Homeheading | Lesson 9, Part 1

Greetings MOL Family!

Welcome back to our homeheading series. Just this word of comment before we begin our lesson today: As we were studying the wonderful example of Elder and Sister White, we don’t want to conclude that all of us are called to attempt as much as they did, either in quantity or in variety.

…unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one… – Matthew 25:15

But each one of us is called to do something to make our homes a place of ministry. One home in one way, one in another. And each of us must know the will of God for us. This way we will not be tempted, or at least we won’t yield to the temptation to judge others, nor can we let others decide what we should do. Really, brothers and sisters, if we allow other people to decide this for us, we’ll probably either attempt too much or too little. And either one would be too bad, wouldn’t it?

A Family of Helpers


Now, today we’re going into some other experiences in the development of this movement and the use of this home training plan, both as it relates to the blueprint and as it relates to the history of the movement.

Let’s take Elder Haskell: When you hear that name Haskell, what do you think of? He was one of the great pioneers in seeking to work cities from outpost centers, combining self-supporting and conference work. He was a great exponent of the Spirit of Prophecy, a great believer in the work of the laymen. He’s the father of the tract and missionary work in this denomination. He was the first chairman of the board of trustees in the school at Madison, a self-supporting school. In fact, he and his wife had the deed until the corporation was developed. So, we love the memory of Elder and Sister Haskell.

In the book, Evangelism, page 108, we read of some experiences that he had in Nashville, back in 1905. This is what Sister White wrote in the “Review and Herald” of that year, and it’s now in this book. Get the picture of the training home in action, not on an institutional campus, but in a city evangelistic center:

Brother and Sister Haskell have rented a house in one of the best parts of the city, and have gathered around them a family of helpers who day by day go out giving Bible readings, selling our papers, and doing medical missionary work. During the hour of worship the workers relate their experiences. Bibles studies are regularly conducted in the home, and the young men and young women connected with the mission receive a practical, thorough training in holding Bible readings, and in selling our publications. The Lord has blessed their labors, a number have embraced the truth, and many others are deeply interested….


A similar work should be done in many cities [What does similar mean? Like it.]


A similar work should be done in many cities. The young people who go out to labor in these cities should be under the direction of experienced, consecrated leaders. Let the workers be provided with a good home, in which they may receive thorough training. – Evangelism, pg. 108

Many of us would like to be in a home like that, wouldn’t we? Or would we? You folks that are already running homes of you own, would you appreciate the opportunity of being in a home like that? — Quite a number around the table; probably busy as a beehive all the while.

But what were they doing? They were receiving a training, the young people were, in how to give Bible readings, how to sell our literature, how to work for souls, and it doesn’t say so here, but they were getting an experience in how to live together too. You cannot get that many people together without there being quite a bit of friction. The trauma of it may be cut down by the oil of love, but the polishing effect goes on even when the lubrication is present. In fact, that’s one of the great reasons God gives us these companies in homes is that we may develop that polish which comes only through contact with others.

Now, I want you to notice the wording of this:

Brother and Sister Haskell have rented a house in one of the best parts of the city, and have gathered round them a family of helpers… – Ibid

They were going to Nashville for evangelistic work. They rented a house. What size house? Just for Brother and Sister Haskell? Oh, no. It had to be a big house.

There is nothing that is such a blessing in a training home as the motive of soul winning, evangelism. If every worker were actively engaged in soul winning, if every one was participating in actual labor for souls, it would put a spirit into every home that would tend to cut down on the problems and increase the advantages.

Now there’s a certain amount of it, and may I challenge each of you to answer to yourself and the Lord. Are you working for souls? Do you have people that do not know God that you’re praying for, visiting, working for? That you’re studying how to reach? Some of you will be led by the Lord to take students with you, one or more to homes that you’re visiting if nothing more than to sing with people or to pray with them.

This kind of work is true re-creation, recreation. It brings a spirit into the home. Unless you do this, you must do one of two other things. You must either develop a lot of social activities, recreational activities to keep everybody happy, or else your home will become more or less just a boarding place.

The more the students and the workers in a home are engaged in some phase of actual soul winning, the more there is reason for family worship, the more there is something definite to pray about, something which takes the mind away from the petty, personal problems, and fixes our thoughts upon the needs of those who do not know God. Do you see what I mean?

Brother and Sister Haskell have rented a house in one of the best parts of the city, and have gathered round them a family of helpers… – Ibid

That’s an interesting wording, “they gathered round them a family of helpers.” I wonder how they got them. Well, I can imagine, some they probably got right there in Nashville. Others were people that had worked with them in other cities that they wrote to or telegraphed to and said, “We need your help, come.” Others were people who had had no experience and they were drawn in as apprentices.

… [They] have gathered round them a family of helpers, who day by day go out giving Bible readings, selling our papers, and doing medical missionary work. During the hour of worship, the workers relate their experiences. – Ibid

This is a wonderful theme for worships and for meals, this one and that one telling. If you’ve had a taste of this, you will want more.

Bible studies are regularly conducted in the home… – Ibid

A person in the home who is listening to a worship study for the purpose of giving it to somebody else probably will get more than one who is not.


The Mission Home


Vol. 6, page 74: Here we have the instruction which Elder Haskell was following. This is instruction on following up evangelistic meetings, spoken of here as camp meetings:

Changes tend to weaken the influence of the meetings. Continue the meetings on the camp ground whenever practicable. But when it seems advisable to move, let the large tent be removed to some favorable location, and let the services in it be continued. A mission should be established. – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, pg. 74

Now notice what she’s talking about. She uses the word mission. Sometimes she speaks of it as a city mission.

Secure a suitable place, and let a number of workers unite to form a mission family. This should be in charge of a man and his wife who are persons of ability and consecration and whose influence will give character to the work. – Ibid

This is the blueprint for what Haskell and his wife were doing in Nashville and many other places. Now notice here is a follow up of a big camp meeting, a follow up of an evangelistic series. They’re going to continue now with follow up meetings and with house to house work. As a nucleus of this, the prophet suggests what? Establish a mission home. Who are to be in that mission home? — A number of workers. And it’s to be in charge of whom?

…a man and his wife who are persons of ability and consecration, and whose influence will give character to the work. – Ibid

That’s what you are to aspire to be. And if you say, “I’m inexperienced.” Well, two things I give you on that: Feeling your weakness, cry to God. And second, don’t try to do what you’re not ready to do, what you’re not cut out to do.

Sometimes just because people are homeheads they are sought for counsel, and there are times, my dear friends, when the greatest evidence of wisdom you can give is to say to a student, “Mary or John, I am just not qualified by training and experience to give you the kind of counsel you need. But, I will do one of two things. I will either, if you wish, go get some counsel and some references and come and share it with you, or else, I will take you with me and we will go to somebody of experience who can help us with some references.” This is much better than to bluff your way through.

Even worse is to think you know the answers when you don’t know them at all. Unless you are prepared to substantiate your answers with clear statements of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, be very reluctant to give your opinions and ideas to students who come inquiring about this or that or something else. To know the will of God is the great object of education, but it comes by revelation, not by following impressions, and certainly not by following the fashions and customs.

So the blueprint is there for workers of ability and consecration to be in charge of these homes. This is speaking especially of city mission work, as exemplified by the Haskells.


Join us next week, to understand why the mission home is to be the foundation of every line of work in the cause. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then… 

Continue on to the next study–


The blueprint for a successful home is available to all who desire it. “Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are “the issues of life”; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.” {AH 15.1}  >> Learn More



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*This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.

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