2023 Skit series
“That Got Me Thinking!”
“Hello! I’d like to Work for God!”
Narrator: This is a fictional skit based on real-life evangelists. The scene is set in the first years of the 1900s, including the older style of conversation. We tried to make it fit the style of the early 1900s, and yet still be understandable today.
This heartwarming skit is about the life and ministry of Major Daniel Webster Whittle. Major D. W. Whittle was a close friend of American evangelist Dwight Moody. Moody’s son William was married to Whittle’s daughter Mary. Major Whittle had been a cashier for “Wells, Fargo, and Company”, then served in the Union Army during in the US Civil War. After the US Civil War (around 1866), he came back severely injured, but also very popular among many people in Chicago. When the then-Lieutenant Whittle was asked to give a speech at a rally shortly after returning to Chicago, he says, “I felt weak from my wound and foolish at being in such a position. But directly in front of me, in the center of the hall, a sturdy young man jumped to his feet and cried: ‘Give him three cheers!’ I recognized the face of Mr. Moody as he led the cheering with great earnestness.” Moody told Whittle that, “I took you into my heart that night and you have been there ever since!” (from “The Life of D. L. Moody” by his son William R. Moody)
Years later, Dwight Moody wrote from England to his friend Major Whittle in 1874, saying, “I have done one thing (working for God), and the work is wonderful. One thing is my motto.” William Moody spoke of his father Dwight, “There was but one motive – the proclamation of the Gospel through multiplied agencies (meaning: multiples of methods, forms, thru various groups, and in text and print).” And this good work for God is what Major Whittle joined Moody in doing. (from “A Passion For Souls” by Lyle W. Dorsett)
In his last hour, Dwight Moody said to his family, “I have always been an ambitious man – ambitious to leave no (earthly) wealth or possessions, but to leave lots of work (for God) for you to do.”
And that is what Moody did. And, it should be our goal, as well, to do the same – to pass on to many generations of our children for them to have and be able to lots of work for God, so that they will join God in the work that He is already doing.
>>> Hint: you will get the best spiritual blessings from this skit and teaching, if you read *each* of the Bible passages we included. The Lord be with you as you seek Him, first and only.
> Paul: Hello sir. I just wanted to meet you, Major Whittle, and they told me that you were preaching here in Chicago.
Steven: Hello! It’s good to meet you sir. What is your name?
> Paul: Marcus, sir. Pleasure to meet you. I heard that there were disciples of Jesus here preaching the gospel in our city. Are you the next one expected to get up there to preach? And by that I mean, am I interrupting your preparation for what to say if I ask you about your gospel work?
Steven: Oh, thank you Marcus. That’s okay. There are several of us who preach to the crowds. So I have time to talk.
> Paul: Ok! So I have been thinking about going toward full-time ministry, and I stopped to listen when I heard preaching and I hoped I might find you today. I really like what you all are preaching and how you present the Bible to the crowds on the street here. Did you go to a special school for this kind of preaching? (Matthew 7:15-18, Acts 4:13)
Steven: Well, no, I have not been to any specific Bible training school. God gave me an evangelism training while doing the gospel work that was much better than any school can teach. The Holy Spirit guides my path to where he needs me to go to learn, and He walks me through each step to know what I must say, and to learn what I must preach. During the Civil War, there was an evangelist from Chicago who came to the soldier’s camps, and was quite focused on trying to give tracts and Bibles to all the soldiers from Illinois and other states. I joined some with that work, especially when we traveled back to Chicago, after the war. So I helped Dwight Moody through the YMCA (Young Men’s Christians’ Association) to reach the poor and immigrants and new residents of the city with the gospel. We would lead Bible studies together, and my friend would arrange for me to speak at churches and Sunday Schools sometimes. I knew that I needed to seek the Lord diligently for answers to difficult questions about life and to understand the Scriptures, because when you’re teaching, the hearers and students ask you all types of questions – it’s a great way to learn as you go. Then, in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, a third of our city was completely destroyed and 100,000 people were left wandering and homeless. So I served together with Moody on the YMCA committee for relief aid. Mr. Moody convinced me that it was better to resign from the profitable business I had been in, and instead to enter into full-time doing the Lord’s business. And that is exactly what I did in 1873. From then on, God has taught me and trained me how to do ministry like this, and doing normal ministry work like teaching Sunday School and leading Illinois Street Church ministries.
> Paul: That is most unique. So you had to learn how to do ministry while you were already doing the ministry? (Luke 10:1)
Steven: Yes. That is how it is in life. We do not know everything we wished we did for the work we are doing. But it’s like Jesus said: the Holy Spirit wants to teach us and remind us of all the things that Jesus did and taught, and the Holy Spirit will teach us all the more as we ask Him to (Luke 12:12, John 14:26). So if we are listening to the Holy Spirit while we do our gospel work, then that is really how we learn to do the gospel work. And so we are ever driven to actively seek His counsel in everything that we do. This is the true heart and meaning of what Jesus taught the disciples about prayer, and about petitioning God to give us our daily bread (Matthew 6:11). It is thus true that no man can live by bread alone. We must live by every word that proceeds from the heart of the Spirit of God (Deut. 8:3, Luke 4:4).
> Paul: Well, my story is like that also.
Steven: Oh, I would like to hear about it.
> Paul: My parents were teaching Sunday schools and sharing the gospel with children from the time I was a tiny boy. The ministry of our family changed over time to reach neighbors by knocking on doors for having gospel and discipleship conversations. Later we were preaching to downtown crowds of people going to the bars. Then we began even to travel to other cities with tracts and gospel signs. As I grew up, I did my best to join them in this gospel ministry to our city and other cities. So we do not have training at the Bible Institute either, but our whole family, my parents and my brother and me, have experience in many different methods as well as approaches to getting the gospel out to be heard (Matthew 28:18-20).
Steven: What is it that you do with gospel signs? Please tell me more about that.
> Paul: After a visit to the bustling New York City, with so many people passing by and travelling through, we saw an advantage to holding up a gospel sign for each passerby to see, and ponder. It can be as simple as “Do you know how to get to Heaven?” or “Jesus saves. Follow Jesus”. Or even a verse on a sign. Any servant of Jesus who wants to be a help in this work for God can do such a thing. They can just hold a sign and people will be thinking the rest of the day, or even drawn to asking them questions, and then they can give a gospel tract or have a Bible on hand to walk those individual souls through some Scriptures with whatever time they are willing to stay and hear.
Steven: This is a most interesting method for gospel work. I would like for you to tell about this to all our friends at the Northfield Conference this year, in August.
> Paul: Ok! Sure! I would like to tell them about what God is doing through signs and conversations.
Steven: And we would also like you to explain the prayers behind the gospel work. We love to have people share how they pray for others, it encourages all of us, and we very often learn and glean from each other. Prayer is something we try to emphasize in all of our conferences.
> Paul: Ok yes, this is good then, because we too have found that the most necessary work happens in our prayers for our city. We have learned to pray about specific responses we receive to our preaching. These responses show problems and sins that have a stronghold on the city. We believe that it is important for evangelists to pray diligently for people to be prohibited from and pulled away from their sins. And also that God may quicken their hearts and open their ears to the gospel and Jesus’ words that teach how we may walk in the ways of Jesus. And we believe it is even more important to pray that God persuades witnesses to bring out the facts that will force evil men into hiding or even under prosecution, so that they will stop harming the work that God is doing in our city. Prayer truly is conversations with God for the souls of men, and wrestling with fallen angels in spiritual warfare.
Steven: Yes, it is prayer that recognizes God’s authority over our city, and teaches us to cooperate with what needs to be done in order to see the gospel preached boldly and heard by many. If we care about our cities, we should do this prayer as much as we do the work.
> Paul: There is an important Scripture that our family likes for explaining how the prayer works. 2Corinthians chapter 10 is about spiritual war against spirit principalities of darkness whose proud and lofty arguments are falsely claiming authority over a city and its people. The prayer weapons of our warfare tear down this false stronghold and its gates of Hell that are fighting against the knowledge of God. My family experiences the things described in these verses.
Steven: I have not studied that passage much, but I plan to this evening with my wife. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Ephesians 6, of course also has much good teaching about prayer and spiritual warfare, if a person will apply themselves to it.
> Paul: Yes, God does teach quite a lot about prayer and holiness for the sake of our prayers too.
*** (Matthew 61-34, Matthew 12:22-30, Luke 18:1-14, Romans 15:30-33, Ephesians 6:18-20, Philippians 1:3-6, 1Thessalonians 5:15-21, 1John 5:14-17)
Steven: I’m so glad to hear that your family wants so much to work for God. This spiritual warfare is why we need to work side by side to resist the schemes of the enemy and also is why anything that is valuable gets built slowly and does not build easily (1Peter 5:8). The attacks of the devil on the work slow it down so much that sometimes it seems like we are working in the middle of fierce blustering wind. And especially in those times, only persistence, faithfulness, diligence and obedience will see it through. It seems that nothing good can happen rapidly, but only if is built carefully with strength and fiber and wind- resistant materials, leaning on God daily for both strength and wisdom. It is also like how God told Joshua that He would slowly drive out the wicked inhabitants of the prosperous Promised Land, so that the Israelites would not lose the land to wild animals and thorns (Exodus 23:29). And God told this to Joshua, because God needed Joshua to lead Israel with a strong hand in the direction of conquering that land that God had promised the people of Israel, and dealing with the demonic murderous and immoral peoples who occupied that land wrongfully.
> Paul: Yeah. This Scripture in 2Corinthians 10 describes what you and I know about how we have to grow up into the requirements of an intercessor, praying for the salvation and spiritual growth of souls, as a faithful shepherd under Christ. As men and women who intercede being God’s ambassadors, we have had to judge the problems we see just as Moses did for the people of Israel being God’s intercessor for them. So I will hope to explain this at that conference, that 2Corinthians 10 describes that the intercessor’s obedience in the wide variety of temptations and trials is attached to their ability to make progress (1Peter 4:7). When the man is faithful and obedient and fortified with his own life and thoughts, then he is strong in being able to intercede. And then God is able to ask him to watch over cities and more responsibilities. We truly need more laborers - men and women who follow Christ and walk holy and intercede for souls, who also reach out with boldness and grace holding out the Word of God and the gospel to all who will listen.
Steven: Yes, very good. And the one who is faithful with the precise needs of the authority of his calling to be a Preacher or an Evangelist or a Prophet, he is then entrusted with more.
> Paul: Very true. And the man who does not care about what God wants to trust him with, that responsibility will be taken from him by God Himself, and then God will give that work to others who will care about it, and who love God and people. (See Luke 19:24-26)
Steven: Of course, that conflict has happened through the entire history of the world, in which men are pressing against the Kingdom of God, which Jesus is building (Matthew 11:11-15). Our Master’s Kingdom is not on this earth yet (John 18:36), but satan’s is, or trying to be. Both God’s Kingdom and satan’s forces of darkness use force and judging, God and satan are looking for men to rule (Matthew 7:1-20). God decrees righteous judgments and satan attacks to discourage men from following Jesus. That old serpent would prefer a man to rule who is proud and greedy rather than a man who is a drunkard and lazy. And Christ would prefer a man to rule who has sound judgment and refuses bribes, rather than a man who is lukewarm and covetous (James 2:1-13).
> Paul: Yes. It is a difficult challenge that God always suffers, in those especially dark times when and where He cannot manage to find men and women who walk pure and upright as intercessors and God-fearing men and women. Many times in the last 5000+ years, God often could not find a man or woman who would speak up and grow up into their righteous responsibilities. But He does work on we who do seek Him, one at a time, step by step, teaching us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus’ gospel work and the example which He left for us through His apostles.
Steven: I agree. We must pray for laborers who are willing to take responsibility for their city in prayer and in labors day and night to preach and teach (Matthew 9:35-38). They must be willing to intercede by convincing people of their wrongs so that they might repent and they must be willing to ask God diligently to give them wisdom on many difficult questions of life and world conflicts. And they must be willing to intercede by asking God to create circumstances which will correct people of the world (1Peter 4:12-19). And they must see these circumstances as an opportunity for the intercessor to preach and explain why God is allowing those certain circumstances so that people are able to understand the effects and consequences of their sins, without those consequences destroying anything valuable (See: 2Timothy 4:1-5).
> Paul: Our family thought that when we began to neglect past entertainments and worldly interests, that we would be bored and waste time (2Corinthians 6:14-7:1, James 4:1-4, 1John 2:15-17). It has been nothing like that at all. We have been busier in important eternal matter than most people around us, and we do not miss the things of the past, the sins and entertainment that we once enjoyed. Also we have experienced some of our best times by praying for God to direct us to the place and time for the right conversations that He wants us to have (Ephesians 5:15-21, 1Peter 3:8-17). Or we ask for Him to show us the gospel preaching sign that He wants to be seen. And God really sends us to exactly where He wants us to be in a way that would have been absolutely impossible if He had not arranged it so perfectly by redirecting us from what we thought we were going to do. And we are amazed sometimes how precisely God can coordinate our steps though we did not know it until we rejoice at that moment when it arrives (Romans 8;28). We spend so much time seeking wisdom about what to write on our sign that will be heard and understood. And the use of signs has given us many chances to also talk with our brethren across major cities to encourage them to stand rightly on whatever they are willing to join us for with their prayers.
Steven: That’s wonderful my brother. One of the best times of my life was after I had been through much training for ministry and our brother Dwight wanted to meet to pray for our next season of ministry and gospel preaching events.
> Paul: So God guided your brothers together to a plan that He wanted you to work on together?
Steven: Yes, and it was just a very life-changing experience for all of us, because we knew the Lord was with us and helping us. It was just after Dwight and Emma had returned from two years of gospel preaching across England and Scotland, so they had many excellent conversations and blessings to share with us. And as we met up at Round Top at Northfield, and joined our brother, praying and fellowshipping, over all of the land where he grew up, we enjoyed such special moments of grace from God in such a beautiful fellowship. Moody was rightly convinced that the water source of a country flows down from its mountains to the lowlands, and that the big cities and large communities in a country are its mountains. So whatever is allowed to influence and change and shape these cities, it will secondarily affect smaller cities and communities also. (See: Matthew 5:1-16, Matthew 25:14-30, and Luke 19:11-27)
> Paul: Right, and so why not let it be the gospel that is what people are talking about in the large cities? Whatever sounds of truth are heard ringing throughout a large city will carry on back to smaller towns and communities. Let’s make sure that it is not only the devil’s plans which are being carried on in these large cities. These people need the guidance of strong intercessors or they will be carried away to perish in their sins.
Steven: Amen brother. We have much work to do (Matthew 28:18-20, 2Peter 1:5-11). I have gained great encouragement from our mutual sharing. Safe travels until we meet again. And the Lord be with you, your family and your team.
> Paul: May the Lord bless you as you seek to serve Him more. (Romans 16:24, 2Corinthians 13:14, 2John 1:3, Revelation 22:20-21)