Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 7, 1950
NUMBER 18, PAGE 8-9b


Books Needed - Can You Help?

Listed on the opposite page are some of the books that are most urgently needed by the library of Central Christian College at Bartlesville, Okla. The school opens its doors this month with every indication of a fine start. As the years go by, thousands of Christian boys and girls will receive training within its walls. No man who is interested in young people and who is concerned for their welfare can but rejoice as this new college gets underway.

Traditionally, the first years are the hardest. The schools will need all the help and support that loyal friends and well-wishers can give. One way in which help can be given is in the form of good books—books for the library. There are thousands of Christian homes where books have laid on book-shelves for years unopened, unread, unused. Why not put those books to some good use ? Why not send them to Central Christian College where earnest young people can use them to enlarge their understanding and appreciation of the noble themes of which they treat ?

It is not possible, of course, to give a complete list of all the books needed; but the school says they can use and will appreciate any book written by our brethren, especially the following: Campbell, Lard, McGarvey, Franklin, Allen, Errett, Lipscomb, Srygley, Larimore, Sewell, Brewer, Boles, Wallace, Hardeman, Freed, Brandt, Sweeney. Do not be afraid of duplicating something that others send, for it will be helpful if several copies of each book can be had. Books wear out when they are used!

Send all books to Central Christian College, Box 921, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Displaced Preachers

We have heard much these past few years about "displaced persons in Europe—DP's they are called. But this article is about displaced preachers; preachers who for one cause or another are constantly on the move, never able to settle down in one place long enough to do much constructive work. It is not at all uncommon for some preachers to move every year, or every two years, for the whole length of their active life as gospel preachers.

There seems to be a restlessness, a seething sort of discontent that keeps some preachers constantly on the move, and keeps some church always in the market for a new preacher. We know churches who have never been happy with their preacher for more than a year or two, regardless of whom they may have. We've known other churches, at the opposite end, who are always happy with the man they have. Fortunate, indeed, is the preacher who can work with such a happy and congenial group!

The disadvantages of too frequent moving should be fairly obvious. For one thing, the Lord's work is hindered seriously. It takes time for a preacher to move, find a place to live, get acquainted with the congregation and in the community. The congregation is constantly in a state of suspense and uncertainty, wondering if the preacher is going to stay or go, and who will come next. The preacher himself suffers from a sense of having his work interrupted, his job half done. The preacher's family, especially if there are children in school, will have little chance to settle down to normal living. The congregation is unable to plan very much in the way of long term projects, since they don't know from month to month who will be preaching for them, and what his attitude might be toward the work that is outlined.

We knew a church in Alabama a few years ago that had a standing rule that no preacher would ever be retained longer than three years. No matter how highly he was esteemed, and no matter how well the church was doing with him there, when the three years came to an end he was advised that his services were no longer desired. Such arbitrary and unreasoning procedure is, we are happy to think, very rare. But it does exist.

Often the preachers are to blame for the rapid turnover; and often the churches are. But some way ought to be found by which they can have an understanding on the subject. If a preacher is not to be kept in his work after one year, or two years, or three years, he is entitled in all justice to know that fact before he ever moves to the place. And if he is a man who is possessed of only one year's supply of sermons, and is going to move on as soon as he has gone through them, the elders of the church employing him have a right to know that his record, in this case, is usually a pretty good index as to what to expect.

Our own personal view is that the longer terms of service are, in most cases, far more effective. Where a man is willing to work and study, and where his life is what it ought to be, his influence both in the church and in the community will be cumulative. His power for good will grow with the years. If he is not willing to work and study, or if his life is not what it ought to be, the quicker he moves the better!