Other speakers emphasised as strongly the responsibility of pastors. Rev. J. F. Daly, of the Free Church of Scotland, said—
“Until the clergy are afire, it is useless to expect the laity to be so. There is not a single instance of a minister really interested in foreign missions, praying and working for them, who has not met with an encouraging response at length from a certain number of his people” .
D. Brewer Eddy of the Yale Band said—
“The importance of leadership must be emphasised. Let us put to usury that talent which sets others to work. You are the leaders. We, six millions of young people in this land, are willing to follow you, if you will guide us.
This is the responsibility of the pastor. The most definite impression, perhaps, of the Yale Band is this: that the praise or the responsibility and blame for present conditions in our Missionary Boards must be laid at the doors of the pastors.… If you base your appeal on grounds of pastor’s pride, or of individual church benevolence, or of denominational loyalty, our young people will return a reward commensurate with the grounds from which such an appeal is made. But come to us with the deepest spiritual note you can sound, with a message from the very life of the Master we are learning to love more and more, and we six millions will follow you to the best of our ability”.
Mr. S. Earl Taylor said—
“Until our pastors are ready to back this enterprise there will never be a missionary spirit adequate to the needs of the generation.
Where the pastor helps,
almost any plan will succeed; where he is opposed, scarcely anything will succeed. While godly pastors in all parts of the country have been helping the students as they have worked in the churches, we are told here and in Great Britain that
the greatest obstacle in arousing the home church is the pastor,
who is afraid his salary will be cut down” (vol. i. p. 141).
The Hon. S. B. Capen—
“There is one condition absolutely essential to success. While I believe we must expect our Christian men to have a large share in planning for this better organisation, we shall still need devoted pastors to lead in its execution.
The pastors are to be the leaders still in this mighty work,
and a consecrated pastor will always mean a consecrated church. In this new epoch of missionary work the pastors of this generation, if they only will, may be the leaders in this holy war for righteousness in all the earth”.
Rev. D. S. MacKay—
“A special appeal, to be effective, must have not only behind it, but in it, pulsating through it,
the persuasive personality of the local pastor.
To scatter a few leaflets in the pews, and simply call attention to them, is one of the surest ways by which a pastor can kill a special appeal. The effectiveness of the appeal depends, in the last instance, on the pastor who with loving zeal sends home the plea.
I do not deprecate in any way the helpfulness of missionary agents from time to time in our pulpits, but it is the fidelity of the local pastor, translating the special appeal into an individual message to his own people, that is, after all, the secret of success in the commissariat of foreign missions”.
Murray, Andrew. The Key to the Missionary Problem. London: J. Nisbet & Co., 1902.