Gospel Workers 1915

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Conference Presidents

[From a sermon delivered at the General Conference of 1883.]

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. GW 413.1

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. GW 413.2

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, then they would be a great blessing to the church. GW 414.1

Thus the Lord Jesus is still dealing with men. Some who are 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.... GW 414.2