Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 22, 1958

The Multiple Approach

Joseph L. Cannon, Ibaraki, Japan

Much has been written concerning the various approaches used in foreign evangelism. Sometimes we can spend more time "approaching" than actually evangelizing. When the name of Ibaraki is mentioned many brethren think immediately of Ibaraki Christian College, and something is said about the educational approach in missionary work. I have been working in Ibaraki for ten years now, and the various activities here can best be described as a "multiple approach."

The underling basis of the work done in the province of 'herald has been "getting the gospel to the people." Every work, although good in itself, has been an avenue along which the gospel of Christ has proceeded. The following seven point attack has been made upon the citadels of idolatry and unbelief.

1. Gospel Meeting Work.

All of the missionaries in Ibaraki are active in gospel meetings.

An average of fifty meetings are held yearly. I have engaged in forty-one in the past three years.

2. Bible Class Work.

Weekly classes are in progress among the church and in private homes. Special lectureships, teacher training programs, and visitation schedules are maintained continually. For example Richard Baggett teaches thirty classes every month.

3. Church Building Work.

By this I mean all of the activity that goes into building up a congregation. The training of leaders, counseling, administration duties, and financial concerns. Over thirty churches have been planted by Ibaraki missionaries since the war. Harry Robert Fox has been instrumental in raising funds for fourteen church houses.

4. Benevolent Work.

The gospel alone saves, but good works can be a means of breaking down prejudice and making hearers receptive. But works of love are to be done for the glory of God because they are good within themselves. In Ibaraki two orphan homes have been established, caring for sixty-five children. An old folks home of seventy precious souls, clothing distributions to the needy, and a housing project for cave dwellers.

5. Educational Work.

There is Ibaraki Christian College and High School with its seven hundred students, six kindergartens totaling over three hundred children, and an English Night School. Missionaries teach fifty hours of Bible a week, plus the chapel services and lectureship activities. For example, Joe Bett teaches fifteen hours a week at I.C.C.

6. Literature Work.

The Light and Life Publishing Company has printed 60,000 copies of its thirty page monthly, over 200,000 tracts and over 11,000 books. Besides this, numerous articles are written for church papers and bulletins for the edification of the brethren. A series of commentaries is being published, the next one on Colossians by Charles W. Doyle.

7. Secular Work.

By this I mean public relations work whereby we can make various contributions to the social life of the nation where we are working. For example, Logan Fox is known throughout Japan for his work in the psychological field, having edited some books, pioneering the Rogerian method of counseling. Also, in, scholarly pursuits, Forrest Pendergrass will soon complete a Greek Grammar for Japanese, pioneering in this field of study.

In the final analysis, whatever is accomplished it is "God that giveth the increase" and when all is said and done we are but "unprofitable servants." Let us hope and pray that whatever method or approach is used that it will be such as will glorify our Father who is in Heaven, and be effective in proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ to every creature.