Section 19—The Worker and His Qualifications

The Spirit of the Ministry

Travail for Souls—As the shepherd is to go after the lost sheep, he is not to have merely a casual interest, but an earnest travail for souls. This calls for most earnest heart searching, most earnest prayerful seeking for God, in order that we may know Him and the power of His grace, “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”—Letter 8, 1895. Ev 628.1

Compassion for the Unsaved—But how few of us regard the salvation of sinners in the light in which it is viewed by the heavenly universe,—as a plan devised from eternity in the mind of God! How few of us are heart to heart with the Redeemer in this solemn, closing work! There is scarcely a tithe of the compassion that there should be for souls unsaved. There are so many to be warned, and yet how few sympathize with God sufficiently to be anything or nothing if only they can see souls won to Christ!—Gospel Workers, 116 (1915). Ev 628.2

Consecration, Love, and Self-Sacrifice—The worker for God should put forth the highest mental and moral energies with which nature, cultivation, and the grace of God have endowed him; but his success will be proportionate to the degree of consecration and self-sacrifice in which his work is done, rather than to either natural or acquired endowments.... Divine grace is the great element of saving power; without it all human effort is unavailing.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 537, 538 (1913). Ev 628.3

Love and Compassion—The Lord wants men to forget themselves in the effort to save souls. Our life is worse than a failure if we go through life without leaving waymarks of love and compassion. God will not work with a harsh, stubborn, loveless man. Such a man spoils the pattern that Christ desires His workers to reveal to the world. God's workers, in whatever line of service they are engaged, are to bring into their efforts the goodness and benevolence and love of Christ. Ev 629.1

God calls for light bearers who will fill the world with the light and peace and joy that come from Christ. God will use humble men, men who will cherish a sense of their weakness, who will not think that the work of God depends on them. Such men will remember what the service of God demands from them—the propriety of speech and action that God calls for. They will reveal that Christ dwells in the heart, imparting purity to the whole being.—Letter 197, 1902. Ev 629.2

The Simplicity of Children—Let us work with all our capabilities, seeking to make the truth for this time plain to those who do not understand it. The blessing of the Lord will rest upon every soul who will take hold of His work intelligently.... Ev 629.3

Let us cultivate the simplicity of little children. The precious Bible, the Book of God, is our instructor. To all who will walk humbly with God He will give His Holy Spirit and will minister to them through the agency of holy angels to make right impressions upon human minds.—Manuscript 77, 1909. Ev 629.4

Without Praise—We must do our work purely and faithfully even though there is no one in the world to say, “It is well done.” Our lives must be just what God designs they shall be—faithful in good words, in kind and thoughtful deeds, in the expression of meekness, purity, and love. Thus we represent Christ to the world.... Ev 630.1

The toilworn men, who are now first and foremost in the great work of saving souls, are the ones whom God will honor.—Letter 120, 1898. Ev 630.2

Danger of Flattery—Keep the eye fixed on Christ. Do not fix your attention on some favorite minister, copying his example and imitating his gestures; in short, becoming his shadow. Let no man put his mold upon you.... Ev 630.3

Praise no man; flatter no man; and permit no man to praise or flatter you. Satan will do enough of this work. Lose sight of the instrument, and think of Jesus. Praise the Lord. Give glory to God. Make melody to God in your hearts. Talk of the truth. Talk of the Christian's hope, the Christian's heaven.—Manuscript 8a, 1888. Ev 630.4

Feelings Not Easily Wounded—We should not allow our feelings to be easily wounded. We are to live not to guard our feelings or our reputation, but to save souls. As we become interested in the salvation of souls, we cease to mind the little differences that so often arise in our association with one another. Whatever others may think of us, it need not disturb our oneness with Christ, the fellowship of the Spirit.—The Ministry of Healing, 485 (1905). Ev 630.5

Cheerful and Joyful Spirit—When we have an assurance, which is bright and clear, of our own salvation, we shall exhibit cheerfulness and joyfulness, which becomes every follower of Jesus Christ. The softening, subduing influence of the love of God brought into practical lives will make impressions upon minds that will be a savor of life unto life. But a harsh denunciatory spirit, if manifested, will turn many souls away from the truth into the ranks of the enemy. Solemn thought! To deal patiently with the tempted requires us to battle with self.—Letter 1a, 1894. Ev 630.6

Meek and Lowly in Heart—The value of our work does not consist in making a loud noise in the world, in being zealous, eager, and active in our own strength. The value of our work is in proportion to the impartation of the Holy Spirit. The value of our work comes through trust in God, which brings holier qualities of mind, so that in patience we may possess our souls. We should continually pray to God to increase our strength, to make us strong in His strength, to kindle in our hearts the flame of divine love. The cause of God is best advanced by those who are meek and lowly in heart.—Manuscript 38, 1895. Ev 631.1

God's Work, Not Ours—Now, here is the very thing that we want to understand, that it is not our work but God's work, and we are only instruments in His hands to accomplish it. We want to seek the Lord with all our hearts, and the Lord will work for us.—The Review and Herald, May 10, 1887. Ev 631.2

Sacrifice at Every Step—We are nearing the end of this earth's history, and the different departments of God's work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrifice than has yet been practiced. The work for these last days is a missionary work. Present truth, from the first to the last letter of its alphabet, means missionary effort. The work to be done calls for sacrifice at every step of advance. The workers are to come forth from trial, purified and refined, as gold tried in the fire.—The Review and Herald, November 18, 1902. Ev 631.3

Teaching and Living the Doctrines—God's servants are to use the greatest care in regard to the doctrines they teach, the example they set, and the influence they exert on those associated with them. The great apostle appeals to the church and to God to witness to the truth and the sincerity of his profession. “Ye are witnesses, and God also,” he says, “how holily and justly and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you.”—The Review and Herald, December 11, 1900. Ev 632.1

Avoid Business Entanglements—We are to be workers together with Him. Those who are in His service need to separate from all business entanglements that would tarnish their Christlikeness of character. The fishermen that the Saviour called, straightway left their nets. Those who give themselves to the work of the ministry must not entangle themselves in business lines that will bring a coarseness into their lives and will be a detriment to their spiritual advancement in the work of the Lord has given them to do.—Letter 53, 1905. Ev 632.2

Insincerity Is Fatal—There must be no duplicity, no crookedness, in the life of the worker. While error even when held in sincerity, is dangerous to anyone, insincerity in the truth is fatal.—The Medical Missionary, January, 1891. Ev 632.3

Harsh Spirit Denies Christ—Men may speak fluently upon doctrines, and may express strong faith in theories, but do they possess Christianlike meekness and love? If they reveal a harsh, critical spirit, they are denying Christ. If they are not kind, tenderhearted, long-suffering, they are not like Jesus; they are deceiving their own souls. A spirit contrary to the love, humility, meekness, and gentleness of Christ, denies Him, whatever may be the profession.—The Review and Herald, February 9, 1892. Ev 632.4

Talk Faith and Encouragement—Let us take heed to our words. Let us talk faith, and we shall have faith. Never give place to a thought of discouragement in the work of God. Never utter a word of doubt. It is as seed sown in the heart of both speaker and hearers, to produce a harvest of discouragement and unbelief.—Letter 77, 1895. Ev 633.1

Criticism of Fellow Workers Depresses—It is our privilege to speak words that will encourage our associates and fellow laborers; it is not our privilege to speak works that will depress. It is not wise for us to compare ourselves with other workers, speaking of their failings, and raising objections to their methods of labor. It would be no surprise if those who are laboring under grave responsibilities, and who have many trials to meet, should sometimes make mistakes.... Ev 633.2

Let us become familiar with the good that is being done by our brethren, and talk of that.—Letter 204, 1907. Ev 633.3

Jealousy and Suspicion Produce Disunion—There is nothing that so much retards and cripples the work in its various branches as jealousy and suspicion and evil surmisings. These reveal that disunion prevails among the workers for God. Selfishness is the root of all evil.—Letter 113a, 1897. Ev 633.4

Irreparable Harm to Associate Workers—Let no one be sharp and dictatorial in his dealings with God's workers. Let those who are inclined to censure remember that they have made mistakes as grievous as those they condemn in others. Let them bow in contrition before God, asking His pardon for the sharp speeches they have made and the unguarded spirit they have revealed. Remember that God hears every word you speak, and that as you judge, you will be judged.... Ev 633.5

Shall we not remedy the difficulties that exist by striving to restore the wounded, not by cutting off their limbs, leaving them crippled for life, their usefulness impaired, when they might have been restored?—Manuscript 143, 1902. Ev 634.1

Criticism of Others Weakens Own Work—The plans and methods of God's workers are to be thoroughly sifted from worldly policy. Their work is to be carried forward with Christlike simplicity. Remember that he who takes the position of a criticizer greatly weakens his own hands. God has not made it the duty of men or of women to find fault with their fellow workers.—The Review and Herald, September 2, 1902. Ev 634.2

Satan's Special Temptation—If men desire to place themselves where they can be used by God, they must not criticize others, to make their defects apparent. This is Satan's special temptation, whereby he strives to hinder the work.—Manuscript 152, 1898. Ev 634.3

Self-sufficiency Tears Down the Work—We want men who will strengthen and build up the work, not tear down and seek to destroy that which others are trying to do. We need men and women whom God can work, the fallow ground of whose heart has been broken up. Ev 634.4

We do not need workers who must be supported and carried by those who have long been in the faith, who regard themselves as a perfect whole. To such we would say, “Stay where you are.” We have had enough to do with this class of workers. We want workers who are not steeped in selfishness, those who are not self-sufficient.—Manuscript 173, 1898. Ev 634.5

Complicating Advancement of the Message—The attributes of the enemy of God and man too often find expression in their spirit and attitude toward one another. They hurt one another, because they are not partakers of the divine nature; and thus they work against the perfection of their own character. They bring trouble to themselves, and make the work hard and toilsome, because they regard their spirit and defects of character as precious virtues, to be clung to and fostered.... Ev 635.1

Men make the work of advancing the truth tenfold harder than it really is, by seeking to take God's work out of His hands into their own finite hands. They think they must be constantly inventing something to make men do things which they suppose these persons ought to do. The time thus spent is all the while making the work more complicated; for the great Chief Worker is left out of the question in the care of His own heritage. Men undertake the job of tinkering up the defective character of others, and only succeed in making the defects much worse. They would better leave God to do His own work; for He does not regard them as capable of reshaping character.—The General Conference Bulletin, February 25, 1895. Ev 635.2

Hewn and Polished in Service—Those who are defective in character, in conduct, in habits and practices, are to take heed to counsel and reproof. This world is God's workshop, and every stone that can be used in the heavenly temple, must be hewed and polished, until it is a tried and precious stone, fitted for its place in the Lord's building. But if we refuse to be trained and disciplined, we shall be as stones that will not be hewed and polished, and that are cast aside at last as useless.—The Youth's Instructor, August 31, 1893. Ev 635.3