Extracted from The Life of General William Booth – Chapter 25
WHAT IS A MISSION STATION?
To this I reply that, as I understand it, it is not a building, or a chapel, or a hall; it is not even a society, but a band of people united together to mission, to attack, to christianize an entire town or neighbourhood.
When an Evangelist receives an appointment from this Conference it is not contemplated that he shall deal merely with those who are already within the walls of certain buildings, or with those who may be induced to come inside them; but it is intended that he shall be an apostle of the Gospel to all those who live around.
When you reach the station assigned you, if it has not been done already, you should take your stand in that hall, or theatre, or tent, and draw a line around the breadth of population you can hope to reach, and make that your parish, and aim, with tears and prayers, and the trumpet-blast of the Gospel, to christianize every soul within it.
Before you manage a Mission station you must GET ONE.
What a high and holy privilege it is to be a soul-winner. “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Who believes this?
Earnest, determined, sympathetic men, baptized with the Holy Ghost, may go forth and save multitudes from going down to the pit. Common men — men of quite ordinary ability — can do this; but where are they? How is it we are not besieged with men crying— Here am I, send me?
We want a holy ambition for this work — men who see the privilege and desire the honour of bearing the tidings of life and liberty to the ignorant, dying, uncaredfor masses going down to Hell from our very doors in this boasted Christian land.
Any one can go into training for this work. There are plenty of street-corners available in any part of this great city and throughout the land, where any brother or sister may find an audience and get a band of converts together, and in this amateur way speedily gather all the education and qualifications necessary.
The best qualification for managing a station must be to make one, the next best plan to this is to help to work one that is made. If it be there, this will soon develop the ability to do that work altogether.
Now I am not going to give a list of the qualifications for efficiently managing a station, but simply to state how it can be done.
The man who accomplishes it proves it thereby —and he can prove satisfactorily in no other way — that he has the necessary ability for the work. You have doubtless heard of the two men who met in prison, one of whom said to the other, “What have they sent you here for?” “Oh, for so and so.” “But,” said the other, “they can’t lock you up for that.” “Oh, yes they can.” “But I tell you they can’t.” “Well, but here I am.”
Just so; I care not what the preaching abilities or other qualifications of a man or woman may be, if he does not succeed — if he does not get the people saved, and keep them — he proves incontestably thereby that he has missed his vocation, and he ought at once to turn over a new leaf and alter his plans and labours, or inquire for some other walk in life in which he can succeed; and if, on the other hand, however inferior and unlikely, humanly considered, the worker’s qualifications may appear, if at the end of the year, when he counts up his losses and gains, he brings us a schedule that tells of increased numbers, spirituality, and power, he proves incontestably that he has the gifts and the graces which qualify him to manage a Christian Mission station.