Welfare Ministry


Chapter 40—The Influence of Neighborhood Ministry

Let the World See—Let the world see that we are not selfishly narrowed up to our own exclusive interests and religious joys, but that we are liberal, and desire them to share our blessings and privileges, through the sanctification of the truth. Let them see that the religion which we profess does not close up or freeze over the avenues to the soul, making us unsympathizing and exacting. Let all who profess to have found Christ, minister as He did to the benefit of man, cherishing a spirit of wise benevolence. We shall then see many souls following the light that shines from our precept and example.—Testimonies for the Church 4:59. WM 295.1

Christian Help Work Is More Effectual Than Preaching—The good works of the children of God are the most effectual preaching the unbeliever has.—Spiritual Gifts 2:235. WM 295.2

Let them do Christian help work, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. This will have a far stronger influence for good than the preaching of sermons.—Testimonies for the Church 7:227, 228. WM 296.1

Our ideas of Christian benevolence must be worked out if we would have them enlarged. Practical work will accomplish far more than sermons.—Testimonies for the Church 6:302. WM 296.2

Influence of the Life of Christian Service—The Christian's life will testify that he is governed by other laws than those which the world obeys—laws of a higher order than those that control the lovers of the world. The will of God, our Creator, is to be made manifest in us, not only in the name we bear, but in our life of self-denial. We are to give evidence that we are influenced and controlled by unselfish principles. All our purposes and pursuits should stand in distinct contrast to the selfishness of the world. WM 296.3

Oneness with Christ enables men to wield an influence far above that of the renowned of this world. While copying the example of Christ, they have, with His grace, power to benefit the church and the community. Their influence is felt just in proportion to the distinctness of the line of demarcation which separates them in spirit and principle from the world. WM 296.4

As union is strength, the Source of all power, of all goodness, mercy, and love, takes finite, human beings into copartnership with Himself for the purpose of imparting His divine power to human agencies, to diffuse His influence and extend it far and near. When one is allied to Christ, a partaker of the divine nature, his interest is identified with that of all suffering humanity. As we look aright to the cross of Calvary, every nerve of heart and brain will thrill in sympathy for the human misery in all parts of our world. Those who are created anew in Christ Jesus will realize the wretchedness of sin and the divine compassion of Christ in His infinite sacrifice for fallen man. Communion with Christ imparts to them tenderness of heart; there will be sympathy in their looks, in the tones of the voice; and earnestness of solicitude, love, and energy, in their efforts, which will make them powerful through God in winning souls to Christ.—The Medical Missionary, June, 1891. WM 296.5

The Hallowed Influence of Benevolent Acts—If the world had before them the example that God demands those who believe in Him to set, they would work the works of Christ. If Jesus were set forth, crucified among us, if we viewed the cross of Calvary in the light of God's Word, we would be one with Christ as He was one with the Father. Our faith would be altogether different from the faith now shown. It would be a faith that works by love to God and to our fellow men, and purifies the soul. If this faith were shown by God's people, many more would believe on Christ. A hallowed influence would be exerted by the benevolent actions of God's servants, and they would shine as lights in the world.—Special Testimonies, series A 10:2. WM 297.1

Mightier Than the Sword or Courts of Justice—The love of God in the heart, manifested in true, unselfish missionary labor, will be more mighty than the sword or courts of justice in dealing with the evildoer. The living missionary, with his heart overflowing with the love of God, can break down the barriers. The medical missionary, taking up his appointed work, cannot only relieve bodily maladies, but through the love and grace of Christ can heal the diseased soul, leprous with sin. The hearts of men will often harden under rebuke, but they cannot withstand the love expressed toward them in Christ.—Manuscript 60, 1897. WM 297.2

Loving Ministry Will Allay Prejudice—The glory of heaven is in lifting up the fallen, comforting the distressed. And wherever Christ abides in human hearts He will be revealed in the same way. Wherever it acts the religion of Christ will bless. Wherever it works there is brightness.... WM 298.1

Whatever the difference in religious belief, a call from suffering humanity must be heard and answered. Where bitterness of feeling exists because of difference in religion, much good may be done by personal service. Loving ministry will break down prejudice and win souls to God.—Christ's Object Lessons, 386. WM 298.2

We Must Disarm Prejudice—The followers of Christ, as they approach the time of trouble, [should] make every exertion to place themselves in a proper light before the people, to disarm prejudice.—The Great Controversy, 616. WM 298.3

As a means of overcoming prejudice and gaining access to minds medical missionary work must be done.... We are to work as gospel medical missionaries to heal the sin-sick souls by giving them the message of salvation. This work will break down prejudice as nothing else can.—Testimonies for the Church 9:211. WM 298.4

The Witness of the Virtuous, Unselfish Life—The good works of God's people have a more powerful influence than words. By their virtuous life and unselfish acts the beholder is led to desire the same righteousness which produced so good fruit.—The Review and Herald, May 5, 1885. WM 298.5

Deeds Greater Than Creeds—Divine truth exerts little influence upon the world, when it should exert much influence through our practice. The mere profession of religion abounds, but it has little weight. We may claim to be followers of Christ, we may claim to believe every truth in the Word of God; but this will do our neighbor no good unless our belief is carried into our daily life. Our profession may be as high as heaven, but it will save neither ourselves nor our fellow men unless we are Christians. A right example will do more to benefit the world than all our profession.—Christ's Object Lessons, 383. WM 299.1

Influences Emanating From a Loving Home—Those who cultivate love in the home life will form characters after Christ's likeness, and they will be constrained to exert a helpful influence beyond the family circle, in order that they may bless others by kind, thoughtful ministrations, by pleasant words, by Christlike sympathy, by acts of benevolence. They will be quick to discern those who have hungry hearts, and will make a feast for those who are needy and afflicted. Those who have heavenly discernment, who exercise tender regard for every member of the family, will, in doing their whole duty, fit themselves to do a work that will brighten other homes and will teach others by precept and example what it is that will make home happy.—The Review and Herald, October 15, 1895. WM 299.2

Examples of Influence—By their wisdom and justice, by the purity and benevolence of their daily life, by their devotion to the interests of the people—and they, idolaters—Joseph and Daniel proved themselves true to the principles of their early training, true to Him whose representatives they were. These men, both in Egypt and in Babylon, the whole nation honored; and in them a heathen people, and all the nations with which they were connected, beheld an illustration of the goodness and beneficence of God, an illustration of the love of Christ. WM 299.3

What a lifework was that of these noble Hebrews! As they bade farewell to their childhood's home, how little did they dream of their high destiny! Faithful and steadfast, they yielded themselves to the divine guiding, so that through them God could fulfill His purpose. WM 300.1

The same mighty truths that were revealed through these men, God desires to reveal through the youth and the children of today. The history of Joseph and Daniel is an illustration of what He will do for those who yield themselves to Him and with the whole heart seek to accomplish His purpose. WM 300.2

The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.—Education, 56, 57. WM 300.3