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THE MISSIONARY MAIL MINISTRY!--By Father David DO1069 Complied 10/81
--How to start & run your own!
(Complied by Apollos from the writing of Father David.)
1. HOW CAN I CONVINCE YOU OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MAIL MINISTRY?--How tremendous a witness it can be & also how tremendous an income it can be for your survival! Of course, it is hard work, folding letters & stuffing envelops & licking stamps & filing cards & things like that, but I want to tell you right now, that's how I got my start!
2. IN THE FIRST DAYS OF MY OWN LITTLE FAMILY we were almost totally & entirely supported by our friends through the mail, of whom I was their faithful correspondent & diligently sent them newsletters, personal communications, literature & gratitude for their donations for many years, from the days of our earliest ministry even before the Jesus Revolution began.
3. WE WEREN'T ON A FAR-AWAY FOREIGN FIELD, but we were amongst Indians & Mexicans & Southern dust-bowl cotton-pickers who were almost as strange as foreigners, & we had to live entirely by faith because they did not give us sufficient support for a family of six to survive--certainly not on $10 a week! But we worked very hard & prayed hard & wrote hard to try to raise our own support from our little Mail Ministry, & we succeeded!
4. WE SUPPORTED OURSELVES ON THE EVANGELISTIC, PIONEERING & WITNESSING FIELD FOR YEARS MOSTLY JUST BY MAIL!--Just by getting out a little Prayer Letter every month. The first ones I wrote by hand. Then we got a little Speed-O-Print mimeograph & I cranked them out by hand about 100 every month. Finally, by the time we had our little missionary school, our mailing list was up to 2,000--& that's were most of our support came from!
5. I USED TO CRANK MY LITTLE ONE-ARMED MIMEO MYSELF with hands stained black with ink as I ground out those little pieces of vital paper one at a time, which I then signed personally, each & every one in my own hand, with some personal word of love or encouragement or appreciation. I folded & stuffed them along with my heart into every envelope, stamped & sealed personally with a kiss & love, & mailed by the hundreds through the local post office.--Sometimes spending my last penny for postage.
6. THEN AS THEIR ANSWERS DRIBBLED IN I OPENED THEM MYSELF, READ EVERY ONE, & TRIED TO ANSWER THEM IN RETURN in as personal a way as possible. Through this faithful "neglecting not to communicate" (Heb. 13:16), we soon had a loyal following of thousands through the mail alone which enabled us to carry on our work for years without dependence on any church or denomination or other organisation or hindrance of man, but totally dependent upon God & our individual friends scattered throughout the nation.
7. SO IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR YOU TO GET AN INSIGHT INTO THE MAIL MINISTRY & ITS POTENTIAL--how it can not only be a tremendous & desperately needed ministry, but how it can also support you--help support you--because if there's anywhere that you're going to need support it's in these kinds of areas, the poorer Southern fields, where you can't get much support locally, you're selah or in a closed country or you can't litness, & like most missionaries, you need outside help from other sources.
8. THIS IS HOW OUR WORK BEGAN, & THIS MAY ALSO BE THE WAY IT WILL END!--Particularly in areas where we are restricted from any other kind of ministry the mail could be our last ditch stand. The Ministry of the Mail could become one of our most important ministries in the days to come, but alas, it has been sorely & sadly neglected by many of us. But these things should no longer be so!
HOW TO BUILD YOUR MAILING LIST
--Contact Cards for Follow-Up!--
9. THERE SHOULD BE LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF MAIL MINISTRIES IN OPERATION RIGHT NOW, one for virtually every family on the field!--You ought to have your own little Mail Ministries & you ought to be plugging away every month, at least at your relatives & friends.
10. BUT I THINK A LOT OF YOU FOLKS HAVE REALLY, REALLY NEGLECTED THE MAIL MINISTRY. You have not written your folks like you should have, you have not written your friends like you should have, you have not kept in contact with your contacts like you should have, you have not done follow-up & feeding like you should have!--All the people you've won to the Lord & people you've fished & all the rest. You have really been lazy & lackadaisical & have fallen down on the job & have failed God & failed your fish & failed the people, & some are suffering for it now!
11. WE'VE GOT MILLIONS OF SOULS SAVED--WHERE ARE THEY? WHERE ARE THEIR NAMES & ADDRESSES? Where is the lifeline that's feeding them? Now I grant you, a lot of them were en masse, in the parks & the schools & hospitals & a show of hands, but they should have gotten somebody's name & address out of it, the nurse or the doctor or one of the sisters or somebody that could have gotten the Letters & fed the kids & passed them on--somebody!
12. I'VE ALWAYS URGED YOU PEOPLE THAT IF YOU WIN SOULS PERSONALLY IN PUBLIC, FOR GOD'S SAKE AT LEAST ASK THEM FOR THEIR NAME & ADDRESS! Our witnesses need to be sure to get names & addresses of converts. Are you using convert or contract cards? Every witness that goes out should have a pocketful of contact cards. If you're busy litnessing you get at least hand it to him & say,
13. "HERE, WILL YOU KINDLY FILL THIS OUT WHILE I'M BUSY HERE? Then we'll put you on our mailing list & we'll be sure you get the new Letters & the latest news." If they are a sincere convert, if they really received the Lord, they're certainly not going to object to filing out a card with their name & address.
14. WE USED TO DO THIS AT THE SOUL CLINIC ALL THE TIME. Everybody we witnessed to, even if they didn't accept the Lord, we tried to get their name & address so we could keep following them up with literature. I don't think we're pushing that enough.--I don't think you folks are doing it.
15. YOU NEED A BUNCH OF LITTLE ADDRESS CARDS SO YOU CAN GET SOME INFORMATION OF SOME KIND, at least their name & address. If you're witnessing in the park or on the street & you lead somebody to the Lord, if they are concerned enough to stand on the street corner & bow their head & pray for their salvation, they should be willing to take a few moments so you can get their name & address.
16. JUST GET A LITTLE MINIMUM INFORMATION ABOUT THEM like their age, sex, profession, language, etc.,--"Could you give us your name & address & I'll send you some lit." Then you send the some more literature, etc.--And if possible, you go visit them at their home & follow them up.
17. THIS STREET MINISTRY WITH NO FOLLOW--UP IS LIKE SCATTERING SEEDS WITHOUT PLOUGHING, FERTILISING OR WATERING! It pays in numbers, but what happens to them? The literature alone is not enough! It is seed which is sown, but you must help to water, cultivate & protect that seed, & cause it to grow. Feed, nourish & cherish it through the Ministry of the Mail to full bloom & fruition, ripe & ready for reaping!--"That your fruit should remain! (Jn.15:16)
18. SO REMEMBER, WHEN OUT WITNESSING THE MAIN THING IS NOT ONLY YOUR CURRENT WITNESS, THAT MOMENTARY CURRENT WITNESS, BUT IT'S TO GET NAMES & ADDRESSES--OR GIVE YOUR NAME & ADDRESS! That's the easiest thing to do is give them you name & address in case they're interested enough to write in. But try to get theirs & that way you can compile quite a mailing list. We would then keep writing to them every month, send them a little Prayer Letter, etc., & if we never heard a thing after maybe six months, then we'd just drop'm. But we got a lot of people out of'm, a lot of people interested & helpers from just gathering names & addresses & then writing to them.
SAMPLE CONTACT CARD (reduced)
I would like to know more about you & your message & methods to change the World with God's Love. Please send me some information as soon as possible. Thank you!
"For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (Jn.3:16)
We believe in Love! Love for God & others, for "God is Love"! (1Jn.4:8) That's our religion: Love! This is the solution to all of the problems of today: Love!--True Love, the Love of God & the Love of fellowman!
(Your name & address)
Our Address is:................................
We'd love to hear from you!--Please write today!
If possible, please enclose a gift to help cover costs & to help support our missionaries.--Thank you!
19. THAT'S THE WAY FRED JORDAN OF THE SOUL CLINIC GOT STARTED. Every day he would witness all day long, hitchhiking or door-to-door or on the street, in parks or whatever. Then every night he would sit down & write maybe 25 letters a night by hand--just little, brief, one-page notes, "thank you's" to people who had fed & housed him, given gifts or sent him money, little notes of remembrance to people he had witnessed to.
20. HE WAS ALWAYS COLLECTING THEIR NAMES & ADDRESSES FOR HIS MAILING LIST. He was an expert at it! He used to say: "That is your life's blood, your lifeline--names & addresses!" Even if he just met them on the street & talked to them, he'd say, "Oh, I've got something I'd like to send you!
21. "COULD I HAVE YOUR NAME & ADDRESS? I've got a little Gospel or paper I'd like to send you! I don't have it with me, but if you'll give me your name & address I'll send it to you in the mail."--And once he had that name & address, he never let'm go!--He hung onto those addresses like he had a fish on the line!
22. THEN HE'D SEND THEM A LITTLE NOTE: "I'm so happy to have met you on the street! (Or wherever.) Here's that little paper I promised you. God bless you, & I hope you are doing fine. Drop me a line sometime. I'm still hitchhiking & witnessing for Jesus by faith & God is blessing. If you can write me sometime, my home P.O. Box Number is so-&-so, & my wife will forward it to me. In Jesus' Love,--Your Gospel Bum!"--Or such.
23. A LOT OF PEOPLE WROTE HIM BACK & ENCLOSED SOME HELP, & when he couldn't answer them all, his wife would help. then she had to get a secretary to help, etc. That's the way he got started.--He really knew how to push & promote & how to plough & plant & water, & he worked at it. He really earned what he got--he worked at it.
24. SO YOU NEED TO START GATHERING MORE NAMES & ADDRESSES of your daily acquaintances, contacts, friends, relatives, backsliders, fish, people you meet.--Especially when they are so-called converts! Anybody who accepts the Lord on the streets certainly ought to be interested enough to fill out a card.--And get from them the names of their friends.
25. THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF WAYS TO DO IT: "Oh, you like that Letter?--You liked what it had to say?--Would you like for me to send you some more?--Just give me your name & address & I'll be happy to!" Maybe they wouldn't want to do it themselves, maybe they would be ashamed to do it themselves, but:
26. "AND HOW WOULD YOU LIKE FOR ME TO SEND SOME TO YOUR FRIENDS THAT YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT? How would you like for me to write that person you are talking about, that you're burdened about, & send him some of these Letters?--Maybe he wouldn't take it from you, maybe you're afraid to talk with him. But I can just say, `A friend of a friend of a friend of yours told me about you, & I just wanted to tell you how I found the solution in my life. I've found the way to happiness, & here it is in this Letter!'"
27. YOU PARENTS WITH PERFORMING CHILDREN COULD PASS OUT CARDS DURING THE PERFORMANCE & go around & pick them up afterwards. Even if the audience didn't want to stay & turn them in right then they might turn them in later, as you could also have your name & address on the cards.
28. YOU SHOULD HAVE SOME LITTLE MESSAGE ON THE CARD & YOUR NAME & ADDRESS in case somebody wanted to write you later. But for those who wanted to run something in right away, you could have a place on the other side to fill in their name & address, like a little pledge card that you could go around & pick up. (See No 922.)
29. OR YOU COULD HAVE THE CHILDREN PASS THEM OUT WHILE THE SHOW WAS GOING ON & then have them go around & collect them afterwards in their hats or something, with the gifts. We always used to do that in our street meetings or door-or-door. It's very important to get names & addresses--& if you can't get theirs it's very important to give them yours, & then maybe later the Lord will touch them hearts & they'll write, especially if there's a little appeal on the card & later on they're ashamed they didn't give anything. It's just like a farmer ploughing his field & sowing the seed: If you are faithful you will get the results!
HOW TO RUN YOUR OWN MAIL MINISTRY
Feed My Sheep" (Jn.21:15-17)
30. I've worked with several men of God & my own mother whose ministry was largely supported through the mail, so I've learned pretty much about every phase of it that there is to know. And I think that maybe a few of these suggestions would be helpful:
31. FIRST OF ALL YOU NEED SOME BODY WORKING AT IT WHO HAS THE BURDEN who's inspired, who really cares about it & who has the vision of what they could make out of this ministry, of the multiplied multitudes that you could be eventually ministering to by mail if you would handle it faithfully.
32. IT TAKES SOMEBODY WHO REALLY LOVES THE SHEEP & has a real vision & burden for these souls.--Someone whose heart is touched by their letters & who weeps for them & prays for them.--Someone who loves to answer them & tries to answer their questions & sends them literature & so on.
33. SO THERE'S GOT TO BE SOMEBODY WHO IS INSPIRED, who can write the letters with their heart & with the help of the Holy Spirit & write so that it will touch people & move people & feed them & guide them, as well as motivate them to help you!
34. NEXT, YOU'VE GOT TO RESPOND FAITHFULLY TO ANY QUESTIONS THEY MAY HAVE or any correspondence or various requests they may make which you need to answer. Now this replying to their letters is a very delicate business.--Special correspondence can be the real sore spot, the tender spot where you can either offend people or you can win friends permanently by the kind of letters your write.--It's extremely important.
35. HOW THESE ARE HANDLED MAY DETERMINE THEIR ETERNAL FATE AT THE MOST, & THEIR FRIENDSHIP AT THE LEAST! That's why I'm so concerned about the letters that are written to these people What are you saying to them? How are you handling them? Here we've got some nice little timid fish that are coming up for a little nibble.--Are you going to bop'em over the head with a baseball bat or are you going to love & woo'em in? What are you going to do?
--First Things First!--
36. Because the mail is one of your most important witnesses, your window on the World, your lifeline to lost souls, & sometimes your own source of supply, IT SHOULD HAVE TOP PRIORITY, SENIORITY, PARTIALLY & SPECIAL CONSIDERATION ABOVE & BEYOND MOST OF THE OTHERS THINGS--INSTEAD OF PUTTING IT OFF UNTIL EVERYTHING ELSE IS DONE--in which case you'll never do it! Because with apologies to the great Edgar A. Guest, "Building a Home, well, I reckon that's fun!--Because it's a job that you never get done!" So if you're gonna wait until you have time, you'll never answer the mail--because you have to make time for it, just like anything else on your schedule.
37. IT TAKES A GREAT MAN & A GREAT MIND & A GREAT MANY OTHER THINGS TO ANSWER YOUR MAIL THE SAME DAY YOU GET IT. If you want something done, ask a busy man to do it, for only a great & busy man recognises the importance of getting things done now--not tomorrow, but yesterday! Amen? If you answer your mail as soon as you get it, your won't have to go around long with that guilty-conscience-wish-I'd-answered-that-letter feeling!
38. THE MINUTE YOU START READING THE MAIL, TAKE YOUR LITTLE HILITER OR COLOURED PEN & UNDERLINE THE KEY WORDS of the major subjects of the letter as you read, as we do. Then while the letter is still in your hand, start an immediate reply, while the facts are still fresh in your mind, the letter still in your hand, with the main points underlined, so your answer can go out the same day. This is, as the Scripture commands, being diligent in business & with everything done in decency & in order & forget not to communicate! (Pr.22:29; Ro.12:11; 1Cor.14:40.)
39. YOU'LL ALSO FIND IT A GREAT HELP & VERY IMPORTANT TO KEEP A LETTER LOG with brief notations listing the items of mail received each day in the incoming section, plus the date answered in the outgoing section--for ready reference of the progress of your mail & what was in it, both incoming & outgoing. Try to work on it every day & answer all of it each day as it comes in, if you can. "Time is short & the days are evil, & we must work the works of Him that has sent while it is yet day, for the night cometh when no man can work." (Eph.5:16; Jn.9:4)--So try to keep your work current & up-to-date.
--The Personal Touch!--
40. Stock paragraphs are only good for answering the usual questions that are so often duplicated & so much the same that stock paragraphs can take care of them.--BUT NEVER FAIL TO MAKE IT SOUND PERSONAL & GIVE IT THAT PERSONAL, INTIMATE TOUCH, so vital to good public relations, especially if it requires a special answer, personally, to meet a particular need!
41. SOMETIMES ALL SOME PEOPLE NEED IS FOR SOMEBODY TO LISTEN, & that's half the job of being a witness! Let's not fail them in showing them that we're willing to listen to their troubles & to give them some personal word of comfort or counsel to let them know we're thinking of them individually, & not just as another name or number, etc.
42. THEY NEED TO BE MADE AWARE THAT WE HAVE A DEEP PERSONAL INTEREST IN THEM, INDIVIDUALLY, & are sincerely concerned about them & their welfare. We must do all within our power to meet their needs & provide them with the spiritual leadership which they need & for which some long, & the fellowship even by mail of mutual communication & understanding.
43. WE MUST BE SURE THAT THEY KNOW THAT THEY CAN CALL ON US in their hour of need, that their request will not be unheeded & that they will find us very responsive to their cry--the cry of the sheep which are scattered through all the World & who long for the love of the Shepherd & the direction & comfort His Words can give.
--Prayer Letters & Brochures--
44. WHEN JUST MY LITTLE FAMILY WAS ON THE ROAD, I USED TO GET OUT A LITTLE PRAYER LETTER EVERY MONTH. We used to take one piece of typing paper & we could put a lot of pictures & typing on both sides. We usually put in little photos, snapshots & pictures & things, along with various tidbits about the family & what we had been doing that month & all.
45. I'D TAKE ONE LONG LEGAL SHEET & STICK A BUNCH OF SNAPSHOTS ON IT & PASTE LABELS UNDER EACH ONE & write a little story to tell our friends what we were doing & how the Lord had been blessing, as well as what we needed & what we wanted to do, & ask if they would help us & pray for us & send us whatever they could. I faithfully got those out at least once a month, every month, until we build up a faithful following of supporters that supported us through the mail every month faithfully. (Just get it xeroxed!)
46. FOR YEARS THERE WAS ONE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO ALWAYS SENT US $5. There was another girl who always sent us $5. Another little old lady always sent us $10--for years! We could always count on it, almost as steady as a salary--but we worked at it!--It was hard work!--We had to correspond!--We had to faithfully get out at least a good Prayer Letter to them with pictures & tell them what we were doing & showing the results.
47. YOU'VE SEEN LOTS OF OUR SAMPLES OF THE "OLD GOLDIES" IN THE MAGAZINE. We used to not only send them to the names & addresses we already had through the mail, but we passed them out on the street wherever we were ministering along with a contract card which they could fill in & give back to us, & they'd keep the brochure which had our name & address on it.
48. EVERY MONTH OR SO YOU COULD EASILY COMPOSE A NEWSLETTER & SEND IT OUT TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED YOU. This will keep you in contact with them & will show them that you are concerned about them, & not just their goods. And you can make it yourselves: Just have some printer run it off on the litho & then you can mail it out & hand it out wherever you minister with your name & address & appeal & the card there for their name & address & how much they can give, etc.
49. IT COULD BE A TIDY LITTLE SYSTEMITE BROCHURE WITH PICTURES & SO ON TO EXPLAIN YOU TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD IN LANGUAGE THEY UNDERSTAND!--Your monthly Prayer Letter showing what a good work you're doing, showing how you're helping people, to encourage your friends & family & people back home contacts, etc., to keep on supporting your work.
50. AND IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE IN COLOUR ON SLICK PAPER EITHER!--YOU CAN EVEN WRITE IT BY HAND!--When I was a little guy myself & I got those big glossy appeal letters, I thought if they had that kid of money then they didn't need my help! But when I'd get the little crumpled mimeographed appeal on toilet paper or something, I knew that was the guy who needed my money & I sent him a little.--The other guys wouldn't have appreciated my dollar!
51. SO IN ALL YOUR CORRESPONDENCE TRY TO ENCLOSE A PRAYER LETTER, brochure, or even photos of the work in your area. And make sure that your Prayer Letters are neat & tidy & your spelling is correct, as they are your public relations image. They can be used by your front men for visitors, by provisioners for donors, by public relations for the authorities & so on. It could even include a little coupon with a place for their name & address & request for more information--even the postcard type, to make it easy for them to write.
52. SUCH PRAYER LETTERS, BROCHURES & EVEN "LOVE IS NEWS"; ETC., ARE OUR PUBLICITY, OUR ADVERTISING to encourage support, to encourage people to be our friends & to encourage their interest in our work around the world. That's where we do our bragging, our boasting about what God has done through us around the World.--They're like our stockholder's reports on their investment.
53. ANYBODY THAT'S INVESTING IN YOUR BUSINESS WANTS TO SEE SOME RESULTS! They want to see some dividends, some profits. "What am I getting out of this?" They want to see some souls saved, they want to see some lives changed, they want to see the pictures, they want to hear about what you are doing, & you've got to tell them. I don't care how much you're doing, if you don't tell the people they are not going to know, & if they don't know, how are they going to support you? So you've got to tell them, & when they send you a little gift, whether it's a dollar or 50 cents or a nickel or a hundred, you've got to write them a letter thanking them!--And give them a little more news & another plug. It's work!--But you've got to keep at it.
--"Ask & Ye shall Receive" (Mt.7:7)--
54. GOD'S WORD SAYS, "MUZZLE NOT THE OX THAT TREADETH OUT THE CORN", "the labourer is worthy of his hire" & "they that preach the Gospel shall live of the Gospel." (1Cor.9:9,14; Lk.10:7)--And one of the first things you need to learn if you are going to stay free & in full-time service for the Lord is that somebody's got to support you!--If you are going to give your full-time to the Lord's service, full-time & not have to work at some other job to support yourself.
55. SO YOU'VE GOT TO LEARN HOW TO ASK FOR IT.--You have not because you ask not. And He says, "Seek & ye shall find, knock & it shall be opened unto you, ask & ye shall receive." (Mt. 7:7) I had a family with four kids & I supported them for years & stayed full-time in the Lord's work just by writing little letters, just by faithfully keeping up my correspondence with parents & relatives & friends & neighbours & enemies & whatnot!--And kept busy for the Lord! Busy, busy, busy all the time, & the Lord never failed! He always supported us.
56. WE ALWAYS SLIPPED IN SOME LITTLE HINT THAT WE NEEDED HELP. If you send them literature, say, "we'd appreciate it if you could send us a little gift next time to help pay for the literature & the postage & costs." Or express some need to them. "We need so-&-so, if you could help us we'd appreciate it."
57. BUT SOME OF OUR FOLKS HAVE NEGLECTED THE MAIL MINISTRY & HAVE SUFFERED FOR IT.--God hasn't failed them, they failed God. The people haven't failed them, they failed the people because if you had written faithfully & told them what you were doing & what you needed, I know they would have supported you, because I've been through it--I know it!
58. YOU'VE GOT TO BE ABLE TO ASK FOR IT & NOT BE ASHAMED--YOU'VE GOT THE WORTHIEST CAUSE IN THE WORLD! You've got to have the conviction that they ought to support you, & you ought to tell them so. Preacher do, for nothing but buildings, stone! Get them under conviction. "I tell you, you need to give, you have to give, ought to give, must give!"--But give them some inspiration & encouragement on what to give & something to give to.
59. LIKE ST. FRANCIS, YOU NEED TO BECOME A BEGGAR FOR JESUS! I've known some fund raisers who even sent out wires of telegrams to friends when in emergencies! The major source of funds for your Home could come from it Prayer Letter's specifying your needs, outlining your accomplishments & asking the parents & friends, etc., for support! Those religious promoter's are so thankful whenever they've got any kind of a need, something definite & specific they can push & plug for:
60. "WELL, NOW WE'VE GOT THIS CERTAIN NEED--MY WIFE NEEDS A TYPEWRITER AT HOME TO ANSWER YOUR LETTERS", or something specific that people can think about & you know they would like to help you on. So they think, "Well, now, you really do need that & I want to send it."--Always mention some specific need.
61. AND IF ANYBODY'S GOING TO BE INTERESTED IN YOU IT'S YOUR PARENTS & RELATIVES, OR YOUR WORKING BROTHERS & SISTERS BACK HOME. Even if they don't like me, they might be willing to help you & your Home & this could be a great blessing both to you & your folks. Why not try? Tell them what you need.--If you were there they'd be getting it for you. Well, now you here & you're working for the Lord, & it's their business to help support you.
62. TELL YOUR CHRISTIAN RELATIVES, "IF GOD'S CALLED YOU TO MAKE MONEY, WHY AREN'T' YOU MAKING MONEY FOR HIS WORK?" Sock it to the home folks & say, "Now listen! Do you want me to stay out here as your missionary? I'm doing your job for you. I'm out here preaching the Gospel in all the World to every creature! (Mk. 16:15)
63. "YOU SEND ME THE MONEY & SUPPORT ME! That's the least you can do! You're staying home living selfishly & comfortably in luxury, so if you can't do the job, fork over some of that dough to help me stay out here to do the job for you!" You are going to have to do it--just like the churches have had to do it & missionaries of denominations have had to do it.
64. IN FACT, BEFORE THE CHURCHES WOULD EVEN LET A MISSIONARY GO TO THE FIELD, they had to travel around visiting churches, friends, family, contacts, making friends & influencing people & gathering pledges for their support--promises from people to give so much monthly. They had little slips printed up, little pledge books like check books, & they would pass the slips out to people while they spoke about the field they were going to. And on there it said, "I promise, God helping me, to send you $--a month", with a blank to insert whatever they wanted to give. (See Letter No. 922.)
65. DON'T EXPECT TO LIVE OFF THE POOR WHEN THE RICH AT HOME COULD EASILY SUPPORT YOU & SHOULD, when they're working for money & you're working for the Lord! They ought to support you! They owe it to you & the Lord & the unevangelised poor of the World! Raise your support at home before you go & keep up a faithful Missionary Mail Ministry with your faithful supporters with monthly Prayer Letters about your activities, & a personal thanks for every gift.
66. MOST PEOPLE WHO REALLY LOVE THE LORD ARE WILLING TO GIVE TO WORTHY CAUSES if they are convinced it is a worthy cause & you're getting the job done--especially people who are back home, working at good jobs & have plenty of money & they've got it & they want to give it. You're just gotta persuade them that they ought to give it to you & your cause & your missionaries.
67. YOU'VE GOT TO TEACH THESE PEOPLE THAT IF THEY CAN'T BE A MISSIONARY THEY CAN AT LEAST SUPPORT ONE & they can at least give & they can pray.--Like Fred used to say, "I'd rather have 10,000 little widows sending me a dollar a month, than one big rich man giving me $10,000 a month, because then I've got 10,000 little widows praying for me, instead of one big rich man telling me what to do-with his money!"
68. SO DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK!--Ask your friends, your family, your folks, your relatives & contracts. If you have been in this work any time at all you ought to be keeping an address book loaded with contacts, your provisioning contacts, businessmen, FF contacts, etc.
69. BUT SOME OF YOU "HAVE NOT BECAUSE YE ASK NOT"! (Jm. 4:3)--And He wasn't just talking about prayer, either! You're too proud & maybe too lazy to write the letters & do all the hard work, the pick & shovel work, of keeping up a good mailing list--but let me tell you, it will pay! You'll not only do them good & feed them & keep them on the line, but they will support you, & I can tell you that from a lifelong ministry!
--Sending Out Pre-addressed Envelopes--
70. YOU CAN ALWAYS DO BETTER WHEN YOU GIVE THEM PRE-ADDRESSED ENVELOPES.--It's worth the extra cost to give them a return envelope with the right address right there where they can't lost it or forget it. It doesn't have to have a stamp on it.--They could stick a stamp on it at least! You'd be amazed how many people are willing to help if you furnish a self-addressed envelope. It's like passing the offering basket in front of them: How much are going to get if you have no offering basket? You really need that sort of thing.
71. WHEN I WAS GIVING TO ALL THESE DIFFERENT MISSIONARIES, I FINALLY DROPPED PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T SEND ME ENVELOPES because I just couldn't remember their address I didn't have time to write it all out. I didn't mind sticking a stamp on it if I had to, but I certainly didn't want to have to forage around & try to look up their letter.
72. I HANDLED THOSE JUST LIKE I DID MY BILLS, & a lot of Christian people do that. I put their return envelope right along with all the other bills I had, so that every month when I paid my bills I'd take the return envelope & drop in their little dollar or five or whatever it was, just like a monthly bill.--That's the advantage of the return envelope.
73. WHAT GIFTS YOU DO RECEIVE MUST BE HANDLED VERY WISELY! If you will handle your good givers with tender loving care & genuine appreciation & gratefulness, you will find they will give & give more. But if you just fluff them off & ignore them & treat them rough & tough or don't treat them at all or they don't hear anything from you when they sent a very special gift, then they are apt to forget you, too. So special gifts, special questions, special requests & certain kinds of letters require special answers, not just a little printed form.
74. IF YOU SHOW FOLKS YOU APPRECIATE THEIR HELP, THEY'LL BE ENCOURAGED TO GIVE AGAIN! The showing of genuine gratitude & appreciation of such help immediately tends to make a proffered friend even more friendly, & inclined to befriend you again. But careless & unwelcome treatment, negligence & a manifest lack of concern can lose them for ever! So donors who enclose gifts with their letters should immediately be sent at least a paragraph or two of appreciation & thanks for their investment in your ministry in the Lord's work, stating that you are also enclosing a receipt for their gift if they want it.
75. YOU MIGHT EVEN MENTION SOME SPECIAL NEED THAT THEIR GIFT HELPED TO COVER, which will encourage them to know that the Lord is using them & led them to give it! And be sure to add an up-to-date recent news paragraphs about your fruitful activities so they'll know you're worth the investment, which is paying Heavenly dividends in souls saved for ever, the only thing we can take with us from this Earth--Eternal dividends--the joy of sharing the Kingdom forever with others whom they have helped to win! Amen? What greater rewards can anyone have for their services?--All this, & Heaven too!--PTL!
IN CONCLUSION ...
76. SO EVERY HOME REALLY OUGHT TO HAVE ITS OWN MAIL MINISTRY FOR THEIR FRIENDS & CONTACTS & CONVERTS & FISH & RELATIVES & FAMILIES & EVERYBODY THEY POSSIBLY CAN, & they would find it very fruitful & very helpful & very supportive. But it is not as easy for you to supply them with literature & all the various publications as it is for us. Therefore, if you want them to receive all the lit as fast as it comes out from our main mailing sources, send in their names & addresses to your CRO so we can send them test mailings & the appeal to join our international mailing list.--Or you might even persuade them personally themselves to send in their tithe & join our mailing list immediately. (See Letter No.871:10-15.)
77. AT LEAST MAKE SURE THAT ALL NEW FRIENDLY NAMES ARE IMMEDIATELY PUT ON YOUR OWN PERSONAL MAILING LIST FOR YOUR OWN REGULAR PERIODICAL PRAYER LETTER, NEWSLETTER, ETC., which should be sent to all friends, donors, friendly parents, friendly visitors, interested youth, etc.--And here your Ministry of the Mail will continue in an ever-widening circle of witnessing to others around the World whom you hope to help, win, gain as disciples, or be helped by. The possibilities are limitless, like the harvest fields to white, & there will always be more than enough for the labourers so few! Do not underestimate the magnitude of the Ministry of the Mail!
78. THIS IS ALSO THE VISION I HAVE, after much prayer about the situation, as the only possible way you're going to be able to really minister to the majority of the Arab & Communist world--by mail & literature. You're going to have to mail it in to the natives & citizens themselves who can then distribute it, even clandestinely if necessary, to their friends.
79. MAIL IS THE ONE WAY YOU CAN GET INTO THESE CLOSED COUNTRIES. They're not so closed, most of them, that some of their citizens don't get out once in a while.--They have to send them on diplomatic missions, educational missions, military missions & that's when you can grab them & get their names & addresses so you can follow-up--that's what counts.
80. YOU CAN HIDE YOUR WITNESS IN AN ENVELOPE!--You can mail it undercover! If you know anything about stamp collecting, the envelope is called a cover!--Ha! You can secrete your witness under a cover & send it across borders, through iron curtains, bamboo curtains, oil curtains, through whatever kind of curtains there are! You can sock it to'em by mail through the contacts, names & addresses you have.--That's my burden for those areas of the World.
81. SO THE MAIL MINISTRY IS A VITAL LINK IN OUR CHAIN OF MINISTRIES & MUST BE STRENGTHENED, to hold those who are dependent on us for spiritual leadership in the days to come. May God bless you as you strive to reach them as never before through the power of His Message on paper to pump power to the people from the God of all power through His Words which He has exalted above His Name!
82. HE CHARGES YOU ALL, THEREFORE, TO BE FAITHFUL TO HIS TASK THAT YOU MAY REAP MANY FOR HIS GARNER & that your reward may be many precious, priceless, eternal souls for His hire who will thank you forever, as we shall as well. "Well done thou good & faithful servant: Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" (Mt. 25:21)
83. BUT IT'S GOING TO COST SOMETHING! As King David once said, "I will not give unto the Lord of that which hath cost me nothing!" (2Sam.24:24)--You have to give something, you have to pour out, like Tommy, (See Letter No.51:13-20.), you have to live by a window, & you have to be faithful--And, in this case, that window is the mail! You have to put something into it to get something out of it! you have to give to get pour to receive, sow to reap, invest to profit, die to live, bury to resurrect!--Just as you do in any witnessing!
84. ARE YOU BEING FAITHFUL IN THE MINISTRY OF THE MAIL? Are you feeding His sheep, are you giving them green pastures, still waters, & the sunshine of His Love through the windows of His Word & our words to them--through this window of the mail? We dare not fail them! We must give them what they need! How are we to do it? What can we do more than we are now doing?--We can pour out more! We can give more! We can write more! WE can answer more! We can send more!--And God will send us more--in blessing, fruitfulness, ministration, support helpers, labourers & new disciples for His Kingdom!
85. WE NEED TO GET ON THE BALL & REALLY WORK, & IF YOU WILL GET OUT THERE & PLOUGH & PLANT & WATER & WORK ON IT, YOU'LL GET A CROP!--The minute you start obeying & working, God will do His part without fail, He will bless!--So may God bless you & help you to take care of & feed His little sheep! Get to work on your Missionary Mail Ministrytoday!--Amen?--Amen! GBY! WLY!
The paragraph numbers of "Missionary Mail Ministry" are listed below, giving the original MO Letter references where their contents may be found.
* An asterisk (*) next to a paragraph number indicates that its contents are taken from as-yet-unpublished Letters or talks by Father David.
A QUICK-REFERENCES SUMMARY TO "THE MISSIONARY MAIL MINISTRY!"
1-8 INTRO--Dad's sample--How he ran his Missionary Mail Ministry!
9-29 HOW TO BUILD UP YOUR MAILING LIST--By using contact cards for faithful follow-up!--Get those names & addresses! 30-75 HOW TO RUN YOUR OWN MAIL MINISTRY!
30-35 "Feed My Sheep"--Loving, faithful shepherds needed!
36-39 First Things First!--How to keep you MMM work current & up-to-date!
40-43 The Personal Touch!--Let's not fail them!
44-53 Prayer Letters & Brochures--How Dad made his & how you can make yours!
54-69 "Ask & Ye Shall Receive!"--How to raise support & stay full-time in God's service!
70-72 Sending Out Pre-addressed Envelopes--The advantage of.
73-75 Receiving Gifts--Gratitude to gift givers!
76-85 IN CONCLUSION--More on Dad's vision for the Mail Ministry & its amazing potential!--"Are you being faithful in the Ministry of the Mail?"