This is a special letter to our immediate family of co-workers and members. I want to take you into my confidence and explain to you a major problem in the work of God.
I thank God that I do not have to write to you that the work is in financial difficulty, or that we are way behind in paying bills, or that the work is in serious danger. None of those things are true. This true work of God is in good sound financial condition. God is blessing the work abundantly. It is bearing precious fruit as never before.
If you watch some of the religious programs on TV, you probably have noticed that in general they are all begging their TV audiences desperately for money, pleading that they are behind two or more million dollars in paying TV bills — about to be thrown off the air. And indeed more and more are going off the air, and we are buying up their time. Thank God, we are not in that kind of trouble.
Rather, we never have to appeal to television viewers for contributions. On the contrary we tell television stations we pay all bills promptly. We are in healthy and sound financial condition. The God we serve does supply our need. And I often say that we will be blessed financially according to how well we please our Lord and head of the Church, Jesus Christ.
God has promised to supply all our NEED — not all our wants. That is the point of this letter. We — you and I — are in very serious NEED right now. In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus said to us of his Church: "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."
That is precisely our present condition and NEED. Four times this year more than 17,000 telephone calls have come in from one TV program, requesting special booklets and/or a subscription to The PLAIN TRUTH. Upwards of one million PLAIN TRUTH subscribers have requested also a year's subscription to the GOOD NEWS magazine for more spiritual and biblical articles. We have twelve hundred and six ordained ministers visiting prospective members, counseling about baptism — but they are swamped and unable to visit and counsel with all who have requested this spiritual counseling and help. These ministers have up to more than 75 new prospective members waiting for each minister to call personally for counsel toward baptism and complete conversion. Besides this, each minister has to call each week on several members of his local pastorate for counsel and spiritual guidance and help. These ministers are swamped and unable to get to all that voluntarily have requested visits and help. Besides, each minister has one to three sermons to prepare every week, as several ministers pastor two and even three local congregations.
Now here is the REAL NEED. We now have up to one hundred college graduated, ministerial trained men, having to find outside jobs to support their families, yet competent and ready to be put full time into the ministry when the Church can afford to hire them. They are helping even now in whatever amount of time they are able, but they have to earn a living and we need to be able to hire them full time in God's ministry. The servant is worthy of his hire.
There are thousands of precious lives whom God has called and who are ready to be reaped into Christ's harvest, but the laborers are too few. Jesus said for us to PRAY for God to send these trained and prepared laborers into the field to reap this harvest of precious lives for all eternity in God's Kingdom.
Brethren, I urge you in Jesus' name to go to your knees and pray about this. God's work is growing as never before. It needs more money to hire new laborers to reap even more precious lives for the Kingdom of God. They, in turn, will become co-workers with us to help God's work to grow even more and more abundantly.
Thank God that he has blessed his work so abundantly and helped his servants at headquarters to manage finances so that God's work is in solid and sound financial condition. Let us keep it that way. Let us grow closer to Jesus Christ and to God and they will become closer to us. Please take this very seriously.