Vol.VII No.III Pg.2
May 1970

The Perk Up Sheet

Robert F. Turner

A very young preacher showed me a couple of drawings, done in color, which I took to be the product of the Junior Bible Class — but which turned out to be the preachers special project for stirring the congregation to active service. One pictured a man at rest, with Sunday paper draped across his face. The other showed this man knocking at a door, presumably to invite a neighbor to Bible study.

Somehow, these two drawings, when attached to the bulletin board with appropriate headings, were supposed to remind brethren that they should not neglect their opportunities to go into the world and preach tile gospel. It all seemed so childish — very much like a promotion poster in a Grade School Library — that I found it difficult to maintain a civil conversation. Then, I remembered — A young preacher who used a coffee pot as the trademark of the church bulletin he published. (He called it Perk up!) The drawings, and promotional gimmicks of that paper were — well, pretty good, now that I recall that I was the editor. Strange — how sensible they seemed then (25 years ago) and how immature they seem now.

Please do not understand me to say that youth justifies claptrap in religion (showy but cheap device or expression, as insincere sentiment, designed to excite applause), nor do I believe we are to defend a practice because it was a part of our early and immature efforts, no matter how sincere. But sober reflection may make us a bit more understanding and patient with todays young man.

And I wonder this change in my concepts of propriety. Am I really that much older? I hasten to deny it. Some say my youth is reflected in Plain Talk. (Give the man a quarter!) No, it is something else. Add several years of study, blend with reflection and meditation, test with experience, and hone the edge with heart- breaking mistakes, past correction but all too easily recalled — and a man sees matters in a different light.

I believe we come to appreciate the gravity of our condition, and of the remedy Christ offers. If our faith has endured, it has fiber, is more meaningful. The good news of gospel has passed the light bubbling stage, and its deep joy becomes the peace that passeth understanding. And we are just a little bit offended by a less sober consideration of Gods truth. Let our hard-gained advantage be a guide to youth, not a stumbling block. If we have learned something, let us hope we have learned to use it wisely.