Too much labour is done by those who minister in word and doctrine in behalf of churches that should be set to work themselves. The church members should carry a weight of responsibility. They should keep their own souls in the love of God by exercising all the powers they have. 19MR 173
Ministers in New York should have been far in advance of what they are. But they have not engaged in that kind of labour which called forth earnest effort and strong opposition. Had they done so they would have been driven to their Bibles and to prayer in order to be able to answer their opponents, and in the exercise of their talents would have doubled them. There are ministers in New York who have been preaching for years, but who cannot be depended upon to give a course of lectures. They are dwarfed. They have not exercised their minds in the study of the word and in meeting opposition, so that they might become strong in God. Had they, like faithful soldiers of the cross of Christ, gone forth "without the camp," depending upon God and their own energies, rather than leaning so heavily upon their brethren, they would have obtained an experience, and would now be qualified to engage in the work wherever their help is most needed. If the ministers generally in New York had left the churches to labour for themselves, and had not stood in their way, both churches and ministers would now be further advanced in spirituality and in the knowledge of the truth. 3T 049
Such arrangements should be made for the little companies accepting the truth as shall secure the prosperity of the church. One man may be appointed to lead for a week or a month, then another for a few weeks; and thus different persons may be enlisted in the work, and after a suitable trial someone should be selected by the voice of the church to be the acknowledged leader, never, however, to be chosen for more than one year. Then another may be selected, or the same one may be re-elected, if his service has proved a blessing to the church. The same principle should be followed in selecting men for other responsible positions, as in the offices of the conference. Untried men should not be elected as presidents of conferences. Many fail to exercise proper discernment in these important matters where eternal interests are involved. 5T 619
There is to be no change in the general features of our work. It is to stand as clear and distinct as prophecy has made it. We are to enter into no confederacy with the world, supposing that by so doing we could accomplish more. If any stand in the way, to hinder the advancement of the work in the lines that God has appointed, they will displease God. No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defence of our principles, in full view of the world. 6T 17
The organisation of the church at Jerusalem was to serve as a model for the organisation of churches in every other place where messengers of truth should win converts to the gospel. Those to whom was given the responsibility of the general oversight of the church were not to lord it over God's heritage, but, as wise shepherds, were to "feed the flock of God,. . . being ensamples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:2, 3); and the deacons were to be "men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom." These men were to take their position unitedly on the side of right and to maintain it with firmness and decision. Thus they would have a uniting influence upon the entire flock. AA 091
I wish to tell you that soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work. The work of a minister is to minister. Our ministers are to work on the gospel plan of ministering. It has been presented to me that all through America there are barren fields. As I travelled through the South on my way to the Conference, I saw city after city that was unworked. What is the matter? The ministers are hovering over churches, which know the truth, while thousands are perishing out of Christ. If the proper instruction were given, if the proper methods were followed, every church member would do his work as a member of the body. He would do Christian missionary work. But the churches are dying, and they want a minister to preach to them. They should be taught to bring a faithful tithe to God, that he may strengthen and bless them. They should be brought into working order, that the breath of God may come to them. They should be taught that unless they can stand alone, without a minister, they need to be converted anew, and baptised anew. They need to be born again. GCB APR.12,1901
My heart has been filled with sadness as I have looked over the field and seen the barren places. What does this mean? Who are standing as representatives of Jesus Christ? Who feels a burden for the souls who can not receive the truth till it is brought to them. Our ministers are hovering over the churches, as though the angel of mercy was not making efforts to save souls.
God holds these ministers responsible for the souls of those who are in darkness. He does not call you to go into fields that need no physician. Establish your churches with the understanding that they need not expect the minister to wait upon them and to be continually feeding them. They have the truth; they know what truth is. They should have root in themselves. These should strike down deeply, that they may reach up higher and still higher. They must be rooted and grounded in the faith. GCB APR.16,1901
Our churches, large and small, are not to be treated in such a way that they will be helplessly dependent upon ministerial aid. The members are to be so established in the faith that they will have an intelligent knowledge of medical missionary work. They are to follow Christ's example, ministering to those around them. Faithfully they are to fulfil the vows made at their baptism, the vow that they will practice the lessons taught in the life of Christ. Through sanctification of the truth as it is in Jesus they are to plant in hearts the living principles of saving faith. They are to work together to keep alive in the church the principles of self-denial and self-sacrifice, which Christ, His divinity clothed with humanity, followed in His medical missionary work. It is imparting the knowledge of Christ's love and tenderness that gives efficiency to missionary operations. MM 315
Simple organisation and church order are set forth in the New Testament Scriptures, and the Lord has ordained these for the unity and perfection of the church. The man who holds office in the church should stand as a leader, as an advisor and a counsellor and helper in carrying the burdens of the work. He should be a leader in offering thanksgiving to God. But he is not appointed to order and command the Lord's labourers. The Lord is over His heritage. He will lead His people if they will be led of the Lord in the place of assuming a power God has not given them. Let us study the twelfth and thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the fifteenth chapter of Acts. PC 298
In various places small companies are to consecrate themselves to God, body, soul, and spirit; and laying hold of the throne of God by faith they are to work zealously, keeping their souls in the love of God. The vital current of his love will make itself felt, and will be recognised as from heaven in the good works of his people. Those little companies who know the truth, with one voice should bid their minister go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. RH JAN.08,1895
Let the churches say to those who preach the word: "Go into the cities and villages, and preach the warning. You are God's watchmen on the walls of Zion, and however much we should be gratified to have your labours, we shall not hold you with us. We shall draw for ourselves from the treasure house of heaven by living faith. We shall not take upon ourselves the work of sermonising, but we will fear God and serve him, and speak often one to another. Not one of us shall be guilty of seeking the supremacy, or of cherishing a burning zeal for speechifying; but in humility of mind, we shall speak often one to another of our individual experiences in our daily life, and shall present the precious things we have found in the word of God by digging for it as for hidden treasure. We shall work in simplicity, and shall pray much, that as sharp sickles our prayers may follow God's delegated sewers and reapers as they go forth into the harvest-field." RH JAN.08,1895
Every church, be it large or small, should be taught not to depend on ministerial labour.