The Elkhorn Association to the Churches composing her Body, Greeting:
DEAR BRETHREN: — We beg to submit, for your prayerful consideration, a few thoughts on the subject of HOME LABOR. While there is no danger that we will do too much ABROAD, may we not overlook many things that might be done at HOME? It would be well for every Church, as a centre of light and influence, to see whether there is any thing within her limits SHE MIGHT do, which would tend to promote the cause of Christ. Are YOU, Dear Brethren, doing all you can to win souls to Christ? Have you each, an efficient Sunday School, in which the members generally take part either as teachers or learners? Are all the children who might be brought under the influence of YOUR school, attendants upon the same? Are there any destitute communities within the reach of any of your membership, in which members of neglected children might be collected on Sabbath evenings, and be taught the way of life and salvation? If there ARE such communities iu your midst, might not the members go out, two or three together; assemble the children, teach them the songs of Zion, and impress upon their young hearts tho claims of the Gospel? If the churches of this Association would act upon this suggestion, how great a change would be wrought in our midst! Our own dear children would not then be neglected; the youth of our land (so far as we might reach them) would be brought under Baptist influence; and the laborers themselves would be greatly blessed in their efforts to benefit others. Here, dear brethren and sisters, we find a field in which the great mass of our adult membership may labor — a field, which, if properly cultivated, will yield an abundant harvest. We close this suggestion by expressing the opinion that if there are such fields in your midst, and your members do not strive to cultivate them, "the blood of souls will rest on their skirts!" Let us all, for the love we bear to Christ and perishing souls, occupy these fields.
Again; are there communities near you, in which the Gospel is rarely, if ever preached? If so, can you devise any means by which this destitution may be, even in part, supplied? An occasional sermon, delivered in such places, might prove the power of God unto salvation. Cannot the Pastors and other ministers visit many of these places on Sabbath evenings? Cannot the Deacons and other pious members hold prayer meetings in such places, distribute Bibles and tracts, and thus cause these now barren regions to blossom as the rose! Will not each Church in this Association look into this matter with sufficient care to ascertain whether there are such destitute places in her bounds, determine how far she can supply them with the bread of life, and (if still the work cannot be fully done) report such places to this body, as fields of missionary labor? Criminality will rest on us, if, being able, we, through negligence, fail to occupy the field. To accomplish the ends herein suggested, we, preachers, deacons, laymen, all, male and female, need to re-consecrate ourselves, our time, our energies, our means, all to the cause of Him who gave his life for us. Praying that these practical suggestions may be reccived by you in the spirit in which they are given, and that we may witness increased diligence and activity in all the churches composing this body, we commend you to the Lord whose servants we are.
[From Elkhorn Baptist Association (KY) Minutes, 1870, p. 3. The document is from the original at the Elkhorn Baptist Association office, Lexington, KY. — Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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