Principles for Christian Leaders


Principles for Christian Leaders


The great enterprise called the church is God’s primary vehicle for giving the lost the great gospel message of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. Much more than a mere assemblage of beautiful buildings or like-minded individuals, it is God’s agency for the proclamation of truth and the sharing of Christ’s love with the world. Ellen White captured it well when she wrote, “A church, separate and distinct from the world, is in the estimation of heaven the greatest object in all the earth” (Letter 26, 1900). PCL 15.1

Over the centuries, the gospel has been spread to humanity by faithful witnesses in every corner of the globe. Since its humble beginnings in the 1840s, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has embraced God’s prophetic call to proclaim the eternal gospel of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 to the world; a solemn responsibility of love and concern that is unique in Christendom. This sacred mission has challenged members and leaders alike. In the early days of the movement, pioneers struggled to raise means and methods to spread the message. Primitive printing presses and itinerant ministers were the order of the day, but better times lay ahead. PCL 15.2

In the 1860s, internal and external pressures, together with expanding lines of ministry, led to the first major organization of the Adventist Church. It also originated its name and general structure. Numeric, geographic, and institutional expansion forced an extensive reorganization between 1901 and 1903. Those were perilous moments for the maturing Adventist Church, but God was guiding His church and its leaders by means of the biblical principles revealed through the prophetic writings and insights of Ellen White. PCL 15.3

Ellen White’s counsel to Christian leaders runs the gamut of experience and practice. She was concerned about the leader’s character, family, commitment, and competence. She wrote cogently about sound management and the perils of emulating worldly business practices. Her vision of the church’s mission was international in scope, yet local in implementation. She wrote to presidents and pastors, managers and supervisors— always calling leaders to God’s standard of faithfulness and order as His remnant church. PCL 16.1

The volume you are about to read contains some passages that avid readers of Ellen White have seen before, but never has there been such a comprehensive distillation of the counsels and principles by which God sought to grow and guide the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Dates have been provided for each quotation, assisting the reader in placing the counsel in its historical context for proper application. It is our hope that Principles for Christian Leaders will strengthen the work of those seeking to advance the day when Christ shall come to take His ransomed home. PCL 16.2

Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.

Silver Spring, Maryland

January 22, 2018