By Billy Sunday
The success of the entire campaign is largely dependent upon the thoroughness with which the prayer-meeting work is carried out. Mr. Sunday considers this the foundation for results desired for the campaign.
The Organization in a Nutshell
The territory has been divided into twenty districts: Manhattan, fifteen; The Bronx, five; with a chairman over each district.
Each district is subdivided into sections, determined for the most part by the number of churches in it, with a chairman, usually the pastor, over each section.
Each section is subdivided into "blocks", each "block" to have about sixty or more Protestants families, over which will be appointed a "block" committee of three persons, ordinarily one man and two women. Districts are named. Sections are to be lettered; blocks numbered.
Duties of District Chairman
(1) Divide the districts into sections, according to the number of churches therein, with a chairman, usually the pastor, over each section. Convene, instruct and inspire these chairmen.
(2) Report section boundaries to Headquarters.
(3) Arrange for the holding of union district meetings or in some way secure the arousing and continuance of interest of the district.
Duties of Section Chairmen
(1) Divide your section into "blocks" of not less than sixty Protestant families each, and secure a committee of three for each "block" (ordinarily one man and two women), reporting names and addresses (with telephone number, if any), to your district chairman.
(2) These "block" committees should be chosen from those residing in the "blocks", if possible, and the committee should be composed of more than one denomination, ordinarily. In some cases it may be impossible to find in the "block" those who will serve in the committee. In such cases workers should be secured from outside.
(3) The section chairman shall see that the "block" committees do their work. They shall fill vacancies from time to time.
(4) Enlisting of every available worker of every church should be attempted, preferably on the second Sunday of January ("Trail Hitters Day") by the use of the "Enlistment Blanks" supplied in quantities through the district chairman.
Each pastor is requested to explain the matter fully to the congregation and secure promises to
(a) Open home for neighborhood prayer meeting.
(b) Lead neighborhood prayer meeting.
(c) Serve on "Block Committee"
(5) As so many of our church members do not reside in the Section in which their church is situated, and as these neighborhood prayer meetings are best composed of these whose homes are in the "block", some system of exchange is essential.
Enlistment pledges of workers residing outside of their church section should therefore be sent at once to prayer meetings Committee at Headquarters for distribution to the appropriate Section. Pastors are earnestly requested to supplement these pledges with lists unless their working force is fully included.
(6) Distribute prayer list cards to all that will agree to fill the list out and pray for those on the list every day, and work diligently for their acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Master.
Duties of "Block" Committees
(1) Arrange for the holding of "block" prayer meetings on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, commencing Tuesday, February 13,1917.
(2) Secure homes in which to hold the "block" prayer meetings and appoint the leaders of such meetings. Do not hold a service twice in the same house if it can be avoided. The experience of the Sunday party is that it is better to have a number of small prayer meetings than fewer and larger ones.
(3) Fill out the report card of the "block" meetings in each case at the close of the service, before leaving the house where the meeting is held, and mail it that night. The Headquarters will keep a record of these services. The reports are very important.
(4) Distribute invitations to the "block" meetings in every house in the "block". Personal invitations are also to be given on every occasion possible. The committees will also be asked to extend invitations to special tabernacle meetings.
(5) "Block" committees will be given cards for exhibit in the windows of houses where meetings are to be held. These cards are to be displayed the day before a meeting, and are to be kept in place until the meeting is held. Then they are to be passed on to the next meeting place.
(6) The meetings are to last thirty minutes, and are to be for prayer for the campaign. Opportunity is to be given for request for prayer on the part of those present, and when such request are made prayer should be offered for immediate conversion.
(7) The work of the "block" committees will not stop with coming of Mr. Sunday. Bible study groups will be organized a little later wherever practicable.
The Work in Co-operating Churches Outside of New York
(1) The New York committee is seeking to extend the influence of this campaign as far as possible. The co-operation of all the cities and communities adjacent will be welcomed.
(2) In general, each community is advised to carry out the above organization, as far as it is adapted to the local field, making modifications to suit conditions.
(3) In towns or cities where more than one church is co-operating, a meeting of all the pastors interested should be called, and an outline of the plan to be followed agreed upon. Then divide territory, appoint committees and arrange for "block" meetings. The essential thing to keep in mind in the preparation is that as many "block" meetings as possible should be held.
The committee suggests that Sunday, February 11, be set aside by all churches as Prayer Sunday, when the whole Prayer Program will be launched. All the pastors are requested to take the morning service for a presentation of "The Place of Intercessory Prayer in the Program of the Kingdom." This would be an appropriate time to stress the importance of the family altar. Special effort should also be made to have the matter adequately presented to the Sunday School and the Young People's Societies.
Prayer for the campaign will center around these requests: --
(a) The special power of God upon Mr. Sunday and his party and all officially connected with the work.
(b) The restoration of uninterested and backslidden church members.
(c) The prayerful, working co-operation of all Christians.
(d) The awakening of the entire community to the importance of right personal relation to God and that every unsaved person should accept Christ.
(e) Those for whom special requests are made.