The Value of Gospel Meetings

Garreth Clair
Brawley, California

Who could possibly suggest we are having the same kind of response to gospel meetings which we enjoyed a century ago? Of course we are not, and perhaps the reason we are not is not as obscure as some would have us believe. Some of the reasons why I think we are not as successful with gospel meetings today are to follow:

1. We are just not putting enough emphasis upon the meeting.

2. We are not planning sufficiently ahead.

3. We are not getting the best possible speaker for our situation.

Perhaps in this area we are failing more than in any other. Perhaps for our particular circumstances, a man with a big name is not necessarily the best choice. Perhaps it is best for some congregations to have a country boy to do the preaching in their meeting. When I use the term country boy, no disrespect is intended. Rather, I mean someone who is less likely to scare off the prospects by the number of degrees after his name. Other congregations should have men of this quality, the need must be determined on a local and individual level. But, above all else the welfare of the local work must be put first.

4. The membership of the local church is apathetic.

This too, is an important factor in meeting preparation. As many members as can be encouraged to do so should actively work well in advance of any impending gospel meeting. To see that they work should be one of the prime factors as far as the local leaders are concerned.

5. Failure to advertise properly.

Today with the improvements over previous generations as far as mass communications is concerned, we can reach an entire community relatively cheaply. If we would properly use these mediums available, we might be surprised to see the results.

Yes indeed, we can have good gospel meetings today. It all depends on us. Are we really preparing as we know we ought to? If we are, we will have a good meeting. If we are not, we will just have another "ho-hum" sort of meeting.

Brother Fred Dennis has some good things to say about this subject in Truth Magazine, volume xv, page 132. Brother Cecil Willis also has some interesting observations along this line in his editorial of volume xv, page 35, 36, 37. Buy it. You will enjoy the good articles in Volume Fifteen.

October 21, 1971