What you see on my “second desk” are back issues, or should I say “WAY BACK” issues of The Gospel Advocate. These issues are from 1954 – 1955. One of the issues mentions three baptisms in Gallipolis, Ohio. One of those nameless three is my father. Another issue seems to be a special issue on the topic of The Church. Among the article titles are: Establishment of the Church; The Identity of the Church; How to Enter the Church; Does the Church Save?; How to Live in the Church; Church Autonomy; The Greatness of the Church; The Strength of the Church; and The Weakness of the Church. Authors include: H. Leo Boles, C. R. Nichol, N. B. Hardeman, F. B. Srygley, L. O. Sanderson, B. C. Goodpasture, R. L. Whiteside, John T. Lewis, among others.
One article by C. A. Norred covers the topic, “Building Up Local Congregations.” He gives six factors to build up the local church: 1) Personal Consecration and Individual Activity, 2) Study of the Bible, 3) Giving, 4) Attendance Upon the Meetings of the Church, 5) Prayer, and 6) The Preaching of the Word.
This article foreshadows a promised special issue of The Gospel Advocate for August, 19, 1954. This then forthcoming special issue would discuss “How to Build Up the Church.” I am going to look for a digital copy of this issue because the articles discuss some ideas and ministries that we can still use today. The promised articles I am interested in are:
- Building up the Church through Pulpit Preaching.
- Building It up through the Bible Class Teaching.
- Building It up through Personal Work.
- Building It up through Improved Singing.
- Building It up through More Spiritual Worship.
- Building It up through Benevolent Works.
- Building It up through Nurturing Young Christians.
- Building It up through Prayer Meetings.
I think these ideas still work.