This is an article from the December 1979 issue: Edinburgh 1980

The Pastor is the Key

The Pastor is the Key

During the month of July Dr. and Mrs. Winter visited 21 cities and spoke about the Hidden People and the Center to 3,600 people (all Founders) and 120 pastors. It was an exciting time with little breathing space. At one stop between engagements Dr. Winter was holed up in a typesetter's office writing the copy for the Christianity Today ad. And, as usual, he was trying to figure out just how to mobillize a million people for missions. Not surprisingly, he thought of Dr. Paul Smith of People's Church in Toronto. This church annually gives over a million dollars to missions. It is not composed of wealthy people--just dedicated ones. Dr. Winter had sat in a meeting when Dr. Smith was asked how they did it. His reply, though unexpected, was not surprising: "The pastor is the key. If the pastor is interested in missions, his people are too. If not, they rarely are."

Convinced of the truth of this statement, in August Center staff began to sort all pastors and churches out of their donor's list, then numbering over 11,000 people. Many changes had to be made: pastors had moved, some had retired, some were by now deceased. It took another couple of weeks to get phone numbers for the 1000 pastors on that list. Then began a couple of months of phone calls before 8 AM, at "midnight rates".

Brad Gill, head of the department of Mobilization, reported: "We find pastors all over the country who not only know about s, but are excited by the vision and the chance to help. To date. 94 churches have had Hidden People Sundays. Those Sundays the pastor uses materials we provide to help prepare a sermon on the hidden People, and then he asks his congregation to commit themselves to prayer and support of this new type of frontier work. In only a few cases," Gill continued, "have these Hidden People Sundays been a great financial boost to us at the Center. But we find that Christians are beginning to be interested in the Frontiers. We feel the real harvest is still ahead."


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