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Gospel Workers (1892/1893 ed.)

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    The Work of the Colporteur

    Missionaries are wanted everywhere. In all parts of the field colporteurs and canvassers should be selected, not from the floating element in society, not from among men and women who are good for nothing else, and have made a success of nothing, but from among those who have good address, tact, keen foresight, and ability.... Men suited to this work undertake it; but some injudicious minister will flatter them that their gift should be employed in the desk instead of simply in the work of the colporteur. Thus this work is belittled. They are influenced to get a license to preach; and the very ones who might have been trained to make good missionaries to visit families at their homes and talk and pray with them, are caught up to make poor ministers; and the field where so much labor is needed, and where so much good might be accomplished for the cause, is neglected. The efficient colporteur as well as the minister should have a sufficient remuneration for his services if his work is faithfully done.GW92 341.2

    If there is one work more important than another, it is that of getting our publications before the public, thus leading them to search the Scriptures. Missionary work—introducing our publications into families, conversing, and praying with and for them—is a good work, and one which will educate men and women to do pastoral labor.GW92 342.1

    Not every one is fitted for this work. Those of the best talent and ability, who will take hold of the work understandingly and systematically, and carry it forward with persevering energy, are the ones who should be selected. There should be a most thoroughly organized plan; and this should be faithfully carried out. Churches in every place should feel the deepest interest in the tract and missionary work....GW92 342.2

    Men should be at work who are willing to be taught as to the best way of approaching individuals and families. Their dress should be neat, but not foppish, and their manners such as not to disgust the people. There is a great want of true politeness among us as a people. This should be cultivated by all who take hold of the missionary work.—Testimonies for the Church 4:389.GW92 342.3

    *****

    There are some who are adapted to the work of the colporteur and who can accomplish far more in this line than in preaching. If the Spirit of Christ dwells in their own hearts, they will find opportunity to present his love to others, and to direct their minds to the special truths for this time. But they will need wisdom to know what to say, and what to leave unsaid. All points of our faith are not to be introduced indiscriminately. We should be careful not to arouse a combative spirit. There is enough to talk about that will not excite opposition, and that will open the heart to desire a deeper knowledge of God's word.—MS.GW92 342.4

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