Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8


The Need of Broader Plans

How many towns and cities there are that are utterly neglected. Our people are injuring themselves by crowding into one place. When trees in a nursery are crowded thickly together, they cannot grow healthfully and sturdily. Transplant trees from your thickly planted nursery. God is not glorified in the centering of so many advantages in one place. Give room; put your plants in many places, where one will not lean for support upon another. Give them room to grow. This the Lord demands of you. 8T 147.1

The means expended in enlarging your advantages in Battle Creek, which are already overgrown and have passed reasonable limits, should be used in establishing missionary stations elsewhere. You should broaden your plans and widen the field of your operations. You should send wise men into the cities and towns that have not yet heard the gospel message. Pick out the best men you can possibly spare, and give them opportunity to become caretakers and burden bearers. Let them have opportunity to develop the talents that in the past have lain idle. Place them where they can use their God-given abilities in calling sinners to repentance. Let men who make it manifest that they love God have a chance to do something for Him. 8T 147.2

Let men learn to pray earnestly, and let them make their prayers short and right to the point. Let them learn to speak of the world's Redeemer and to lift up the Man of Calvary higher and still higher. 8T 147.3

All the preaching in the world will not make men feel deeply the need of the perishing souls around them. Nothing will so arouse in men and women a self-sacrificing zeal as to send them forth into new fields to work for those in darkness. Prepare workers to go out into the highways and hedges. Do not call men and women to the great center, encouraging them to leave churches that need their aid. Men must learn to bear responsibilities. Not one in a hundred among us is doing anything beyond engaging in common, worldly enterprises. We are not half awake to the worth of the souls for whom Christ died. 8T 147.4

We need wise nurserymen, who will transplant trees to different localities and give them advantages that will enable them to grow. It is the positive duty of God's people to go into the regions beyond. Let forces be set at work to clear new ground, to establish new centers of influence wherever an opening can be found. Rally workers who possess true missionary zeal, and let them go forth to diffuse light and knowledge far and near. Let them take the living principles of health reform into the communities that to a large degree are ignorant of these principles. Let classes be formed, and instruction be given regarding the treatment of disease. 8T 148.1

It is a fact that through the influence of the sanitarium the truth of heaven has come to the notice of thousands. Yet there is a work to be done that has been neglected. Money has been expended in enlarging facilities in Battle Creek, when the Lord desires the leaven to be introduced into the mass of meal, that the whole may be leavened. Instead of building after building being added to the sanitarium, there should be at this time many institutions fully equipped and in working order in other places. 8T 148.2

There are men who have been long connected with the sanitarium who will always be shadows of someone else, if they are retained there, when, if they were permitted to rely upon their own judgment, they would become deep, self-reliant thinkers, capable of giving wise counsel. Let these men have a chance to learn to bear responsibilities in the strength of God. Thus they will gain an experience that will enable them to impart the truth to others. 8T 148.3

But instead of men being sent from Battle Creek, as God has directed in the pointed testimonies that have been given, thousands of dollars have been devoted to enlarging the institutions and increasing the facilities in Battle Creek. And the call comes from Battle Creek for more conveniences and more workers. But there must be a change. 8T 149.1

We are encouraged as we see the work that is being done in Chicago and a few other places. Years ago the large responsibilities centering in Battle Creek should have been distributed. You may look with satisfaction at the widespreading growth of the sanitarium at Battle Creek, but God does not look upon it with the same approval that you do. If institutions had been built up in other places, if men had been given responsibilities to bear, there would have been far more strength, far more efficiency in our work, and we should have moved more nearly in accordance with the mind and will of God than we have. As it is, a few men are carrying heavy responsibilities. A few wield an influence that has a controlling power in the management of the work far and near, while there are many who carry no burdens. 8T 149.2

Many of those carrying heavy responsibilities need to be converted. Christ says to them as He said to Nicodemus: “Ye must be born again.” “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:7, 3. Many are controlled by an unchristian spirit. They have not yet learned in the school of Christ His meekness and lowliness, and unless they change, they will yield to Satan's temptations. Year after year they carry sacred responsibilities, yet prove themselves incapable of distinguishing between the sacred and the common. How long shall such men continue to wield a controlling influence? How long shall their word be permitted to exalt or to cast down, to condemn or to lift up? How long shall they hold such power that no one dare make a change in their methods? 8T 149.3