Elements of Good Leadership - PM, Chapter 23

    E l e m e n t s   o f   g o o d   l e a d e r s h i p   --   publishing   ministry  -  CHAPTER  23       

                                Publishing Ministry  (compiled in 1983)  - -   Chapter  23     ( pages 255 to 264 )

                                                                                                                                            Page on Original website

Publishing Directors to Be Carefully Selected. -- The men placed at the head of departments in our publishing work should be carefully chosen. And just as soon as a man reveals a heartless, unfeeling spirit, he should be dismissed, for he is working against Christ, scattering away from Him. The undershepherds of the flock of God are to keep their own hearts sweet with the love of Christ, opening the windows of the soul heavenward, that the light of heaven may fill its chambers. Then they can reflect light to those with whom they associate, revealing God as the health of the countenance.-- Lt 140, 1901.  {PM 255.1}

 

 

Strong, Godly Leaders -- The man at the head of any work in God's cause is to be a man of intelligence, a man capable of managing large interests successfully, a man of even temper, Christlike forbearance, and perfect self-control. He only whose heart is transformed by the grace of Christ can be a proper leader.-- MM 164.  {PM 255.2}

 

The path of men who are placed as leaders is not an easy one. But they are to see in every difficulty a call to prayer. Never are they to fail of consulting the great Source of all wisdom. Strengthened and enlightened by the Master Worker, they will be enabled to stand firm against unholy influences and to discern right from wrong, good from evil. They will approve that which God approves, and will strive earnestly against the introduction of wrong principles into His cause.-- Prophets and Kings, page 31.  {PM 255.3}

 

 

Leaders Like Nehemiah Needed Today -- There is need of Nehemiahs in the church today -- not men who can pray and preach only, but men whose prayers and sermons are braced with firm and eager purpose. The course pursued by this Hebrew patriot in the accomplishment of his plans is one that should still be adopted by ministers and leading men. When they have laid their plans, they should present them to the church in such a manner as to win their interest and cooperation. Let the people understand the plans and share in the work, and they will have a personal interest in its prosperity. The success attending Nehemiah's efforts shows what prayer, faith, and wise, energetic action will accomplish. Living faith will prompt to energetic action. The spirit manifested by the leader will be, to a great extent, reflected by the people. If the leaders professing to believe the solemn, important truths that are to test the world at this time, manifest no ardent zeal to prepare a people to stand in the day of God, we must expect the church to be careless, indolent, and pleasure-loving.-- ChS 177.  {PM 256.1}

 

When God Calls to Larger Responsibilities -- There are many who are in such haste to climb to distinction that they skip some of the rounds of the ladder, and in so doing lose experience which they must have in order to become intelligent workers. In their zeal, the knowledge of many things looks unimportant to them. They skim over the surface, and do not go deep into the mine of truth, thus by a slow and painstaking process gaining an experience that will enable them to be of special help to others.--CT 476.  {PM 256.2}

   Those who are humble, and who do their work as unto God, may not make so great a show as do those who are full of bustle and self-importance; but their work counts for more. Often those who make a great parade call attention to self, interposing between the people and God, and their work proves a failure. . . .  {PM 256.3}

   If any are qualified for a higher position, the Lord will lay the burden, not alone on them, but on those who have tested them, who know their worth, and who can understandingly urge them forward. It is those who perform faithfully their appointed work day by day, who in God's own time will hear His call, "Come up higher."  {PM 256.4}

   While the shepherds were watching their flocks on the hills of Bethlehem, angels from heaven visited them. So today while the humble worker for God is following his employment, angels of God stand by his side, listening to his words, noting the manner in which his work is done, to see if larger responsibilities may be entrusted to his hands.--MH 477.  {PM 257.1}

 

Common Men May Become Great Men -- The first pupils of Jesus were chosen from the ranks of the common people. They were humble, unlettered men, these fishers of Galilee; men unschooled in the learning and customs of the rabbis, but trained by the stern discipline of toil and hardship. They were men of native ability and of teachable spirit; men who could be instructed and molded for the Saviour's work. In the common walks of life there is many a toiler patiently treading the round of his daily tasks, unconscious of latent powers that, roused to action, would place him among the world's great leaders. Such were the men who were called by the Saviour to be His colaborers. And they had the advantage of three years' training by the greatest educator this world has ever known.-- Education, page 85.  {PM 257.2}

 

 
Spread Out Responsibilities of Leadership -- Too heavy responsibilities are not to be placed on any one man. In the direction of the canvassing work, the Lord will exercise His power and grace through various men in all parts of His vineyard. He will use men of Christian experience, men who are daily growing in grace and in a knowledge of the truth, men who are capable because they are yoked up with Christ.--MS 140, 1902.  {PM 257.3}

  The advice that was given to Moses when he was overburdened with cares and perplexities  [EXODUS 18:17-23.] is of highest value today to those who are in positions of responsibility in God's cause. The counsel given him should be carefully studied by those entrusted with the management of the work in the Lord's vineyard.--MS 140, 1902.  {PM 257.4}

 

 
Accept Idea That Policy May Vary -- No one man or set of men is to have supreme authority to shape and to control the policy of the workers in the entire field, even with respect to the canvassing work; for every section of the country, especially the Southern field, which has been so long neglected, has its peculiar features, and must be worked accordingly.-- MS 140, 1902. {PM 258.1}

 

Right Spirit in Dealing With Human Minds -- There is need of an education in regard to the rights and duties of men in authority who have lorded it over God's heritage. When a man is placed in a position of trust, who knows not what kind of spirit he should exercise in dealing with human minds, he needs to learn the very first principles as to his authority over his fellow men. Right principles must be brought into the heart and wrought into the warp and woof of character.-- Lt 83, 1896.  {PM 258.2}


 

 
Encourage Accurate, Businesslike Service -- Many times I have received instruction that the canvassers who are in the field should receive more encouragement. Our ministers should not be discouraged from engaging in the canvassing work, if for some good reason they desire to acquire means.  {PM 258.3}

  The canvassing work is not to be conducted in a slack, loose manner. Those engaged in work that calls for the handling of money should keep a strict account of every penny received and paid out. The education in accuracy thus gained will fit them for greater usefulness.  {PM 258.4}

  If a canvasser continues to order books, and sends no report of his work, making no statement regarding their delivery and the receipt and expenditure of the money that he handles, those in charge of the work should, in a kind, friendly manner, endeavor to ascertain the true situation. To supply books freely to an agent until he is hopelessly involved in debt is to do injustice both to the canvasser and to those by whom he is employed. Such a loose, careless way of working brings discouragement. {PM 258.5}

  A worker who sees that he is unable to make a success of the canvassing work should go to the proper persons and tell them that he cannot continue in that line of work.  {PM 259.1}

  Every canvasser should be truthful, honest, and faithful. How many souls might be saved from temptation, and how much sorrow might be avoided, if all our workers were trained to be as true as steel to principle!--MS 20, 1904.  {PM 259.2}

 

Labor to Win Confidence of Helpers -- Let all in the publishing houses remember that they are in a school, from which they are to go forth prepared to bear spiritual responsibilities. Let those in charge of the work take up the work of soul saving, laboring earnestly to prepare workers to enter new fields. Let them present the truth, not only in precept but in practice, giving in the life a perfect representation of the religion they profess to believe. As they strive earnestly to overcome, they will teach others how to overcome. God works with the faithful steward who seeks to do as Christ would do in his place.  {PM 259.3}

Do not seek to shun responsibilities. To do this is to dishonor the claim of discipleship. In His ministry on this earth Christ represented His Father. We are to follow in His steps.--Lt 140, 1901.  {PM 259.4}

 

 
Young Women as Workers -- Women instructors should labor with the young women, not to see how much work can be gained from them, but to win their love and confidence. When this is won, there will be no difficulty about the work, for the workers will be filled with a desire to please.  {PM 259.5}

  The Lord calls upon those engaged in the sacred work of publishing the truth to give evidence that they have been purified by His grace. As the disciples of Christ reveal His character, they show forth His miraculous power, bearing a convincing testimony to the truth of His word.-- Lt 140, 1901.  {PM 259.6}

 

Do Your Duty at Any Cost  --  The mighty God of Israel is our God. In Him we may trust, and if we obey His requirements He will work for us in as signal a manner as He did for His ancient people. Everyone who seeks to follow the path of duty will at times be assailed by doubt and unbelief. The way will sometimes be so barred by obstacles, apparently insurmountable, as to dishearten those who will yield to discouragement; but God is saying to such, Go forward.  Do your duty at any cost. The difficulties that seem so formidable, that fill your soul with dread, will vanish as you move forward in the path of obedience, humbly trusting in God.  Patriarchs anf Prophets, page 437  {PM 259.7}

                       

 

Canvassing Work Is Not for Everybody -- Let us consider the proposition presented at the Minneapolis meeting. Some who did not receive their counsel from God prepared a resolution, which was carried, that no one should labor as a minister unless he first made a success in the canvassing field. The Spirit of the Lord did not indite that resolution. It was born of minds that were taking a narrow view of God's vineyard and His workmen. It is not the work of any man to prescribe the work for any other man contrary to his own convictions of duty. He is to be advised and counseled, but he is to seek his directions from God, whose he is, and whom he serves.  {PM 260.1}

   If one undertakes the canvassing work, and is not able to sustain himself and his family, it is the duty of his brethren, so far as lies in their power, to help him out of his difficulty, and disinterestedly open ways whereby this brother may labor according to his ability and obtain means honestly to sustain his family.  {PM 260.2}

   When a man is struggling with honest endeavor to sustain himself and his family, and yet is unable to do this, so that they suffer for necessary food and clothing, the Lord will not pronounce our ministering brethren guiltless if they look on with indifference or prescribe conditions for this brother which are virtually impossible of fulfillment. ...  {PM 260.3}

   Now, has God told you that this brother must keep at work in a certain line, as canvassing, until he is free from debt? Has He not rather enjoined it upon you as a minister of Christ, to see how you could help him out of his distress, and encourage others to relieve him from debt, and then let him receive his convictions from God in regard to the work He has given him ability to do?--MS 34, 1894.  {PM 260.4}


 

No Room for Laggards in God's Service -- The enterprise of obtaining eternal life is above every other consideration. God wants no laggards in His cause. The work of warning sinners to flee from the wrath to come requires earnest men who feel the burden of souls and who will not be ready to avail themselves of every excuse to avoid burdens or to leave the work. Little discouragements, as unpleasant weather or imaginary infirmities, seem sufficient to Brother R to excuse him from making exertion. He will even appeal to his sympathies; and when duties arise that he does not feel inclined to perform, when his indolence clamors for indulgence, he frequently makes the excuse that he is sick, when there is no reason why he should be sick, unless through indolent habits and indulgence of appetite his entire system has become clogged by inaction. He may have good health if he will strictly observe the laws of life and health, and carry out the light upon health reform in all his habits.-- 3T 557.  {PM 261.1}

 

 
Never Measure Work by the Eight-Hour System -- The Saviour was an untiring worker. He did not measure His work by hours. His time, His heart, His strength, were given to labor for the benefit of humanity. Entire days were devoted to labor, and entire nights were spent in prayer, that He might be braced to meet the wily foe in all his deceptive working, and fortified to do His work of uplifting and restoring humanity.  {PM 261.2}

   The man who loves God does not measure his work by the eight-hour system. He works at all hours and is never off duty. As he has opportunity he does good. Everywhere, at all times and in all places, he finds opportunity to work for God. He carries fragrance with him wherever he goes. A wholesome atmosphere surrounds his soul. The beauty of his well-ordered life and godly conversation inspires in others faith and hope and courage.  {PM 261.3}

  It is heart missionaries that are needed. Spasmodic efforts will do little good. We must arrest the attention. We must be deeply in earnest.-- 9T 45.  {PM 261.4}

 

Good Example of James White -- When affliction came upon my husband, other men were selected to take his place. They commenced with a good purpose, but they had never learned the lesson of self-denial. Had they felt the necessity of earnestly agonizing before God daily, and thrown their souls unselfishly into the work, not depending upon self, but upon the wisdom of God, they would have shown that their works were wrought in God. Had they heeded the reproofs and counsels given, when they did not meet the mind of the Spirit of God, they would have been saved from sin.  {PM 261.5}

   A man who is honest before God will deal justly with his fellow men, whether or not it is for his own personal interest to do so. The outward acts are a fair transcript of the principles within. Many whom God called to His work have been tested and proved; and there are others whom He is now testing and proving.  {PM 262.1}

   After God had tested and proved us in the furnace of affliction, he raised up my husband and gave him greater clearness of mind and power of intellect to plan and execute than he had before his affliction. When my husband felt his own weakness and moved in the fear of God, then the Lord was his strength. Prompt in speech and action, he has pushed forward reforms where they would otherwise have languished. He has made very liberal donations, fearing that his means would prove a snare to him.--LS 244.  {PM 262.2}

 

Avoid Unreasonable Hours for Committees -- Let those who attend committee meetings remember that they are meeting with God, who has given them their work. Let them come together with reverence and consecration of heart. They meet to consider important matters connected with the Lord's cause. In every particular their actions are to show that they are desirous of understanding His will in regard to the plans to be laid for the advancement of His work. Let them not waste a moment in unimportant conversation; for the Lord's business should be conducted in a businesslike, perfect way. If some member of a committee is careless and irreverent, let him be reminded that he is in the presence of a Witness by whom all actions are weighed.  {PM 262.3}

  I have been instructed that committee meetings are not always pleasing to God. Some have come to these meetings with a cold, hard, critical, loveless spirit. Such may do great harm; for with them is the presence of the evil one, that keeps them on the wrong side. Not infrequently their unfeeling attitude toward measures under consideration brings in perplexity, delaying decisions that should be made. God's servants, in need of rest of mind, and sleep, have been greatly distressed and burdened over these matters. In the hope of reaching a decision, they continue their meetings far into the night. But life is too precious to be imperiled in this way. Let the Lord carry the burden. Wait for Him to adjust the difficulties. Give the weary brain a rest. Unreasonable hours are destructive to the physical, the mental, and the moral powers. If the brain were given proper periods of rest, the thoughts would be clear and sharp, and business would be expedited.--7T 256.  {PM 263.1}

 

The Relation of Diet to Attitude in Meetings -- Before our brethren assemble in council or board meetings, each one should present himself before God, carefully searching the heart and critically examining the motives. Pray that the Lord may reveal self to you so that you may not unwisely criticize or condemn propositions.  {PM 263.2}

  At bountiful tables men often eat much more than can be easily digested. The overburdened stomach cannot do its work properly. The result is a disagreeable feeling of dullness in the brain, and the mind does not act quickly. Disturbance is created by improper combinations of food; fermentation sets in; the blood is contaminated and the brain confused.  {PM 263.3}

  The habit of overeating, or of eating too many kinds of food at one meal, frequently causes dyspepsia. Serious injury is thus done to the delicate digestive organs. In vain the stomach protests and appeals to the brain to reason from cause to effect. The excessive amount of food eaten, or the improper combination, does its injurious work. In vain do disagreeable premonitions give warning. Suffering is the consequence. Disease takes the place of health.  {PM 263.4}

  Some may ask, What has this to do with board meetings? Very much. The effects of wrong eating are brought into council and board meetings. The brain is affected by the condition of the stomach. A disordered stomach is productive of a disordered, uncertain state of mind. A diseased stomach produces a diseased condition of the brain and often makes one obstinate in maintaining erroneous opinions. The supposed wisdom of such a one is foolishness with God.--7T 257. (See also 7T 258.)  {PM 263.5}

 

Teaching Health Principles by Example -- In his association with those whom he meets, the canvasser can do much to show the value of healthful living. Instead of staying at a hotel, he should, if possible, obtain lodging with a private family. As he sits at the table with the family, let him practice the instruction given in the health works he is selling, holding up the banner of strict temperance. As opportunity is offered, let him speak of the value of a healthful diet. He should never be ashamed to say, "No, thank you; I do not eat meat." If tea is offered, let him refuse it, explaining that it is harmful, that though for a time stimulating, the stimulating effect passes off, and a corresponding depression is left. Let him explain the injurious effect of intoxicating drinks, and of tobacco, tea, and coffee, on the digestive organs and the brain.--CH 463.  {PM 264.1}


 

 
How to Kindle a Thousand Torches.-- Those who occupy positions of influence and responsibility in the church should be foremost in the work of God. If they move reluctantly, others will not move at all. But their zeal "hath provoked very many." When their light burns brightly, a thousand torches will be kindled at the flame.-- SW, April 5, 1904.  {PM 264.2}


 

Continue to Chapter 24 - Teaching Literature Evangelism

 

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Related Information

Selected Topics Agressiveness - Christian Service, p. 228 Domination - Christian Leadership, p. 31 Education, Chap. 15 - Business Principles End of 2300 Days - EW, 54-56 Evangelism, Chap 8 - Distinctive Truth Gospel Workers, p 330 - No respect of persons How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Ministry of Healing - Chap 35 - Knowledge of God Prayer Meeting - Pastoral Ministry, page 183 Promptness in Work of God - GW p. 96 Right or Wrong - Upward Look, p. 140 Testimony to Ministers, p. 45 - A Living Church What Shall We Play - Adventist Home, Chapter 80