Camp-Meetings Their Object, and How to Conduct Them


Less Preaching, More Teaching

One or two laborers should not be required to do all the preaching and all the teaching in Bible lines. At times greater good can be accomplished by breaking up the large congregation into sections. Thus the educator in Bible truth can come closer to the people than in a larger assembly. PH130 39.2

At our camp meetings there is much more preaching than there should be. This brings a heavy burden upon the ministers, and, as a consequence, many things are neglected which require attention. Many little matters which open the door to greater evils are passed uncorrected. The minister is robbed of physical strength, and deprived of the time he needs for meditation and prayer in order to keep his own soul in the love of God. And when so many discourses are crowded in, one after another, the people have no time to digest and appropriate what they hear. Thus minds become confused, and the services are a weariness to them. PH130 39.3

We should have less preaching, and more teachings. As we approach nearer the end, I have seen that in our camp-meetings there will be less preaching and more Bible study,—little groups all over the ground with their Bibles in their hands, and different ones leading out in a free conversational study of the Scriptures. It has been shown me that our camp-meetings were to increase in interest and success. There are those who want more definite light than is received from the preaching of the Word. Some need a longer time than do others to understand the points presented. If the teaching could be made a little plainer, they would see the truth, take hold of it, and it would be like a nail fastened in a sure place. PH130 40.1

When the great throngs gathered about Christ, he would give His lessons of instruction. Then after the discourse the disciples would mingle with the people and repeat to them what Christ had said. Often the hearers had misapplied Christ's words, and the disciples would tell them what the Scriptures said. PH130 40.2

If the man who feels that he is called of God to be a minister, will abase himself and learn of Christ, he will become a true teacher. What we need in our camp-meetings is a ministry vivified with the Holy Spirit. There must be less sermonizing, and more tact to educate the people in practical religion. They must be impressed with the fact that Christ is salvation to all who believe. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” There are grand themes on which the gospel minister may dwell. Christ has said, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. PH130 40.3

If the minister's lips are touched with a coal from off the altar, he will lift up Jesus as the sinner's only hope. When the heart of the speaker is sanctified through the truth, his words will be living realities to himself and to others. Those who hear him will know that he has been with God, and has drawn near to Him in fervent, effectual prayer. The Holy Spirit has fallen upon him, his soul has felt the vital, heavenly fire, and he will be able to compare spiritual things with spiritual. Power will be given him to tear down the strongholds of Satan. Hearts will be broken by his presentation of the love of God, and many will inquire, “What must I do to be saved?” PH130 41.1