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What is a Colporter?

Charles Doe

What is a Colporter?

Colporteur or Colporter—one who travels about selling and distributing religious tracts and books. See the Bible Institute Colportage Association page.

Moody Colportage Library

Dwight L. Moody saw a need to get good Christian literature in the hands of ordinary people. He published a list of popular books that were inexpensive at 15¢, so price would not hinder their circulation. These books could easily be distributed by the colporteurs working for Moody. They worked in prisons to change lives. They visited lumber camps. They gave lectures in churches and halls. They visited homes, conventions, and societies. They visited sailors, soldiers, firemen, and lodging houses. They sent books to India, books were translated into Swedish, German, Danish, Norwegian and Spanish.

Twelve Reasons for engaging in the Bible Institute Colportage Work:

1. It is God's work, preeminently so, in its aim, method and blessing attendant. It is a definite form of Christian work, not merely bookselling.

2. It carries the Gospel into thousands of homes where pastors or other Christian workers do not usually or cannot go.

3. By it the greatest amount of good through direct contact, can be done to the largest number. People will read an attractive book who cannot be gotten to church.

4. It presents countless opportunities for doing personal work and for enlisting men's lives and sympathies in the cause of Christ.

6. It supplements all other evangelical agencies for the promotion of the kingdom of God among men. There need be no fear of rivalry or competition; Christian colporters are wanted everywhere.

6. It may be undertaken in so great a variety of ways—home to home, churches, societies, conventions, mail, lectures, etc.

7. The plan of colportage visiting or "book missionary" work is applicable anywhere, city, town and country.

8. The work is not an experiment, but an established and thoroughly tried method of reaching the people, especially those who do not go to church nor care for religious things.

9. The opportunity offered to travel, see the country and meet people of all classes.

10. The circulation of the Colportage Library books benefits the institutions founded by D. L. Moody.

11. It provides paying employment at the smallest outlay of money and the least possible risk of failure or loss.

12. The remuneration offered is liberal and in proportion to amount of time and energy expended. Diligent and consecrated men and women make all expenses and enough more to provide a reserve fund. See circular, "Results the Real Test."

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