But as I continued perusing the book, I found a paragraph that I thought could have been written in 2009 instead of 1909. It was written by PH Welshimer, the preacher of what was in those days a megachurch in Canton, OH. He is talking about the role of the preacher in promoting missions in the church. But I believe the plea he makes for vision is true in whatever situation the local preacher finds himself.
If missions is the work of the church–as it is–what other man ought to be more interested in this great work and his own preparation for leadership than the preacher in that church? To-day he must have a vision, and he must be enabled to impart that vision unto others. Many a church that might be a potent factor for good in a community, and likewise send its influence beyond State and national lines, is to-day as dead as a mummy, because it has never been moved by a great vision. He who will inspire others to live and to work must first himself be inspired with his mission. The pastor’s vision ought to be one of the imperative importance of missions. He ought not to think it a matter with which to play fast and loose, simply preach a missionary sermon now and then when an offering is to be taken, and then spend the first half of the time to be given to that service in making an apology. He ought to realize that the great work to which God has called him is to so lead and to so inspire men that they will be saviors of men. His vision ought to also see the great need in the heathen lands to-day. His people are willing to give and his people are willing to do when they realize the great need of giving and doing. If your Christian men and women in America to-day could make a journey through all the missionary fields and through heathen lands, and behold the darkness and superstition and need that is there, they would all come back home, and every one would be enthusiastic in the great work of world-wide evangelization.
Oh that more and more of us could catch that enthusiasm.