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    Chapter 6—A Soul-Winning Work

    A Means of Bringing Souls to Christ—We need to realize the importance of the canvassing work as one great means of finding out those who are in peril and bringing them to Christ. Canvassers should never be prohibited from speaking of the love of Christ, from telling their experience in their service for the Master. They should be free to speak or to pray with those who are awakened. The simple story of Christ's love for man will open doors for them, even to the homes of unbelievers.—Testimonies for the Church 6:324 (1900).CM 36.1

    He who takes up the work of canvassing as he should must be both an educator and a student. While he tries to teach others he himself must learn to do the work of an evangelist. As canvassers go forth into the field with humble hearts, full of earnest activity, they will find many opportunities to speak a word in season to souls ready to die in discouragement. After laboring for these needy ones they will be able to say: “Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8. As they see the sinful course of others they can say: “Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11.—Testimonies for the Church 6:335 (1900).CM 36.2

    My brethren and sisters, remember that one day you will stand before the Lord of all the earth, to give an account of the deeds done in the body. Then your work will appear as it really is. The vineyard is large, and the Lord is calling for laborers. Do not allow anything to keep you from the work of soul saving. The canvassing work is a most successful way of saving souls. Will you not try it?—The Review and Herald, June 2, 1903.CM 37.1

    Colporteur to Reveal Christ—Christ's interests are the first and the highest of all interests. He has a property in this world that He wishes secured, saved for His everlasting kingdom. It is for His Father's glory and for His own glory that His messengers shall go forth in His name; for they and He are one. They are to reveal Him to the world. His interests are their interests. If they will be colaborers with Him, they will be made heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance.—The Review and Herald, June 2, 1903.CM 37.2

    Speak Words of Truth—The canvassing work is a work of great responsibility, and it means much not only to those who are engaged in it, but to the people for whom they labor. Let the canvasser remember that his work is evangelistic in its nature, and that God wants those whom he meets to be saved. Let him keep his heart under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Let him keep the Bible near him for reference, and when an opportunity presents itself to speak words of truth, let him pray for grace to speak wisely, that to those to whom he speaks his words may be a savor of life unto life.—The Review and Herald, June 16, 1903.CM 37.3

    To Hunt and Fish for Souls—Canvasser evangelists are needed, to hunt and fish for souls. The canvassing work should now be earnestly and decidedly taken up. The canvasser whose heart is meek and lowly can accomplish much good. Going out two and two, canvassers can reach a class that cannot be reached by our camp meetings. From family to family they carry the message of truth. Thus they come into close touch with the people, and find many opportunities to speak of the Saviour. Let them sing and pray with those who become interested in the truths they have to give. Let them speak to families the words of Christ. They may expect success; for theirs is the promise, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Canvassers who go forth in the spirit of the Master have the companionship of heavenly beings.CM 38.1

    I beg those bearing responsibilities in God's cause to let no commercial enterprises interpose between them and the work of soul saving. Let no business be allowed to absorb the time and talents of workers who ought to be engaged in preparing a people for the coming of the Lord. The truth is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. Time is short; the enemy will make every effort to magnify in our minds matters of lesser consequence, and to lead us to regard lightly the very work that most needs to be done.—The Review and Herald, June 2, 1903.CM 38.2

    Reach All Classes—In order to reach all classes, we must meet them where they are. They will seldom seek us of their own accord. Not alone from the pulpit are the hearts of men touched by divine truth. There is another field of labor, humbler, it may be, but fully as promising. It is found in the home of the lowly, and in the mansion of the great.—The Desire of Ages, 152 (1898).CM 38.3

    Those in the Highways—Take the books to businessmen, to teachers of the gospel, whose minds have not been called to the special truths for this time. The message is to be given “in the highways,”—to men who take an active part in the world's work, to the teachers and leaders of the people. Thousands can be reached in the most simple, humble way. The most intellectual, those who are looked upon as the world's most gifted men and women, are often refreshed by the simple words of one who loves God, and who can speak of that love as naturally as the worldling speaks of the things that interest him most deeply. Often the words well prepared and studied have but little influence. But the true, honest expression of a son or daughter of God, spoken in natural simplicity, has power to open the door to hearts that have long been closed against Christ and His love.—The Review and Herald, January 20, 1903.CM 39.1

    Books will reach those who can be reached in no other way,—those living far from any large settlement. I call these the byway hearers. To such ones our canvassers are to carry the books containing the message of salvation.CM 39.2

    Our canvassers are to be God's evangelists, going from house to house in out-of-the-way places, and opening the Scriptures to those they meet. They will find those who are willing and anxious to learn from the Scriptures....CM 39.3

    I greatly desire to do all in my power to reach those in the highways and the byways.—Letter 155, 1903.CM 39.4

    In the Thoroughfares of Travel—In the world-renowned health resorts and centers of tourist traffic, crowded with many thousands of seekers after health and pleasure, there should be stationed ministers and canvassers capable of arresting the attention of the multitudes. Let these workers watch their chance to present the message for this time, and hold meetings as they have opportunity. Let them be quick to seize opportunities to speak to the people. Accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, let them meet the people with the message borne by John the Baptist: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The word of God is to be presented with clearness and power, that those who have ears to hear, may hear the truth. Thus the gospel of present truth will be placed in the way of those who know it not, and will be accepted by not a few, and carried by them to their own homes in all parts of the earth.—The Review and Herald, January 25, 1906.CM 40.1

    Help the Intemperate—In your work you will meet with those who are fighting against appetite. Speak words that will strengthen and encourage them. Do not let Satan quench the last spark of hope in their hearts. Of the erring, trembling one, struggling with evil, Christ says, “Let him come unto Me;” and He places His hands underneath him, and lifts him up. The work that Christ did, you, as His evangelists, can do as you go from place to place. Labor in faith, expecting that souls will be won to Him who gave His life that men and women might stand on God's side. Draw with God to win the drunkard and the tobacco devotee from the habits which debase them till they are below the level of the beasts that perish.—The Review and Herald, January 27, 1903.CM 40.2

    Pray for Sick and Discouraged—Christ was sowing the seeds of truth wherever He was, and as His followers you can witness for the Master, doing a most precious work in fireside labor. In thus coming close to the people you will often find those who are sick and discouraged. If you are pressing close to the side of Christ, wearing His yoke, you will daily learn of Him how to carry messages of peace and comfort to the sorrowing and disappointed, the sad and brokenhearted. You can point the discouraged ones to the word of God and take the sick to the Lord in prayer. As you pray, speak to Christ as you would to a trusted, much-loved friend. Maintain a sweet, free, pleasant dignity, as a child of God. This will be recognized.—Testimonies for the Church 6:323, 324 (1900).CM 41.1

    With a Prayer on the Lips—The claims of God are to be ever before us. We should never forget that we are to give an account for the deeds done in the body. Weighted with this thought, canvassers will watch for souls, and their prayer will go forth from unfeigned lips for wisdom to speak a word in season to those in need of help. Such workers will continually be elevating and purifying the soul through obedience to the truth. They will have a true sense of the value of the soul, and will make the most of every opportunity to make known the riches of the grace of Christ. Let the canvasser go forth with the prayer upon his lips, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Let him labor as in the sight of God, and in the presence of heavenly angels; let him desire in all things to be approved by God; and his work will not be fruitless.CM 41.2

    We need far less controversy, and far more presentation of Christ. Our Redeemer is the center of all our faith and hope. Those who can present His matchless love, and inspire hearts to give Him their best and holiest affections, are doing work that is great and holy. By diligence in canvassing, by faithfully presenting to the people the cross of Calvary, the canvasser doubles his usefulness. But while we present these methods of work, we cannot lay out an undeviating line for everyone to follow. Circumstances alter cases....CM 42.1

    Speak of Christ's Love—Often doctrinal subjects are presented with no special effect; for men expect others to press upon them their doctrines; but when the matchless love of Christ is dwelt upon, His grace impresses the heart. There are many who are sincerely seeking for light, who know not what they must do to be saved. Oh, tell them of the love of God, of the sacrifice made on Calvary's cross to save the perishing! Tell them to place their will on the side of God's will; and “if any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.” John 7:17.—Manual for Canvassers, 36-38 (1902).CM 42.2

    Avoid Controverted Points—Some who labor in the canvassing field have a zeal that is not according to knowledge. Because of their lack of wisdom, because they have been so much inclined to act the minister and theologian, it has been almost a necessity to place restrictions upon our canvassers. When the Lord's voice calls, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” the Divine Spirit puts it into hearts to respond: “Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8. But bear in mind that the live coal from the altar must first touch your lips. Then the words you speak will be wise and holy words. Then you will have wisdom to know what to say and what to leave unsaid. You will not try to reveal your smartness as theologians. You will be careful not to arouse a combative spirit or excite prejudice by introducing controverted points of doctrine. You will find enough to talk about that will not excite opposition, but that will open the heart to desire a deeper knowledge of God's word.CM 42.3

    Ready to Give Answer—The Lord desires you to be soul winners; therefore, while you should not force doctrinal points upon the people, you should “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15. Why fear? Fear lest your words should savor of self-importance, lest unadvised words be spoken, lest the words and manner should not be after Christ's likeness. Connect firmly with Christ, and present the truth as it is in Him.—Testimonies for the Church 6:324, 325 (1900).CM 43.1

    Lift Up Christ—Work as Paul worked. Wherever he was, whether before scowling Pharisee or Roman authority, rich or poor, learned or ignorant, the cripple at Lystra or the convicted sinners in the Macedonian dungeon, he lifted up Christ as the One who hates sin and loves the sinner, the One who bore our sins that He might impart to us His righteousness.—Manual for Canvassers, 34 (1902).CM 43.2

    The Minister as Canvasser—The intelligent, God-fearing, truth-loving canvasser should be respected; for he occupies a position equal to that of the gospel minister. Many of our young ministers and those who are fitting for the ministry would, if truly converted, do much good by working in the canvassing field. And by meeting the people and presenting to them our publications they would gain an experience which they cannot gain by simply preaching. As they went from house to house they could converse with the people, carrying with them the fragrance of Christ's life. In thus endeavoring to bless others they would themselves be blessed; they would obtain an experience in faith; their knowledge of the Scriptures would greatly increase; and they would be constantly learning how to win souls for Christ.CM 44.1

    All our ministers should feel free to carry with them books to dispose of wherever they go. Wherever a minister goes, he can leave a book in the family where he stays, either selling it or giving it to them. Much of this work was done in the early history of the message. Ministers acted as colporteurs, using the means obtained from the sale of the books to help in the advancement of the work in places where help was needed. These can speak intelligently in regard to this method of work; for they have had an experience in this line.CM 44.2

    Let none think that it belittles a minister of the gospel to engage in canvassing as a means of carrying truth to the people. In doing this work he is laboring in the same manner as did the apostle Paul, who says: “Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:18-21. The eloquent Paul, to whom God manifested Himself in a wonderful manner, went from house to house in all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations.—Testimonies for the Church 6:321-322 (1900).CM 44.3

    As Important as Preaching—The ministerial evangelist who engages in the canvassing work is performing a service fully as important as that of preaching the gospel before a congregation Sabbath after Sabbath. God looks upon the faithful evangelistic canvasser with as much approval as He looks upon any faithful minister. Both workers have light, and both are to shine in their respective spheres of influence. God calls upon every man to co-operate with the great Medical Missionary Worker, and to go forth into the highways and byways. Each man, in his particular line of service, has a work to do for God. Such laborers, if converted, are true missionaries.—Letter 186, 1903.CM 45.1

    There are some who are adapted to the work of the colporteur and who can accomplish more in this line than by preaching. If the Spirit of Christ dwells in their hearts, they will find opportunity to present His word to others and to direct minds to the special truths for this time.—Testimonies for the Church 6:323 (1900).CM 45.2

    Joy in Service—It was Christ's joy to help those in need of help, to seek the lost, to rescue the perishing, to lift up the bowed down, to heal the sick, to speak words of sympathy and consolation to the sorrowing and the distressed. The more fully we are imbued with His Spirit, the more earnestly we shall work for those around us; and the more we do for others, the greater will be our love for the work, and the greater our delight in following the Master. Our hearts will be filled with the love of God; and with earnestness and convincing power we shall speak of the crucified Saviour.CM 46.1

    I ask those to whom the light of truth has come: What are you going to do during the year that is just opening? Will you stop to quarrel with one another, to weaken and destroy the faith of humanity in humanity? or will you devote your time to strengthening the things that remain, that are ready to die? As our people engage in earnest work for the Master, complaints will cease to be heard. Many will be roused from the despondency that is ruining them body and soul. As they work for others, they will have much that is helpful to speak of when they assemble to worship God. The testimonies they bear will not be dark and gloomy, but full of joy and courage. Instead of thinking and talking about the faults of their brethren and sisters, and about their own trials, they will think and talk of the love of Christ, and will strive earnestly to become more efficient workers for Him.—The Review and Herald, January 27, 1903.CM 46.2

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