SINGLENESS OF MIND
T. PIERCE BROWN
In the 60 years I have been a Christian, I have seen many congregations start programs of personal evangelism and mission work. In almost every case, they had a few months or years of effort, then faded into oblivion. In an effort to discover why, I have studied every case of which I am aware, and think James 1:8 suggests a probable cause. The characteristic that it describes is, “A double minded man, unstable in all his ways.” That is, we start a program, often on the wrong basis, then change our focus and purpose and drop it.
The congregation that tries to find the most exciting program possible to get the members involved will discover that when the excitement wears off, the program dies. They are putting the corpse before the hearse. When a group determines to find the most significant thing it can do for the glory of God, regardless of whether anyone is excited about it at a given moment, and sticks to that plan, great good can be accomplished.
The ONE NATION UNDER GOD program was begun on the basis of how to best accomplish the will of our Lord as expressed in the Great Commission. We realized that many of those who were excited about a program that had a plan and purpose of getting the whole gospel to the whole world, one section at a time, would lose that excitement once the initial effort had been made, especially if they did not see dramatic results in their own area. But we determined to have the singleness of heart commended in Acts2:46and Ephesians 6:5-6.
There are some that would like for us to shift the focus from the original purpose because some have lost their enthusiasm for it. To those who think it was not successful and cost effective, we would suggest that you consider some facts. If it were God’s will 2000 years ago and 5 years ago to get the gospel message into every home in every nation, it is still His will. If anyone can be convinced that we were not successful in the first and second phase they can get people to be double minded and stop supporting what they knew was God’s will all along. In the first phase, our purpose was to get the gospel message to every home in theUSA. By God’s grace, and the combined efforts of thousands, that was done. It was both successful and cost effective! If anyone knows of any program that did more effectively the following things, we would appreciate knowing of it and what methods it used to get the job done: 1. More money was raised solely for evangelizing the whole nation than was ever raised in any one effort. 2. The whole nation was covered with the gospel message for less than 10 cents per family. 3. Responses are still coming in from the initial mailout almost 10 years ago. We do not know of any other program that is getting that sort of continued response. This does not mean we are suggesting that the many good programs stop, for they are reaching people we did not reach. But it does mean that we know of no program that has greater success in doing what we planned to do for less money, and is continuing to get responses from an effort made years ago. 4. It got more persons involved in evangelistic efforts instead of merely complaining about problems than any other program known to us.
In the second phase, our purpose was to get the gospel into all areas ofCanada. It succeeded, just as the first phase did. The Canadian churches contributed more and cooperated more in doing the will of God in trying to get the gospel into all the world than has ever been done in the history ofCanada. Part of our problem is that many brethren, including church leaders, have not properly realized what success is from a Bible viewpoint, and we are unable to communicate that to them, either through gospel papers or our own mailout. Success is measured by how well you do what God wants you to do, not by how many persons respond. If we judge success merely by those who respond as we would like at any given moment, then Christ was the most miserable failure that ever lived as he was hanging on the cross. Only John and a few women were there in support of Him.
The fact that many lost their enthusiasm for preaching the gospel to every creature, and desire to concentrate on lesser goals does not mean that they are sinning in changing their focus or goals. As Jesus said, “These things ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.” But we want all to know that we have not changed our focus or goals. Our purpose is to proceed with singleness of heart to try to get the gospel to every person in the world, one section at a time. If you can get excited about that, and are willing to help a little in addition to whatever else you may be doing in order to cooperate with others in achieving that goal, it can be done must faster. Another wonderful thing about it is that this program is designed, not to supplant, but to assist in every other evangelistic effort you are making. If you cannot get excited about that, but are only moved to more limited activities, you have that option. But we urge you to at least listen to the great things that are being done on the international level, so you will not limit what God can do through you.
We have never asked anyone to cease any good activity, no matter how limited or provincial it was, in order to assist ONE NATION UNDER GOD. We only ask individuals and congregations to listen to the plans that are being made to do what Jesus commanded in the Great Commission, and assist as your heart moves you. Just DO WHAT YOU CAN, WHERE YOU ARE, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE for the glory of God and the good of mankind, and God “will multiply your seed for sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness” (2 Cor. 9:10) and enable you to do what you cannot, where you are not, with what you did not have. May you go with God!