The Publishing Ministry


Chapter 27—Training Literature Evangelists to Sell

Inspired Selling Sentences [Many of these sentences may be memorized by the literature evangelist and incorporated in the sales talk.]—The presence of Christ alone can make men and women happy.—The Adventist Home, 28. PM 292.1

Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend.—Steps to Christ, 93. PM 292.2

There is nothing more calculated to energize the mind and strengthen the intellect than the study of the Word of God.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 460. PM 292.3

One sentence of Scripture is of more value than ten thousand of man's ideas or arguments.—Testimonies for the Church 7:71. PM 292.4

A noble, all-round manhood does not come by chance. It is the result of the molding process of character building in the early years of youth.—Child Guidance, 42. PM 292.5

No higher work was ever committed to mortals than the shaping of character.—Child Guidance, 163. PM 292.6

Parents can ... build around their children bulwarks which will preserve them from the evil that is flooding our world.—Child Guidance, 479. PM 292.7

The highest class of education is that which will give such knowledge and discipline as will lead to the best development of character.—Child Guidance, 296. PM 292.8

The mind, the soul, is built up by that upon which it feeds; and it rests with us to determine upon what it shall be fed. It is within the power of everyone to choose the topics that shall occupy the thoughts and shape the character.—Education, 126, 127. PM 292.9

True character is a quality of the soul, revealing itself in the conduct. A good character is a capital of more value than gold or silver.—Child Guidance, 161. PM 293.1

The characters formed in this life will determine the future destiny.—Child Guidance, 229. PM 293.2

A character formed according to the divine likeness is the only treasure that we can take from this world to the next.—Christ's Object Lessons, 332. PM 293.3

Elements of Character That Give Success—The elements of character that make a man successful and honored among men—the irrepressible desire for some greater good, the indomitable will, the strenuous exertion, the untiring perseverance—are not to be crushed out.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 602. PM 293.4

But when we give ourselves wholly to God and in our work follow His directions, He makes Himself responsible for its accomplishment. He would not have us conjecture as to the success of our honest endeavors. Not once should we even think of failure. We are to cooperate with One who knows no failure.—Christ's Object Lessons, 363. PM 293.5

Sometimes He trains His workers by bringing to them disappointment and apparent failure. It is His purpose that they shall learn to master difficulties. Often men are tempted to falter before the perplexities and obstacles that confront them. But if they will hold the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end, God will make the way clear. Success will come to them as they struggle against difficulties.—Prophets and Kings, 595. PM 293.6

In Ezekiel's vision God had His hand beneath the wings of the cherubim. This is to teach His servants that it is divine power that gives them success. He will work with them if they put away iniquity and become pure in heart and life.—Testimonies for the Church 5:754. PM 293.7

When you make up your mind to do something on which your heart is set, you do not give up for difficulties, but try again and again. Put the same energy and determination to succeed in the service of Christ, and you will not fail of a reward.—Sons and Daughters of God, 254. PM 293.8

Human strength is weakness, human wisdom is folly. Our success does not depend on our talents or learning, but on our living connection with God.—Testimonies for the Church 5:158. PM 294.1

He Sent Them Two and Two—When Jesus sent His disciples forth to labor, He sent them two and two, that they might be a help and strength to each other, and stand more courageously in defense of truth. They did not feel as some do now, that they would rather work alone than have anyone with them who did not labor just as they labored. Our Saviour understood what ones to associate together. He did not connect with the mild, beloved John one of the same temperament; but He connected with him the ardent, impulsive Peter. These two men were not alike either in their disposition or in their manner of labor. Peter was prompt and zealous in action, bold and uncompromising, and would often wound; John was ever calm, and considerate of others’ feelings, and would come after to bind up and encourage. Thus the defects in one were partially covered by the virtues in the other. PM 294.2

God never designed that, as a rule, His servants should go out singly to labor. To illustrate: Here are two brothers. They are not of the same temperament; their minds do not run in the same channel. One is in danger of doing too much; the other fails to carry the burdens that he should. If associated together, these might have a moulding influence upon each other, so that the extremes in their characters would not stand out so prominent in their labors. It might not be necessary for them to be together in every meeting; but they could labor in places ten, fifteen, or even thirty miles apart—near enough together, however, so that if one came to a crisis in his labors, he could call on the other for assistance. They should also come together as often as possible for prayer and consultation. Although different in temperament, they are one in faith, one in purpose, and can claim the promise of Christ to His disciples, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”—Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 126, 127. PM 294.3

Youth With Older Workers Two by Two—In this work the youth should be connected with those older in experience, who, if they are devoted to God, can be a great blessing to them, teaching them in the things of God, and showing them how best to work for Him. If the youth will work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, they will know by experience that God is working with them, to will and to do of His good pleasure. PM 295.1

Not only men, but women, can enter the canvassing field. And canvassers are to go out two by two. This is the Lord's plan.—The Review and Herald, October 7, 1902. PM 295.2

Practical Minutemen Needed—Among our ministers, physicians, teachers, and canvassers, there is need of an entire surrender of the mind, the heart, and the soul of God. ... Neither dress, expensive homes, nor stylish living gives character to the work. But a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great value. Religion does not make a man coarse and rough. The true believer, realizing his own weakness, will guard himself at every point, and place his whole confidence in God. True Christian godliness cannot be forced; it is the outflowing of an honest heart.... PM 295.3

God calls for minute man, praying men, practical men. Expensive outward show does not elevate men and women in the eyes of sensible people.—Selected Messages 2:201, 202. PM 295.4

Voice and Tongue a Power for God—The voice and tongue are gifts from God, and if rightly used, they are a power for God.—Sons and Daughters of God, 180. PM 295.5

By diligent effort all may acquire the power to read intelligibly, and to speak in a full, clear, round tone, in a distinct and impressive manner. By doing this we may greatly increase our efficiency as workers for Christ. Every Christian is called to make known to others the unsearchable riches of Christ; therefore he should seek for perfection in speech.—Christ's Object Lessons, 335, 336. PM 295.6

We may have knowledge, but unless the habit is acquired of using the voice correctly, our work will be a failure. Unless we can clothe our ideas in appropriate language, of what avail is our education? Knowledge will be of little value to us unless we cultivate the talent of speech; but it is a wonderful power when combined with the ability to speak wise, helpful words, and to speak them in a way that will command attention.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 217. PM 295.7

Let us ask in faith for a converted voice, a converted tongue, and for Christlike sympathy and tenderness, that we may win souls to the truth we teach.—The Review and Herald, November 11, 1902. PM 296.1

Let our words be gentle as we seek to win souls.—Testimonies for the Church 6:400. PM 296.2

They [the workers in our sanitariums] are to cultivate the voice, keeping it pleasant and sympathetic.—Medical Ministry, 212. PM 296.3

Educate yourself to carry a pleasant countenance, and bring all the sweetness and melody possible into your voice.—Sons and Daughters of God, 180. PM 296.4

Correcting Defects in Speech—Speak slowly. Many speak rapidly, hurrying one word after another so fast that the effect of what they say is lost.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 254, 255. PM 296.5

If the words spoken are crowded upon each other, the impression that should be made is lost. The talent of speech needs to be cultivated, that the truth be spoken not excitedly, but slowly and distinctly, that not a syllable may be lost. Rapidity of speech can and should be corrected.—The Southern Watchman, October 27, 1903. PM 296.6

Those who talk rapidly, from the throat, jumbling the words together and raising their voices to an unnaturally high pitch, soon become hoarse, and the words spoken lose half the force which they would have if spoken slowly, distinctly, and not so loud.—Testimonies for the Church 4:405. PM 296.7

Speaking from the throat, letting the words come out from the upper extremity of the vocal organs, all the time fretting and irritating them, is not the best way to preserve health or to increase the efficiency of those organs. You should take a full inspiration and let the action come from the abdominal muscles. Let the lungs be only the channel, but do not depend upon them to do the work.—Testimonies for the Church 2:616. PM 296.8

Let him say, “I will make earnest effort to overcome this God-dishonoring habit of speaking in a low, indistinct tone. I will put myself under discipline until my voice shall be audible even to those who are dull of hearing.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 245, 246. PM 296.9

Humility and Hard Work Bring God's Blessing—I did not suppose that you would build, for full of changes as your life is, this might not be best. But I certainly think that your wife ought to have some place that she can call her own, even if it is but rented rooms. Such was all the home that for some time, while we were traveling about, we had. PM 297.1

You have given your whole time to a good work, and you need more rest than you give yourself. You have worked as an evangelist, and your words and deeds have opened many doors for the entrance of the truth. I have not a doubt but that the Lord has given you your work. He has greatly blessed you in your canvassing. This is because you have kept at the work, and have given Him the glory.—Letter 174, 1903. PM 297.2

Born-Again Canvassers Needed—Simple, direct methods are to be employed. Put your confidence in God. He will teach you how to simplify, how to avoid using methods in the publication and circulation of books which will bring disappointment and failure.... PM 297.3

Canvassing is evangelistic work, and by it great good may be done. Two canvassers should be sent out together. They can help one another to be indeed honored sons of God. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Peter 1:22, 23). How important, then, it is that all who take hold of the work, those who canvass and those who work in the office, shall faithfully preserve and practice the highest, holiest principles of the Word of God. They are to be born again, by the power of the Word of God, through obedience to the truth. They are to know for themselves what righteousness means.... PM 297.4

Let a class of canvassers be fitted up, by thorough instruction and drill, to handle the publications that shall come forth from the press. Those who take up the work of canvassing as a preparation for the ministry will indeed realize the truth of the Saviour's words, “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:14).—Letter 66, 1901. PM 297.5

Guarding Unworked Territory Holds Back Sales—I am sorry that it should be thought necessary to delay the work in some places because of territorial lines, and that it should be considered irregular for the workers to sell books in certain territories where the field is neglected. This has held back the sale of our books. Changes should be made regarding this condition. If territory that is claimed by a certain conference is not faithfully worked for the circulation of our literature, those workers who have a burden for that territory should not be forbidden the privilege of laboring there.—Letter 328, 1907. PM 298.1

Prompt Payment by Literature Evangelists Important—Through the failure of canvassers to meet their indebtedness, our tract societies have been involved in debt; they cannot meet their obligations to the publishing houses; thus these institutions become embarrassed, and their work is hindered. Some canvassers have thought themselves ill-treated when required to make prompt payment to the publishers for books received, but prompt remittal is the only successful way of conducting business. PM 298.2

The loose manner in which some canvassers have performed their work shows that they have important lessons to learn. Much haphazard work has been presented before me. By laxness in secular affairs some have formed habits of carelessness and slackness, and they have brought this deficiency into the Lord's work. PM 298.3

God calls for decided improvement in the various branches of the work. The business done in connection with His cause should be marked with greater precision and exactness. There must be firm, decided effort to bring about essential reforms.—Testimonies for the Church 7:175. PM 298.4

Study to Protect Colporteurs’ Income—Canvassing is an important work, a work equal in importance to the ministry of the Word. Matters must be so arranged that canvassers shall have enough to live on without overdrawing. This door of temptation must be closed and barred. However honest a canvasser may be, circumstances will arise in his work which will be a sore temptation to him. Let the barn be locked before the horse is stolen. This is the best way.... PM 298.5

It is our work to bar every path that leads to temptation. The Lord desires us to close the door against Satan's entrance. I fear that we do not always remember the wiliness of the foe with whom we have to contend. He has a masterly mind and a keen insight. Let us in our work remember the harm it is in his power to do if we give him the opportunity.—Letter 10, 1901. PM 299.1

Encourage Honesty Among Literature Evangelists—The work of colporteurs and canvassers is an important work. It is no child's play. Some have engaged in canvassing for other books than those bearing on present truth. They had a very low standard of righteousness and honesty. Because they professed to be Christians they were trusted. Confidence was placed in them because they professed to be Seventh-day Adventists, and it was not thought necessary to place them under regulations. PM 299.2

Some took advantage of this confidence and made false statements; they committed forgery, robbery, and theft. They squandered the money taken for books, money that belonged to their employers, and several who carried on this business considered it a good chance for them, and laughed one with another over the matter. The arrangements entered into were those which showed not the slightest appearance of distrusting their honesty. This business arrangement was not supposed to be made with men of corrupt hearts and corrupt morals. But every one of these dishonest transactions is registered in the books of heaven, and there they will remain until the judgment, unless by confession, repentance, and restitution, they shall seek God to write pardon against their names. PM 299.3

In the day of judgment many will be found wanting because they have been tested and proved of God and found unworthy of eternal life. God could not trust them in heaven. The decision will be made for eternity; he that is not faithful in that which is least cannot be entrusted with greater responsibilities. They will be judged by their works which have determined their character. Is it a paying business to be dishonest? Never; for if there is no detection here in probationary time, everything will be laid open in the day of final reckoning.—Manuscript 59, 1900. PM 299.4

Helping a Canvasser During a Time of Financial Trial—I am ... pressed with sadness as I ... see the great battle with poverty in this country [Australia].... PM 300.1

Our own people are in want. I have divided with Sister A the provisions which have been bought at auction sales, and have also placed a pound in her hands. Her husband has been canvassing with Brother G, but poverty has met them on every side. The people wanted the books, but with tears in their eyes they said, “We cannot buy. We must have bread or starve.” Sister A received a letter from her husband in which he stated that he was two pounds in debt at the hotel and asked her to sell some articles from the meager lot of furniture still remaining in order that he might pay his debt. When I heard this, I rode up with Sister B to carry supplies of food to them, for I knew they were in want. She was very grateful for this. You know they have a large but excellent family.—Letter 54a, 1894. PM 300.2