Jack Carroll - Notes for Workers

We as Workers want to be effective, we want to live our lives to some purpose; we want to aim at something. We recognize now that it would be far better to be effective as a saint than to be a useless Worker, but whether we are in the Church or in the Work, we ought to aim at usefulness; aim at something definite.  If I was in the Work, I would hope to accomplish something.  What we aim at is to see Sinners saved, Churches formed, and Workers going forth, and if we keep true, there is no reason why we should not accomplish something worthwhile.  As I look into the future, I am filled with hope.  I look back on the past and am not satisfied.  I can see that in no Mission I did everything I could for the people.  Always, by the close of a Mission, there have been regrets in my heart.  I am satisfied that if we sought to be more in touch with God, and more under the control of the Spirit that He would not only lead us to fields that are ripe, but would bring us into contact with the individuals who are ripe for our message, as He did in the New Testament days.  Philip was led to the very place where the Ethiopian was hungering after the things of God.  We should look for guidance when we are in a district, so that we might be led to the right people at the right time, and be in the condition to deliver them the right message.


Don’t preach too long.  We need to consider each other during convention and working Missions.  A Gospel Meeting should last one hour.  There is great danger in us becoming wordy.  We need to learn to condense, to any all we have to say in a few words.  It is a dangerous thing to tell them it all the first time.  Keep a little for the next night.  Give them the impression you have a little more to say.  I don’t know any surer way to kill a Mission, than for a young Preacher to preach too long, or an old one to preach too long. I can preach in thirty minutes now what used to take me sixty.  The will is the target we aim at.  We want men to get somewhere.


Don’t get to your point too soon.  Keep your point, if you have one, until the last.  Some people give away their point to begin with, and spend the rest of the time taking the point off.  Have something to say and say it in such a way that the people will be able to take it home with them.  I believe the real essence of preaching is to get people interested, get them to reason, get their confidence, then take a shot at the will.  Send them home with the impression “This man wants me to do something, this man wants to get me somewhere.”  It is possible to go through Missions, and never make a serious effort to get people over the line.  Don’t leave them astride the fence.


Don’t fish with a pin, fish with a hook.  It is our business to make clear to people that we want them to yield their hearts to God.  We want them to confess with their lips Jesus as Lord, and give them an opportunity.


How soon should we begin to test Meetings?  I have known Workers to work two years and get good crowds, but never test a Meeting once.  They were fishing with a pin. You will never land very many if you have no hook.  It depends on the condition of the people how soon we should test a Meeting.  You will lose ground if you leave it off to the third week, when you should have tested it the first week. It is not necessary for a person to know all that is in the Bible before they submit to Jesus as King.  One Mission I worked, I tested the meeting the first night.  I knew there was a girl there who would decide, so I gave her an opportunity, and got her over the line.  I don’t think it is wise for us to go on night after night, and week after week, without giving the people an opportunity to decide.  I knew a Worker once who went around making friends for himself.  Now our business is not to make friends for ourselves, but for God.


Don’t read too much.  Nothing is so miserable in a meeting as to listen to a poor reader.  I have often seen people nearly put to sleep by a young Worker reading too much.


Don’t argue with the people unnecessarily.  You are safer to let them have their point.  We can afford to wait.  It is a mistake to argue with people needlessly.  It only advertises what you don’t want advertised.


Don’t get entangled with the affairs of this life.  I have met lots of Workers who got themselves into no end of trouble by mixing in people’s business affairs.  Our business is to put all our thoughts and force into one thing; seeking first God’s Kingdom.


Don’t make too long prayers in a meeting.  Don’t be a Pharisee.  I find it very difficult to pray in a Gospel Meeting.  I always want my companion to do the praying.


It is a dangerous thing to commit yourself too far to anybody.  Safer to keep them a little in the dark and tell them it a little by little, line upon line and precept upon precept.


Don’t jest too much.  I don’t think there is any harm in being friendly and sociable and telling a good story.  I would not object to it, but there is a limit to it.  There is nothing so weakening as to overdo it.  It is good to give the people a good laugh if the story illustrates the point.  We should always keep the serious side of our life to strangers.  The foolish talking and jesting we read of in Ephesians has reference to uncleanness.  There is a sense in which we can go too far in jesting in things that are clean.  I have over-stepped the mark myself and lost ground.  I would hate to be all the time with a companion who would not take a joke, but the other thing is just as dangerous, and we need to watch lest we be overcome. 


Don’t let them know too much about your past life.  It is a mark of weakness when a person wants to give the history of their life to strangers.  A man who knows how to hold himself, and not tell his whole story at once will have more weight.  You lose influence with people when you talk too much about yourself.


Don’t let the people become too familiar with you.  Familiarity breeds contempt.  Keep people at arms' length.  Have some respect for yourself and encourage others to respect you, too.


I believe saints have suffered from us not giving them more along the line of their inner life.  We have emphasized unduly the outside.  Apart from Christ being revealed in the heart, no man can be saved.  Their salvation does not consist of walking in the way, of having fellowship with us, but of having Christ governing and ruling their lives from day to day.  Did you ever think there was a weakness in our doctrine, too much theory, and too little of the cultivation of the private personal walk with God, getting to know His whisper in the secret depths of our heart.  When we emphasize this side of the truth more, our converts will be stronger.  There is a lot in the new testament with regard to the inner life.  Christ in the Heart.  We begin to neglect the inner life; we begin to neglect listening to the voice of God in our hearts, we very soon don’t hear the voice of God at all.  A good deal of wrongness and rottenness has crept into the testimony through neglect of the inner secret life of the individual.  Those who were big on the false way and F.B. failed to recognize the wrongness that was in themselves.  That is the reason I believe it is necessary to have a clear knowledge of what the flesh is.  What dreadful possibilities there are in the flesh, not only in the man who is a sinner, but the man who is a saint or servant.  Any man or woman walking in the flesh, sinner, saint, or servant can sink lower in the mire of sin than any beast in the whole of God’s creation.  It is an awful statement, but is true.  The Scriptures show us that some of the best men made shipwreck of their lives through yielding to the flesh.  We need to be careful, to fear, to have more of the power of God in our lives, so that our own selfish sinful human nature should be brought into subjection to Him, that our lives may be effective for Him.  I believe we as Workers would be very much helped by reading Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus.  You would be surprised with how much there is in them with regard to the personal life of Paul, Timothy, and Titus.  How anxious Paul was that Timothy should be a living manifestation of the truth and that he should get victory inwardly and outwardly.  He wanted him to war a good warfare.  He said, “Be thou an example.”  Our preaching is very little use apart from our example.  Now just as Paul wrote that to Timothy, a young preacher 1900 years ago; it is just as applicable to us today.  An example in word in our conversation one with another.  The saints are largely what you make them The example that we give the saints is how we shape their lives.  “Example in charity” in love.  The kind of love you read about in 1st Corinthians 13th, 22nd verse, 5th Chapter Paul says, “Keep thyself pure.”  That is that there should never be allowed in our relationships one with another anything which would hinder that fellowship from being pleasing unto God.  Paul himself would never have given his experience to Timothy if he had not thought it was necessary to remind him of seeking to live a pure life in all his relationship with the saints.  I could give you a list of Workers, both brothers and sisters who have made terrible shipwreck of their lives during the last five years, and that is the reason that we have passages like this.  These Epistles of Paul to Timothy should be read frequently.  Read them as a message to your own soul, lest world and flesh and devil should take advantage of you, and you should be overcome.  There is a possibility of this in all our lives, so there is need to be careful.  There is need for us to watch over each other, to seek to help each other.  I believe old Workers are responsible for helping young workers.  The help young workers don’t get or do get during the first year makes them or mars them.  I would be ashamed of my life if I did not seek to help any young worker who came with me.  If you can’t do very much in the Mission, you can to help to develop your companion.  It is not that you should rule over one another.  Paul did not ignore his companion.  We need to be loyal to each other.  We are not joined together by law, but by love, and we need to be subject one to another.  Nothing more helpful than each one of us as individuals to be loyal, even if it means giving against our own judgment.


I believe a lot can be done through faithful visiting.  You can talk stronger in the home than in a public meeting.  To talk too freely to people before you start your meeting is weakening. 


The best subjects to start with.  I tell them what kind of men were in the Bible; what saints are; tell them about Jesus as a child, saint and servant.  Tell them Jesus was a saint before He was a servant.  Ask them who was the pattern for the saints, and they say Jesus, and I ask them who was the pattern for Preachers, and they say Jesus.  I sometimes talk to the children when I mean it for the older people.  I believe you can give people an awful lot of truth without giving the enemy any occasion to talk.  When we are anxious to get people to profess, I don’t think it very bad to hammer along the same line for several nights.  There is a lot of power in reiteration.  When people are ready to make a choice, keep after them.  People I want to deliver from their old professions I leave to the last.  I preach one night on the Ethiopian Eunuch and ask them why Philip did not speak to him on his way up to Jerusalem.  He was going up there for more light.  He would not have listened to Philip if he had not been purely disgusted with the _________________.


It is a mistake for us to suggest that religious people are hypocrites.


To use Cornelius at the right time is wonderful effective.  He was a convert, man, outside the Roman and outside the Jewish way; yet believed in the God of the Jews, and was worshiping Him up to all the light he had.  He was believed on by those inside and outside his home.  He knew all about the Jewish way, and the Jesus way, and the difficulty he had was, which was the right way.  The Lord heard his cry and answered his prayer and sent His servant Peter.  What should have happened to Cornelius if he had not listened to Peter? Lydia is also a good subject.


What is the best way to study?  It pays to study carefully, not merely to read, but study.  Possible to read a chapter a dozen times, and get nothing out of it.  Work it up and make some use of it.  I generally practice on my companion.  We ought to be diligent students of the Bible, not to make us heady, but useful.  The better you know the Book, the better able you will be to make use of it.  I find the Epistles of Paul very helpful, finding out what he said about his own ministry.  What was his financial condition when he reached Corinth?  He was broke.  He was scared to death in Corinth, and the angel of the Lord was sent to tell him to stick to it.  What did he preach?  “Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus sake.”  It is good to have a definite line of thought when studying.  Studying the Acts with the Epistles is helpful.  You can’t study too much, and when you do study and preach, seek to condense, seek to give the truth in such a way that they will be able to grip it.  It is not the amount we know or say in a meeting that makes the truth effective.  It is the ability to make use of what we know.  I am not a bit afraid or ashamed to make use of anything I learn from anybody, if it is anything that will make me more effective and useful.


For anyone to be effective as a preacher, he must learn how to separate himself and wait upon God.   Most Workers have great difficulty in knowing how to think right.  The very fact that we have no ability to collect our thoughts makes us ineffective as Workers.  We need to learn how to control our thoughts.  The best way to get rid of wrong thoughts is to get right thoughts.  Sin originates in the thought.  Sow a thought, reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny.


Very important for Workers to know how to take a rest.  There is nothing so foolish in all the world as to worry, to do as the man who put the motto on the mantle “I am an old man now and have had lots of trouble, but most of it never happened.”


Is it wise to help in the home where you are stopping?  It is alright to help some, but don’t become a slave.  Good to keep on the right side of the lady of the house.  I don’t think it is wise for brothers to help inside too much.  When the people see your life is engaged, they don’t expect it.  We can fill in every hour of the day.  No Worker need give the impression that they are idlers or loafers.  We earn our living just as honestly as any  farmer.  Make them feel that you have something to live for, and that you are determined to use your time to the very best advantage, and you won’t be very much bothered about their chores.