Eldon Tenniswood’s Reply to an Offer for the Work

My dear __, Your letter brought real joy to my heart when I learned you were looking on the fields that are white and ready to harvest, and have been praying as Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 9:38. Even though you do not feel qualified for such a place, it’s good to remember, Jesus desired to send forth laborers into the harvest, not craftsmen, or journeymen, but laborers, who will be humble enough to listen and then obey what others would teach them to do, so they can be efficient in serving the Lord.

There are certain conditions we put before those who desire to enter and have a part in the New Testament ministry:

(1) They must have the confidence of the friends in the church where they meet for fellowship,

(2) They must have the confidence of the workers who know them best,

(3) They must have the approval of those who have the main responsibility with regard to their qualifications and fitness for the Lord’s work, and

(4) It is important to have good health.

In our work, there is a certain strain on the nervous system. Some who have had good health before they entered the ministry have found the nervous strain too much for them and they became ill. This is why we like young people to be healthy when they begin. Do you have any responsibilities toward your parents financially? Can they get along without your financial support? Have you any debts? To be successful in our work, we much simply learn to serve others and to serve gladly for Jesus’ sake. Sometimes there is a little waiting period before an opening comes to enter the ministry. While you are waiting, the more you learn to serve others, the more useful you can be when you start in the work with a companion. How old are you, ____?

Harold and Stephen have had some nice interest here in Los Angeles and others have seen a few added to the church. I just returned from the conventions in Mexico and it was encouraging to see a few people gathered out there.

Kindest greetings and very best wishes in Christ,

Your brother in His care,

(Signed) Eldon Tenniswood
May 10, 19__