Gospel Workers (1915 ed.)


Young Ministers to Labor with Older Ministers

In gaining a preparation for the ministry, young men should be associated with older ministers. Those who have gained an experience in active service are to take young, inexperienced workers with them into the harvest-field, teaching them how to labor successfully for the conversion of souls. Kindly and affectionately these older workers are to help the younger ones to prepare for the work to which the Lord may call them. And the young men in training should respect the counsel of their instructors, honoring their devotion, and remembering that their years of labor have given them wisdom. GW 101.1

Wise counsel for church and conference officers is given by Peter in the following words: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” [1 Peter 5:2-5.] GW 101.2

Let the older workers be educators, keeping themselves under the discipline of God. Let the young men feel it a privilege to study under older workers, and let them carry every burden that their youth and experience will allow. Thus Elijah educated the youth of Israel in the schools of the prophets; and young men today are to have a similar training. It is not possible to advise in every particular the part that the youth should act; but they should be faithfully instructed by the older workers, and taught to look ever to Him who is the author and finisher of our faith. GW 101.3

The apostle Paul saw the importance of training younger workers. After making a missionary tour, he and Barnabas retraced their steps, and visited the churches they had raised up, choosing men whom they could unite with them, to train for the work of proclaiming the gospel. GW 102.1

Paul made it a part of his work to educate young men for the gospel ministry. He took them with him on his missionary journeys, and thus they gained an experience that later enabled them to fill positions of responsibility. When separated from them, he still kept in touch with their work, and his letters to Timothy and Titus are an evidence of how deep was his desire for their success. “The things that thou hast heard,” he wrote, “commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” [2 Timothy 2:2.] GW 102.2

This feature of Paul's work teaches an important lesson to ministers today. Experienced laborers do a noble work when, instead of trying to carry all the burdens themselves, they train younger men, and place burdens on their shoulders. It is God's desire that those who have gained an experience in His cause, shall train young men for His service. GW 102.3

The younger worker must not become so wrapped up in the ideas and opinions of the one in whose charge he is placed, that he will forfeit his individuality. He must not lose his identity in the one who is instructing him, so that he dare not exercise his own judgment, but does what he is told, irrespective of his own understanding of what is right and wrong. It is his privilege to learn for himself of the great Teacher. If the one with whom he is working pursues a course which is not in harmony with a “Thus saith the Lord,” let him not go to some outside party, but let him go to his superior in office, and lay the matter before him, freely expressing his mind. Thus the learner may be a blessing to the teacher. He must faithfully discharge his duty. God will not hold him guiltless if he connives at a wrong course of action, however great may be the influence or responsibility of the one taking the wrong course. GW 102.4

Young men will be bidden to link up with the aged standard-bearers, that they may be strengthened and taught by these faithful ones, who have passed through so many conflicts, and to whom, through the testimonies of His Spirit, God has so often spoken, pointing out the right way and condemning the wrong. When perils arise which try the faith of God's people, these pioneer workers are to recount the experiences of the past, when in just such crises the truth was questioned, and strange sentiments, proceeding not from God, were brought in. Today Satan is seeking opportunities to tear down the waymarks of truth,—the monuments that have been raised up along the way; and we need the experience of the aged workers who have built their house upon the solid rock, who through evil report as well as good report have been steadfast to the truth. GW 103.1