::R5255 : page 175::
BEREAN LESSONS AND TESTIMONY MEETINGS
WE HAVE REQUESTED the traveling Pilgrims to do what they can to assist the different Classes with whom they meet to a proper appreciation of the great value of Berean Study Classes and Testimony Meetings. While we have advised these and described their successful operation and method in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. VI., some of the dear friends seem not to fully appreciate them. We believe this is because they have never seen them in proper operation. With good Berean Study Classes and Testimony Meetings rightly conducted, the I.B.S.A. Classes will surely be prosperous in spiritual things—whether they have any preaching or not.
The Pilgrim Brethren are selected with care, and with the thought that they are well rounded out in Christian experience and along the lines of the Berean Studies and in leading Testimony Meetings. It is our thought, therefore, that if a Pilgrim visits a place where such meetings are not held, he cannot do the friends a better service than to give them a sample of how such meetings should be conducted to be interesting and profitable—along the lines indicated in Vol. VI.
In places where such meetings are already in vogue, and are successful and well attended by the interested, sample meetings by the Pilgrims would not be so necessary. Nevertheless, we have suggested to them that where they serve a class more than one evening, and one of those is the regular Testimony Meeting evening, it will be well for them to conduct the Testimony Meeting along the lines of Vol. VI., closing in an hour, and then taking an extra half-hour for a heart-to-heart talk along the lines which the time, place and circumstances may suggest to them as most helpful to the Class. We have urged all the dear Brethren who do public speaking to confine their discourse to sixty minutes—and surely not to exceed seventy minutes—and that if for any reason they speak longer than this, they will kindly explain to us the particular reasons therefor.
This is not done to hamper the brethren, but because uniformly long discourses are too strenuous for the public, and therefore apt to hinder the Cause we all wish to serve. Exceptions to this are made in the case of the two or three brethren who are generally used to open a series of meetings; for a special endeavor is then made to bring out an audience and a little extra time may be necessary, and in the case of especially interesting speakers, a long discourse may be wise. The average speaker, however, can accomplish more good in an hour than in two hours.
In these and in all suggestions and regulations, dear friends, be assured that our aim, object, motive, is the Lord’s glory and the blessing of His people.
— June 1, 1913 —