Christian Leadership


Majoring in Minors

Counsel to a Leader—I knew that you never should have gone to Europe alone, for this reason: you devote much time to little particulars, and the work that you can do which others cannot do you neglect. You are so very particular to have everything done in a certain way, and are so determined in the matter, that it is next to impossible for anyone to work with you. If help should be sent to England, you would keep them doing unimportant things in the place of taking them into your heart and teaching them to be useful, so that you could go out in broader fields. There is much of self in this.... ChL 68.1

Who will be sent to help you we cannot say, but I will say that whoever may labor in connection with you, they will have severe trials to bear for they will feel the want of that confidence and sympathy they have a right to expect of you. You will let coldness, formality, and reserve be too distinctly seen and felt. This will hurt them, but you will hurt yourself far more. ChL 68.2

You have, I have been shown, neglected large responsibilities, while you bring your mind to embrace small matters which others could and should do equally as well as yourself. But the loss of a few pennies in any enterprise seems to you so large and would grieve you so sorely, that you feel that you must have everything under your inspection; therefore much good and great work is neglected for things of minor consequence. You should have been engaged in broader plans and the execution of them, keenly observant of any talent or influence that you could obtain to bring into service.—Letter 40, 1879, pp. 1, 5. ChL 68.3

Example To Be Corrector of Little Things—You make a great account of small things, while things of the utmost importance you have treated with indifference because every objection was not removed from your mind; and you have unwisely awakened unbelief in the minds of others who have had confidence in you. You have interested yourself in things of minor importance in others, noticed articles of dress, little acts, words, and such things which should not call forth reproof or remarks from you. ChL 68.4

Your holy example will be the greatest corrector of these things. You have noticed these little things and spent many words upon them and have suffered yourself to become irritated over them. Even if the ones you reproved sinned, your sin was greater by arbitrarily bearing down upon them for these small matters when in many things you were more faulty than they.—Letter 5, 1864, p. 2 (February 22, 1864, to Brother Hutchens). ChL 69.1

Making a World out of an Atom—O how many might do a noble work in self-denial and self-sacrifice, who are absorbed in the little things of life! They are blind and cannot see afar off. They make a world of an atom and an atom of a world. They have become shallow streams, because they do not impart to others the water of life.—Evangelism, 215. ChL 69.2

Minor Matters Made Major—Some had been bringing in false tests, and had made their own ideas and notions a criterion, magnifying matters of little importance into tests of Christian fellowship, and binding heavy burdens upon others. Thus a spirit of criticism, fault-finding, and dissension had come in, which had been a great injury to the church. And the impression was given to unbelievers that Sabbathkeeping Adventists were a set of fanatics and extremists, and that their peculiar faith rendered them unkind, uncourteous, and really unchristian in character. Thus the course of a few extremists prevented the influence of the truth from reaching the people.—Evangelism, 215. ChL 69.3