Sex Education Program in Our Public Schools

Sex Education Program in Our Public Schools

In the first seventeen verses of Romans, chapter 1, we have the discussion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. starting at verse 21, we have the deterioration of the culture of a nation, or the society. Now anyone who knows anything about history knows this: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whatever else it brings, elevates society. It elevates womanhood. It elevates men in general. There has always been a positive influence upon a society that has accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Now there is a deterioration of society, and you see it here in Romans, chapter 1. Here is a cultured society. And here is the step down. Look at verse 21:

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

What is the first step downward’? People who know God, who are not thankful to God, and do not give God the proper place in their lives. Now verse 22:

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

That is the second step. When you quit giving God the rightful place in your life, then you profess yourself to be wise, and you exalt your own self — your own mind, your own thinking, your own reasoning, your own logic — above the Word of God, and the Bible says you become fools.

And now step number three, in verse 23:

“And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

That is modernism. Man first does not glorify God as he should. Then he becomes wise in his own mind and thinks he knows more than the Word of God. Then he becomes a liberal. He says the Bible is not true. He says, “I have my own ideas about God. Everybody has a right to interpret God for himself. And this is what I believe about God.” He becomes a liberal.

Now the fourth step is verses 24 and 25:

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves; Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator …. ”

That next step in deterioration is humanism. Now you start off not giving God the rightful place in your life. Then you become wise in your own conceit. Then you decide you will be religious but you will not believe in the God of the Bible. And then you become a humanist. Your philosophy of life is based on humanism.

And by the way, that is basically the difference between communism and democracy. Humanism is the great central word and theme of communism.

Number five — verse 26:

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.”

That is homosexual perversion.

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly and receiving in themselves the recompence of their error which was meet” (vs. 27).

This Deterioration in America Now Going on

Notice the progression now in America: first, a Christian nation, a cultured, refined nation, decided not to give God His rightful place. Men took the Bible out of the public school system. They took prayer out of the schoolroom. Now that they have done that, they can say, “We” or “I” know more than God. The Word of God, then, ceases to be the criteria for truth, and then you deteriorate into your own concept of God. “Everybody searching for the truth!” — how many times have you heard that in school? “Everybody searching for the truth. Nobody has a corner on the truth.” My Bible said that Jesus said, “I am the truth.”

A person who knows Jesus Christ not only knows the truth but He knows the One who is the Truth.

So we become wise. Then we become liberal. Then after that, we change the truth of God into a lie and humanism comes. And when humanism comes, we worship the creature more than the Creator. Then comes paganism. Hey, that is where we started! Paganism, conversion, culture, not giving God everything, human wisdom, liberalism, humanism, paganism. That is your cycle.

We send missionaries to a country, like people came to America, with the Gospel. From that Gospel comes culture and refinement and decency and character and integrity and honesty and morality. Then what happens? There comes that culture. Then we get pretty smart. We do not honor God. We do not give God His rightful place. Oh, we believe the Bible but we do not honor God. We don’t say much about it. We don’t get excited about it. We don’t go to church on Sunday night. We don’t give God His tithe. We don’t stand up for Christ. We are not the right kind of Christian people.

Then what happens? We become wise. You see that Vacuum that is left when we leave God? Here wisdom comes in and fills that vacuum. We become enamored with ourselves. We become impressed with our education, our culture, our refinement; then we think we know more than God. When we do that, we have knocked the Bible out from under us; we have knocked the foundation out from under the house, and then we have liberalism.

Liberalism is nothing more than humanizing God and that in its end is humanism. So we have humanism.

Then after we have humanism, We worship the creature, then the creatures get together in perversion and homosexuality and we have nothing but heathen paganism. Why? Because we are back where we started. Because we have left the things that made our culture, you see.

The thing that made America refined and cultured and decent and honorable was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And if we leave that, it doesn’t matter how many degrees we have, how many colleges, how many universities. Listen! If you leave the salt out, you can’t have salt, you can’t savor. So we have left out that which has savored, and now we find ourselves a heathen nation.

Look! We are just as lawless today as they were in Wyatt Earp’s day. Isn’t that true? Listen, twenty years ago when we heard of what was going on in South America and Europe, with the demonstrations and riots and folk being shot in the streets and a person’s life endangered when he got outside his own house, we thought of pagan, heathen countries doing that. And we were right. Nations are pagan and heathen when they do that. Now the honest truth is, we face tonight a moral breakdown and deterioration, and we face paganism and anarchy. Why? Because we have followed the time-tested pattern of deterioration. Enough of that.
Steinbeck’s Book Required Reading in Some Schools

It is surprising how few parents know what is going on in the public school system. Apathy is killing America, especially apathy on the part of God’s people.

I have in my hand tonight a book, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. This book is a best-seller. John Steinbeck was the winner of the Nobel Prize. This book was at one time required reading at a school in this area. Now at the school where some of my children go, they made it required reading but backed out because there was so much complaint about it, of which complainants I was one! I will not read this language; I will let you guess what the words are. I want to read to you some statements from this book, required reading not in a college but for freshmen in high school. Will all you high school freshmen stand up, please? Now, this book was required reading in a high school — at least one, maybe more — for boys and girls this age. Thank you.

Here we go. On page 33 I read:

“Don’t let him pull you in — but — if the b#### (son of a female dog) socks you — let ‘im have it.”

Page 35:

“Listen to me, you crazy b###### (an illegitimate child),” he said fiercely. “Don’t you even take a look at that b#### (a female dog).”

Now one reason I am preaching on this is that a lot of you parents are so lazy that you don’t check on it. Tonight I am going to cram it down your throats. You are going to know what your children are reading.

Page 39:

Carlson said thoughtfully, “Well, looka here, Slim. I been thinkin’. That dog of Candy’s is so g## d### old he can’t hardly walk. Stinks llke h###, too.”

Page 48:

Candy went on, “Either you guys got a slug of whiskey? I gotta gut ache.”

That kind of stuff is not vulgar but it sure goes against my refinement. There is a word for gut which decent people use — it is called stomach. And you people who think you are educated and refined, listen, when you use that, you are nothing but a heathen with a degree. Not only do you not know how to use decent language; you are not even cultured. Now that book is required in some high schools.

Page 48 again:

“Gotta bad gut ache,” said Candy. “Them g## d### turnips give it to me.”

Not only is it vulgar talk, but that is not even good English.

Don’t get mad yet. We haven’t begun. I see a lot of folks frowning already. You may have a stroke before we are through.

Page 59:

Whit stood up. “I guess maybe I’d like to see this,” he said.

“Curley’s just spoilin’ or he wouldn’t start for Slim. An’ Curley’s handy, g## d### handy.”

Page 61:

George sighed. “You give me a good w#### house (place where prostitutes do their business) every time,” he said. “A guy can go in an’ get drunk and get ever’thing outa his system all at once.”

Page 83:

Candy rubbed his cheek angrily. “You g## d### right we’re gonna do it …. ”

“Yeah?” said Crooks. “An’ where’s George now? In town in a w#### house.”

Page 95:

“This here g## d### little son-of-a-##### (female dog) wasn’t nothing to George.”

Page 107:

“That big son-of-a-##### (female dog) done it.”

“I’ll kill the big son-of–a-####### (illegitimate child) myself. I’ll shoot ‘im in the guts.”

Now you hear me, and you hear me well. If you would cram this filthy, rotten, stinking trash down the innocent minds of these little boys and girls who stood up awhile ago, you ought to be in the penitentiary. You ought to be in jail. And, by the way, there was a day in this country when you would have been!

Now this book is required reading. My boy was supposed to read this book, but there were so many complaints about it — mostly by our people — that they took this book out and put another one in. It had a lot of these vulgar words and they still DAMN the name of God all the way through it. And when I told the committee, “My boy is not going to read it,” the committee said, “Now let’s talk about it.”

I said, “Talk about it all you want to, but my boy is not going to read it.”

“Well,” they said, “we will reach an agreement.”

I said, “Yes, and I can tell you now what the agreement is going to be: my boy is not going to read the book.”

They said, “Well, you find worse things than that on the restroom walls.”

I said, “Yes, and when you make the restroom walls required reading, I will come back up here.”

The simple truth is, there is too much good literature that has been taught through the years in America to let such trash as this be crammed down the minds of our tender freshmen boys and girls.

The book, Caine Mutiny, is not as bad as this one I have quoted but it condemns the name of God all the way through. I heard a teacher say that she thought Caine Mutiny ought to be read, that there was nothing wrong with freshmen children reading Caine Mutiny. You think this is bad; you ought to read Baldwin’s book that some of our kids are having to read. It contains the most vulgar four-letter words you ever saw written on a sidewalk. But they said to me, “Now Rev. Hyles, Caine Mutiny is the language of a sailor. That is the way sailors talk.” I know a lot of sailors who do not have to use dirty words to talk!

Now you had better check and see what your children are being required to read. There has been a deterioration in our school system in the last five years that you would not believe. And in the next five years when these demonstrators and long-haired beatniks get out of college and are teaching our children, it will double the deterioration we have seen in the last five years. And that is only the beginning.

One of our students in our church overheard two teachers talking recently in school. One said, “If we are going to get something real vulgar in next year, we had better get something a little less vulgar in this year. And if we can get a certain book in this year, next year we will wriggle in the real vulgar ones.” And that is only the beginning.
THE IMMORAL PEOPLE WHO BACK SEX TEACHING IN SCHOOLS

In 1964, May 14, an organization was started in the State of New York called the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States, called SIECUS. It reached its full bloom on July 1, 1965. It broke in at 1855 Broadway in New York City. It is this organization that is influencing school systems all across America in sex education. Anybody knows that. It is either directly or indirectly responsible for the battle that is going on in almost every city of any size all across this great country concerning sex education in our school system. We call it SIECUS. Now its mother was a magazine called SEXOLOGY, which I will show in a few minutes. SIECUS, this sex education institute, was fostered by the editor and contributors and co-editors of a magazine called SEXOLOGY. SEXOLOGY is one of these magazines that was sold only behind the counter, a paperback that was considered pornography years ago. Now it has come to be a popular magazine because we live in an age when PLAYBOY, etc., can be popular. The people who founded, fostered and promoted the SEXOLOGY magazine are the people who are behind SIECUS. And those people are the ones who are behind the sex education program in our public school system.

I have tonight a copy of SEXOLOGY. Boy, you think I didn’t have a hard time getting this copy!

SEXOLOGY magazine is the forerunner of SIECUS, and I will prove it to you in a minute. I want to introduce to you tonight the people behind the sex education program.
Editor Rubin Proved Communist Editor SEXOLOGY

First, I introduce to you Editor Isadore Rubin. Mr. Rubin is editor of the SEXOLOGY magazine. He is the treasurer of SIECUS. Yes, the editor of this magazine SEXOLOGY is the treasurer of the organization that is behind the sex education program in Highland schools, in Munster schools, in Hammond schools, in Chicago schools, in Anaheim schools, in San Diego schools, and in school systems across this great nation. The editor of this pornographic literature is the treasurer of SIECUS! Mrs. Mildred Blauvelt was a detective for a number of years on the New York police force. On May 3, 1955, before the House Un-American Activities Committee, she identified under sworn statement that he, Isadore Rubin, editor of SEXOLOGY and treasurer of SIECUS, was a communist and she named the communist organizations to which he had belonged. In March, 1945, he was in service, the editor of this magazine and the treasurer of SIECUS, and he sent a ten-dollar donation to the Communist Party fund drive. When discharged from the army, he attended meetings of the Flatbush Club of the Communist Party.

He was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and asked to refute his communistic affiliation but he refused to do so. He had a chance before the committee to say, “I am not a communist.” He refused to disassociate himself with communism. He was for awhile the editor of the New York Teacher News, the magazine of the newspaper, the official organ of the New York Teachers Union. The New York Teachers Union was expelled from AFL-CIO because of its communistic affiliation, and this man was the editor. And he is the treasurer of SIECUS! Isadore Rubin, one of the men who is trying to teach your boys and girls about sex, edits this pornographic magazine!
Associate Editor Kirkendall of SEXOLOGY

Meet Lester A. Kirkendall, professor of Family Life at Oregon State University, and the author of many lewd articles. And he is a noted pornographic writer. He is an editor of SEXOLOGY. I read in this paper: Lester A. Kirkendall, Ph.D., Editor, Parent Guidance of SEXOLOGY magazine. He has articles in SEXOLOGY. Now let me read you some of the “nice” articles in this magazine. Here are a few of the titles:

  • “Alcohol Can Solve Sex Problems.”
  • “My Wife Knows I Am a Homosexual.”
  • “Group Sex Orgies.”
  • “Can Humans Breed With Animals?”

These are some of the articles from the SEXOLOGY magazine. I read some from the June issue of 1969:

  • “The Girl Who Couldn’t Say No”
  • “Sex Life of a Dwarf”
  • “Hypnosis, a Sex Aid”
  • “The Prostitute and Her Customer”

Mr. Rubin, who advocates the sex education program, the communist, the brother of communists, and the editor of this filth, is the one you are promoting. And then Mr. Kirkendall is a faithful contributor and editor of SEXOLOGY magazine.

Mr. Kirkendall has suggested a revision of SEXOLOGY “for use in the public school system.” He is the past director of the American Humanist Association, which is an organization given to fighting religion. So far you are walking in good company, aren’t you?
Co-Founder of Sex Education Program William Genne

Meet “Rev.” William Genne. Rev. Genne is one of the co-founders of SIECUS. In 1966 he affiliated himself with an organization that was shady. A report in May 22, 1968 from the files of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, spoke of his belonging to a communist front organization. He has belonged to the Community of Peaceful Alternatives, to the Atlantic Pact, the World’s Peace Appeal, and other organizations, avowed communist front organizations. Meet “Rev.” Genne also of SIECUS.
Pornography Writer Dr. Pomeroy

Meet Dr. Wardell Pomeroy, also connected with SIECUS. He is a psychotherapist and marriage counselor in New York City. He is the co-author with Kinsey on “Sexual Behavior of the Human Male.” In the June, 1968, issue of SEXOLOGY he describes “Most Unusual Sex Case” with this subtitle: “Introduced to Sex by His Grandmother and to Homosexuality by His Father, This Man Literally Tried Everything.” Isn’t that a wonderful article? Aren’t you proud that you are for a sex education program that is promoted and fostered by men who write such articles as this! Mr. Pomeroy is on the Board of Consultants of SEXOLOGY.
President and Executive Director of SIECUS

Meet Lester Doniger. Lester Doniger is the current president of SIECUS. He gives two birthplaces: one in Poland and one in Australia. How convenient! His wife has sold tickets to communist meetings in her state. He now is president of SIECUS. He himself has had a shady past and much contact with communist-front organizations.

Meet Mary Calderone, the biggest serpent of them all. Mary Calderone, the executive director of SIECUS, advocates the teaching of sex in the kindergarten. Concerning homosexuality she said, “I cannot condemn it.” She directs SIECUS! She is the one who heads the program, trying to put sex education in our public school system. She Said, “It will be some time before homosexuality receives general acceptance in America.” I quote again Mary Calderone: “By the age of ten, a child should master the factual aspects of reproduction.”

In the SATURDAY EVENING POST her motto was quoted as being, “TELL THEM EVERYTHING!” Listen, I cannot tell you all this wicked woman advocates. I cannot tell you the words she wants kindergarten pupils to know. I cannot tell you completely how she wants the terms of sex organs to be known, called off by kindergarten pupils. She is the executive director of SIECUS, and we have not yet begun!
Another Director Specializes in Nude Photos of Sex Sin

Meet William Masters, also a SIECUS director. He, William Masters, employs unmarried people to perform sexual acts before cameras so films can be made of sexual acts for presentation to others. Can you feature it! Look! Why, a liberal preacher, an atheist, an agnostic, ought to be against this trash! Why should a fundamentalist preacher have to stand almost alone? Every preacher in this area who believes in God ought to be against people who try to fight religion and the existence of a God. Taking our unmarried people and having them perform sex acts before cameras! He is also a SIECUS director! Aren’t you proud of yourself! Go home and look in the mirror and say, “Boy, you are walking in good company.” Also these demented perverts and communist people who edit and found and direct a magazine that was so indecent a few years ago you had to buy it between the covers of other magazines. Now these people are affecting and changing the lives of millions of boys and girls in our nation.

William Masters has been quoted in that satanic-inspired PLAYBOY magazine time and time again.
David Mace and Ashley Montagu

Meet David Mace. David Mace is the immediate past president of SIECUS. He fights morality and calls this Bible “the folklore of ancient Hebrews.” Now look. This kind of communistic humanism always is anti-God and anti-Bible — always is!

Meet Ashley Montagu who is on the SIECUS Board of Consultants. Ashley Montagu also is a part of the SEXOLOGY magazine’s team. He said he approves “the demasculinization of the human male” and advocates what I have preached against from this pulpit again and again and again. This one-world crowd, this one-church crowd, this one-race crowd comes eventually to one-sex crowd. And now they want one sex. The feminization of the American male. Look around at some of these fellows, or whatever they are, and you will see it — wearing their hair like girls, wearing jewelry like girls. There is a definite correlation between feminine dress, feminine hair styles and homosexuality. Hold it. I didn’t say that every hippie is a homosexual. But I say when a nation gets to the place when you can’t tell the men from the women, there is a reason for it.

He says — Mr. Montagu — that the feminization of American males is a step in the right direction.

I have read to you and am reading to you a list of men whose pictures ought to be in post offices across America with the word WANTED underneath them. They are doing more to curse America than the biggest convict in this nation. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker couldn’t reach the hem of their garments when it comes to destroying our nation like these are doing.
“How to Publish Dirty Books for Fun and Profit”

Meet Barney Rossit. SIECUS lists Barney Rossit as a source of information. He has been repeatedly in court because of his pornography. In the SATURDAY EVENING POST for January 25 he was the subject of an article, “How to Publish Dirty Books for Fun and Profit,” and he is affiliated with SIECUS, the organization that is putting sex education in our public schools! He is known for glorifying communism.

Now here is the one that will curl your hair. Meet Albert Ellis. Albert Ellis is recommended by SIECUS. He is an oft-married fellow. He said about religion, “The religious person sells his soul so that he may feel comfortable with this heavenly helper he has invented.” Another one of your team members! Quote again, “Religion is a needless inhibition.”
Would Debase His Sister, He Says

Meet Albert Ellis. Albert Ellis advocates free sex and homosexuality. He made this statement. I hate to read it, but I am going to, leaving out just one word: “If I were stuck on a desert island with my sister, I would almost surely ######### and let the chips fall where they may.” Yes, meet Albert Ellis. He says, “Religion is a form of mental sickness.”

I hold in my hand a copy of the HAMMOND TIMES, Section B, Sunday, May 25, 1969. “Symposium Schedule, Hammond. Six top men in the field of psychology are scheduled to take part in the second Symposium of human growth and development in October. The second Symposium is being sponsored by the psychology department of Hammond schools. Emotional Education is the subject of Dr. Albert Ellis …. Five of the six sessions will be held in Morton High School Auditorium.” This is not in California; it is in Hammond. Dr. Albert Ellis is speaking at Morton School. He said, “If I were stuck on a desert island with my sister, I would almost surely ####### and let the chips fall where they may.” “Religion is a form of mental sickness.” “Homosexuality is all right.” “The religious person sells his soul so that he may feel comfortable with this heavenly helper he has invented.” “Religion is a needless inhibition.”

Listen! If it is illegal to read this blessed Book, the Bible, in the public schools, it ought to be as equally illegal to have an atheist and a sex pervert like this to feed the minds of our boys and girls rotten filth. I say that if it is wrong in the public schools to say the Bible is true, then it is wrong to say it is false. Either have both sides to present or leave it alone. You say, “I don’t like the way you are preaching.” But you don’t mind the Rap Browns and the Stokely Carmichaels getting up and shouting, do you? It is time some decent people started speaking up. Well, Dr. Albert Ellis is coming to our city.

Meet Dr. Joseph Fletcher, recommended by SIECUS, who said, “For me, there are no rules at all.” He was cited by the House Un-American Activities Committee as the sponsor and supporter of the Communist Party. Herbert Philbrick was a secret agent of the F.B.I. who ran with communists for years. He says he worked with Joseph Fletcher actively in the Communist Party. Fletcher is one of the SIECUS team.

I could go on and on and on. I could call off thirty or forty-five names of other men who have this same affiliation and the same perverted, indecent, vulgar minds as these men. Now, whether you believe it or not, or like it or not, when you have a meeting with your school board concerning sex education, though many of them do not even know it, this is the thing that they are promoting, and these are the men whose literature your children will be reading.
How the Sex Education Program Works

What is their program? If you lived in Palo Alto, California, your child in kindergarten would very likely come home and say, “Mama, guess what happened today at school? …. What happened? …. The teacher borrowed a little boy baby and a girl baby and bathed them in front of our class today to show the difference.” That is a part of their program.

If you lived in San Diego, California, your child would receive seventeen lessons on sex in the schools. Slides would be shown to the sixth grade, roving teachers would go from school to school giving five days of lectures. Get this. Your child would see a Walt Disney animated cartoon entitled “The Story of Menstruation.”

If you lived in Anaheim, California, your child would go to a school system superintended by Mr. Paul Cook. Mr. Cook said, “Not long ago they would have hanged me from the nearest telephone pole for what I am doing now.” He said, “God-centered religion in passé.” And yet ninety-two per cent of the parents in Anaheim, California, voted to stand solidly behind what he is doing — the SIECUS program.

A news reporter named John Steinbacker asked a Marine one day on the streets of Anaheim why the Marines all came to Ariahelm on a weekend. Now Anaheim is the show place of SIECUS. Ariahelm, California, is the place where SIECUS has done more dirt than any other place, I think. The Marine’s answer to that question was, “Man, everybody knows that high school girls are available here!” I wonder why?

Kirkendall, whose name I mentioned awhile ago, said, “Just sneak it in.” What? Sex education. “Go to the PTA. That is where the power lies.” And, by the way, let me say a word about them. There is a magazine called the PTA magazine that is going to answer to God for a lot of the rot in America. “Go to the PTA. There is where the power lies.” Now get this. This is an above board way to do it. “Don’t say you are going to start a sex education course. Say that you are going to enrich and expand and make it better. And sneak it in.” Then Kirkendall advised to get a group of leading businessmen, doctors, lawyers — and form a committee. Get them to endorse it, then you can sneak it in better.

Ladies and gentlemen, what is happening in America is the same thing that happened in Spain, in Russia, in Greece and other nations. They have leveled their attack at the next generation. And we have bowed down before the god of secular education so long that our youth have been sorely affected.
Supreme Court Struck Down Decent Laws Against Pornography

You say, “Preacher, who is the main offender?” Now hang on to your seats for we are really going to ride rough for a minute. I think I see a Texas ‘norther’ coming up! The main offenders on whose hands rests the blood of America more than any other men are those on the Supreme Court. Earl Warren and his cohorts have opened the door to allow such filth to become respectable.

I have — and I am not going to show them but I am just going to tell you what it is — I have two pictures here that are used in sex training. One picture shows two dogs together, and I won’t say anything else. The next picture shows a man and woman in bed together.

In Chicago was shown a movie on sex education. Out of 3,200 students, sixteen refused to see the film, and they were branded by the SATURDAY EVENING POST as fundamentalists from the hills of West Virginia. Now you can say what you want to say, brother, but I would rather be an ignorant fundamentalist from the hills of West Virginia who couldn’t even write my name nor wear shoes on my feet, than to be so smart I thought I knew more than God Almighty!

I thank God that in the State of Louisiana the legislature there voted ninety-four to four to make it illegal to teach sex in the public school system unless it was approved by every parent of every child. There are a lot of God-fearing, decent American citizens who still have some integrity and character left in these places that are being sold off to you by the news media as bigots, and that is just not so.

There are still a lot of counties in America where they have voted dry and you can’t buy beer. The county I pastored in Texas for almost seven years was dry. You couldn’t even buy a bottle of beer. Some 300,000 people lived in the area where I grew up and it was as dry as a bone. You couldn’t buy a bottle of beer anywhere in that area. We voted liquor out every year in the town where I pastored in Texas. The town only had 28,000 people, and 4,000 of them belonged to my church, one out of seven! And every time we voted liquor down they would say, “It was those Bible-tot’n’ Baptists!” Amen!

What are the results? Venereal disease is reaching almost epidemic proportions in our country. You don’t hear much about this. SIECUS won’t publish this. They won’t put this in the movies. Eighty thousand reported cases in America in 1966, and who knows how many thousands of others! A seventy per cent increase over 1956. In one year, 90,000 unwed teen-age mothers. Teen-age marriages have risen 500 per cent, and teen-age divorces are three times the proportion to divorces of those twenty-one and over.

Here is the sad part. You and I are paying for it. The United States government last year invested 1.5 million dollars to promote this program in thirteen school districts across this nation. You and I are paying for it. Now the honest truth is, it is morally wrong to teach another’s children religious convictions. Did you hear what I said ? It is morally wrong. Now it is not morally wrong to read the Bible. But it is morally wrong to teach your religious convictions to somebody else’s child unless that parent approves.

Now listen. Mr. Kinsey said, in his report that came out some years ago, that the greatest influence on morals is religion. If that be so, sail by one of their own group, that means that when you teach another’s child or you allow your child to be taught by another, the subject of sex, they are teaching your child something that is prompted by religious convictions. And it is wrong for our public school system to put our children at the mercy of just whoever happens to be teaching biology this year.
WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO?

Now what can we do? I have skipped a lot, but what can we do?

One. Check on your child. I am going to ask you a question. How many people in this house have children in school? Yes. Many of you do. Another question: How many of you have taken time to read as many as ten pages of any book this year that was required reading for your child at school? Will you be honest and raise your hand? Now there is your trouble. Not one-tenth of the people who have children in school even check what the child is reading.

They showed a sex film in a certain school in this area. I think there were six children who didn’t see it, and these went to a room together. And five of them belonged to First Baptist Church of Hammond!

You say, “But how about our church?” Listen. Unless your preacher barks as loud as I do on the subject, folks won’t hear him. Look. I had a little run-in with a teacher — not a serious one; in fact, I probably have as good relation with the teachers of my children as anybody in this area could have. Our kids are required to write notes of gratitude to their teachers every year, and we do our best to keep our relationship wholesome between the school and this church and this preacher. But I was talking with a certain teacher about a rule, and the teacher said, “You have no say in it. Your child is ours when she is at school.”

And I said, “You hear me, and you hear me well. I don’t care if she is at school or at the zoo, she is my child, And you’ve got a battle on your hands if you think she is your child because she is at school.” And I repeated, “You hear me, and you hear me well. You are going to respect our religious convictions, or I am taking it to the Supreme Court of America.”

She said, “I have neither the time nor the money to do that.”

I said, “I have the time and I will raise the money.”

Check on your child. Stand up, be different. Good night! What is wrong with Christian people in this area! Take a stand. Well, you say, “I am afraid little Johnny will be embarrassed.” It wasn’t easy on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you know. Daniel was not the most popular boy in the Senior class. When Paul was stoned outside Lystra, he wasn’t elected “the boy most likely to succeed.” He wasn’t on his way to the Senior Prom. What’s Wrong with Christians believing something, living by it, standing by it, dying for it! Stand for something.

Good night! You Methodists, stand for something! You Presbyterians, stand for something! You Episcopalians, stand!

I heard a story about folks who went to Heaven. And they saw a fellow dancing. He was just dancing all over Heaven and he had a bunch of folks with him. People asked, “What are those folks doing?” And St. Peter said, “That’s Hyles and First Baptist.” “Well, what are they dancing for?” He said, “They didn’t get to dance on earth, so they are living it up, up here!”

They saw a bunch of folks baptizing — I mean just down up, down up, down up, down up, baptizing, baptizing. “Who are they?” asked the inquisitive one. And St. Peter said, “They are Methodists. They never did baptize on earth, and they are having a time baptizing up here.”

Over in the corner were some people just sitting, bored to tears. And the guest asked, “Who are those people doing nothing?” St. Peter answered, “They are Ecumenicals. There ain’t nothing they didn’t do on earth!”

Stand for something! There are enough Bible-believers in the Calumet region to change some things if we stand. Stand!

You say, “How do we do it?” Well, one way is this way. Walk up to the teacher and say courteously and kindly, “I am not here to cause trouble, but I am here to say that my child cannot participate in this, which is against our religious convictions.” Now ninety per cent of the teachers are the kind of folks who will let your child do something else for credit. And it is time somebody stood toe to toe with the other ten per cent and slugged it out. Stand! Good night! Young people, stand! stand!

God Has a Payday for All Who Stand True

We Christian people tonight stand on the blood of martyrs who died for what we believe. People have been burned at the stake for this old Book. People have been dragged to death in the streets, with their brains dashed out on the rocks, for this old Book. People have put their heads in the guillotine, and had their heads severed from their bodies, for this old Book. People have been stripped naked and boiled in hot water until they died, for this old Book. People have been thrown to the lions in Rome, thousands of them, for this old Book. People have shed their blood, had their tongues cut out, had their eyeballs plucked out with sharp pincers; people have been dragged to death, beaten to death, stoned to death; people have been gassed and suffered every form of martyrdom in the world; people have lost their lives, their families, their homes — everything so you and I would have the Book. Now let’s do something about standing for it, too.

Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed thro’ bloody seas?
Sure I must fight, if l would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord;
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.
And when the battle’s over,
We shall wear a crown,
We shall wear a crown,
Yes, we shall wear a crown;
And when the battle’s over,
We shall wear a crown
In the new Jerusalem!

What difference does it make if we are hated here. I am called everything a man could be called. I am lied about, gossiped about, and hated, and cussed, and folks won’t speak to me on the streets. But I will tell you one thing, brother, when I walk down the golden streets of the New Jerusalem, Peter and Paul will speak to me. I will tell you another thing: those of us who stand for decency and those of us who stand for the Bible, and those of us who stand for what is right and against what is wrong, one of these days they will put on a parade for us. Some of you little mealy-mouthed Christians who never did stand, and folks didn’t criticise you, up in Heaven you will have to borrow money for a shoeshine. You didn’t stand. Stand! Stand! It wouldn’t be so hard on some of the kids to stand if all the kids would stand.

How many times have things like this come up and I have called the teacher and spoken kindly and I mean it. When I get in personal conversation with people, I do my best to be kind. That is the honest truth. Don’t you go up to school and preach like I am preaching now. This is my pulpit and the signs say FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH and you didn’t pay to get it. You come to my house and visit me and I will just romp and stomp all I want to. It is my territory, and I own it. Not the whole church, but this up here is mine, deeded to me. I have told the deacons, “You can have all the church you want, but from right over here in this corner to over here in this corner belongs to me, and no board, no deacon, no organization, no denomination will tell me what to say behind this pulpit.” I feel sure some of you are going to choke before you leave! We had better stand so you can breathe a bit! A lot of you folk never heard a prophet before. To stand true whatever the people think — many of you have never heard that before. And that is to your disgrace. Your boys and girls ought to be growing up in a church that stands for something. The Apostle Paul wrote to a young preacher and said, “And having done all, Stand.”

Back Up Bible-Believing Pastors and Churches

Number two. Get your family into an old-fashioned, Bible-preaching church, where an old-fashioned Bible preacher can build their faith in the Word of God.

But you say, “Brother Hyles, Granddad belonged to the church that I belong to now. They don’t believe the Bible, but I hate to leave Granddad’s old church.” If Granddad were alive, he wouldn’t set foot in it now, if it doesn’t believe the Bible. Get in a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church that has conviction that will instill in your boys and girls decency.

Number three. Get good books for your children to read. My boy David is a freshman in high school. Tonight he rode to church with me. David was quiet and I hadn’t said anything. He had a book, and I said, “David, what are you reading?” It was called, I think, The Best of Billy Sunday. I didn’t make him read it. He just has good books around his room. We give him good books.

Number four. Oppose SIECUS in your public school system. Oppose it. I mean, let your vote be counted. Oppose it.

Number five. Get in a church that preaches anti-communism, anti-socialism, and decency. I picked up my newspaper one day and I could not believe what I saw. A pastor in this area was lauded and was proud that he uses the PLAYBOY magazine as text for his sermon. If you go there, God pity you! And God pity him, when he stands before God. And instead of laughing, you ought to be crying about it. I would rather be a bootlegger when I stand before the bar of God, than be a preacher who preaches from PLAYBOY magazine. And I hope to my soul that he is here tonight. God pity him! Have you ever heard of the Bible?

Be Faithful Sunday School Teachers

Number six. Sunday school teachers, we have a big battle — a big battle. Son, you on the end, will you come up here? What is your name? Gabriel? Gabriel? I have read about you in the Bible. You blow a horn, don’t you! How is Michael doing? This little fellow is good looking, isn’t he — for a boy. Boys are made out of rats, and snails, and puppy dog tails. Did you know that? Is this little boy going to have to sit under SIECUS? Of course, he doesn’t have to, because his parents can keep him from it. You say he will flunk. But he will pass in Heaven. If he has to sit under that kind of program five days a week, and you are his Sunday school teacher, God pity you if you just go out of town because you want to go out of town for the weekend every once in awhile, and this boy goes without your teaching on the Lord’s day. God pity you if you don’t spend your life trying to save this boy. You say Amen to me, yet you teach boys and girls in Sunday school and you won’t come forty Sundays a year. Now put your money where your mouth is. Dedicate yourself tonight to say, “By the grace of God, my boys and girls need the best teaching I can give them, and I will do it.”

Thank you, little fellow. See there. “You are welcome.” He learned that in Sunday school. Didn’t you? “Yes, Sir.” Did you hear that? That is the kind of boys we grow. Our Sunday school teachers dedicate themselves to combating evil. Give yourself to your class. Choir directors of children’s choirs and folks who work with youth groups, dedicate yourselves by the grace of God to do your best.

Seeing Him Who Is Invisible

Jack Hyles - Seeing Him Who is Invisible

seeingjackhyles
“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” –Heb. 11:33-40

Now turn back, if you will, to verse 24 of Hebrews 11, then carefully follow in the reading of verses 24 to 27.

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured [notice very carefully the next line], AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE.”

Now brethren, let’s face it. We are in the fight of our lives. It has been made exceedingly difficult in my town. For six or seven years I have been standing in my town and fighting. Norman Vincent Pealism, National Council of Churchism and all the rest of it, and my folks believed what I said. Now there come those who preach the same message that I preach, yet embrace those whose doctrine I have fought through the years. My people come to me and ask me the same questions your people ask you: “Brother Hyles, we have always thought Norman Vincent Peale taught a doctrine that is wrong and lacked the punch. And we have always thought it was wrong to affiliate with the National Council. We have always thought it was wrong to associate with World Council people, and yet, Brother Hyles, there are people today who preach basically the same message that you preach who associate with those people.”

I lose people from my church, and many of you do–people who can’t understand. They feel perhaps through the years we’ve been too narrow, our message has been too biased, and we have been a little prejudiced against some people and jealous and what not, because we have preached through the years some basic fundamental things. Now those who preach basically the same message we preach embrace those who formerly were our enemies. Black used to be black and white white; but now it has become a dirty gray till a person can hardly tell what is black and what is white.

Now brethren, how are we going to take these things? I don’t know about you, but I get discouraged sometimes. Sometimes I think nobody is left but me.

I say to my wife, “How did you like my sermon?” With her tongue in cheek she says, “Good.” I know what she means. And the dog won’t wag his tail at me; the cat won’t even come and let me feed him milk. It seems as though the whole world is down on me. I can walk under the door without bending over. I can sit in the gutter and dangle my feet. It seems nothing is going right. I get discouraged, and so do you. Many times you, like me, shed tears of loneliness and sorrow.

Sometimes I wish some preacher with convictions would come to my town with whom I could agree. I wish he would come to be pastor in my town so my own folks wouldn’t think I was the only one in the world who was against something. It seems everything that goes on I have to get against. I get out of one scrap right into another. I don’t mean to fight. Really I like people and want to get along with them; yet it seems there is one scrap after another.

So I get discouraged. you laugh now, but you are laughing because you were crying yesterday! When two people get together who have tuberculosis, and they cough, your cough doesn’t sound so loud if somebody else is coughing along with you! We get discouraged and down in the dumps and wonder if it is worth it all.

You think the battle is raging now–it has just begun. The same Devil that fought yesterday is alive today. The same Devil that put these Christians into lions’ mouths and in flames of fire is still alive today. Are we going to take it?

Look at Moses. Moses chose to serve God rather than all the riches of Egypt. Moses, how did you take it?

“I’ve seen Him who is invisible.”

You are not going to take it unless every once in awhile you get a glimpse of Him who is invisible.

Aren’t you tired of just going to church? Aren’t you tired of singing the “Doxology” and “How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours” and “How Dry I Am”? The preacher does the best he can; he tries to get in touch with Heaven, but the line is busy. The operator is off for the week-end and you can’t get through. Aren’t you tired of going to church, then going home and feeling you haven’t heard from Heaven? But when we go to church and God comes and talks to us and we feel His presence, then we go home and feel so good!

There are times when I go to church–it’s one of those mornings we slept a little later and I had to dress all three kids by myself. Just about the time we are ready to leave, we discover Linda Lou’s right shoe is on her left foot and her left shoe on her right foot. We get in the car and David wants a drink–got to go back and get him a drink. We go to church and Becky feels that she doesn’t look just right, and my wife’s dress is wrinkled because the baby wallowed all over her. I get up in the pulpit and try to get in touch with Heaven but can’t. I go home and realize I have failed.

Brother, when your people come to hear you preach, they come to hear from Heaven. And if you fail to give them something straight of the altar from Heaven, you ought to resign your pulpit and let somebody in there who can get a call through to Heaven. Now you had as well face this. you will kill yourself if you don’t see Him who is invisible every once in awhile.

In the last year I have been voted out of everything. I got voted out of the Dallas County Baptist Association on October 19,1957. It’s funny now; it was sad then. Do you know what October 10 is in the Bible? The Day of Atonement! (Both Joe Boyd and I were voted out the same time.) The Day of Atonement was the day the high priest took two goats. Do you recall the offering of the scapegoat? On that day the high priest took two goats. He killed one of them and left the other out in the wilderness and said, “Don’t you ever come back.” Now that happened to me.

Oh, I don’t want to preach if I can’t get in touch with Him who is invisible. I don’t want fellowship with God’s people if I can’t have God’s fellowship. The reason you are at this conference is because you want to see Him who is invisible. If you go home from this conference after hearing these men but have not had fellowship with and seen Him who is invisible, you have cheated yourself out of $20, or whatever you spent to get here.

There are three basic things about people who see Him who is invisible. Moses saw Him in the burning bush. Saul saw Him on the Damascus Road. Stephen saw Him when he was being stoned to death. Paul saw Him when he was outside the city of Lystra. The Hebrew children saw Him in the fiery furnace. Jacob saw him wrestling at midnight. Daniel saw Him in the lions’ den. And others saw Him. And if you want to see Him, you will have to have these three basic things these men had.

Only in Heartbreak, Perhaps, Will You See Him Who Is Invisible

Every man in the Bible who saw Him who is invisible was a man of heartache. he was a man of loneliness. he was a man who bore reproach. These three things accompanied those in the Bible who saw him who is invisible.

Brethren, the times when I have seen Him who is invisible were those times when my heart was broken. Those were good times. It seems the Lord has a wonderful way of turning heartache into victory, and times of loneliness and despair into victory. Preacher brethren, isn’t it good when you get in the middle of the battle and get discouraged and down in the dumps, to know that God really called you to preach?

I recall several experiences in my life when I have seen Him who is invisible. There are times when I get lonely, discouraged, down in the dumps. In those times it seems God has given me a vision of him who if invisible.

My first experience took place when I was a small boy. I promised God on my daddy’s grave that everywhere I would tell this experience. My daddy was a drunkard, I was raised in a poor home with no conveniences–just a little cabin on the edge of town. Because she couldn’t afford a dress to wear to walk across the platform, my sister couldn’t get her diploma with the rest of her class.

It came time for me to graduate. The morning of the commencement exercise, I had nothing but a pair of blue jeans and a tee shirt to wear to my own graduation. I looked in the closet and said, “O God, give me something to wear to commencement tonight. I can’t wear blue jeans and a tee shirt.” When I went to the mailbox at noon there was a $50 check from one of my old uncles. He wrote, “Spend it for your graduation present.” I went downtown, bought a suit and graduated with as pretty a suit as anybody had.

I was raised poor. My little old mother–God bless her–had a life full of heartaches. Her daddy was mean and beat her; he didn’t love her as he ought to. She married a drunkard at seventeen and had a little baby girl when she was eighteen. This baby was born in invalid, never walked or talked. When she was seven she died. My mother had another little girl and at seven she died.

I shall never forget one night. My dad didn’t come home. He was out drunk. We had nothing to eat, so Mamma came to me and said, “Son, let’s go to bed early tonight.” I thought, “Well…okay.” Then I heard Mamma crying. I didn’t know then why, but not I realize it was because there was nothing to eat, and no wood to put in the stove. About four o’clock in the morning I heard Mother open the door. Daddy came stumbling in. The car was torn up; he was broke and bloody. There wasn’t anything worth living for, it seemed.

I can recall wishing Daddy would go to church. It was Saturday night. I can recall going over as a little boy and getting on my knees and looking up and saying, “Daddy, why don’t you go to church tomorrow?” Daddy would shove me away and say, “I don’t have time for church.”

Somehow God spoke to my heart that day and I went to church. That night I saw Him who is invisible. I got saved that night.

So you know God gives us experiences with Him who is invisible through heartaches and tragedy.

When I became a teen-ager I saw my daddy leave home, and Mother and I had to rough it the best we could. I went to work and tried to take care of Mother as she had taken care of me. I still try to take care of her. Even to this day I still pay my mother’s rent and take care of the food. She is a member of my church now, is seventy-odd-years-old, and I get to preach to her every Sunday. She thinks I’m better than John Rice!

I went to work to take care of Mother, but it seemed we couldn’t make ends meet, couldn’t pay the bills. One day I went to church so forsaken and so forlorn–I just didn’t know what to do. you know what the Lord did? God called me to preach that day! I saw Him who is invisible.

So in every deep experience I have ever had, I had to cry before I laughed. You have to go down before you can go up; have to get sad before you get happy.

Loneliness, the Price of Seeing Him Who Is Invisible

Then I went through other experiences. When my daddy passed away I stood on his grave and asked God why. From that day to this I have not been the same man. God gave me a vision of him who is invisible.

I wasn’t going to say anything here about getting voted out of the Association, but I almost have to. You’ve heard about Lone Ranger and Tonto. Tonto is the Indian companion of the Lone Ranger. They went out in the desert in Texas. Ten thousand Indians came toward them and attacked them from the north, and so they took off south. Then ten thousand Indians came from the south, and so they took off east. Then ten thousand Indians came from the east, so they took off west. There were the Lone Ranger and Tonto, his Indian companion, out in the middle of forty thousand Indians, no way to go. They were coming down upon them quickly. The Lone Ranger looked at Tonto and said, “Tonto, what are we going to do?” Tonto looked at him and said “Ugh, what do you mean ‘we,’ white man?”

That is what they said! When I was voted out of the Association, I had lots of friends [I thought they were friends]” so I went to them and said, “What are we going to do?” They said, “Ugh, what do you mean ‘we,’ Jack?” There we wee. Friends gone, revivals canceled. The first day after it happened four speaking engagements were canceled. A revivalist was coming to my church. Within two or three weeks he had canceled our revival. It just seemed like the whole world had fallen in.

Actually, our people never even heard of the Association. They didn’t know there was a Dallas Baptist Association. We belonged to it, but our folks didn’t know it. They thought we had lost our charter. They thought we couldn’t have services anymore. Lots of them said, “What are we going to do with the building now that we can’t have a church anymore?” They thought that. Finally it dawned upon us what had happened, and for awhile we felt lonely.

I had been to a Southern Baptist college and seminary and pastored four Southern Baptist churches, and for awhile it seemed lonely. People we never dreamed would leave us, left us. Folks we never dreamed would break their friendship, broke their friendship. I mean the best friends I had, I thought, turned their backs on our church and upon me just like that.

Preacher boys whom God had saved and called to preach under our ministry, and everything they knew had been taught from our pulpit, left us just in a moment. They were gone. It seemed like the church was rocking and reeling. It seemed for awhile as if the whole thing was breaking in. I said, “Lord, I’m going to leave. I feel led to be an evangelist. I’m going to leave.” So I decided to go.

One night I was sound asleep, just enjoying a good night’s rest. (I love to dream. I pray to God every night when I go to sleep, “Lord, let me dream something tonight. I don’t want to waste my time while sleeping. Let me dream something tonight.” I love to dream. Listen! I’ve been to Shanghai, China; I’ve been to Rome, Italy; I’ve been to London, England; I’ve preached city-wide revivals in New York City and Chicago; and I’ve never been to any of them. I did it in a dream. Wonderful experiences! I have seen literally thousands of people saved in my dreams. I love it! It’s wonderful. You ought to get in the habit. Eat a hamburger before you go to bed every night and ask God to help you dream! God will do it!)

So I was sound asleep and dreaming. The telephone rang, and oh, the horror of a preacher’s telephone at two o’clock in the morning! I thought, “I wonder who is dead now.” I went to the phone and picked up the receiver. One of my custodians said, “Brother Jack, come to the church quickly.”

“What in the name of common sense happened?”

“A tornado hit the educational building.”

“Oh, no! Oh, no, no! A thousand times no. I’m still dreaming.”

He said, “You’re not dreaming. A tornado hit the educational building. Come quickly.”

It was pouring down rain. Hail was on the ground. I rushed down to the church house in the midst of the pouring down rain and hail, looked up and saw through the top of our educational building. The top story was blown off and was down against one of the other buildings. The water was going through and you could swim in the bottom floor. Furniture was broken. I looked at my associate pastor, who went with me–we lived four houses from each other–and said, “Brother Jim, this is it! I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t. This is it! Friends are gone, members are gone, deacons are mad, preacher boys have left–now the building blown down. This is it!”

That was Friday night. Saturday morning I went down to the church house, and folks came by the church. One thing about our church in Garland–you don’t have to know what’s going to happen; something is always happening. If it’s not a tornado, somebody has dropped dead in the church (it has happened right in our church). Folks were driving by to look at the building.

I was crying. I said to the associate pastor, “Now, Brother Jim, this is it. you better look for a place to go because I’m quitting. I’m just going to quit!”

The next morning I got up in the pulpit. What did I preach on? On Job; what else was there to preach on? I told the people about Job, and really, honestly, I was sitting in ashes and burning and scraping my old sores and feeling sorry for myself. I got down to where I was trying to show them that God gave Job the victory and he said, “I know that my redeemer liveth.” Usually I would say, “Boy, I KNOW that my Redeemer liveth,” but that morning I didn’t know. So I said, ” I know…that my Redeemer liveth.” The people didn’t know either. I was going to show them where God came down and gave Job the victory, gave him children, and gave him more than he had had before, and God blessed him bountifully. I got down to that place and I said, “Look here!” I wasn’t convinced myself. I said, “God is going to bless us–I know He is.” I didn’t know it, but I said it. “I know God is going to bless us. Look here,” and I read the Scripture… and you know what it said? It said when the Lord came down to tell Job that victory had come, He came in a whirlwind! “Oh,” I said, “Victory has come! The Lord came in a tornado and told us that victory is here, and defeat is over!”

Boy, the people shouted for joy, the choir rejoiced, and folks were saying, “Praise the Lord!” All of a sudden like a bolt out of the blue, we had a glimpse again of Him who is invisible, and from that day till this we haven’t been the same.

More than anything else in the world, we need some hard times! We need some times to be broke and lonely and forsaken and forgotten! We need some enemies, and some heartaches, some battles!

In my own crooked, wicked, vile life, if I didn’t have heartaches and times of despondency and loneliness, I wouldn’t seek help from Him. But I want you to know, when those times come and it seems like nobody understands and really you can say nobody does understand–nobody understands but Jesus. He is the only one who ever had the problems that we have, like we’re having them.

Dr. Rice, bless his heart, will come to the rescue of anybody who stands for God anywhere–I don’t care who he is. if I had my life to live over and could be born with any daddy in the world, I’d say, “Let me be John Rice’s son.” Walt, I congratulate you. If I had found one of these Rice girls before I married, I believe I would have been a bigamist! I really do, I really do, because I’d like to be in his family. Anyhow I appreciate him and he comes to your rescue. But even John Rice doesn’t completely understand your problems and I don’t completely understand his problems. Neither my little old mother nor my wife completely understand my problems. There are times when nobody understands, and the only hope you’ve got is to see Him who is invisible.

God is so good and so wonderful, and about the time we get down to the bottom of the barrel, it seems as if he lifts the shutter of Heaven and says, “Say, look at Me again.” We get to see Him again and we say, “Fill ‘er up. We’re on our way again,” and off we go. So times of heartaches seem to accompany times of seeing him who is invisible.

In the second place, it seems men who have seen Him who is invisible are lonely men. I didn’t intend to say this, but I will: Don’t ever get to the place where you depend upon these conferences for your spiritual strength. Get a straight line through to Heaven. Get through when there are no conferences going on! He who is invisible is available for conferences any time. Depend on fellowship with Him, speak with Him–the God who lives, the God who rained fire on Elijah, the God who filled the oil in the little lady’s pots, the God who changed water to wine, the God who fed the five thousand, the God who raised His Son from the dead. He is a God who lives and you can have fellowship with Him who is invisible.

I think how lonely Dr. Rice must get. I’ll tell you, loneliness is the hardest thing I’ve had to face since I’ve been preaching. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church–licensed, married, baptized, spanked, everything else in a Southern Baptist church! That’s all I knew. When I started preaching my preacher preached pretty good and I thought every preacher stood against sin. So I took off with a pitch-fork in one hand, to stick folks in the seat of the breeches and wake them up, and a Bible in the other, to tell them what to do when they woke up. I found out right away that everybody wasn’t for me. I was brutally shocked! The pastor of the First Baptist Church where I was pastoring then didn’t feel led to co-operate with me. Talk about co-operating with modernists–he wouldn’t co-operate with me at all! It just seemed nobody understood.

It seems the lonelier the road has gotten, the sweeter it has been. I couldn’t say that before I read the whirlwind, but the lonelier the road has gotten, the sweeter it’s been. It seems when you get to the place where you say, “Who can I turn to?” Somebody says, “Did you ever think about Me?” You look up and He pulls back the shutter and you get a glimpse of Him who is invisible.

Bearing Christ’s Reproach Must Come With Seeing Him Who Is Invisible

The third thing notice very quickly. The main thing I want to say is to see him who is invisible, you have to bear reproach. This modern-day popular Christianity is not the kind the Bible talks about–this Jane Russell type, this Roy Rogers type–teach them how to kill on Saturday and tell them what the Lord means to you on Sunday, I don’t care how good the testimony is.

In Dallas they had Pat Boone down (can you feature it?) for a religious rally, packed the city auditorium with 10,000 people. Pat Boone got there and told them what Jesus meant to him. Isn’t that something? That may sound good, and Grandma, Agnes, and Oswald, you can sit out there and cry and say, “It sure is good to see a young man that is popular be so religious.” I tell you what, that isn’t the kind the Bible has anything to say about.

Show me anybody in the Bible worth his weight in salt who wasn’t hated by the crowd. There wasn’t one socially popular character in all the Bible! Abel was killed by his brother. Noah was hated by his people and could get but seven converts in preaching 120 years. Joseph was sold into slavery. Moses was hated by his family and his race. Elijah was chased until he thought he was the only one. Elisha was hated and called “bald head.” The more hair I lose, the more I appreciate Elisha. He was the first bald-headed Baptist preacher boy! Isaiah preached to deaf ears. Jeremiah was a weeping prophet. Daniel was put in the lions’ den. The Hebrew children were put in the fiery furnace. David was chased by Saul. John the Baptist lost his head. Peter was crucified upside down. Stephen was stoned ;outside the gates. Paul was left for dead outside Lystra. John was exiled on Patmos. James was martyred. Jesus Christ was put to Calvary!

How in the name of common sense do you think you can walk the streets of this world, in your city, in your town and have folks think you are a nice fellow? You can’t be a master mason, president of the Lions Club, pray at every dog show that comes into town and be the kind of preacher you ought to be. We need some John the Baptists again who will rise up in our town and call folks to repent. When you walk down the streets in your city, folks ought to spit at you, make fun of you, laugh at you. I don’t mean because you want them to spit at you, but because you hold forth the banner of Calvary, the blood, the Book, the blessed hope, and fight sin, exalt Jesus Christ, and fight the things you ought to fight. I don’t care where you live–they will hate you. The Bible says, “The servant is not greater than his Lord” (John 13:16). They hated Jesus and nailed Him to Calvary; they spat upon Him and plucked out His beard. Are you better than He is?

I tell my people that I want it to be so in my town that when folks drive by my church they get rebuked by looking at the building. One lady told me, “We have to drive by your church to go to work every morning, but we drive around the block to miss it.” I asked, “Why?” Her reply, “We don’t even want to be reminded of you.”

When I walk down the street in my town and people look at me, I want them to think about the sin they are committing or have committed. I want their sin rebuked by my very presence. I often say, “When you come to Garland and mention Jack Hyles, you duck or pucker–one or the other!” You’ll get hit in the mouth or kissed, I’ll guarantee you for sure.

We’ve got the idea nowadays that a preacher is like a lawyer. The most respected folks in town–the doctor, the lawyer, and the preacher. That’s the Devil’s lie. There was a day when preachers ran for their lives, yet we say we’re premillennialists and we say the world is getting worse. If the world is getting worse, why aren’t we running for our lives? It seems to me that our churches ought to fight sin and stand against modernism and sin and unrighteousness until folks will think we are screwballs, fanatics, cranks, and fools for Christ. Yet those of us who are fundamentalists nowadays have gotten so soft. Talk about “Yesterday’s fundamentalists” and “second generation fundamentalists.” The last generation of fundamentalists started churches in garages and tents and brush arbors and fought the city council and fought the school board. They fought for all they got. They were hated and misunderstood and laughed at. Now we have doctors’ degrees and we are Rev. Hyles and Dr. Rice, Dr. Malone.

We’ve got Doctor of Divinity and Doctor This and Rev. This and Brother This! Our preachers have gotten so respectable we can walk down the streets in our city and folks look at us and say, “There goes a good man.” The bootleggers in my town ought not to like me. The modernists ought not to like me! Some of you preachers say, “I appreciate Dr. Rice. He’s gotten his name ruined in many places because of his stand.” Pray tell me, why don’t you go to your own little town of 500 or 1,000 and take the same stand–have the same reputation locally he has nationally? The Bible says, “Woe be unto you when all men speak well of you” (Luke 6:26), and “If I pleased men I should not be the servant of God” (Gal. 1:10). We’re afraid somebody will think we’re different or won’t like us and we won’t be respected in our town.

You say, “Brother Hyles, I don’t believe in sticking your tongue out at everybody.” I don’t either–just at some. I’ll tell you one thing: we dead sure need more fighting going on in our churches. A man yesterday said, “How do you get folks to come to your church?” I said, “I just stay in a scrap all the time. Anybody will come to watch a good fight.”

A man said not long ago, “Jack, how do you get a crowd to come to hear you?” I said, “Just get against a bunch of stuff and preach against it. That’s the way to do it.” Like I said last year, if you can’t be against anything else, preach against Hershey bars! I mean just get a series of sermons on Hershey bars and get up there and act like you mean it. Don’t get up there and say, “The trouble with our country is too many Hershey bars.” Boy, get up there and say, “BROTHER, THE THING THAT IS WRONG WITH OUR COUNTRY IS THAT OUR TEETH ARE ROTTING OUT BECAUSE OF THE SUGAR IN HERSHEY BARS, AND WE NEED MORE FOLKS WHO WILL FIGHT HERSHEY BARS!”

I’ll guarantee you one thing–your house will be filled! You preach to empty pews and empty houses because you don’t stand for anything or against anything. you are like the old Negro who said, “I jes’ throws myself in neutral and whichever way you pushes I goes.” That is not what God called us to do.

When I think about men of God, prophets of God of yesterday, and I think about Jeremiah who sat in the dust and cried, “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow…” (Lam. 1:12); when I think about Isaiah and how folks stopped their ears and wouldn’t hear him; when I think about the head of old John the Baptist lying on the platter of the king; when I think about old Paul lying outside Lystra, I want to say, “O God, I’m sorry I’m such a sissy. I’m sorry! The same world is alive, the same Devil is alive today, and I’m sorry I don’t suffer more.”

Brother, if you ever want the curtain pulled back so you can see him who is invisible, come to the place in your life where you bear His reproach.

Bible Christians Who Saw Him Who Is Invisible

Would you take a walk with me for awhile…down a little road. We see some people. As I walk down the road I wonder what I’ll do for Jesus. A man beside the road is preaching. He has the Bible open, the book of the law. There are not many there–oh, some–but some stop, then pass on by. The man knows what he is talking about; he speaks with authority. I believe if that young man were a lawyer, he could be a success. If that young man were a doctor, he could be very prominent in the city. if he wee a businessman, I think he could make a million, because there is something about him that looks like he has talent. He is a little crude in his tactics, yet beneath that crudeness and that uncouth attitude I see something that has possibilities.

I say, “Sir, what is your name?”

“My name is Isaiah.”

“Isaiah, what are you doing?”

“I’m preaching to the people.”

“Well, Isaiah, you’re doing a very fine job. I don’t agree with what you’re saying, but listen boy, you could amount to something somewhere. If you’ll just trim your message a little, the Sanhedrin would have you on the top shelf. I bet they would do you right. They’ll take responsibility for you. Isaiah, look! Those folks are stopping their ears; they are hissing at you. Don’t you realize that you’re not appreciated? Why, if you put it to a vote, they would probably vote you out next Sunday morning. You are not appreciated.”

Isaiah looks at me and says, “But, sir, I’m not trying to be appreciated.”

“Well, Isaiah, you are an unusual man. You’re not normal.”

“No sir, I’m not!”

“Well, what’s the matter.”

“I’ll tell you. Back yonder when King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and holy, lifted up, and I said, ‘Woe is me,’ but the angel, the seraphim came and with the tongs of the altar he took a live coal and put it on my mouth and I could not help but preach. I couldn’t be a doctor, I couldn’t be a lawyer, I couldn’t be a businessman, because you see the fire of God is upon my lips and I: have seen Him who is invisible.”

I scratch my head and walk on down the street. I come to another little fellow who is preaching. Pretty soon I see the crowd rise up and take stones and throw at him. He runs and pretty soon he falls beneath the stones. He is about to die. I pick him up and hold his bloody head in my hands and say, “Sir, what is your name?”

“Sir, my name is Stephen.”

“You know, you ought to be smiling now, because you’re dying.”

“But,” he says, “Sir, you don’t understand.”

“Stephen what are you?”

“Well, I’m a deacon, sir.”

“A deacon? I saw you preaching.”

“Yes, I’m a preaching deacon.”

“I’ll tell you, Stephen, it seems to me you ought to be on the finance committee where deacons ought to be. I mean you ought to be in those committee meetings trying to tell the preacher how to run the church. After all, that’s what deacons are for.”

“But you see, sir, God didn’t call me because I was smart. God called me because I was full of the Holy Ghost.”

“But Stephen, old boy, you’re losing your mind.”

“I’m beginning to see Him who is invisible.”

“Well, you’re about to go off now, old boy; you’re just about to crack up.”

He says, “Wait a minute. I see the glory of God.”

“Well, wait a minute now, don’t get beside yourself.”

“Oh,” he said, “I see the glory of God. I see Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”

“But, Stephen, I belong to the Sanhedrin and I happen to know that Jesus is not standing at the right hand of God; He’s sitting there.”

“Yes, but He’s standing up to welcome me. I’m about to go see Him. Oh, I’m so glad I did what I did because I have seen Him who is invisible!”

I walk down the street a little ways and I come to a man, blind, groping in the dark, on the road to Damascus. I recognize him immediately to be a successful young man, one who could have reached the top in the religious field. I say, “Sir, what is the matter with you?”

“I can’t see. I can see, but I can’t see. I can’t see you, but I sure can see lots of other things.”

“Sir, you are a pretty smart fellow. I know you. I’ve heard you speak before. You’ve got talent. Listen, we’ll go down and see the optometrist and he’ll fix your eyes up. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll recommend you to the First Jewish synagogue and you will be the leading moderator of the Jewish Association. I’ll see to it that you go all the way to the top.”

A fellow told me that one time. he said, “Brother Jack, if you’ll trim your message, you’ll go all the way to the top.”

I said, “I’ve fished some, and I know one thing. When fish are alive, they stay at the bottom; when they are dead, they come to the top. I’ll stay alive!”

So I say, “But, Paul, don’t you realize I’ll take you to the top?”

And old Saul of Tarsus looks up and says, “Sir, I cannot.” I like what he said there. He said on the road to Damascus, “Who art thou, Lord?”

Paul say, “I’ve seen Him who is invisible.”

I come down the road a little further and I see that same little fellow outside a city. he lies there; it seems he is unconscious. I reach for his heartbeat and there is no beat, no pulse. I say, “It’s that same little fool that sold himself down the river. I knew he ought to have taken my proposition and gone to the top. I knew he should have.” I reach down and I try to pick up his body and call the undertaker. I say, “Paul, Paul” but there’s no answer. pretty soon I see an eyelid flutter. I say, “Now wait a minute, be still.”

But Paul looks up and he says, “Boy, this is great.”

“Now wait a minute, Paul. Just be calm. We’ll get the doctor in a minute. We’ll make you live.”

“But I don’t want to live. Let me die.”

“Wait a minute, Paul.. You’re crazy. knew you were crazy when you gave up your job with the Baptist headquarters as the executive secretary’s office boy. I knew when you did that you were dear sure crazy. But listen, Paul, you just it there.”

Paul says, “Don’t worry about me.” Paul gets up, brushes the blood and the dust, and all the grit and grime off, and says, “Listen, you know what I was? You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. But I saw…aw, I can’t tell you. It isn’t lawful for me to tell you and if I told you, you would call me a liar. But I’ll tell you one thing–I’ve seen him who is invisible!”

I walk down the street a little while longer. I come to three young men inside a furnace. I say, “Young man, what’s your name?”

“My name is Shadrach.”

“Sir, what’s yours?”

“Meshach.”

“What’s yours?”

“Abed-nego.”

I say, “I’ve seen you fellows before. You were training to be leaders in the kingdom during the captivity period, weren’t you?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And here you are. What are you doing in the fiery furnace?”

Shadrach says, “Shoot, boy, who turned the air-conditioning on?”

Meshach says, “Ooooch, it’s cold; I need my overcoat.”

But I say, “Wait a minute, fellows. You’re just about to die now. What’s wrong with you? What are you in there for?”

“Well, the king built up an old image out here and said bow down and worship it. We could have done it. The king said if we didn’t do it we would get thrown in the fiery furnace.”

Just about that time I see a fellow coming. It is the king! Standing at attention, I say, “Hello, your majesty.” (I’m trying to get to the top, you know.) “Hello, your majesty,” and I salute.

The king says, “Wait a minute. Those three men are supposed to be dead. Why, they have been in that furnace long enough to have burned to a…oh!…Who put the extra one in there?”

Old Shadrach looks up and says, “Sir, the extra one is He who is invisible.”

I go on down the street and see a young man praying at a window. I ask, “Young man, what are you doing?”

“I’m praying.”

“What’s your name?”

“Daniel.”

“Well, Daniel, you know it’s not right to pray, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t you realize that you’re next in command? You’ll go to the top of the kingdom. If you will just quit praying in front of that window you can get to the top of the kingdom and witness to everybody in Congress and win the whole Congress to the Lord. Daniel, if you’ll just keep your mouth shut for awhile right here, someday you can be at the top and you might win the whole empire and win the world and bring in the kingdom. You might do it.”

Daniel says, “No, I’ve got to pray. If I don’t pray here, I’ll deny my God. I’ve got to pray.”

“But don’t you realize, young man, you’ve got a future ahead of you? Stop and think! Don’t run with that John Rice crowd. He’ll ruin your reputation. your reputation is gone if you appear on the same program with Jack Hyles and Tom Malone and John Rice and these others.; now wake up! Get some sense into your head, you little crazy nincompoop! Get some sense in your head.”

Daniel says, “Sir, I cannot do it, because I have seen Him who is invisible.”

I walk down the road a little further and see an old grayhaired man who hasn’t had a haircut in years. His beard comes down across his chest and his locks flow down over his shoulders. He has one of the sweetest looks on his face you have ever seen. I say to him, “Sir, what is your name?”

“My name is John.” “John, how many folks live on this island here?”

“One.”

“I see that old age is affecting you some. What is the population?”

“One.”

“I guess you are that one.”

“Yes.”

“Well, I want you to know, old man, I love you and I appreciate you. You have my sympathy.”

“Why sympathy, sir?”

“Well, I know it must get awful lonely out here.”

“Lonely? Oh, no, for I’ve seen seraphims and angels and cherubim. I’ve seen the great wedding feast and the marriage of the Lamb. I’ve seen the saints coming in the clouds of glory and all of them on white horses. I’ve seen the millennium. I’ve even seen the golden streets of the new Jerusalem.”

I say, “Now, fellow, sometimes when one gets up in years he has hallucinations like that.”

“Oh,” he said, “don’t worry about me, because all these years out here I have been seeing Him who is invisible.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of deadness and coldness. I’m tired of formality. I’m tired of going to church and just studying and going home. I want to see Him who is invisible, don’t you? Don’t you want again somehow a breath of God, and to hear from Heaven and pull the curtain back and once again see him who is invisible?

I see a little fellow leading a band of Israelites. I hear one of them cry, “Oh, you rascal. We wish we wee back eating cucumbers and leeks and garlic in Egypt, and you led us out here.” The other one says, “Yeah, I make a motion your work is finished here. I feel some man who can work with young people might be better qualified for the position. yeah, I make a move we do.”

God says, “Moses, what shall I do?”

Moses said, “Kill them.”

“No,” God says.

Pretty soon God said, ‘Okay, I’m ready to kill them.”

Moses said, “No, God, don’t do it after all.”

Somebody said if Moses and God had ever gotten in the killing mood at the same time, there wouldn’t have been anybody left but God and Moses!

Moses said, “No, no, don’t kill them.”

I walk up and I say, “Moses, aren’t you the young man I used to see over there in the Egyptian palace?”

“Yes, sir, I am.”

“Well, Moses, it’s nice to have a hobby, some recreation, but I’m sure you are the head of the great kingdom now.”

“No, sir, they won’t let me in the palace anymore.”

“Well, what did you do?”

“I went and tried to get freedom for the Israelites.”

“Israelites! You did?”

“Yes, you know back yonder when I was in the wilderness, I was keeping some sheep one day and I looked over and saw a bush burning down–it just kept burning down. I walked down the road a little piece and looked back and that bush was still burning. I looked up there, and you know, I saw Him who is invisible in that bush. He said, ‘I want you to do my work.’ I said, ‘I can’t do it, I haven’t got anything.’ ”

Listen! Did you know God does better work with folks who haven’t got anything when He calls them, than He does with folks what have a bunch of stuff. You just start with nothing.

Moses said, “I haven’t got anything.”

God said, “What have you got in your hand?”

Moses says, “I’ve got a rod.”

“Throw it on the ground!”

It became a snake.

God said, “Pick it up.” (I don’t know about you, but that’s where me and Moses would have parted company right there.) Now I want you to get this. I’m no theologian but I can read in the Bible and I get some thoughts once in awhile. If Moses had not thrown that whole rod on the ground, Moses would have had half of that snake in his hand. I don’t know theology, but that’s true, and I believe he would have had the biting half! Boy, the most dangerous thing you’ll ever do is to give God half your life.; Give Him all of it!

I say, “But Moses, what is the matter with you? Why, don’t you realize you cold be the leader of a kingdom?”

But Moses says, “No, I could not be disobedient to the heavenly vision, because I have seen Him who is invisible.”

As I look at the hall of heroes, I bow in shame and say, “O God, I’m a sissy! There’s Moses–he gave up a kingdom; there’s Paul–he gave up a future; there’s John–he lost his head; and Abraham–he lost his home; and the Lord Jesus–He lost everything on earth.”

And I sing with the poet,

Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed thro’ bloody seas?

Sure I must fight, if I would reign,
Increase my; courage, Lord;
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy word.

If every once in awhile You’ll just pull the curtain and let me see Him who is invisible.

Vacation Bible School at Miller Road

By JO STRICKLAND, Pastor’s Secretary

During the past two or three years we have had many requests for information regarding our vacation Bible schools. We have tried to help some pastors and churches by conducting short Bible school clinics. After our clinic last year we were requested by a number of pastors and workers to put our ideas and suggestions in print. We have prepared this chapter in the hope that it will be of some help to you in planning your vacation Bible school.

I believe that the key to a successful Bible school, to having one that both the pupils and workers will enjoy and be blessed from, is advance planning. Advance planning makes a great deal of difference in what actually goes on during the week or two weeks that your school is conducted.

1. Set Your Date Early. Early in the year, as the pastor plans his annual program or schedule, the vacation Bible school should be considered and a definite date set for it. Most churches find that June is the most acceptable month for it-but there are some churches which wait until August, just before school starts again. We think that June is a good time; however, we do not prefer the first week after school is out for the summer. True, many children go on vacations as soon as school is out; but usually the children respond much better if the school is not conducted until they have been out of public school for at least a couple of weeks.

Many churches have a two-week school, others prefer ten days, and still others have found it advisable to have school only one week. We have found that the latter works best for us. It seems that with so much time and work involved, the workers give their best for a one week school; but many of them cannot give themselves completely to a two-week schedule. If preparation day and enrollment is held in advance, perhaps on Friday or Saturday before the school is to begin on Monday, then much can be accomplished in a five-day school.

2. Publicize Your Bible School. For several weeks prior to the date that your Bible school is to begin, publicize the school. This may be done in the church bulletin or newspaper, through the Sunday school classes and departments, through the mail, and from the pulpit. Your pastor can do more for you in publicizing your school than anyone else. The response of the children who attend, and the workers who help with the school, largely depends on how interested the pastor becomes in it, and how excited he gets about it himself as he announces it from the pulpit.

3. Enlistment of Workers. As soon as possible after the date has been set for the school, enlist your superintendent of the school. Many times the pastor serves as superintendent of the school, or perhaps the associate pastor or educational director fills this position. If someone other than the pastor is superintendent, then he, of course, will work closely with the pastor in planning the school.

The school superintendent may wish to enlist all of the workers, or he may prefer only to enlist the various departmental superintendents, and then assist them in enlisting the workers for their own departments. It is good to use as many workers as possible with the same age groups that they teach in Sunday school or youth groups. This way they are already acquainted with most of the pupils who will attend, with their problems and abilities. This makes it better not only for the workers, but for the pupils as well. In addition to the teachers and work- in the Sunday school and youth groups, others should also be used. This is a wonderful time to train new workers for the Sunday school and youth groups. Many of the Sunday workers have secular jobs and are unable to help in Bible school while, at the same time, there are many mothers and housewives who are willing to work in Bible school who feel they cannot teach on Sundays. Therefore, Bible school time is a good time for training new workers.

4. Departmental Divisions. The more departments you have, the greater Bible school attendance you will have. If at all possible, have at least one department for each age group-that is, one for those under four years of age, one for those four and five, one for those six, seven and eight, one for the juniors-nine through twelve, and one for those thirteen and up. If your school is a large one, it is our suggestion that you have a department for each year-one for the six-year-olds, one for the seven-year-olds, etc. At any rate, try to keep the preschool age children from those who go to school, because of the difference in their attention span and abilities. You will find it helpful if you can have a department for about every twenty-five or thirty pupils, and a worker for every five pupils.

5. Planning Meetings. Textbooks that are to be used in the school should be given to the superintendents of departments as early as possible, so that they may study them and decide upon the lessons or programs which they are to use. Then, as soon as the superintendents have had the opportunity to study the textbooks, each departmental superintendent should get together with the workers of the department, for a planning meeting.

We have found it helpful to have a general meeting with the school superintendent, pastor, and all workers twice before the school begins-the first time in the beginning of the planning of the Bible school, then again the week before the school is to start. This way general plans may be discussed and questions answered at the first meeting. At the second meeting, a check may be made to see if everything is ready and in order for the beginning of the school. Between these two general meetings, the department heads will probably need to have at least two meetings with their workers to make individual departmental plans.

Textbooks should be given out and planning started five to six weeks before time for the Bible school to begin.

If the work for each day is carefully planned, all mimeographing done, supplies bought, and the work for the entire week presented to the workers in advance, the Bible school will run smoothly, the workers will enjoy it and be blessed by it and the pupils will greatly benefit from the school.

More about individual lesson planning will be said later in this chapter.

6. Preparation Day and Parade. On Friday or Saturday morning before the school is to begin on Monday, it is helpful to have Preparation day, and if possible, a parade.

The children may come at the time that Bible school will begin each day-line up and march into the auditorium, where they will be given brief instructions about the procedure for the school, to be followed each day the following week. They may be told where each department will meet, and leave the auditorium by department. Each group may go to its department for pre-enrollment.

As much of the enrolling as possible should be done on preparation day. This will save much valuable time, and cause less confusion on the first day of the school.

We have found it helpful to do some pre-enrollment through the Sunday school departments prior to the first day of Bible school. This is especially helpful and saves much time in the preschool age departments where the children cannot write and many do not know their birthdays or addresses.

After pre-enrollment is completed in the departments -then it is time for the parade! This is always exciting and fun for the children, and the publicity helps the Bible school attendance. Each car in the parade may be decorated with posters or banners, giving the time and place of the Bible school. You may also wish to have circulars printed to be thrown from the cars as they travel. Some kind of public address or loudspeaker system is helpful for announcements about the Bible school as the parade progresses. Plans for this should be taken into consideration well in advance.

7. Daily Time Schedule for the School. A daily time schedule is important if the school is to operate smoothly. Each departmental superintendent should have a tentative time schedule worked out in advance, with a copy for each worker in the department. Some schools meet for three hours each day; some for two and one-half hours each day. For a one-week school, I think it is good if the school lasts for three hours each day; for a ten-day or two-week school, I believe that two and one-half hours daily is ample time.

Following is a suggested time schedule designed for one of our beginner groups, which might be helpful in working out one of your own. Of course, each age group would vary, since the older groups would have longer Bible study, mission activity, and more extensive notebook work.

SUGGESTED TIME SCHEDULE FOR BEGINNERS

Monday through Friday: 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.

(Preparation day-pre-enrollment and parade on Friday, June 8th)

Approximate Time:

9:00 a.m.-Line up by departments and march into auditorium

9:00-9:20 a.m.-General assembly in auditorium

In YOUR Department:

First 5 Minutes-(If you have a piano in your department, have pianist there playing as the children come to the department. This will aid in getting the children settled.)

Explain about the mission offering that will be taken each day and tell where it will go. Then take the offering first so children will not lose their money.

10 Minutes-Go to tables (assign children to same teacher and same table for each day of the school). Workers at tables assist department secretary in checking records, filling out enrollment cards on new members each day.

Mark attendance charts. Stick on stars, seals (if you use individual attendance charts, be sure each child has one with his name on it).

15 Minutes-Come back to large group (all departments together).

Have songs selected and planned in advance to go with lesson.

Fingerplays or relaxation exercises.

Bible story for the day. Prayer. (Use flannelgraph, or other interest center with Bible story.)

20 Minutes-After the Bible story, go back to tables. Memory verse for the day to be used or taught by teachers (may have poster for this). Then, begin notebook work (one page each day) until time for refreshments.

10 Minutes-Refreshments. Have thanks in your department before going outside. Instruct children to return to department promptly after refreshments.

10 Minutes-If notebook work was not completed before refreshments, come back to tables and finish work. Be sure each child’s name is on his notebook cover, and on each page, if a page is added each day of the school.

10 Minutes-The whole department meets together for a child life or conduct story. If you do not have a conduct story for each day, you may use action songs here, not above with your Bible story time. Also fingerplays relaxation exercises may be used here.

20 Minutes-Return to auditorium for fun time with “Silly Billy,” “Ole Timer” and “Phooidini.” (If necessary, one or two workers may remain in the department to straighten up and get ready for the next work.)

20 Minutes-Handwork. Let the children make something each day. Plan handwork that has teaching value, to help accomplish purpose for the day.

Let the children do as much of the work as possible. Don’t do it for them. Plan your handwork to be simple enough that they may enjoy doing it. Don’t plan so much that they will have to be rushed to finish what they are supposed to do for the day.

5 Minutes-Clean up time and announcements. Try to finish your work in time for the children to help clean tables. Superintendent should give the teachers about five minutes “warning” before clean-up time so that they may complete their work for the day. Avoid rush and confusion these last few minutes. Keep the children orderly.

Workers should be sure to keep younger children inside the rooms until they are called for. Be careful that none of the pupils get lost or upset.

Each day right after refreshments, you may let the children get drinks and go to the restroom. This will avoid children running in and out during the sessions each day.

After school each day teachers should remain for five minutes to review the schedule for the following day with the superintendent, to check to see that each worker has enough supplies, etc. Be sure that each worker understands what the plans are for each day.

At least one worker from each department should be assigned to come early each day (a different one each day) to help the children who come first know where to line up. This will avoid confusion among the younger children before school ever begins, and is helpful through-out the day.

This schedule is merely a guide to help you in adjusting to your own schedule. Do not try to pack too much into one day. If you find that you have too much work planned for any one day, leave some of it off. If on other days you find that you have some extra time, you should have some games, puzzles, modeling clay and other activities planned in advance for “fill-in” activity.

After your time schedule is worked out, it is easier to plan your program for each day, since you will then know approximately how much time you may use for each activity. Each worker in your department should be given a copy of this schedule.

Now, it is time for the department superintendent, along with the “right-hand man” or associate superintendent, to get together with all of the workers to plan the lesson and activities for each day. The following planning sheet might be helpful to you in working out your Bible school programs:

DAILY LESSON PLANS FOR BEGINNERS

Unit for the Week: “Learning about Homes”

(You may also wish to insert your aim or purpose for the week, or you may wish to include a purpose or aim for each day).

Monday

Lesson Title: “What Makes a Happy Home?”

Aim: Lead the children to work out the answer to the above question-through their work, through their play, conversation, the Bible story, the handwork, etc.

Bible Story: Exodus 1:7; 2:10-“How Miriam Helped to Make Her Home Happy” (Use Baby Moses Flannel-graph)

Conduct or Child Life Story: Page 26 of textbook-“Mary Finds out What Makes a Happy Home”

Bible Verse for Today: “Let us love one another.” (I John 4:7. (To be on feather of colored construction paper-pasted on “chief” on memory verse poster-one poster for each table.)

Notebook: Start notebook today. The back is mimeo-graphed on green construction paper, in shape of a home. Put the child’s name on page 1 in place indicated. Use page 2 to stick on flag seals, pledges, Bible, etc. (This may be done on Tuesday, or when-ever you have time.)

Page for notebook for today is picture of a home (this may be child’s own home, or picture of a home from magazine-teachers will have these.)

Handwork: House-mimeographed on white construction paper. Teachers will have them cut out in advance.

Children may put them together, so that they stand up. (They may take these home.)

Other Suggestions for Monday:

Supplies That I Will Need for Monday:

___________ (Name of worker) is to come early on Monday to greet children who come early, and assist them in lining up.

Tuesday

Lesson Title: “I Can Talk to God in My Home”

Aim: To let the children know that they can talk to God any time, anywhere, as they would talk to a friend. Try to make prayer a happy experience for them.

Bible Story

Conduct or Child Life Story: “How Bobby Learned to Talk to God in His Own Home” (Page 31 of textbook)

Bible Verse for Today: “God will hear me.” Micah 7:7. (Mimeographed on colored paper-cut out and paste on poster.)

Notebook: Put in page with picture of family praying children may color picture. The Family Fingers’ Good Morning finger play may be pasted on back of page 1. Also, paste the pledges, flags and Bible seals on today if this was not done yesterday.

Handwork: Plaque of boy and girl praying, on black construction paper, spatter painted, with gummed hanger on back. (You will need cigar box, screen wire, white shoe polish, old toothbrushs for spatter painting.)

Other Suggestions and Materials for Tuesday:

___________ (Name of worker) is to come early on Tuesday to greet children who come early, and assist them in lining up.

Wednesday

Lesson Title: “God Teaches Birds and Animals to Make Homes”

Bible Story: Part of the creation story-Genesis 1. (Use flannelgraph.) Other Scripture references: Matthew 6:26, 8:20; Luke 12:6; Deuteronomy 32:11; Job 37:8; Psalm 84:3; 104:10-12, 16-18. Conduct or Child Life Story: “How the Birds Made a Home”

Bible Verse for Today: “Your heavenly Father feedeth them.” Matthew 6:26.

“The birds . . . have nests.” Matthew 8:20.

Notebook: Teachers should have the bird’s nests (on brown construction paper) cut out. Also, have the eggs cut out of white or light blue. Let the children paste the bird nests on their notebook pages, then paste eggs in nests and stick on bird seals.

Handwork: Teachers should have fish cut out of white construction paper. Let children cover with glitter or Christmas snow. Tie string through mouth. Wheel of “Animal Friends.” Let children stick animal seals on lower circle. Have hole cut in top circle, brad in center. As they turn top circle, animals will show through hole.

Other Suggestions for Wednesday: For special interest centers, have one teacher bring bowl of goldfish, someone else a real bird’s nest, a real bird or other animal.

___________ (Name of worker) is to come early on Wednesday to greet children who come early, and assist them in lining up.

Thursday

Lesson Title: “We Think and Talk about Church Homes” Aim: Teach the children the name of their church and of their pastor. Lead them to feel that it is “their” church home; also, let them know that it is God’s house.

Bible Story: Use flannelgraph of Samuel.

Conduct or Child Life Story: “How Some Children Helped in God’s House”

Bible Verse for Today: “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1.

Notebook: Let the children paste a picture of a church (or of their own church) on the notebook page for today. Perhaps they will want to stick on seals of boys and girls going to church.

Handwork: Teachers will have church cut out of white construction paper, with windows cut out. Let children paste colored cellophane paper across the back to look like light shining through the windows. They may also paste artificial “grass” around the church, and stick flower seals on.

Other Suggestions for Today: Plan some kind of note or reminder to send home to parents, inviting them to visit the school on Friday, if that is the last day of the school. Also, tell them about the picnic plans, if there is to be one .

___________ (Name of worker) is to come early on Friday to greet children who come early, and assist them in lining up.

Friday

Lesson Title: “We Talk about Jesus and the Heavenly Home”

Bible Story: The Heavenly Home

Bible Verse for Today: “I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2b.

Notebook: Finish notebook today so that children may take it home. The page for today is: Church window that opens; let children paste Sallman’s head of Christ seal inside window. Look through the notebook with the children, reviewing each lesson briefly, and the Bible verses that have been used.

Let the children take home any work that they have not taken during the week; also, let them take their at-tendance charts. (This plan is based on a five day school.) Suggestion for attendance: You may have crowns with five points cut out of blue (or any color) construction paper. Let child paste a gold or silver star on one point each day he is present. Have child’s name printed on crown in white or gold ink. Punch hole in each side and run rubber band through it. The children may wear these crowns at commencement, if you have one. If not, let them wear them home on the last day of the school.

If there is to be a commencement program, keep a sample of the notebook and of each piece of work that you have made during Bible school for display.

The ideas for handwork, mission projects and interest centers for the various age groups are unlimited. We try to plan handwork with teaching value, or try to make something which may be useful either at home or around the church-for example, some of the older students make pulpit stands for the classrooms, coat racks, hat trees, planters for the windows or tables, curtains, aprons for the nursery and beginner children to wear while pasting, etc.

With some study and planning, some interesting note-books, maps and other items may be made in mission study with the older pupils.

We trust that the foregoing sample daily lesson plans will help you in making your plans for your own group.

SOME GENERAL SUGGESTIONS FOR BIBLE SCHOOL

The Pastor’s Part in Bible School. Vacation Bible school time is a wonderful time for the children to get to know the pastor, and for the pastor, in turn, to become acquainted with the children. Many of the children who come to Sunday school, whose parents do not attend the church, never get to stay for the preaching services, and do not even know the pastor. Our pastor takes an active part in our Bible schools. He and the children look forward to this time each year, when the pastor will spend some time with the children. He usually dresses informally during the days of Bible school and drops by several departments each day, just to “stick his head in” for a moment to visit. Then, as the department comes out for refreshments, he goes out and visits with them during refreshment time. Later in this chapter we will mention the pastor’s part in the general assembly of the Bible school in the auditorium.

We have special Bible school “characters” each year, which we shall discuss later in this chapter. The pastor publicizes these characters from the pulpit each service for several weeks before the school begins. It seems that the pastor’s interest and excitement about the school, and the way he creates enthusiasm about it from the pulpit, do more than anything else in helping us have the large numbers that we do have in our school each year. For the past few years we have had an enrollment of near 1,000 with an average attendance of nearly 700!

Special Events in Our Bible School. Many schools only have one general assembly of the school in the auditorium, which is the first fifteen or twenty minutes each morning. However, we have two sessions in the auditorium for the entire school-the first one as soon as the children arrive in the morning, as they line up and march into the auditorium, and then again later in the morning, usually about forty-five minutes before the close of school each day.

At this first session in the auditorium we have the usual procedure, with pledges to the flags and the Bible; then, we use the second assembly for our special events. This is the highlight of our school, and we perhaps reach more boys and girls for our Bible school through promotion of these characters and events than by any other method.

Each year we have “Silly Billy,” the ugliest boy in the world; “Phooidini,” the gospel magician; and “The Ole Timer,” who is Silly Billy’s grandfather. The pastor presents each of these characters when we are in the auditorium the second time. “Silly Billy” and “Ole Timer” is an ad-lib affair with the pastor. It is difficult to put into words just how effective this skit is each day. Then Phooidini, the magician, presents a gospel “trick,” which the children all look forward to each day. Each of these “characters” wears some kind of costume, which may be rented for a nominal price at any costume shop, or you may make one of your own which will be just as effective. The “magician” may get various games or tricks, from a hobby or novelty shop.

Crowning the “King and Queen.” Another thing that all of the children, as well as the workers, look forward to each day, is the crowning of the king and queen. It is announced in advance, and each morning of the school, that each girl who brings the most visitors to Bible school who do not attend our Sunday school, will be crowned “queen for the day.” The boy who brings the most visitors that do not attend our Sunday school will be crowned “king for the day.” The king and queen for the day are determined as we come into the auditorium the second time, after the records have been completed, and they are crowned at the beginning of this second assembly, and sit on the platform with their crowns on during this second session. Each day the king and queen get to keep their crown to take home with them. (These crowns are made by some of the workers from white poster paper and silver glitter.) At the close of the school we find out which boy and girl have brought the most visitors for the entire school, and they are crowned king and queen of the Bible school. Their pictures are taken, and usually used in our church newspaper.

The Mission Offering. Before the Bible school begins, we decide where our mission offering will go. The children get more joy from bringing their money each day if they know exactly where it is going. It also helps the departmental superintendents in planning their mission activities and interest centers. We send our mission offering each year to some of our own missionaries who have gone out from our church, and whom the children and the workers know.

This mission offering is taken in the departments each morning. A report of approximately how much money is received in each department is turned in with the records each day. Then, when we are in the auditorium the second time, the pastor gives a report of the offering. We have a large balloon, usually in the shape of some animal. The pastor has to put a big “puff” into the balloon for each dollar received in the mission offering. As the offering increases each day, the balloon gets larger and larger. There is much fun and excitement as the children wait for the balloon to burst in the pastor’s face.

Many times the offering increases so rapidly that two or three balloons are burst before the end of Bible school.

Commencement. We have found it advisable in recent years not to have a commencement program at the close of Bible school because of the size of our school. By the time each department had just a few minutes on the pro-gram, it would run in to quite a lengthy program, and the children, as well as the parents, become restless. Also, when there is such a large number of pupils, it is difficult to have “open house” in the departments follow-ing the commencement because of limited space.

However, if your school is small, it is good to have commencement. Members of each department may be given a few moments to present some of their work and the things they have learned, at a general assembly in the auditorium. Diplomas may be presented by the pastor or the school superintendent as each department finishes its part in the program.

One year we had our commencement on Sunday morning following the close of Bible school on Friday. This was publicized as Bible School Sunday. At the beginning of the Sunday school hour, everyone assembled in the auditorium. The children went through the regular Bible school procedure, repeating the pledges, etc. Then the various “characters” are presented and the king and queen crowned. The Bible school workers are introduced, and each department has a display on the platform, or some place in the auditorium, showing some of the work done during the week.

We have also found it advisable to invite the parents to visit the various departments sometime during the school, perhaps on the last day of the school.

Vacation Bible school can mean much to your Sunday school and to your church, and can be a time of enjoyment rather than a drudgery if it is well planned. Although we do not have a decision service each day in which the children are pressed to make a decision for Christ we do have a time during our school when the pastor speaks to the juniors in a special service, presents the plan of salvation and gives them an opportunity to be saved. Each child who comes forward to accept Christ is dealt with separately by the pastor and associate pastor, and the Lord has blessed us each year with a number of genuine conversion experiences in our Bible schools. As a result of these experiences, many of the parents have been reached for Christ.

We believe it well worth your efforts to have a vacation Bible school in your church each summer, and we trust that some of the foregoing outlines and suggestions will be of help to you in planning your school.

Training Union or Youth Group Suggestions

One of the most difficult services in which to build attendance and create interest is in the training union or youth hour. This hour usually is each Sunday evening, just preceding the evening worship service. It can be a definite help to a church, if properly operated, in the building of the spirit and attendance of the Sunday night service, and also in the training of the church members. Several suggestions are given here to help in providing effective Sunday evening meetings:

1. Church-Wide Appointment of All Officers. Most groups elect their own officers. In many cases they elect new officers each three months. It has been found wise in some churches to have the officers-such as presidents, vice-presidents, group captains, Bible quiz leaders, etc., elected by the church, and hold a church-elected office for one year. This may make the people feel that their job is more important, and it may cease to be just push-ing an office off on someone who did not have the resistance to say “no.”

2. The Pastor Should Approve the Lesson. Each week the pastor should review the program in the quarterly. If it is advisable to use it, well and good. If not, he should see that the group has one which will be helpful -either prepare one of his own, or find another one. No quarterly is perfect, and since the pastor is accountable for what the people receive in his church, he should be careful to scan the material used. If it is good, use it. If not, prepare something else in its place. This is done each week in our church.

3. Weekly Planning Meetings. At the Miller Baptist Church. A weekly training union program planning meeting is conducted at six o’clock on Sunday evening. The program is planned for the following Sunday. A new idea is presented each week at this meeting to help the leaders in the presentation of their program. A Bible drill suggestion is also given each week. Just a giving of the parts is not enough. A unique and unusual way to present the program for the following week is given each Sunday evening. Also, at this meeting problems are discussed and necessary adjustment made. It is a helpful meeting for presidents, vice-presidents, group captains and Bible drill leaders in adult, young people and intermedi-ate groups.

4. Elementary Work. The elementary groups in our church use the Gardner System. This literature and work books may be found at most book stores. This work is headed by an elementary director, who oversees all of the work of the nursery, beginner and primary departments. The elementary director has a monthly planning meeting on the last Sunday afternoon in each month. At this meeting the director passes out our mimeographed planning sheets, which give suggestions for presenting each program for the month, along with interest center suggestions and samples, handwork patterns and Bible drill suggestions. Samples of the program material, handwork and interest centers are displayed for each program for the benefit of the workers. This is a splendid method, and God has certainly used it to bless the hearts of our boys and girls.

5. Junior Work. Our junior groups also have a director who meets with the leaders and directors of each junior group once each month to plan their programs and work. The junior director also has mimeographed planning sheets for the workers, along with mimeographed Bible drill suggestions and patterns and attendance reminders. At these meetings the workers in each group may exchange ideas on how to present their programs to make them more helpful and interesting.

Some Practical Pointers Concerning the Sunday School

The life’s blood of any church is in the Sunday school. This teaching period of the Word of God is vitally important to all New Testament churches. The twentieth century church is built around its Sunday school. When someone wants to know the size of a church, he immediately asks what the Sunday school attendance is. The preaching service attendance, youth groups attendance and midweek service attendance depend largely upon the Sunday school. If this is true, then our Sunday school must be important. Below are some pointers and suggestions for the Sunday school.

1. The Enlistment of Workers. In order to have the proper kind of meal, there must be the proper kind of cook. To have the proper kind of cars, there must be the proper kind of mechanics. It is important to choose carefully the teachers for the Sunday school.

Election. Teachers should be elected by the church once each year; however, no teacher should be chosen in the church unless previously approved by the pastor. The pastor should have the right to approve or disap-prove each worker in the church.

Training Course. At the beginning of each year, immediately following the election of teachers and officers, a course in teaching should be offered. It is good to have such a course on the first of October each year, if your new church year begins on October first. One suggestion for such a course is to have the pastor teach the adult workers, and perhaps include young people’s and intermediate teachers. Then, have some junior specialist teach the junior workers, and then have a special course for the elementary workers, giving instruction for four or five nights to all of those who will lead the Sunday school for the new year.

Check List. Some churches use pledge cards, but through the years I have tried to stay away from the signing of any kind of pledges; however, we do ask our workers to do several things, and present them with a check list so they may see whether or not they are doing the things expected. The following is a check list we use with our workers:

WHAT KIND of TEACHER AM I?

1. Do I live a separated life?

2. Do I have a daily private devotion?

3. Is my thought life pure?

4. Do I start studying my lesson on Monday?

5. Do I have the right motives? (love for my pupils)

6. Am I prepared physically to teach?

7. Am I prepared mentally to teach?

8. Am I prepared spiritually to teach?

9. Do I pray daily for each pupil?

10 Have I visited in the home of each pupil this quarter?

11. Do I visit all of my absentees?

12. Am I a pastor to my pupils?

13. Do I attend teacher’s meeting?

14. Do I support the entire church program?

15. Am I faithful?

16. When I am absent, do I contact my superintendent by Wednesday night?

17. Have I had a monthly class meeting?

18. Is my class properly organized?

19. Do I get up early enough on Sunday mornings?

20. Do I “brush over” my lesson again on Sunday mornings?

21. Do I make my classroom attractive?

22. Do I greet my class members as they come in?

23. Do I meet any visitors before class?

24. Are my visitors properly introduced in class?

25. Do I enlist any new members?

26. Does my class spend a maximum of five minutes on announcements and business?

27. Do I get all visitors to properly fill out visitors’ slips?

28. Do I tithe?

29. Do I leave my quarterly at home?

30. Do I teach only from the Bible?

31. Do I remember not to make any pupil read or talk?

32. Do I have an interest getter for my lesson?

33. Do I have a written aim?

34. Am I the right age for my pupils?

35. Do I stay on the subject?

36. Do I teach until the bell rings?

37. Do I go from class straight to the auditorium?

38. Do I sit with the lost, if I have any in my class?

39. Do I keep the Lord’s Day holy?

40. Is my class of utmost importance in my life?

Dismissal of Workers. When a worker’s life becomes contrary to the teachings of the church morally, then it is the duty of the pastor, or some leader, to go to him and ask him to resign his position. This maybe done tactfully sometimes; other times it must be done frankly and candidly. It is better to lose the worker than to pollute the Sunday school and rob the church of its needed power.

Elementary Program Planning. One person should be enlisted to be in charge of the elementary work of the Sunday school. Each group of workers in the various departments should have a monthly planning meeting. This meeting is apart from the regular weekly officers’ and teachers’ meeting. All of the primary workers should have a meeting to plan their work; the same is true with beginner and the nursery workers. At these meetings they may discuss their problems and plan their handwork and interest centers for the coming month.

2. Weekly Officers and Teachers’ Meeting. The weekly officers’ and teachers’ meeting may be conducted forty-five minutes preceding the midweek service. A good time is from seven o’clock to seven forty-five.

In our church the first twenty minutes of the meeting are devoted to promotion, planning, looking forward to big days and discussing the various problems of the workers. The last twenty-five minutes are devoted to teaching the Sunday school lesson. The pastor teaches the lesson. He has a mimeographed outline of the lesson, as he interprets it, then teaches it to the teachers on Wednesday night. This has proven helpful in many Sunday schools. There is no weekly departmental teachers’ meeting. This is taken care of by the departments themselves as they feel the need. Most of our departments have a monthly planning meeting where they plan their work for each month. This is good, especially when it is spontaneous and carried out by the workers.

3. Division of Departments and Classes. It is good to have a graded Sunday school. By this I mean have the classes divided by ages. Following are some suggestions as to division of classes:

According to Number of Qualified Teachers. Many suggest that adult classes should be divided into groups of fifteen to twenty-five each. However, many churches do not have enough qualified adult teachers to divide the classes into small groups. It is better to have just one large class if only one qualified teacher is available. However, if you have more teachers who are qualified, then more classes may be made. The classes should not be too large-or too small. The enrollment of the adult classes here in the Miller Road Baptist Church varies from 30 to 80, with an average attendance in each class of approximately 20 to 25. This seems practical-there are enough in each class to make it interesting, yet it is small enough to care for the needs of each member individually.

According to Facilities. Many churches do not have the facilities that other churches do; hence, the classes must be smaller in some cases. If the classrooms are smaller, have smaller classes. The church must be adapted to its buildings, and to each situation. One of the greatest mistakes being made today is the idea that all churches should be alike and that every situation is the same. This is not true. Some churches may find it wise to have large classes; others, to have smaller ones. No two churches have the same field, the same oppor-tunities, the same possibilities, the same likes and dis-likes, or the same constituency. Each church must adapt its division of classes to its own local situation.

Division of Elementary Groups. In our elementary groups, of course, we have the nurseries, beginners and primaries. The number of departments or classes that you have in each group, of course, would depend upon the number of children. However, we do suggest that you have at least one separate department for each of the above three groups-nursery is composed of those through age three; beginners are the four- and five-year-old children, and the primaries are ages six through eight. If you have enough children it is good to have a department for each year-for example, one for the six-year-olds, one for the seven-year-old pupils, and on. If at all possible, never mix the preschool age children with those who are already attending public school, as their abilities and attention span are not the same.

4. Sunday School Helps. There are many quarterlies and many commentaries that can help the teachers. Although any teacher may secure a copy of any teaching literature he needs, we have found it best through the years to use the following:

We provide all of our adult teachers with the Bible Expositor and Illuminator. For the most part, this is a good help. The teachers in our church are favorable in their comments on it. This may be secured from the Union Gospel Press, Cleveland, Ohio.

The pastor presents a mimeographed outline to his workers each week. In preparing this outline the pastor does not use any help but the Bible. It is his own interpretation of the lesson from the Bible.

The teacher should make his own outline for Sunday, and study his lesson apart from outside helps, asking God to lead him to the truths of the Scripture.

There are other good helps such as Higley’s Bible Commentary, Peloubet’s Commentary, and others.

It is always good to have a Bible dictionary and a concordance. These are two of the finest helps that a teacher can have.

Suggestions on How to Promote Big Days

Just to say that we are going to have a big day is not enough. Just a dignified announcement and a few letters is not enough. There must be a definite planned pro-gram of promotion. If the big day is successful, then the pastor must lead in the promotion of it from the pulpit. The pastor must first get excited over it, if he is to lead his people to get enthused and to work hard to make the special day a success. Following are some promotion suggestions:

1. Plan Your Big Days a Year in Advance. At the beginning of each year I take my calendar and plan the big days. It is sometimes necessary, of course, to make changes during the year; and yet, in order to know the direction that the church is going, and in order to secure speakers for the special occasions, it is good to plan the days far in advance.

2. Start the Promotion of a Big Day Early. Start promotion of each big day or special occasion four to six weeks in advance. Announce it from the pulpit at every service. Get excited about it yourself. Stir up the interest in the people at each service for four to six weeks prior to the big day. Your people will not think the day any more important than you do; they will not get any more excited about it than you do. How hard the people work to make the day successful largely depends on how you start promotion of it from the pulpit.

3. Have Fun as You Prepare for the Big Day. Churches are so staid in our generation that it seems it would be good for the big days to create freedom of expression. So be sure that the people are in a good frame of mind and are joyful as you look forward to the big day.

4. Do Not Have a Big Day on a Normal Big Day. By this I mean that on Easter Sunday your crowds are always good anyway, so it is not wise to have a big day on this Sunday. Have the big days on the difficult Sundays of the year.

5. Do Not Have a Big Day During a Revival. A revival, in itself, is something special. Of course, you should strive for a large attendance. By saying do not have a big day I mean this: Do not use your other ideas during a revival, as you will have wasted the ideas. A revival will take care of itself. The spirit runs high during a revival-a special occasion should be when the spirit does not normally run high, in order to level off the church program for the entire year.

6. Make the Special Occasions Periodic. One big “record-breaking” day each year is enough. Then, one special occasion each quarter we find to be advisable. Along with these, a special occasion once each month is good. In other words, use one special occasion each month, something extra special each three months, and something super once each year-which gives a total of sixteen big days each year. Of course, there are other occasions which may be observed throughout the year, but these, I feel, will be enough to keep a church busy and happy.

7. Do Not Set Too Many Goals. One or two goals each year is sufficient. It is a bad thing for a church to set a goal and not reach it. It lets the people know that they can fail. Do not ever set a goal unless you are positively sure that you can reach it, thereby encouraging the people to set further goals. My suggestion is that goals be set seldom. The primary purpose of the big days is not to reach a definite goal, but to reach more people and to create a good spirit among your own people.

8. When a Goal Is Set, Set It High. A church will come nearer reaching a high goal than a low one. For example, a church with 150 in Sunday school will come nearer reaching 300 than 200. The people must be challenged. They will respond to a big challenge more than they will to something that does not tax their energy.

When our church had 44 in Sunday school attendance we set a goal for 173 and had 191. When we had an attendance of 200 in Sunday school we set a goal for 325 and had 339. When we had 300 in Sunday school, we set a goal for 444 and had 618. When we had 450 in Sunday school attendance we set a goal for 666 and had 952. When we had 700 in Sunday school, we set a goal for 1,080 and had 1,181. When we had around 750 to 800 in attendance, we set a goal for 1,300 and had 1,601. Since we have been having 1,000 and over in attendance, we have set goals of 2,000 and had 2,212-and a goal of 3,000 and had 3,163. Something big challenges people. The bigness of the challenge will encourage the people to bring their friends and relatives.

9. Sign Up Methods. It is sometimes good to use sign up methods, such as bananas to be “one of the bunch,” or a link in a chain, or some similar idea. This is good occasionally; however, it can be over used. Perhaps once each year is enough for a sign up method. A sign up method seems to do more in a revival effort than at any other time, because the pastor has each night of the meeting to ask people to sign up and promise to come.

10. Get Your People to Bring Their Friends and Relatives. Suggest that the members bring their relatives from out of town for the big day, or friends from a neighboring city, or anyone who can come from churches that are not real soul winning, Bible preaching churches. There are a number of things that getting people from out of town will do, though it will not build your own church immediately: Many of them will be saved. People who live outside your city are just as much in need of Christ as those who live in your city. Many of them will come with relatives for a big occasion and be converted.

It will help the people who come so that they will go back and encourage their own churches to be on fire for God. Many times just one person who is encouraged in a special service in your church can go back to his own church and ignite a flame that will burn in soul winning zeal for months to come.

It will bring publicity to your church. Every church needs publicity. If your city is one of any size, almost everyone has friends and is constantly meeting people who live close enough to be reached by your church; hence, it is a good way to build for the future.

Many people are in liberal churches which do not be-lieve in the new birth. They need to be taken from these churches. Their attendance at your church on a big day may make them dissatisfied with their liberal church, so that they will return home and place their membership in a church that believes in the new birth, soul winning, and other basic Christian beliefs.

On an extra special day people from three or four states and scores of other towns come to visit the services. Put special emphasis on making it a “family affair” and many will come to be reunited with loved ones.

At each service for four or five weeks prior to the big day, ask for a show of hands of people who have already gotten promises. Find out how many promises you have. Give special attention to those who have already gotten people to promise to come with them. It is a good idea to spend at least five minutes at each public service in the promotion of the big day.

11. Build Your Big Days around the Pastor. If you build your big days around visiting speakers, then people will not see the church in a normal service. They will come and enjoy the visiting speaker, go back home and wish they could go to a church like that all of the time. Then, the next Sunday they will come to hear you, perhaps. The special occasion is over; you are back to normal -the prospects are not there, the souls do not walk the aisles in good number as they did previously on the big day. The people think it is the preaching of the visit-ing speaker that did it, and that the pastor is not as capable. Hence, they will not come back.

However, if they come on a big occasion and hear your pastor and feel the spirit and see the souls saved, they will realize they can see that every Sunday, and will want to come back and hear the pastor regularly. Be sure that the pastor is the speaker on big occasions.

12. Make Much Use of the Mail. The week prior to the big day, after it has been announced and publicized in the public church services, send out letters publicizing the special day. Sometimes we send out two letters in one week-one at the first of the week, another later in the week. Or, a letter at the first of the week and a postal card later in the week is good. These are sent out to each member enrolled in our Sunday school most of the time which means that each member of the family will get a letter. The second letter sent out the same week might be sent out to the church roll, one letter to each family.

Big Days and Special Occasions

Big days are important in the lives of all Americans. Whether we like to admit it or not, we make much of big days and special occasions. Few are the families who do not get together during the Christmas season. Many thousands of us observe with joy the Thanksgiving season; Labor Day weekend also means much to Americans. We look forward with anticipation to big days, special occasions, long weekends and the holiday seasons. If this is so effective commercially and politically, then certainly it could be useful when carried into the life of a church. Many churches have found it advisable to use big days and special occasions with which to keep their people happy and aggressive, and to build their attendance. These days have been used effectively in places where I have been in Bible conferences and revivals. One church went from an attendance of 289 one Sunday to 1,080 the following Sunday! Many pastors and churches will testify to the help gained from the use of these and other suggestions for big days and special occasions.

This chapter is devoted largely to describing a number of the big days that we found helpful in our church program. Certainly no one person will agree with all of these occasions; and yet, if perchance a few might gain an idea or suggestion which will help their church work and increase their attendance, thereby bringing more souls to Christ, we will be grateful to the Lord Jesus.

OLD-FASHIONED DAY

Old-Fashioned Day is one of the most joyous days in our church. We do not set a specific attendance goal on this day, but we do try to have it on a weekend that would normally have a lower attendance than usual. For example, a good time for Old-Fashioned Day is the Fourth of July weekend, or the Labor Day weekend. We usually send out some sort of a mimeographed letter inviting our folk to the services on this day.

This day is filled with wonderful events which always bring a great deal of joy to our people. Let us note some of the things that we do on Old-Fashioned Day:

1. Collection of Antiques. After Old-Fashioned Day has been announced, and we begin to publicize it, we ask our people to bring antique items for display on the platform. Such items as old-fashioned churns, wash pots, spinning wheels, clocks, Bibles, curling irons and smoothing irons are brought and displayed for this special day. Many, many people have old-fashioned items which they like to bring and display. Then, on Old-Fashioned Sun-day, these items are taken one by one and shown and explained to the congregation. It is always a source of joy and enthusiasm when these items are shown and memories are recalled.

Especially is this good for the older people. In many of our churches the program is geared for the younger people so much that the older people are forgotten. On an occasion like this, it gives the older members of the church a real opportunity to participate, to be blessed and to have a good time in the Lord Jesus.

2. Pump Organ. In order to help us have the old-fashioned spirit on this day, we have an old-fashioned pump organ on the platform. The organist usually plays a solo on the pump organ. Also, the offertory is played on the pump organ, which lends an old-fashioned atmosphere to the service.

It is a good idea to have two organists available to play the organ. After “pumping” for a while, a member of this modern generation will tire of pumping an organ. So, it is good to have a “spare” in case fatigue overtakes the first organist. This also gives the people a little levity, which helps the service.

3. Hats Passed Instead of Plates. Someone is appointed in advance to be chairman of the “Hat Committee,” and he secures enough hats to pass to take the offering on this day.

4. Mourner’s Bench. Someone is appointed to be in charge of a “Mourner’s Bench.” Any kind of old bench may be used, with some old quilts thrown over it. The Mourner’s Bench across the altar lends much to the old-fashioned atmosphere on Old-Fashioned Day. Remember, many people were converted at the old-fashioned Mourner’s Bench, under a brush arbor or in a tent campaign. It will recall many memories to have the Mourner’s Bench. In fact, every church should provide some kneeling place at the altar where sinners may come and confess their sins and talk to God in the altar of the church.

5. Creek Baptizing. When promoting Old-Fashioned Day make much of the Creek Baptizing. The church members assemble about 3:30 in the afternoon and form a processional of cars to a nearby creek, and the converts for that week are baptized in the creek. Pictures of the creek baptizing are always taken.

Sometimes it is good to secure a Model T Ford to lead the processional. A good time is in store for everyone, as well as a spiritual blessing in the old-fashioned creek baptizing.

6. Coal Oil Lamps and Lanterns. On Old-Fashioned Day the only lighting that is used is coal oil lamps and lanterns. About three weeks in advance of this special day, the pastor may appoint a committee to assemble enough lamps and lanterns to light the auditorium fairly well. These may be lit for the morning service; and then they also provide all of the necessary light for the eve-ning service. The evening service on Old-Fashioned Day is truly a blessing, as the people come and worship God, sing and hear the Word of God preached in an old-fashioned atmosphere with coal oil lamps and lanterns.

7. Old-Fashioned Costumes. Some may want to wear old-fashioned costumes, or maybe overalls for the men, on this day. However, in our own particular situation, it is unadvisable. We do, however, for the opening as-sembly of the Sunday school, have all of the adults assemble for a skit, using old-fashioned gay nineties costumes. The preacher wears a tall black hat, with cut-away coat. Other leaders in the church wear similar costumes. This is good only for an opening assembly and not for the regular service, as it would detract from the purpose of the service. This is a joyous occasion.

Costumes for this occasion may be secured from any costume shop and are certainly in keeping with the occasion. These costumes may also be worn in the Model T Ford on the way to the baptismal service in the afternoon.

8. Other Suggestions. Keep in mind during Old-Fashioned Day and other special occasions the idea of taking pictures. Numbers of the people will want to bring their cameras, some will bring movie cameras and can preserve the spirit of the day for future years. These pictures will certainly be a blessing as the years go by.

It is good for the song leader to select old-fashioned songs, for the pastor to preach a sermon on the old time religion and have some old-fashioned testimonies. This is especially good in the night service when the coal oil lamps and lanterns furnish the only light.

Old-Fashioned Day is one of the highlights of our church year. A number of people are converted on this day each year. God has been good to us on this wonderful day. There is not a day in the year when our people are happier in the Lord than they are on Old-Fashioned Day.

Of course, one must remember to keep Jesus in the center of it all, remember that He is an old-fashioned Saviour, with an old-fashioned Gospel, that will take people to an old-fashioned heaven and save them from an old-fashioned hell, by the way of the old-fashioned Cross, written about in the old-fashioned Book empowered by the old-fashioned Spirit of God.

Below is a sample of one of the letters which we mail to each member of our church and Sunday school the week preceding Old-Fashioned Day.

OLD-FASHIONED DAY

SUNDAY, JULY 14TH

Telephone, visit, or write your FRIENDS, RELATIVES and NEIGHBORS and invite them to be with us for Old-Fashioned Day, THIS SUNDAY!!

Be sure to come in time for Sunday school at 9:30 a.m.! In the Adult Assembly there will be a SPECIAL program, with the deacons in their overalls, the pastor and Brother Bill in old-fashioned suits, a display of old-fashioned items on the platform-good old-fashioned singing, and many other interesting things in store for you at SUNDAY SCHOOL! Plan to Attend Every Service This Sunday!!

Below is a wonderful piece of poetry (?) written by the pastor, which will tell you more about OLD-FASHIONED DAY.

A BREEF AND KORECK PEECE OF POITRI

Bi Edger Alin Po

I ain’t much uv a poet, you kno,
I hav the hardes’ tyme
Makin’ the lions come out jist rite
An makin’ the virses rime,

But Ole-fashuned Day iz hear again.
THIS SUNDAY iz the day
Whin we ditch this modernn stuph
And do the ole tyme way.

We’re goin’ to hav a mournir’s binch
Wher folks kan kneel and pray
And git our kold harts rite with God
Just lyke the old time way.

Wee shud be verry dignafide
So miny peeple say,
But I’d ruther sing and shout “amen”
Az they did en yistarday.

We’re goin’ to hav an old pump orgin
For Mrs. Lions to pla
We’re goin’ to sing the old time songs
And preech the old time way.

I’m goin’ to babtiz en the creak
Just like John the Baptist did.
Miny use a baptistri;
We’re goin’ to uze the creke instid.

We’re goin’ to burn cole oil lamps
And laturns on that day
Won’t it be funn to wurshipp God
En the ole-fashuned way?

Bily Rosenbum iz goin’ to sing
With the quartett duin’ itz part.
They’re goin’ to sing that ole song
“I’ve gott that old tyme relijun in mi hart.”

Yes, ther iz goin’ two be lotz of funn
Down on Miller Rode
So kome to Sunday skul and church
And brink a hole kar lode.

THE CHURCH’S BIRTHDAY

Secure the birthday or anniversary of the church, and once each year celebrate the church’s birthday. We have this big day in our church in March each year. Some of the things that we consider important on this day are as follows:

1. A Birthday Cake. Our birthday cake is usually a huge one. The most recent one that we had weighed over five hundred pounds and was quite expensive; however, smaller cakes may be used effectively.

One thing to note in making the cake is that you may make the cake appear to be much larger than it is by building a form and putting cake around it. Much of it may be wood with icing over it, which makes it look larger.

We have made it a practice each year to raise money to pay for the cake apart from the church budget. It has long been our conviction that the money given in tithes and offerings should be used for spreading the Gospel; hence, there are ways, such as special offerings, whereby money for the birthday cake may be raised. This is advisable in many churches where this idea has been used.

Another idea for the cake is that it may be designed in various shapes. One year ours was a cross and a Bible. The most recent and the largest cake that we have used was a replica of our church buildings. This was the most popular cake that we have ever used.

2. The Candles. One way we promote attendance on our birthday is by mailing a letter to each person enrolled in our Sunday school the week preceding the birthday. A small birthday candle is enclosed in each letter. Each member is asked to bring his candle to Sunday school on Sunday morning. The candles may be collected dur-ing Sunday school and turned in with the records. Then, they are all placed on the cake at the same time. Be sure that each child is mailed a candle. It gives an incentive to come to the birthday party, when they will have their own candles placed on the cake.

Many times attendance goals are set for each class or department. We have large candles available for each teacher or department who reaches the goal. At the close of the Sunday school hour, after everyone is assembled in the auditorium, just before the morning service, the teachers or superintendents who reached their goals are recognized. They light their large candles and place them on the cake. The candles are blown out by the deacons, as the congregation sings “Happy Birthday.”

3. In the Afternoon. On our “Birthday Sunday” the church meets outside someplace in the afternoon, or perhaps in a community house, to eat the cake. The drinks are usually provided by some of the members or by a special offering.

It is a good time of fellowship as the members get together and eat cake, with some soft drinks. Usually we have so much cake because of the size that ours have been, that many members take home a pound or so with them.

4. Special Guests. On the church’s birthday celebration it is always good to invite people who are acquainted with the founding of the church and the early days of the church’s history, to come in to give testimonies about the church. Converts may also be recognized, as well as charter members.

This is not only a good day for remembering the history of the church, but also to make vows for the future.

5. Birthday Party Letter:

Please Come to the Big Birthday Party of the

Miller Road Baptist Church
This Sunday, March 13th,
9:45 A.M.

You will have “loads of fun” if you will do the following:

1. Bring the enclosed CANDLE with you to Sunday school so we can put it on our huge 200 pound cake!

2. Be here, by all means, at 9:45 to help us reach our attendance goal of “. . . 1003 on the day we’re 3 . . . .”

3. Be at the Community House at 5:00 p.m. where we will serve our cake.

4. Be in training union at 6:30 p.m. to hear Dr. Fred Schwarz, a noted authority on Communism.

5. BY ALL MEANS, be here in time for Sunday school . . .

SPECIAL RECOGNITION will be given in the preaching service to each class or department reaching their goal.
See you at the party . . .

SUNDAY, 9:45!

BACK TO SCHOOL DAY

Another day which we make much of at our church is Back to School Day. This day is celebrated on the first or second Sunday after school has started each fall. Following are some of the ideas that we use for this day:

1. Personal Letters to School Students. The pastor writes a personal letter to all of the school students-one to each child, whether in the first grade or a senior in high school. In this letter he reminds them of Back to School Day in their honor the following Sunday, and invites them to come. He also reminds them of the special gift to be given to each pupil who comes. Of course, this special day has been publicized from the pulpit several times previous to the time that the letters are sent out.

This letter may be mimeographed; however, it is a good idea to leave the salutation blank so that each child’s name may be written in longhand-for example, “Dear Sally,” or “Dear John.” Also, if possible, it is a good idea not to mimeograph the signature, but rather for the pastor to sign each letter personally. This makes the child feel that it is a personal letter, especially to him. Children, especially the smaller ones, have not yet heard about mimeograph machines. It will be like getting a personal letter from their pastor. Many children have been thrilled over receiving such correspondence, and you might be surprised at the increase it makes in the Sunday school attendance. Below is a sample letter:

MILLER ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH GARLAND, TEXAS
from the OFFICE OF THE PASTOR
September 10, 1956

Did you start back to school last week?? If you did, this is a “personal” letter from ME to You! I want to tell you about the BIG DAY that we are having in your honor at Sunday school and church THIS Sunday morning, September 16th!!

First, let me congratulate you on the step you have taken in starting the school year. Next, let me invite you to be SURE and be in Sunday school next Sunday morning at 9:30! Here are the reasons that I ESPECIALLY want You to come:

(1) I have a nice gift to give you. Every school student who attends Sunday school this Sunday will receive a nice gift. It will be something that you will want to keepsomething that you can take to school with you every day-something that we have never given away on back-to-school day before. It is a nice ball point pen with the name of your church and a verse of Scripture printed on it!! It will be a beautiful pen that you will enjoy using and will want to keep always!

THE ONLY WAY THAT YOU CAN GET ONE IS TO BE IN SUNDAY SCHOOL THIS SUNDAY MORNING AT 9:30!! It will be a daily witness for Jesus in school!

(2) We will recognize you in the preaching service. We want you to stand up so that the entire congregation can see you!

(3) I will be preaching a special sermon in your honor, and I want you to hear it.

DON’T FORGET NOW . . . THIS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th, at 9:30 a.m.!! Hope to see You then.

I hope that you will have a good school year, that you will study hard and make good grades, and be a real Christian young person for Jesus.

Sincerely your pastor,

2. The Gifts. On Back to School Day each school child receives a special gift during the Sunday school hour. There are a number of gift items which may be used. One year we presented the students with little combs with a verse of Scripture on them, along with rulers. Another year we gave pencils with a Scripture on them. In more recent years we have given nicer gifts. For example, one year we gave tablets with the church’s name at the top of each sheet, with a Scripture verse and “Jesus Saves” at the bottom of each page. Still another year we gave each child a ball point pen, with the name of the church, the pastor and a verse of Scripture on each pen. This is one good way to help the students in their witnessing at school.

3. Special Reserved Section. It is sometimes good to reserve a special section in the auditorium for the school children, if there is room for such. This makes them feel more honored. At any rate, they should be given special recognition in the church service.

4. Using the Students in the Service. It is good if you can use school students to take the offering, act as ushers, sing the special music, give a testimony and other things in the service which seem advisable.

5. Inviting the School Teachers. Something that we have not used heretofore, but which we plan to use next year, is the idea of having a special reserved section for all of the school teachers of the children. Insist for several weeks ahead that each child solicit the attendance of his school teacher on Back to School Sunday. Of course, this will necessitate having the day several weeks after school starts, perhaps near the first of October. Many teachers would be blessed and honored by such a service. Perhaps, also, the Gospel might be preached to some who otherwise would not hear it. If the teachers could feel the spirit of a warm, spiritual service, it would perhaps open their minds toward many churches which may be considered a little “narrow-minded” because of convictions. At least it would help the relationship between the school and the church.

6. The Sermon. The preacher may adapt his sermon to the school students, preaching such subjects as “Back to School with Jesus,” “How to Live for Christ at School,” or some other appropriate subject for the day.

Many school students may be reached for Christ through a special day like Back to School Day who would not otherwise come to Sunday school and the morning service.

BABY DAY

Every church would do well to have Baby Day. This is a big day in our church and we usually have it in the spring. Many parents have babies who were born during the winter months and who have never been to church. The parents may be out of the habit of coming, and a special day in honor of the babies will get them back to God’s house. Also, it serves as a time of dedication for the precious babies that God has given us during the past ear.

If your church is small, you may recognize and honor all of the children, three years of age and under. In large churches, however, only the small babies can be recognized -those who have not reached their first birthday.

1. Special Letter. For this occasion you may send out a special letter to the baby. Address it to the baby, tell-ing him that you have a corsage for his mother, and that you are having a special day for him. Explain to him that you are happy that he is here. Who knows but what it will be the first letter ever addressed to the new baby.

This is the letter we sent:

Dear Parents,

Each year in our church we set aside one Sunday to honor all of the children in the nursery departments of our Sunday school. This Sunday, May 5th, is the day for this special occasion-BABY DAY!!

We know that You will want to have your child present for this special day in their honor. Here’s what we will do:

Immediately at the close of the Sunday school hour, bring your child from the Nursery Department into the AUDITORIUM. BEFORE the preaching service, there will be a PARADE of all the nursery children around the auditorium and across the platform. All babies who have not reached their first birthday will be introduced from behind the pulpit!!!

Little pink corsages will be presented to all mothers of little girls; little blue corsages to all mothers of little boys!!!

This is one of the sweetest days in our church year. DON’T MISS IT!!! This gives all of our people an opportunity to see and meet your baby. Many of us who do not have occasion to go to the nursery department miss the blessing of seeing the nursery children.

ALSO, it gives the people a chance to meet the nursery workers who faithfully care for the children each Sunday while we worship.

So, be SURE to have your child here THIS SUNDAY morning at 9:30 a.m. for Sunday school, and for the BABY PARADE immediately following Sunday school!!!

There will be a special place reserved in the auditorium for the parents of the nursery children to sit during the preaching service!!!

We are counting on YOU to help us make this the BIGGEST and BEST “BABY DAY” we have ever had!!!

Sincerely,

Your Pastor

2. The Nursery Workers. At the morning service special recognition is given to those who work with the babies all of the time. The nursery teachers in the Sunday school, as well as the paid nursery workers, should be recognized. Each worker is presented with a lovely corsage, as she is introduced to the congregation by the pastor.

3. Baby Parade. At the conclusion of the Sunday school hour, each parent goes to the nursery and gets his child, and brings him to the auditorium. The parents, with their babies, are lined up around the auditorium. After the nursery workers have been introduced and presented with their corsages, the pianist or organist plays “Jesus Loves Me” or some other appropriate song, as the parents “parade” their babies around the auditorium. Each parent comes behind the microphone on the platform, shows the congregation the baby, and tells his or her name.

4. Corsages. You may present small corsages to each mother of a new baby-that is, mothers of babies born since last Baby Day, or who are less than one year old. Mothers of little boys may be presented with blue corsages, mothers of little girls with pink corsages. These may be bought inexpensively, and may be made of just one carnation and some ribbon.

These corsages may be presented to the mothers during the Baby Parade as they come behind the pulpit to introduce their babies. The paid nursery workers may assist the pastor or Sunday school superintendent in presenting the corsages, thereby saving some time.

5. Altar Dedication Service. After corsages have been presented to the workers and to the mothers, and the babies have been “paraded”-just before they are returned to the nurseries-each parent may bring his baby to the altar and the pastor may have a special prayer of dedication, for God to bless the life of each baby, that Jesus might have His will in their lives and in the lives of the parents.

It is also fitting to have a special musical number while the parents are at the altar, with heads bowed. There are many special numbers about children, or perhaps the music director might write one suitable for the occasion. The song may be sung first, after which the pastor may lead in the prayer of dedication.

6. Reserve Section for Parents. After the parade and dedication service, the babies are taken back to the nurseries, and the parents return to sit in a section of the auditorium which has been reserved for them. Have this reserved section as near to a door as possible, near the front. Many of the parents will have a difficult time getting their babies back to sleep in the nursery, and will be a little late in getting to the service. Hence, the nearer the reserved section to the door, the less disturbance will be involved as the parents return to the service.

7. Special Sermon. The pastor may preach a message on a dedicated child, or some other appropriate sermon in honor of children, trying to reach the parents for Jesus.

HOMECOMING DAY

Homecoming Day is usually conducted in our church On the Thanksgiving weekend to help counterbalance the natural slump of this weekend. Because of the school holidays for this weekend many people will go Out of town. However, many, many of them will stay at home and invite their friends and relatives to spend the holidays with them, if there is something special at the church, We have found that our people respond well to days such as this, as they are many times able to reach lost loved ones for Christ in these special services.

1. Letters. We mail letters to each of our members, reminding them of Homecoming Day, telling them of the special features for the day, encouraging them to bring friends and relatives. A little artwork helps to add sparkle to the invitation.

2. Special Letter. A letter is sent to all former members who can be located, giving them a special invitation to be with us for Homecoming Day. A number of old-timers coming back to the services will more than overcome the loss of those people who go out of town for the weekend; hence, the attendance for the holiday weekend will stay high. There are many former members who would like to spend their holiday weekend visiting the church, if they are invited to a Homecoming Day or special service. Our Homecoming letter read like this:

The time has come again for our ANNUAL HOMECOMING DAY!! Each year our church family gets together for a great big “dinner on the grounds.” THIS SUNDAY, November 27th, is the big day!

We will have our regular Sunday school and preaching service on Sunday morning; then we will go in a body to the Community House in the City Park, where we will all eat lunch together.

After lunch we will return to the auditorium at 3:00 p.m. for a homecoming service. Brother Joe Boyd will bring the homecoming message, and the Singing Spencers will render the special music.

Following is a list of important items for YOU to do:

(1) By all means, have your entire family in Sunday school Sunday!

(2) Contact any former members of our church that you know of and invite them to our services!

(3) Plan to BRING YOUR LUNCH and stay with us for the noon meal! DON’T be a “wet blanket” now and go home after the morning service.

(4) If you like, you may take your food to the Community House BEFORE Sunday school. Bring it upstairs where we will have a committee to receive it and arrange it on the tables. If you prefer, you may just bring your lunch with you as you come from the services Sunday morning.

(5) Just to make a complete day of it, plan to come back to the auditorium at 3:00 o’clock for the homecoming service to hear Brother Boyd and the Spencers!

(6) The nurseries will be open for those who want to leave their children 3 years and under until after the homecoming service!

The fellowship here at Miller Road is one of the sweetest in all the world. It will be to your benefit to take advantage of the opportunities of this Sunday. You will have the opportunity to fellowship with former members of our church, members of the Spring Creek Chapel, the Open Door Baptist Church and Eastern Hills Baptist Church (which were missions of our church).

Bring your FRIENDS . . . RELATIVES . . . NEIGHBORS! EVERYBODY is invited!

THIS SUNDAY-9:45 a.m.

3. Dinner on the Grounds. For several weeks prior to Homecoming Day our people are reminded of the services, and the “dinner on the grounds.” Our own people are encouraged to stay for dinner, and are asked to bring a little extra to take care of our visitors. This is a wonderful time of fellowship.

We have found it advisable in our church to reserve the community house for our lunch in case of rain, cold weather, etc. This also gives a suitable place for the food to be left as the people come to Sunday school if they so desire.

4. Afternoon Service. After the “dinner on the grounds” and a time of fellowship, the people come back to the auditorium for an afternoon service. At this service the old-timers are recognized, and other special guests are introduced. A “sing-song” or a “singing” is usually advisable here, followed by a message from some well-known speaker. Testimonies as to what the church has meant to the lives of the people are also in order at this afternoon service, as well as introducing former pastors, etc.

PICTURE TAKING DAY

Picture Taking Day is usually conducted just before Promotion Day each year. August is a good time for this, as the classes will be promoted in a few weeks, and the teachers and pupils will want pictures by which to re-member their old classes and departments.

1. Letters. Sent Out. Letters are mailed to each member of the Sunday school the previous week, reminding them of Picture Taking Day. Be sure to tell why the pictures are being taken-and when!-and where! Invite the whole family. Following is a copy of one of the letters we have used for this:

We are going to publish a BIG PHOTOGRAPH BOOK entitled “The Miller Road Miracle in Pictures.” This book will be much like a high school annual, with pictures and stories all about the Miller Road Baptist Church.

We want YOUR picture to be in this book. The pictures will be taken THIS SUNDAY, August 5th, which has been designated as – “PICTURE TAKING DAY”

Picture taking will start promptly at 9:30 Sunday morning – So dress all the children up in their “Sunday best,” put on all of the “frills,” and be here for this occasion! !

Each CLASS will have its picture made, and each Picture will be placed in our new book, which will be published in a few weeks. Copies of this book will be sold all over the country!!

DON’T FORGET . . Be here promptly at 9:30 with ALL the family, as pictures will be taken of EVERY person who attends our Sunday school THIS Sunday-from the smallest baby in the nursery-to the oldest Adult!!!

SEE YOU SUNDAY!!

2. Photographer. We secure a photographer to take the pictures-a professional photographer, if possible. How-ever, some churches find it advisable to use a member of the church who has a camera and equipment and is good at taking pictures. If the groups are small enough, this can be done easily.

3. To Create Interest. In promoting Picture Taking Day a good way to stir interest is to award free pictures to the department or class having the largest percentage of enrollment present. This challenges the teachers, as well as the class members, and results in a significant in-crease in attendance on this day.

4. Orders for Pictures. Announce well in advance the price for the pictures. Orders may be taken for the pictures on the day that they are taken, rather than waiting for proofs, then ordering. Each teacher or departmental superintendent should keep an accurate list of the ones who have ordered pictures, and indicate those who have paid. This list should be kept until all pictures are delivered.

5. Church Annual. We have thought it wise before to use these pictures taken on Picture Taking Day, and other pictures taken throughout the year on special occasions, in a church annual-much like a high school annual. This book may be sold to the members for a nominal fee to cover expenses. Former members and other friends might also be interested in such a booklet.

If this is done, by all means take the orders for the annuals before they are ordered by the church. It is a good idea to get the money in advance, also. This way, you will know how many annuals to order.

Picture Taking Day is always fun. All people love to have their pictures taken, and especially like to have them for remembering their classes and departments. This is a successful day each year in our church.

Picture Taking Day may be “stretched out.” For example, the Miller Road Baptist Church has grown to such proportions that now we have a special Picture Taking Day for the nursery departments, another for the beginner departments, another for the primaries, another for juniors, another for intermediates and young people, and another for adults. This helps the attendance and creates interest for a number of weeks, rather than just the one Sunday. Too, it is difficult in larger Sunday schools for the photographer to successfully take each class in one Sunday.

If you do have a Picture Taking Day for each group, rather than taking them all one Sunday, be sure that you send out letters to each group the week before they are to have their pictures taken.

RECORD BREAKING DAY

This idea can be used effectively almost anywhere. This day may also be advertised and publicized through letters, in your church bulletin or from the pulpit. Get some phonograph records and display them on the platform, or some other conspicuous place in the church-over one write the words “SUNDAY SCHOOL,” over another “YOUTH GROUP,” over another “OFFERING,” and any other church organization that you wish to “break the record.” Announce what the previous record attendance is for each one, and then challenge the people to “break the records.”

On Record Breaking Sunday, as each goal is reached, the leader of that organization must have the corresponding phonograph record broken over his head. These records are broken at the close of the Sunday school hour, just before the morning service; and at the close of Youth meeting, just prior to the evening service.

Each member will work hard to break all previous records in order to see the phonograph record broken over the superintendent or leader’s head.

ABSENTEE SUNDAY

The general idea here is not to have any absentees in Sunday school on a certain Sunday, but to have every member present.

A letter may be sent out to each member with no “T’s” in it, because of so many absent T’s lately. Also you may want to send out a “T”-either a golf tee, a tea bag, or just a letter “T,” asking each person to bring his T to Sunday school so that there will be no absent T.

My dear friend,

We cerxainly are hoping xhax you can be in Sunday school xhis nexx Sunday ax xhe Miller Road Bapxisx Church. Because of xhe Chrisxmas season and xhe large amounx of sickness, many of our people have been absenx for several Sundays. We wanx xo sxarx xhe New Year wixh a big boom in axxendance xhis Sunday. Plan now xo be in your place. Bring all of xhe children and lex’s go over xhe xop for xhe Lord Jesus.

1953 was a banner year for xhe Miller Road Bapxisx Church. Our Sunday school grew by leaps and bounds. We are hoping xhax xhe same xhing can be said ax xhe end of 1954.

By xhe way, I guess xhax by now you are wondering why we have lefx oux all of xhe “T’s” in xhis lexxer. THE REASON IS THAT WE HAVE BEEN HAVING SO MANY ABSENT “T’s” LATELY, WE JUST DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH TO USE IN THIS LETTER.

DON’T BE AN ABSENTEE SUNDAY.

Sincerely, Your Pastor

B-1 SUNDAY

Get some vitamin B-1, or some tablets containing vitamin B-1 at the drugstore. Send a letter to each member of the Sunday school, enclosing one of the tablets, asking him to take it so he can B-1 in Sunday school the following Sunday. A letter such as the one below creates interest and increases the attendance:

Enclosed you will find a little pill containing Vitamin B -1. Please take this pill so that YOU CAN B -1 of 2,000 in Sunday school at the

MILLER ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH on NOVEMBER 13th . . .

As you know, each year in November we set a “High Attendance Day” as a sort of anniversary of the growth of our church. Two years ago our motto was “From 44 to 444 in one year”; last year it was “From 44 to 1,044 in two years”; this year it is “From 44 to 2,000 in three years”! !

To encourage you to B -1 of this 2,000 on November 13th, the following features have been arranged:

(1) Mrs. Billy Sunday, wife of the famous evangelist of yesteryear, will be our guest and speak to us during the Sunday school hour.

(2) Billy Rosenbaum will sing again! As you know, Brother Billy has been at the point of death for 16 weeks, and has recuperated enough to sing in the quartet for the “Big Day.” He will do this even though he is still taking his nourishment through a tube. I know you will want to be here to hear Billy sing!

(3) Another famous quartet will sing! This quartet is known as “The Big Four,” composed of Brother and Mrs. Hyles and Brother and Mrs. Keys. They will sing during the opening assembly of the Sunday school!!

(4) A “String Ensemble” composed of four of our church members will play!

(5) A tent will be erected on church property and a Baylor University football player will preach to all the young people at 11:00 a.m. under the tent. He is BILL GLASS, 6 ft., 4 inch, 225 lb. tackle!

(6) During the opening assembly of Sunday school the Singing Spencers will bring us two numbers!

PLEASE, dear friend, take this tablet and B-1 . . . and BRING 1 for the

“BIG DAY” on NOVEMBER 13th . . . .

GOOD NEIGHBOR SUNDAY

Ask each person to bring a neighbor as his special guest this Sunday. Anyone who brings a neighbor will receive a gift. For example, a nice Bible might be awarded to one who brings as many as ten, or twenty neighbors. A neighbor might be anyone who lives within a fifteen mile radius of the church.

Many good prospects are lined up on Good Neighbor Sunday. Let your members stand and introduce their neighbors in the service.

The sermon topic might be “Who Is My Neighbor?”- the Good Samaritan story, or some other appropriate sermon.

FRUITFUL FEBRUARY

One of the most successful things that we have ever tried in our church is “Fruitful February.” We cut down some medium sized trees and placed them in buckets of dirt, and placed them in the auditorium. One tree was called an “apple tree” to represent the Sunday school, another was a “pear tree” to represent the youth group, and the other was an “orange tree” for the midweek service. We covered the buckets or cans that contained the trees with red, yellow and orange crepe paper.

We mimeographed apples on red, pears on yellow and oranges on orange construction paper. On each apple, pear and orange there was a place indicated for the person to sign his name. These apples, pears and oranges were given to the Sunday school and youth workers to cut out, and it was their job to get everyone signed up who would promise to be in Sunday school, the youth meeting, and the midweek service every Sunday or Wednesday of the month of February. If they promised to be in Sunday school each Sunday of the month, they became an apple on the apple tree, and so on. These were signed up for each member of the family, and turned back into the office by the workers after they were signed. The apples, pears and oranges were then strung on the trees in the auditorium. It was interesting to see the “trees” fill with fruit as the people signed up to come each Sunday and Wednesday night of the month.

Use of this promotion of Fruitful February should be started four to five weeks early in order to build the attendance for the entire month. This is a workable idea for all age groups.

The people promise to come each Sunday and Wednesday night for an entire month. At the end of the month, most of them, after having been faithful to all of the services for four weeks in a row, have now developed a good habit and will continue to come.

Here is the letter we sent as a reminder:

JUST ARRIVED!!! OUR “ANNUAL” . . .

The “MIRACLE of MILLER ROAD in pictures” . . .

Many of you have been asking when this book would be ready-As you know, we had previously announced that it would be here Feb. 10th, BUT we are happy to announce that THE BOOK IS NOW READY, and will be available this Sunday, during the Sunday school hour, February 3rd!!!

The book contains pictures of the pastor and his family, Brother Harvey, the church staff, the deacons, ALL Of our BUILDINGS, and ALL of the pictures of the Sunday school classes and departments that we took on “Picture Taking Day”-plus many, many other pictures which you will enjoy and want to keep always. Interesting articles about the history and growth of our church are also contained in this book!! I know that you are ANXIOUS to get this book of “The Miracle of Miller Road” in pictures . . . . FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE . . . This Sunday morning-9:30 a.m.-February 3rd!!

ALSO ….

This Sunday begins our

“FRUITFUL FEBRUARY”

Have You . . . .

“Put an apple on the apple tree for Sunday school all month long

A pear on the pear tree says you’ll be in Training Union with a song . . .

An orange on the orange tree says we’ll see you every Wednesday night!!

So, get up a tree for a “FRUITFUL FEBRUARY” That’s all right!!!

If you have not already “signed up” to be faithful to all of the services of the church, do help us have a “Fruitful February.”

Enclosed with this letter you will find an apple which we ask that you sign (you may sign the whole family on this one apple) and BRING IT WITH YOU TO SUNDAY SCHOOL this Sunday.

We are counting on You to help us get off to a good start at 9:30 on Sunday morning.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL SUNDAY

It is good either at the beginning of vacation Bible school or at the close of it, to have a Sunday honoring vacation Bible school. On this day the workers may be honored, and the children who attended, or who will attend, recognized.

If this special day is held at the close of the school, the work and things accomplished during Bible school might be displayed for a general assembly in the auditorium. Also, the various Bible school characters that are used may appear before the parents. An interesting program in connection with Bible school may be worked out with a little planning. The parents are interested in the things their children do and learn at Bible school, and since many of them never get to work in the school, they do not have an opportunity to see firsthand what goes on at vacation Bible school.

This is good to have during part of the Sunday school hour, and not in the preaching service, as it detracts from the purpose of the service.

CHRISTMAS SUNDAY

A good time to have a special day is on the Sunday nearest Christmas. On this Sunday a small gift of some type might be presented to each member, or to each family attending. We have found a good thing to give is a Scripture text calendar, with the church’s name (and perhaps a picture of the church) on it. One year we gave a New Testament to each child present, with the child’s name written on it in gold. This is easily done, as you may obtain gold foil from your office supply or art supply store, and the teachers may write the children’s names in gold on the Testaments before they are given to the children on the special Sunday. Some churches permit a “real” Santa Claus to come and present these gifts to the children-other churches with different convictions do not feel it wise.

It seems that since many people go out of town for Christmas anyway, the day should be carefully planned in order to keep the attendance up.

There are many other suggestions which could be given about special days. The ones given here are only to whet your appetite-to help you think of some for yourself. The field is inexhaustible. Literally hundreds have been reached for Christ on these days. God has signally blessed them to His glory, to the saving of sinners, to the edifying of the saved, and to the increased joy of His people.

This chapter is not given to cause conflict in opinions concerning big days. Some will think the above suggestions are too sensational; others will perhaps add even more color to them. Please take what is usable for you, and use it to His glory.

A Realistic Approach to an Evangelistic Preaching Service

One of the most important things that the preacher does is preach. Of utmost importance in the life of the church is the public worship service. It is the time when the Gospel is preached and sinners are invited to the Lord Jesus Christ. The public service is the important thing in the life of a church!

Following are a number of rules which might be helpful in conducting an evangelistic worship service:

1. The Pastor Should Be There. It is important that the pastor be in his own pulpit. I have made it a policy through the years to be in my own pulpit every Sunday. Some preachers would not feel this advisable, and certainly that is understandable. However, as much as possible, the pastor should be in his own pulpit.

2. Claim the Spirit Fullness. If a preacher is prayed up as he should be, and talks to the Lord periodically, he should be able to preach all the time. Simply a prayer of claiming the Spirit fullness before he goes into the pulpit, is sufficient many times. Many preachers ruin their disposition, their sermon and their spirit by waiting too late on Saturday night to agonize, or, by waiting too late on Sunday morning. The agonizing should be done previous to the service, and a simple claiming by faith the fullness of God’s spirit will many times suffice before the service. This does not discount the agonizing in prayer and the many hours a preacher should pray for the services and for the power of God-but the preacher should realize that God wants to fill him, and if he has met the conditions of God all week long in his life, then he can have His fullness on Sunday.

3. Have Real Humility. Humility is not cowardice; neither is it timidity. Humility is a feeling that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” There is a fine line of distinction between a person who is “cocky,” and a person who is humble. A cocky person says, “I can do all things.” A humble person says, “I can do all things . . . through Christ.”

4. Work on Yourself before the Service. Before the service, go alone and ask God to put you in the mood of the sermon. If you are going to preach against sin, think how awful sin is-ask God to stir your heart against it, and make you realize how dirty and black it is. If you are going to preach on heaven, try to walk the golden streets a while before you go into the pulpit. If you are going to preach on hell, turn the lights out for a while and think about how awful hell must be, and ask God to put you in the right mood for the sermon. This is important!

5. Get Everyone to Participate in the Preaching Service.

That is one reason for the song service. If the people sing, and participate in the first part of the service, they will be relaxed for the invitation. Many churches find it wise to have the people shake hands at the first part of the service. This may become a formality if not handled properly. The people should definitely be loosened up in the early part of the service, and feel themselves a part of it. Many people never feel like part of the service, but like spectators. This should not be.

There are several ways the right feeling can be achieved. As mentioned before, hand-shaking is a good way. Then, a definite effort to get all of the congregation to sing in the song service is good. To do this, some old songs must be used, which all of the people will know.

Also, it is good to have a time to recognize visitors to have them stand, say a few words about them, make them feel at home.

6. Get concerned People to Lift Their Hands. Sometimes in the early part of the service, it is often good to have the people bow their heads for prayer. Then ask the people who are praying for an unsaved friend in the service to lift their hands. This will do several things: First, it will let you know if you have many prospects. Again, it will let you know the people in your church who bring lost souls to the services. Also, the person who raises his hand indicating that he is interested in a lost one, will usually be sitting next to or near the unsaved friend. This will let you know who the unsaved are so that you will be able to give them special attention later in the service.

7. Preach to Get Results. Preach to get results! Never become the teacher type or the lecturer type, and never get used to a “dry haul.” When you preach a sermon on tithing, expect people to start tithing. When you preach against a certain sin, expect people to give it up. Always expect additions and conversions in the services. Preach to get results!

8. Train the People to Be Openly for You. This should be especially true when the preacher is a frank person. The visitors in the service, especially the unsaved, need to be conscious of the fact that the people there are for you, and believe what you are preaching. If they feel as if you are fighting an uphill battle and that the people are against what you say, your sermon will be ineffective. However, if they feel that in the power of the Spirit you are preaching Jesus in such a way that your people are for you, then they, too, will be impressed with the service.

Train your people to say “Amen” often. It is certainly helpful in an evangelistic preaching service.

9. Do Not Reveal the Closing Point. Many of us in our preaching will make such statements as, “Now, in conclusion”; “Finally, may I say”; “My last point is . . . .”

These statements are sometimes dangerous. The sinner knows five minutes before you finish; hence, he digs in and prepares himself for the invitation so that he does not respond. However, if your closing is abrupt and a lost person does not suspect that you are about finished, you have crept up on him and he will not have time to prepare himself for the invitation. Many people may be reached, using this method.

One of the most glaring errors of many churches is that just as the preacher nears the conclusion in his sermon, the organist tiptoes like a sniper in battle, to the organ, letting the people in the congregation know that invitation time is near-and letting the lost person brace himself for the invitation. Then the choir director whispers the number to the choir, and they begin to shuffle pages. We eliminate that in our church by using the same invitation hymn at the close of each service. If there is a change, the pastor announces the number at the beginning of the service. The invitation should be abruptthe people should not have their attention diverted until time for the invitation itself.

10. Do Not Fuss over Past Sins. Many preachers ruin their effectiveness by preaching against the sins the members committed during the past week. They cannot undo a single one of them. However, they would do well to preach against the sins they might commit next week, and lead them to avoid those.

11. Do Not Close the Service on a Low Note. It is good to start the service on a high spiritual plane and to close the service on a high spiritual plane. If there is any skinning, or roof-raising to be done, do it in the middle of the sermon. Then, bring the sermon back up to a high spiritual level. People have a way of remembering the last part of the service. If the service is closed on a complaining, fussing note, then the people subconsciously register that and are not as prone to return. However, if the service is closed on a high note, a victorious note, all the time, then the people will subconsciously have the desire to come back.

12. Do Not Ask for Rededications Until Souls Have Been Reaped. Reap the souls first. Many times preachers have people come to kneel at the altar to rededicate their lives, begin family altars or begin tithing, and clog the aisles so that the lost people cannot get down them. Always try to reap the sinners first. Then, afterwards turn to the Christians and lead them to a deeper life. Do not block the aisles with Christians so that the lost will be discouraged from coming.

13. Use Soul Winners in the Invitation. This is dangerous sometimes; however, it can be used effectively.

Have some key people in your church (many times some deacons) observe as the hands are raised for prayer in the invitation. Then, after singing a while, if these who raised their hands do not come, they may be approached by the soul winners, who may be able to lead them to Christ.

Promiscuous wandering around during the invitation is often hurtful. It should be guarded carefully in order not to hurt people, and lead folks farther away from Christ. However, when a person raises his hand, he is under conviction, and usually can be won by an effective, tactful, Spirit-filled soul winner.

It is hoped that the foregoing suggestions will be helpful to many pastors as they lead their churches to be evangelistic centers. God knows that if we worship in Spirit and in truth we will bring sinners to Christ week by week.

For the past forty-two months in the Miller Road Baptist Church someone has been saved every week, and someone has been ready for baptism each Sunday evening. May God be praised! These methods have been used of the Lord week after week in the bringing of souls to Christ. May God use them to bless your heart.

Our New Visitation Program

By JIM LYONS, Associate Pastor

Our church has been fortunate in that the city in which we are located has, for a number of years, been one of the fastest growing cities in the State of Texas. Hundreds of prospects were moving into the city every month. This meant that our pastor could encourage all of the members to come out to our visitation program, and be able to supply each of them with some prospects to visit.

However, in the past year our city has ceased its rapid growth, and now only a few people move into our city each month. This meant, of course, that we would either have to find some other place to secure prospects-or else not encourage all of our people to come to the visitation program. We did not wish to choose the latter, as visitation is one of the biggest blessings that the church membership can have.

So the eight following means of visitation are carried out each Thursday night by the Miller Road Baptist Church in our new visitation plan.

1. The Jails. Two of our finest Christian men do no form of visiting on Thursday nights other than jail visitation. Our city jail will usually have at least a couple of people in it each week, and sometimes has as many as ten or twelve. We feel that when Jesus died for every one certainly we should overlook no one in our visitation program. These two men have been highly success in their jail visitation, and have seen numbers of couple saved since the institution of our new visitation program, which included visiting the jails each week.

2. The Hospitals. Each week two or three teams com­posed of husbands and wives go to local and Dallas hospitals to visit those of our membership who are in the hospitals, and others who have been reported to the church office. They go for two purposes: First, to have prayer with those who are sick and ask God to heal their bodies. Second, they go to witness to those others who are in the rooms with the hospital patients from our church. Just recently one of our men went to see a per­son from our church who was in the hospital, and while visiting with the patient next to him, was able to win an eighty-year-old man to the Lord.

3. Tract Distribution in Shopping Centers. Each week we have three teams of four men each which distribute gospel tracts in shopping centers all over Dallas County. These men also go every time there is a great gathering of people for some special occasion-for instance, at the time our state fair was in progress, these men went each Thursday night and distributed thousands of tracts to people who were attending the fair. Hardly a week goes by that we do not receive a tract back through the mail, signed by someone saying that he has accepted Christ as his Saviour. Recently several of our fellows were pass­ing out tracts in a shopping center that was just being opened. Many gifts were being given away on the formal opening night. The people at the shopping center, naturally thinking of the gifts that were being given out, formed a line to receive gospel tracts. Soon a long line had formed, and people were waiting to receive a gospel tract. You can imagine the surprised look on their faces when they got to the person who was handing out the tracts and found that they had stood in line to receive the Gospel.

4. Beer Joints. Our church is primarily a men’s church. We have probably as large a percentage of men in our church as any church in the world. Many of these fellows only a few years ago, were drunkards far down in sin. Beer joints are nothing new to these men, and several of them go each week to pass out tracts and witness to those in the beer joints, honky tonks and night clubs around Dallas County. This group is headed by a man who, by his own testimony, in a period of ten years did not see over ten days during which he failed to take a drink of liquor. This man was saved a few years ago, and now spends much of his time witnessing to the same crowd he once drank with. Hardly a week passes that this group does not bring one or several people to our church services on Sunday whom they have won on visitation night.

5. Bus Stations. One group of our men makes a regular Thursday night itinerary, which includes several of the bus stations and train terminals in Dallas. Many a person has found Jesus on Thursday night while sitting in a terminal waiting for his bus or train. Recently a young man seventeen years of age who had run away from his home in Kentucky, was found at the bus terminal. This young man gave his heart to Christ, came to the church and was baptized, has now found a job and is making his home in Garland. He is faithful to all services of the church.

6. Absentee Visitation. When a church reaches the size that our church has, there are many, many absentees each Sunday. We have found that the best way to visit these is in the church-wide visitation program on Thursday night. Each week someone from each class takes the “Absentee Book” and visits those who were not in Sun­day school the previous Sunday from that particular class. This, of course, brings our people in contact with the entire family, giving them an opportunity to witness to those in the family who are not saved.

7. House to House Visitation. The last group to leave on Thursday nights from our chapel where we assemble for visitation, is the group which goes to visit in the homes in Garland. Even after sending someone to the jails, the hospitals, the shopping centers, the beer joints, the bus stations and to visit absentees, we still have quite a number of people left to visit from house to house in Garland. This group visits in pairs. They go to visit those who have just moved into our city, those who have visited in our church services, or those whose names have been turned in to the office as possible prospects for the church, or persons who need to be witnessed to. Many, many people have been won to Christ in our house to house visitation by the members of our church. On a recent Sunday morning a couple came down the aisle and united with our church. In talking to them, we found that the man had been won to Christ by two of our men while visiting from house to house in our city. After talking a little further, we found also that at a different time, one of our ladies had gone by and had won the wife to Christ. What a blessing it is to see people come to Christ, regardless of where they are found.

8. Visiting New Members. Our last type of visitation on Thursday nights is the visiting of those people who have come into the fellowship of our church. One of our deacons, accompanied by his wife, goes and visits each person who joins our church. We have found this to be an effective means of visitation, in that others in the family who are lost or unchurched are contacted in this way. Recently while visiting a new member of our church, our deacon found that a couple was visiting from out of the city. Before long, this couple had given their hearts to Christ there in the home.

Our church, in the period of time since it has been organized, has received many, many blessings, but perhaps the greatest blessings that we have received have been trying to carry out the Great Commission in the vicinity in which we live.

How to Win a Soul to Jesus

The purpose of this chapter is not to deal with witnessing in public, but it primarily concerns the winning of souls to Christ in the home. It deals with the proper approach and some practical pointers to help one be a more effective soul winner. I have tried to put these principles into practice for a number of years, and God has blessed them with the salvation of literally hundreds of souls being won to Him in homes. May God use them to bless you and make you a winner of souls for Christ.

Last year alone over three hundred of our people won someone to Christ. Each of them was instructed through the following method, which is simple and easy enough for anyone to understand.

1. Be Clean and Neat. If a person is going to be a soul winner he must not be offensive to the people with whom he talks. It is a definite asset for a soul winner to be careful to bathe often, to avoid body odor. Teeth should be brushed, and the breath should be tested. Carry mints in your pockets or some good flavored chewing gum which will help keep the breath from being offensive. One of the most damaging things in soul winning is the effect of halitosis. By all means, a soul winner should watch this carefully. The soul winner should also be neatly dressed. A lady should be dressed conservatively, and I think it is best for a man to at least wear a shirt with a tie.

2. Carry a Testament with You All the Time. One of the most effective methods that we have used is the carrying of two Testaments-one for you to read as you seek to win the person, and one for the unsaved person to read, or follow as you read. After he has given his heart to Jesus, then you may present him with the Testament that he has read from as a gift.

Testaments which are adequate for this type of work may be bought at most bookstores for about twenty-five cents each. It is our suggestion that a Testament is better to use than a Bible because it does not “give you away.” As you get out of your car to walk to a house, a person might possibly see you carrying a Bible and immediately think that you are representing some cult or some false “ism” and build a mental barrier against you. Hence, it is usually better to carry a Testament in your pocket.

3. Be Soul Conscious. By this I simply mean to be aware everywhere you go that the people to whom you talk are going to spend eternity somewhere . . . the man who cuts your hair, the boy who shines your shoes, the man who fills your car with gas, the bread man, the milk man, the grocery man, the clerk at the drugstore, and the saleslady at the clothing store are all going to spend eternity somewhere. Make it a habit to ask people if they are Christians. This will be a blessing to you, and will give you a chance to witness to them. It is good to carry gospel tracts with you at all times in order that you may present one to a person who is not a Christian, that he may read it after you leave. This is effective to use when witnessing to people at work, who cannot stop their work for you to give them the plan of salvation.

Recently one of our soul winners was getting a shoe shine. Just before he asked the colored shine boy if he were a Christian, the shine boy looked up and asked the man if he were a Christian. Our church member responded with an affirmative answer, “Yes, you must be a Christian, too.”

The colored boy replied, “Yes, sir, one of those Miller Road Baptist members won me to Jesus the other day while I was shining his shoes.”

4. Go Two by Two. This is important! There are several reasons why God sent His disciples out in pairs, and certainly we should follow His example. Also, there is strength in numbers, and with another Christian present as a prayer warrior the soul winner is encouraged. How­ever, the most important reasons that another person should go with you, apart from Scriptural reason, are to pave the way for absolute quietness, and to avoid any unneccessary disturbances while the soul winner is talking to the unsaved person. Such things as caring for the children, changing the baby, answering the door, turning the radio or television off can certainly be of value in the winning of souls to Christ.

5. Go with Diferent People. Many people think it is wise to team up with the same soul winning partner all of the time. However, this discourages the making of new soul winners. It seems advisable for a person who is an active soul winner to take a different person with him periodically so that the new visitor might actually see the winning of a soul. This is better than any study course a Christian can take.

6. Pray and Claim the Spirit Fullness before Going.

Before you go to the field you need to spend a few moments in prayer, simply asking God to bless you and to help you be a blessing to others. Also, claim His Spirit fullness by faith, asking Him to bless you as you go, and to prepare the hearts of those to whom you will talk.

7. Go Believing. The thing that transformed my soul winning life more than anything else was this one thing! Many times I would go to the fields to witness for Christ, not expecting to win anyone. When and if someone was converted I would actually be subconsciously surprised. However, it dawned on me one day that God wants to save people, and that as God was sending me out, He would save people. So, rather than going out defeated, an effort was made to go expecting to see someone saved. The increase that God gave to this attitude of faith was amazing.

8. Be Nice. Remember that the person to whom you are talking did not ask you to come. You are a guest in his home, and many times, an unwanted guest. A soul winner in a home cannot use the same frankness that the preacher can in the pulpit. It is necessary that a soul winner be nice and courteous, kind and understanding, as he goes into someone’s home to talk to him about the Lord.

9. Be Careful about Going In. If a person is busy and obviously does not want to be disturbed, many times it is wise to tell him that you will not come in at this particular time, and suggest that you make an appointment for a later date when you may come back and talk to him about the Lord. This has proven effective in many cases.

10. Be Complimentary. As you enter someone’s home, it is always good to be complimentary. If the children are sweet, tell them so. If the home is lovely mention it. It is good to be complimentary.

11. Let the One You are Visiting Talk of His Interests for a While. Ask him about his work, about the family, about his home town, and things of that nature. He will enjoy talking with you and speaking of his interests. One of the best points that a person can use is to be a good listener.

12. Have Only One Person Do the Talking. As you seek to win the person to Christ, let only one soul winner do the talking. Do not interrupt with your “two cents.” You keep the road clear and keep the way paved for their privacy and pray! Do not pray with your eyes closed, however, as you may miss a chance to be of help by giving a child a drink, answering the door, or other things which might cause the lost person not to be free to listen carefully to the soul winner.

13. Stay on the Subject. Many times as you try to win a person he will ask questions that are irrelevant to salvation. When such a question is asked, it is usually good to say, “That is a good question. Remind me in a moment and I will answer that.” Then, continue talking about the plan of salvation. Do not let yourself be side­tracked on less important issues.

14. Stay in the Same Book of the Bible. It seems that it would be confusing to a sinner for a soul winner to go all over the Bible in trying to explain his point. With isolated verses taken from all over the Scriptures anything can be proved; however, when a person stays in the same book of the Bible, near the same pages, the lost person can readily see that you are not trying to confuse him by taking isolated verses to prove your point. A good book to use is John, another one is Isaiah; however, I have found the most effective book to be Romans.

15. Draw a Map in Your Testament. Many people are young Christians and do not have the Scriptures memorized, nor can they find the ones that they must use to deal with the plan of salvation. To aid in this, a plan has been devised of drawing a map in the Bible or Testament one is using. For example, start with Romans 3:10. Then, beside Romans 3:10, write Romans 3:23, the next verse you will turn to. After you have explained Romans 3:23, have written beside this verse Romans 5:12, which shows you where to go from there. Then, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, and finally Romans 10:9-11.

The lost person will not necessarily see what you have written in your Bible, as he will be looking on from the other Testament which you have handed him to use. This way you can direct yourself to the next Scripture, even though you may not know a single Scripture by heart, or do not know where to find the Scriptures pertaining to the plan of salvation.

16. Three Basic Questions Should Be Asked in the Conversation. First ask, “Are you a Christian?” Second, “Would you like to be a Christian?” Third, “If I were to show you in the Bible how to be a Christian, would you be willing to do what God says?”

The first of these three questions has often been disputed. Some prefer to ask “Are you saved?”, or, “Are you born again?”, or, “Do you know Jesus?” However, the simple question, “Are you a Christian?” might lead to asking other questions. The way the person answers your question would determine whether or not you should in­quire further as to the sincerity of his profession. Then, if he wants to be a Christian, you may proceed. Remember this-it is God’s business to prepare a soul. You cannot argue anyone into being a Christian. He must be ready; if he is not ready, you cannot argue him into it. Then, if he commits himself by saying he would be saved if he knew how, you have a definite committal that he will respond. If he says he will, then proceed immediately to show him the aforementioned Scriptures.

Following is the structure of the conversation that I have found helpful in dealing with most unsaved people with whom I talk:

Soul winner: “First, Mr. Blank, if a person is going to be saved, he needs to be saved from something. Let me show you why a person needs to be saved. Notice in Romans 3:10, `As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.’ The word righteous means good; hence, there is none good, no, not one. If there is not one good-then I am not good. Is that right? If there is not one good, then you are not good. Is that right? Now, let us turn to Romans 3:23, `For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’ If all have sinned, then that means that I have sinned. If all have sinned, that means you have sinned. So, you see that all of the people in the world are sinners. There is none that doeth good. We are all gone out of the way; we are together become unprofitable, and we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.

“Now, Mr. Blank, may I show you where the sin came from? Notice in Romans 5:12, `Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.’ You recall that one man brought sin into all the world. You will also remember that this man was Adam in the garden of Eden. God made Adam and Eve. He put them in the garden. He told them that they could eat of every tree in the garden but one, and if and when they ate of that tree, they would die. Do your remember, Mr. Blank, whether or not they ate of that tree?”

Mr. Blank: “Yes, they did.”

Soul Winner: “Yes, they did. When they did, they were separated from God. They died spiritually, and they became sinners. So, when they had children, their children were sinners, and their children were sinners, and their children were sinners-until finally, Mr. Blank, one day you were born, and the Bible says that you were born in sin. Though you were not accountable for it until you realized that you were a sinner, you were born going away from God. Mr. Blank, you are still going away from God; hence, you are a child of Adam.

“Now, would you look at and read Romans 6:23, `For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’?

“Mr. Blank, God, in order to be a just God, must make us pay for our sins. God has said that you will not get by with sin-so, God must make us pay for sin. The price on sin is death. This death is a spiritual death which culminates in the second death, mentioned in Revelation 21:8 and Revelation 20:14, which is the Lake of Fire. Therefore, the ultimate price that man must pay for his sins is to suffer in the Lake of Fire-or to go to hell. That means, Mr. Blank, according to your own statement that you are not a Christian, and according to the Word of God, if you died today you would go to hell. Is that right?”

Mr. Blank: “Yes.”

Soul Winner: “Mr Blank, I am happy to tell you that God does not want you to go to hell. God loves you as you love your children. Just as you would make a way to save any wayward children of yours, even so God has made a plan to save you. Here is His plan. Please read Romans 5:8, `But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ Mr. Blank, God looked down and saw that you were a sinner, and saw that you were going to hell. He did not want you to go to hell, so He came to earth in the form of a Man. His name was Jesus Christ. For thirty-three years He lived upon the earth-not once did He sin. Mr. Blank, if Jesus had sinned once, and the price of sin finally is the Lake of Fire, where would Jesus have had to go when He died?”

Mr. Blank: “To the Lake of Fire.”

Soul Winner: “Exactly so. But He did not sin, did He?”

Mr. Blank: “No.”

Soul Winner: “He was perfect. Not once did He have an evil thought, not once did He say a nasty word, not once did He drink a bottle of beer, not once did He do any­thing that was contrary to His Father’s will. But Mr. Blank, on the Cross of Calvary Jesus Christ suffered spiritual separation from God, or the same thing that the sinner must suffer in hell. If He was not suffering it for His own sins, then He must have been suffering for someone else’s sins. Do you have any idea for whom He was suffering?”

Mr. Blank: “He was suffering for you and me.”

Soul Winner: “Exactly so. Now, if He was suffering for you and me, He was paying our debt. Is that right?”

Mr. Blank: “Yes.”

Soul Winner: “Mr. Blank, if I went to the bank today, and paid off all of your debts at the bank, they would send a representative out to tell you about my payment. You would have one of two choices. You could say, `No, I will not accept his payment; I will pay my own debts.’ If that were your answer, even though I had paid the price, you would still be in debt. However, on the other hand, you could say, `Of course, I will accept payment. I will receive the gift that Mr. Soul Winner gave me.’ That moment, Mr. Blank, you would be free of debt. That moment the bank would wipe your debts completely clean. Now, Mr. Blank, you are in debt to God. You have sinned. Your record is in heaven. Jesus Christ went to the bank of heaven, as it were, and paid the full payment for all of your debts. He has paid for all of your sins. He sent me as His representative today to tell you about this. You can say one of two things: You can say, `No, I will pay my own debts. I will go to hell for myself.’ Or, you can say, `Of course, I will accept a Saviour like that. I will accept His gift of eternal life, and receive Him as my Saviour.’ That moment, Mr. Blank, you be­come a child of God, by receiving Christ as a Substitute for your sin, and taking Him in your heart as your Saviour.

“Now, Mr. Blank, let us sum up what we have said. Do you realize that you are a sinner?”

Mr. Blank: “Yes.”

Soul Winner: “Do you realize that if you died today you would go to hell?” Mr. Blank: “Yes.” Soul Winner: “Do you realize that Jesus died in your place, and suffered spiritual separation from God in your place?”

Mr. Blank: “Yes.”

Soul Winner: “Do you realize that if you were to bow here, and seek God’s forgiveness and take Christ as your Saviour today, by faith, God would make you His child?” Mr. Blank: “Yes.”

Soul Winner: “Then, Mr. Blank, could we just bow our heads and hearts in prayer, and let me pray for you? While I pray you can consider giving your heart to the Lord Jesus. Shall we kneel?”

(Turn to Romans 10:13-read it to him and have him put his hand on that Scripture. You pray. Pray sincerely, simply and briefly. As you conclude your prayer, do not say “Amen.”)

Soul Winner: “With our heads bowed, Mr. Blank, wouldn’t you like to ask God to forgive your sins right now? Tell Him that you are sorry for your sins, tell Him you want to receive Christ as your Saviour now. Will you do it?” (Mr. Blank may pray a simple prayer. If not, you might ask him to pray after you sincerely.)

Soul Winner: “Mr. Blank, if you are willing now, the best you know how, to turn from sin, and give your heart to Christ in faith, would you please take my hand as if it were the hand of Jesus as a token thereof?” (Mr. Blank takes the soul winner’s hand. The soul winner, while holding the convert’s hand, should offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for saving him.)

Soul Winner: “God bless you, Mr. Blank. Now, let me ask you a question. If the Bible is true-where would you go if you died now?”

Mr. Blank: “I would go to heaven.”

Soul Winner: “Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t God good to give eternal life to those who will receive him by faith?”

17. Lead Him to a Profession. After the person has been converted, ask him to promise to come to church the next possible service, and walk the aisle and let the pastor tell the people that he has been saved. It seems un­wise to ask him to be baptized until he has made his profession. Then, at the altar, when he is making his profession, or later, the minister can speak with him about baptism.

18. Go by and Get the Convert the Next Sunday. It is an unusual experience for many new converts to come to church. Many of them have not been to church for months, or years. It would be much easier for them to come if you will offer to go by and bring them with you.

19. Sit with the Convert in the Service.

20. At the Close of the Service Offer to Go Down the Aisle with Him.

21. After He Has Made His Profession, United with the Church and Been Baptized, He is Still Your Child. Continue to watch over him, and help him. Ask him over to your house for refreshments. Fellowship with him, and make him feel at home in the service of the Lord.

22. Appoint a Committee to Go by and See the New Converts, as Well as the New Church Members. The week after they join the church, it is good to have a committee to go by and see the new converts and new members.

This group may carry a certificate of baptism, a copy of the church budget, a copy of some book advising young Christians how to grow in grace, any books written by the pastor, etc. These will be helpful and appreciated by the new converts and new church members.

23. Use the “Buddy” System. After the Sunday services each week, call someone who lives near the new convert and “assign” him the new convert. It is good for him to have the new convert over for refreshments, to make a visit into his home, and perhaps have his family over for a meal to try to get him acquainted with some of the church members.

This person’s job also would be to help integrate the convert into the church program, and introduce him to as many people as possible.