Gospel Order

 

Ministers and Business Matters

 

I have been instructed in regard to the importance of our MINISTERS’ KEEPING FREE FROM RESPONSIBILITIES THAT SHOULD BE LARGELY BORNE BY BUSINESS MEN. In the night season I was in an assembly consisting of a number of our BRETHREN WHO BEAR THE BURDEN OF THE WORK. THEY WERE DEEPLY PERPLEXED OVER FINANCIAL AFFAIRS, AND WERE CONSULTING AS TO HOW THE WORK COULD BE MANAGED MOST SUCCESSFULLY. Some thought that the number of workers might be limited, and yet all the results essential be realized. One of the brethren occupying a position of responsibility was explaining his plans, and stating what he desired to see accomplished. Several others presented matters for consideration. Then One of dignity and authority arose, and proceeded to state principles for our guidance. To several ministers the Speaker said:  {GW 422.1}

 

“Your work is not the management of financial matters. It is not wise for you to undertake this. God has burdens for you to bear, but if you carry lines of work for which you are not adapted, YOUR EFFORTS IN PRESENTING THE WORD WILL PROVE UNSUCCESSFUL. This will bring upon you discouragement that WILL DISQUALIFY YOU FOR THE VERY WORK YOU SHOULD DO,–a work requiring careful discrimination and sound, unselfish judgment.”  {GW 422.2}

 

THOSE WHO ARE EMPLOYED TO WRITE AND TO SPEAK THE WORD SHOULD ATTEND FEWER COMMITTEE MEETINGS. THEY SHOULD ENTRUST MANY MINOR MATTERS TO MEN OF BUSINESS ABILITY, AND THUS AVOID BEING KEPT ON A CONSTANT STRAIN THAT ROBS THE MIND OF ITS NATURAL VIGOR. They should give far more attention to the preservation of physical health; for vigor of mind depends largely upon vigor of body. Proper periods of sleep and rest and an abundance of physical exercise are essential to health of body and mind. To rob nature of her hours for rest and recuperation, by allowing one man to do the work of four, or of three, or even of two, will result in irreparable loss.  {GW 422.3}

 

Education in Business Lines

 

Those who think that a man’s fitness for a certain position qualifies him to FILL SEVERAL OTHER POSITIONS, ARE LIABLE TO MAKE MISTAKES WHEN PLANNING FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE WORK. They are liable to place upon one the cares and burdens that should be divided among several.  {GW 423.1}

 

Experience is of great value. The Lord desires to have men of intelligence connected with His work, men qualified for various positions of trust in our conferences and institutions. ESPECIALLY ARE CONSECRATED BUSINESS MEN NEEDED, MEN WHO WILL CARRY THE PRINCIPLES OF TRUTH INTO EVERY BUSINESS TRANSACTION. THOSE PLACED IN CHARGE OF FINANCIAL AFFAIRS SHOULD NOT ASSUME OTHER BURDENS, BURDENS THAT THEY ARE INCAPABLE OF BEARING; NOR IS THE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT TO BE ENTRUSTED TO INCOMPETENT MEN. Those in charge of the work have erred sometimes in permitting the appointment of men devoid of tact and ability to manage important financial interests.  {GW 423.2}

 

Men of promise in business lines should develop and perfect their talents by most thorough study and training. They should be encouraged to place themselves where, as students, they can rapidly gain a knowledge of right business principles and methods. NOT ONE BUSINESS MAN NOW CONNECTED WITH THE CAUSE NEEDS TO BE A NOVICE. If men in any line of work ought to improve their opportunities to become wise and efficient, it is those who are using their ability in the work of building up the kingdom of God in our world. In view of the fact that we are living so near the close of this earth’s history, there should be greater thoroughness in labor, more vigilant waiting, watching, praying, and working. The human agent should strive to attain perfection, that he may be an ideal Christian, complete in Christ Jesus.  {GW 423.3}

 

Right Principles Essential

 

Those who labor in business lines should take every precaution against falling into error through wrong principles or methods. Their record may be like that of Daniel in the courts of Babylon. WHEN ALL HIS BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS WERE SUBJECTED TO THE CLOSEST SCRUTINY, NOT ONE FAULTY ITEM COULD BE FOUND. The record of his business life, incomplete though it is, contains lessons worthy of study. It reveals the fact that a business man is not necessarily a scheming, policy man. He may be a man instructed of God at every step. Daniel, while prime minister of the kingdom of Babylon, was a prophet of God, receiving the light of heavenly inspiration. His life is an illustration of what every Christian business man may be.   {GW 424.1}

 

[Work of Administrator]

 

AT THIS TIME GOD’S CAUSE IS IN NEED OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO POSSESS RARE QUALIFICATIONS AND GOOD ADMINISTRATIVE POWERS; MEN AND WOMEN WHO WILL MAKE PATIENT, THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THE NEEDS OF THE WORK IN VARIOUS FIELDS; THOSE WHO HAVE A LARGE CAPACITY FOR WORK; THOSE WHO POSSESS WARM, KIND HEARTS, COOL HEADS, SOUND SENSE, AND UNBIASED JUDGMENT; THOSE WHO ARE SANCTIFIED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AND CAN FEARLESSLY SAY NO, OR YEA AND AMEN, TO PROPOSITIONS; THOSE WHO HAVE STRONG CONVICTIONS, CLEAR UNDERSTANDING, AND PURE, SYMPATHETIC HEARTS; THOSE WHO PRACTICE THE WORDS, “All ye are brethren;” [Matthew 23:8.] those who strive to uplift and restore fallen humanity.–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. VII, pages 246-249. {GW 424.2}

 

[Work of Ministers]

 

NOT A FEW MINISTERS ARE NEGLECTING THE VERY WORK THAT THEY HAVE BEEN APPOINTED TO DO. WHY ARE THOSE WHO ARE SET APART FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY PLACED ON COMMITTEES AND BOARDS? WHY ARE THEY CALLED UPON TO ATTEND SO MANY BUSINESS MEETINGS, MANY TIMES AT GREAT DISTANCE FROM THEIR FIELDS OF LABOR? WHY ARE NOT BUSINESS MATTERS PLACED IN THE HANDS OF BUSINESS MEN? THE MINISTERS HAVE NOT BEEN SET APART TO DO THIS WORK. THE FINANCES OF THE CAUSE ARE TO BE MANAGED BY MEN OF ABILITY; BUT MINISTERS ARE SET APART FOR ANOTHER LINE OF WORK. . . .  {GW 425.1}

 

MINISTERS ARE NOT TO BE CALLED HITHER AND THITHER TO ATTEND BOARD MEETINGS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DECIDING COMMON BUSINESS QUESTIONS. MANY OF OUR MINISTERS HAVE DONE THIS WORK IN THE PAST, BUT IT IS NOT THE WORK IN WHICH THE LORD WISHES THEM TO ENGAGE. TOO MANY FINANCIAL BURDENS HAVE BEEN PLACED ON THEM. WHEN THEY TRY TO CARRY THESE BURDENS, THEY NEGLECT TO FULFIL THE GOSPEL COMMISSION. GOD LOOKS UPON THIS AS A DISHONOR TO HIS NAME.–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. VII, pages 254, 255. [426]  {GW 425.2}

 

Care for Workers

 

Some provision should be made for the care of ministers and others of God’s faithful servants who through exposure or overwork in His cause have become ill and need rest and restoration, or who through age or loss of health are no longer able to bear the burden and heat of the day. Ministers are often appointed to a field of labor that they know will be detrimental to their health; but, unwilling to shun trying places, they venture, hoping to be a help and blessing to the people. After a time they find their health failing. A change of climate and of work is tried, without bringing relief; and then what are they to do?  {GW 426.1}

 

These faithful laborers, who for Christ’s sake have given up worldly prospects, choosing poverty rather than pleasure or riches; who, forgetful of self, have labored earnestly to win souls to Christ; who have given liberally to advance various enterprises in the cause of God, and HAVE THEN SUNK DOWN IN THE BATTLE, WEARIED AND ILL, AND WITH NO MEANS OF SUPPORT, MUST NOT BE LEFT TO STRUGGLE ON IN POVERTY AND SUFFERING, OR TO FEEL THAT THEY ARE PAUPERS. WHEN SICKNESS OR INFIRMITY COMES UPON THEM, LET NOT OUR WORKERS BE BURDENED WITH THE ANXIOUS QUERY, “WHAT WILL BECOME OF MY WIFE AND LITTLE ONES, NOW THAT I CAN NO LONGER LABOR AND SUPPLY THEIR NECESSITIES?” IT IS BUT JUST THAT PROVISION BE MADE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THESE FAITHFUL LABORERS, AND THE NEEDS OF THOSE WHO ARE DEPENDENT ON THEM.  {GW 426.2}

 

Generous provision is made for veterans who have fought for their country. These men bear the scars and life-long infirmities that tell of their perilous conflicts, their forced marches, their exposure to storms, their suffering in prison. All these evidences of their loyalty and self-sacrifice give them a just claim upon the nation they have helped to save,–a claim that is recognized and honored. BUT WHAT PROVISION HAVE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS MADE FOR THE SOLDIERS OF CHRIST?  {GW 427.1}

 

Our people have not felt as they should the necessity of this matter, and it has therefore been neglected. The churches have been thoughtless, and though the light of the word of God has been shining upon their pathway, they have neglected this most sacred duty. THE LORD IS GREATLY DISPLEASED WITH THIS NEGLECT OF HIS FAITHFUL SERVANTS. OUR PEOPLE SHOULD BE AS WILLING TO ASSIST THESE PERSONS WHEN IN ADVERSE CIRCUMSTANCES AS THEY HAVE BEEN TO ACCEPT THEIR MEANS AND SERVICES WHEN IN HEALTH.  {GW 427.2}

 

God has laid upon us the obligation of giving special attention to the poor among us. But these ministers and workers are not to be ranked with the poor. They have laid up for themselves a treasure in the heavens that faileth not. They have served the conference in its necessity, and now the conference is to serve them.  {GW 427.3}

 

When cases of this kind come before us, we are not to pass by on the other side. We are not to say, “Be ye warmed and filled,” [James 2:16.] and then take no active measures to supply their necessities. This has been done in the past, and thus in some cases Seventh-day Adventists have dishonored their profession of faith, and have given the world opportunity to reproach the cause of God.  {GW 427.4}

 

IT IS NOW THE DUTY OF GOD’S PEOPLE TO ROLL BACK THIS REPROACH BY PROVIDING THESE SERVANTS OF GOD WITH COMFORTABLE HOMES, WITH A FEW ACRES OF LAND, ON WHICH THEY CAN RAISE THEIR OWN PRODUCE, AND FEEL THAT THEY ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON THE CHARITIES OF THEIR BRETHREN. WITH WHAT PLEASURE AND PEACE WOULD THESE WORN LABORERS LOOK TO A QUIET LITTLE HOME WHERE THEIR JUST CLAIMS TO ITS REST WOULD BE RECOGNIZED! . . .  {GW 428.1}

 

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