All of the church’s resources must be used to protect people during the dangerous reactions that almost always follow a revival. Upon the young converts must be brought steadily and systematically the full power of the pulpit, the prayer meeting, the class meeting, the pastoral visitation (clerical and lay), the Sunday school, the teachers’ meeting, the after-service social conversation (informal and not necessarily religious), the tract distribution, the subscription for and the reading of the Church paper, the Church circulating library, the public recognition before the whole congregation of the newly recorded probationer, the probationers’ class, the presentation of a wide range of benevolences with which every young convert must be at once acquainted and identified, the personal work for the Church by the young disciple in manifold ways—visiting the blind and the sick, keeping an eye on the local prisons, scattering papers and tracts among the neglected, visiting newcomers (especially in our Western cities, picking up the elderly and picking up the children, visiting newcomers (especially in quiet, self-sacrificing ways, to impress the people there with the wholesomeness, the radical nature, the beauty, and the overcoming power of grace. Oh, the possibilities for this new life! What molds can revival fervor cause metal to flow into for permanent use? God of all grace, give your ministers wisdom to watch over these new-born energies and direct them into channels of activity and usefulness! Then there would be no reaction. The forces of song would go into everyday service; ideas would embody themselves in deeds; vows would turn into hardy virtues; and prayer would prove its power in achievements for God. Revival eccentricities would be forgotten in the bud and bloom of a symmetrical piety; new converts would grow into mature saints, and each probationer at the end of his six months would stand at the altar for the acknowledgment of his full membership and would at the same time present to his pastor a new convert for the next probationers’ class, won from the world by his example and presented to the Church as a thank-offering and as the first-fruits of his consecrated life. Blessed work! Who will exalt the evangelist and forget the pastor?
By J. H. VINCENT
Updated 2023 Nathan Zipfel