Gospel Workers (1892/1893 ed.)


Their Qualifications

The Lord has been pleased to present before me many things in regard to the calling and labor of our ministers, especially those who have been appointed as presidents of Conferences. Great care should be exercised in the selection of men for these positions of trust. There should be earnest prayer for divine enlightenment. Those who are thus appointed as overseers of the flock should be men of good repute, men who give evidence that they have not only a knowledge of the Scriptures, but an experience in faith, in patience, that in meekness they may instruct those who oppose the truth. They should be men of thorough integrity; not novices, but intelligent students of the word, able to teach others also, bringing from the treasure-house things new and old,—men who in character, in words, in deportment, will be an honor to the cause of Christ, teaching the truth, living the truth, growing up to the full stature in Christ Jesus. This means the development and strengthening of every faculty by exercise, that the workers may become qualified to bear larger responsibilities as the work increases. GW92 232.1

The Lord Jesus connected Judas and Peter with himself, not because they were defective in character, but notwithstanding their defects. He would give them an opportunity to learn in his school, meekness and lowliness of heart, that they might become co-laborers with him. And if they would improve these opportunities, if they would be willing to learn, willing to see their deficiencies, and in the light of a pure example to become all that Christ would have them to be, then they would be a great blessing to the church. Thus the Lord Jesus is still dealing with men. Some who are still imperfect in character, are connected with solemn, sacred interests; and when chosen for a special work, they should not feel that their own wisdom is sufficient, that they need not be counseled, reproved, and instructed. Brethren, if you feel thus, you will separate from the Source of your strength, and will be in peril; you may be left to your own supposed sufficiency to do as Judas did,—betray your Lord. GW92 232.2

The grace of Christ must be an abiding principle in the heart and be exemplified in the life. Self will then be laid at the foot of the cross, and Christ will be accepted as all and in all. There will be no inclination to exalt self, but Christ will be revealed as “the chiefest among ten thousand,” the One “altogether lovely.” [Song of Solomon 5:10, 16.] There are great possibilities open to every sincere worker, if all the powers of mind and body are consecrated to God, to do his will, and not to serve self. The very thoughts are to be brought into subjection to the will of Christ. Then the affections will be refined and ennobled; those who carry the burden of the work will not be impure in thought or word or act, neither will they be light and trifling. All frivolity, all cheapness of conversation, all jesting and joking, weakens the soul, and weans the heart from prayer. Like Paul, the true followers of Christ will ever bear about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus; they cannot keep in mind the sufferings of Christ for them, and yet be light and trifling. They will manifest a true, Christ-like dignity and holy solemnity; yet there will be no Phariseeism. There will be cheerful faith and courage in the Lord; for they trust the keeping of their souls unto God as to a faithful Creator. The Sun of Righteousness shines upon them in bright beams, and they keep their souls in the sunshine, and not in the shadow. They talk light, and not darkness. They do not lead souls to forget God, but keep the mind refreshed by speaking of his goodness, his love, and his power. GW92 233.1