

Contacts at Public Meetings—When Christ was teaching on earth, He watched the countenances of His hearers, and the kindling eye, the animated expression, told Him in a moment when one assented to the truth. Even so should the teachers of the people now study the countenances of their hearers. Ev 158.3

When they see a person in the audience who seems interested, they should make it a point to form his acquaintance before leaving the place of meeting, and, if possible, should ascertain where he lives, and visit him. It is this kind of personal labor that helps to make him a perfect workman. It enables him to prove his work, to give full proof of his ministry. This is also the most successful way of reaching the people; for by this means their attention is best secured.—Historical Sketches, 147, 148 (1886). Ev 158.4

Winning Confidence by Home Contacts—There are numbers of families who will never be reached by the truth of God's Word unless the stewards of the manifold grace of Christ enter their homes, and by earnest ministry, sanctified by the endorsement of the Holy Spirit, break down the barriers and enter the hearts of the people. As the people see that these workers are messengers of mercy, the ministers of grace, they are ready to listen to the words spoken by them. But the hearts of those who do this work must throb in unison with the heart of Christ. They must be wholly consecrated to the service of God, ready to do His bidding, to go wheresoever His providence leads them, and speak the words He gives them. And if they are what God desires they shall be, if they are imbued with His Holy Spirit, they co-operate with the heavenly agencies and are indeed “laborers together with God.”—Letter 95, 1896. Ev 158.5