Ms 41, 1903


Ms 41, 1903

Less Preaching; More Teaching


May 5, 1903 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in VSS 235-237; CG 531; ML 194. +Note

God’s servants have a great work to do in addition to preaching in the pulpit. In the work of the ministry there is altogether too much preaching and too little real teaching the lessons of the Bible. Our ministers should visit the members of the church more than they do, to talk and pray with them. Their hearts need to be drawn out to those in their charge. Ms41-1903.1

When our ministers are visiting in a family, let them seek to make the hour of worship a great blessing, and let them, when at the meal table, seek to make the conversation a source of spiritual refreshing. Let them talk on Bible subjects and relate their experiences in holding meetings and in visiting among the people. The parents will be benefited, the children will be impressed, and as the warmth and grace of Christ are felt, the spiritual pulse will be quickened. Ms41-1903.2

Often a minister is obliged to speak in a crowded, overheated room. The listeners become drowsy, their senses are half paralyzed, and it is almost impossible for them to grasp the subjects presented. If instead of preaching to them the speaker would try to teach them, asking them questions, and speaking in a conversational tone, their minds would be aroused to activity, and they would be able more clearly to comprehend the truths opened before them. Their understanding would take hold of the living reality of the truths necessary for the quickening of the perception and for growth in knowledge. As he goes over his discourse, point by point, allowing his hearers to ask questions and make suggestions, he will himself obtain a better idea of his subject. Unless the great truths of God’s Word are clearly opened before the understanding, they can not be comprehended by the mind or put into practice in the life. Ms41-1903.3

One occupies a responsible position who is supported as a minister in the field. Every laborer should feel the burden of his work and consider if more effective methods cannot be devised to bring the truth to the mind of the people. To all who desire and seek to improve in their manner of teaching, God will reveal methods by which their minister shall be productive of more fruit. Ms41-1903.4

Let it not be said of our ministers, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracle of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even to those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” [Hebrews 5:12-14.] Ms41-1903.5