A Plan for Profitable Teaching
O. C. Birdwell JR.
While some are with their teaching obviously unconcerned responsibility, we take courage in the fact that many are actively teaching. New congregations are springing up after the New Testament order. Congregations large enough and financially able to send out evangelists are doing so. Able preachers are going to needy fields to work with small groups. Brethren are taking a stand against the denominational trend they see in so many congregations; a trend toward the "social gospel," toward more, and more powerful, man-made institutions, toward church support of colleges, hospitals, recreation and scout troops.
Many churches and individuals have used the printed page to do effective teaching on varied subjects. Especially has this been true on the institutional question. The government report of a continuing increase in demand for mail service suggests that more and more people are becoming aware of the U. S. Mail as an outstanding communication and teaching media. We need to use this media to the greatest advantage in our gospel teaching efforts.
A planned teaching program by the local church will be more effective than one carelessly pursued. Also, we should never feel that because we cannot do something big, we should do nothing at all. The small effort of many will accomplish much.
If you wonder what the congregation that you are a member of could do, may I suggest this one small thing that, if faithfully pursued' might help. Select one hundred names (the number selected might depend upon the size of the congregation, and how much money you want to put into it) of people in the community whom you feel would be, in some way, interested in Bible study. For a period of twelve months' mail them a tract on a different Bible subject each month. If you have printing equipment, enclose a well-prepared bulletin with instructive articles, announcements of services, etc. The tract and bulletin might be sent separately, one about the first of the month, and the other near the middle. Be sure to stamp the tract with the address of the church building, or someone to contact, so they will know from whom it comes. Send announcements of special gospel meetings to these people. In your bulletin, offer a correspondence course, and express a willingness to study privately with anyone interested. May I suggest, also, that friends and relatives of those who are members of the church are often good prospects for this type of teaching.
Some time back the Gospel Guardian published a "Tract-of-the-Month" series of attractive, well-written tracts to be used in just such an effort as mentioned above. They include such titles as, The BibleDivine or Human Origin, by Roy Cogdill, and The Bible, A Complete Guide, by Yater Tant. They have set up a most effective order in which these tracts are to be mailed out each month. If you would like to begin to use the mail for more and greater teaching opportunity, why not contact Truth Magazine for further information, and a supply of these tracts? They sell for $10.00 per hundred. We will be happy to mail to you each month the hundred, or more, that you need for the month's distribution, and bill you for them.
This teaching program will not only reach many with the truth) it will keep those in the congregation, who help do the work, busy and interested. They will feel they have a part in spreading the gospel. If this is pursued on a large scale, there may be several correspondence courses, personal visits, and home study periods as a result. This will require work and study on the part of members.
Your answer to this suggested plan of Bible teaching might be, "yes, but suppose there are no results?" We, as Christians, are commanded to be faithful. The church is to teach. We should leave the increase unto God. If only one person were obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ after a year of such teaching, your time and money will have been well spent. And even if none obey, those in the congregation who assist in doing the work will have developed enough spiritually, by virtue of the fact that they are busily engaged in the task of teaching, to warrant your undertaking such a program. If you are interested, let us hear from you Write to, Truth Magazine, Box 7245, Akron, Ohio 44306.
Truth Magazine X: 8, pp. 19-20 May 1966