Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7


Chapter 50—The Work of the Ministry

Many fields ripe for the harvest have not yet been entered because of our lack of self-sacrificing helpers. These fields must be entered, and many laborers should go to them with the expectation of bearing their own expenses. But some of our ministers are little disposed to take upon them the burden of this work, little disposed to labor with the wholehearted benevolence that characterized the life of our Lord. 7T 254.1

God is grieved as He sees the lack of self-denial and perseverance in His servants. Angels are amazed at the spectacle. Let workers for Christ study His life of self-sacrifice. He is our example. Can the ministers of today expect to be called on to endure less hardship than did the early Christians, the Waldenses, and reformers in every age in their efforts to carry the gospel to every land? 7T 254.2

God has entrusted to His ministers the work of proclaiming His last message of mercy to the world. He is displeased with those who do not throw their whole energies into this all-important work. Unfaithfulness on the part of the appointed watchmen on the walls of Zion endangers the cause of truth and exposes it to the ridicule of the enemy. It is time for our ministers to understand the responsibility and sacredness of their mission. There is a woe upon them, if they fail of performing the work which they themselves acknowledge that God has placed in their hands. 7T 254.3

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 businessmen? The ministers have not been set apart to do this work. The finances of the cause are to be properly managed by men of ability, but ministers are set apart for another line of work. Let the management of financial matters rest on others than those ordained to the ministry. 7T 254.4

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 fulfill the gospel commission. God looks upon this as a dishonor to His name. 7T 255.1

The Lord's great vineyard demands from His servants that which it has not yet received—earnest, persevering labor for souls. The ministry is becoming weak and enfeebled, and under its tame service the churches also are becoming weak. As the result of their labors the ministers have but little to show in the conversion of souls. The truth is not carried into the barren places of the earth. These things are depriving God of the glory that belongs to Him. He calls for workers who will be producers as well as consumers. 7T 255.2

The world is to be warned. Ministers should work earnestly and devotedly, opening new fields and engaging in personal labor for souls, instead of hovering over the churches that already have great light and many advantages. 7T 255.3