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Gospel Workers (1915 ed.)

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    Less Preaching, More Teaching

    At our camp-meetings, 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 large assembly.GW 407.1

    There is much more preaching than there should be at our camp-meetings. This brings a heavy burden upon the ministers, and as a consequence much that requires attention is neglected. Many little things that open the door to serious evils are passed by unnoticed. 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 appropriate what they hear. Their minds become confused, and the services seem to them tedious and wearisome.GW 407.2

    There should be less preaching, and more teaching. There are those who want more definite light than they receive from hearing the sermons. Some need a longer time than do others to understand the points presented. If the truth presented could be made a little plainer, they would see it and take hold of it, and it would be like a nail fastened in a sure place.GW 407.3

    It has been shown me that our camp-meetings are to increase in interest and success. As we approach the end, I have seen that in these meetings there will be less preaching, and more Bible study. There will be little groups all over the grounds, with their Bibles in their hands, and different ones leading out in a free, conversational study of the Scriptures.GW 407.4

    This was the method that Christ taught His disciples. When the great throngs gathered about the Saviour, He would give instruction to the disciples and to the multitude. 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, and what Christ had taught that they said.—Testimonies for the Church 6:87, 88.GW 408.1

    *****

    The great Teacher brought His hearers in contact with nature, that they might listen to the voice which speaks in all created things; and as their hearts became tender and their minds receptive, He helped them to interpret the spiritual teaching of the scenes upon which their eyes rested. The parables, by means of which He loved to teach lessons of truth, show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He delighted to gather the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of daily life. The birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the sower and the seed, the shepherd and the sheep,—with these Christ illustrated immortal truth. He drew illustrations also from the events of life, facts of experience familiar to the hearers,—the leaven, the hid treasure, the pearl, the fishing net, the lost coin, the prodigal son, the houses on the rock and the sand. In His lessons there was something to interest every mind, to appeal to every heart.—Education, 102.GW 408.2

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