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Principles for Christian Leaders

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    Positive relations

    Respect for one another—We are to respect one another. In times of trial or perplexity, before we speak let us take time to think, to pray. At such times it is better to be silent than to utter hasty, unconsidered words. “Be still, and know that I am God.” O that we might glorify Him here upon earth, and that we might bring light and joy to others.PCL 265.2

    We can help no one by scolding or by harsh words. God is greatly dishonored when some of His own children, who are trying to do His work, are grieved and injured by unjust words spoken by their brethren. We have none too many consecrated workers, not one. But there are too many who are bound up with self, and these need to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God.—MS 71, 1906 (September 11)PCL 265.3

    Support for one another—In every place where there is any evidence that God is working to advance His own work and His own glory, let men be careful not to repress and discourage; for this is Satan’s way of working. There are plenty in the enemy’s ranks that will do this kind of work. Let God’s people stand shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, voice with voice heard in words of encouragement and faith.—Letter 136a, 1898 (August 14)PCL 265.4

    Those whom God is using are to occupy the position of learners and workers. They are to remember that God has appointed them individually, and are to leave God to work upon other minds. They are to leave others free to act according to God’s appointment. The will of every man is to be submerged in the will of God. No one is to regard his mind as the only mind that God is controlling. The one who is strong to do the will of God intelligently, who is using his mind in God’s service, will just as surely be united with others whom God is using. In what other way could the building of God be completed in all its parts, in perfect fitness and unity?—MS 94, 1898 (July 28)PCL 266.1

    The Lord desires you [C. P Bollman] to link up with your fellow workers. You are not to shut yourself up to yourself. Every day you are to gain a stronger confidence that you are God’s appointed agent, not to labor alone, but in union with those who have borne responsibilities. Let all the workers unite in counsel. You are to have no secret chamber, closed to some who have just as intense an interest in the work as you have. In the past, you have closed the door to these and opened it to some to whom you should have kept silent.PCL 266.2

    The Lord would have you cultivate the spirit of companionship. If you wrap yourself about with garments of selfsufficiency, refusing to admit others into brotherly relationship, you will fail of gaining the experience that you need; and others also will be losers. Let your fellow workers see that you regard them as of value.—Letter 174a, 1902 (July 29)PCL 266.3

    Confidence in fellow laborers—In our work we must consider the relation that each worker sustains to the other workers connected with the cause of God. We must remember that others as well as ourselves have a work to do in connection with this cause. We must not bar the mind against counsel. In our plans for the carrying forward of the work, our mind must blend with other minds.PCL 267.1

    Let us cherish a spirit of confidence in the wisdom of our brethren. We must be willing to take advice and caution from our fellow laborers. Connected with the service of God, we must individually realize that we are parts of a great whole. We must seek wisdom from God, learning what it means to have a waiting, watching spirit, and to go to our Saviour when tired and depressed.PCL 267.2

    It is a mistake to withdraw from those who do not agree with our ideas. This will not inspire our brethren with confidence in our judgment. It is our duty to counsel with our brethren and to heed their advice. We are to seek their counsel; and when they give it, we are not to cast it away, as if they were our enemies. Unless we humble our hearts before God, we shall not know His will.—MS 29, 1907 (January 16); TM 500PCL 267.3

    God would have you [A. G. Daniells, W. A. Colcord, N. D. Faulkhead, E. R. Palmer, and W. D. Salisbury] united in pleasant cords of companionship. As the Lord’s workmen, you are to open your plans one to another. These plans must be carefully and prayerfully considered, for the Lord will leave those who do not do this to stumble in their own supposed wisdom and superior greatness.—Letter 49, 1897 (September 1)PCL 267.4

    When ministering brethren come together in council, let deference be shown to the expression of intelligent principles, let intellectual freedom be freely accorded to all. There should be unity and love and freedom in communicating one with another. It should be a pleasure to consult one with another, to compare ideas, and to review plans—to meet and write in hearty confidence and Christian fellowship [with] their ministering brethren. An atmosphere of goodness, confidence, and love should be diffused, for this is the assurance of the presence of the Holy Spirit. The presence of God should be felt, and the soul should be humbled in acknowledging the condescension of these brethren in planning for every soul for whom Christ has died, and thus hearts would be softened and broken.—Letter 53, 1894 (November 11)PCL 267.5

    Exercise compassion—God requires us to exercise toward our brethren the compassion which we desire them to exercise toward us. God requires those who claim to believe the Bible, the standard of Christian character, to bring the Christlikeness into all their service, that not one particle of the salt shall lose its preserving influence. The Christlikeness is ever to be preserved. The mind and heart are to be cleansed from all sin, all unlikeness to Christ. God has duties for every one in His service, for every church member, to perform. His people are to exalt the power of the law above human judgment. By bringing the entire being, body, soul, and spirit into harmony with the law, they are to establish the law.—Letter 79, 1901 (July 11)PCL 268.1

    It is God’s desire that discipline and order shall be maintained, but no arbitrary authority is to be shown. . . . Words which show that the heart is filled with the milk of human kindness have a great influence for good.—MS 81, 1901 (August 21)PCL 268.2

    Walk humbly—Among the Lord’s servants there is to be no commanding. No yokes are to be placed on the necks of God’s blood-bought heritage. Every yoke is to be broken. . . .PCL 268.3

    Take unto you the whole armor of God, and never forget the gospel shoes of peace. Go not to any man with a heavy tread or with anger in your voice. Let all God’s servants, from those occupying the highest positions, to those in the lowliest service, walk humbly before Him.—MS 140, 1902 (November 6)PCL 269.1

    Walk humbly with God. Esteem others better than yourselves, and study diligently the life of Christ. God will be the Counselor of all who with a sincere heart seek to know their duty.—Letter 218, 1907 (June 18)PCL 269.2

    Unity of action—When Christ’s prayer is fully believed, when its instruction is brought into the daily life of God’s people, unity of action will be seen in our ranks. Brother will be bound to brother by the golden bonds of the love of Christ. The Spirit of God alone can bring about this oneness. He who sanctified Himself can sanctify His disciples. United with Him, they will be united with one another in the most holy faith. When we strive for this unity as God desires us to strive for it, it will come to us.—MS 149, 1903 (December 31); 8T 243PCL 269.3

    As workers we need to counsel together over difficult matters. It is right that brother should consult with brother. And it is our privilege, after we have done this, to bow together in prayer and ask for divine wisdom and counsel. But for one human voice to be a controlling power is a sad mistake, and this should not continue.—Letter 186, 1907 (May 29)PCL 269.4

    Words of encouragement—We cannot know how many are the perplexities of our brethren, or how weary and worn they become with the difficulties of the work. I have been instructed that we are to guard carefully every word we utter, that we may not increase the perplexities of those who have to battle constantly with trials and discouragements. Let us not speak evil of these brethren, but let us seek to help them. Not much longer shall we have to battle with the difficulties of this life. . . .PCL 269.5

    It is our privilege to speak words that will encourage our associates and fellow laborers; it is not our privilege to speak words 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. We should thank the Lord that we are not called to serve in their place. Their position calls upon them the censure and criticism of those who have educated themselves to find fault. Let us pray for those upon whom the Lord has laid responsibilities; for this is the duty of all God’s workers.—Letter 204, 1907 (June 6)PCL 270.1

    Care for senior ministers—If I see those in positions of trust neglecting aged ministers, I am to present the matter to those whose duty it is to care for them. Ministers who have faithfully done their work are not to be forgotten or neglected when they have become feeble in health. Our conferences are not to disregard the needs of those who have borne the burdens of the work.—Letter 55, 1905 (January 30); 1SM 33PCL 270.2

    Love for the erring—Intimate connection between imperfect, defective characters may often have as a result a great harm done to both persons, for Satan has more influence upon their minds than the Spirit of Jesus. They do not consider each other under a true and impartial light, but under the most unfavorable light possible. By trying to correct evil in a hasty, cross spirit, two evils will be created instead of correcting one. Mutual support is essential. It is the fruit of the Spirit which grows upon the Christian tree.PCL 270.3

    . . . If every one feels free to utter hasty words, we shall have miserable hearts, miserable families, and in the church discord and dissension. But there is a Christlike way of settling all these things. The presence of Christ’s love in the heart will lead to love the very ones who are astray and who are in the wrong. The absence of that love places the very one who professes the truth on the side of the enemy. He becomes a tempter for others and stirs them up to do wrong. Such a spirit could not remain in heaven. It is necessary to bring into one’s life the power of self-control, for a character that did not have this would cause discord in heaven.—MS 24, 1887 (February 14)PCL 271.1

    Patience—To every man God has given a work to do. This is a solemn thought. Some will be regarded with suspicion by men who cannot discern spiritual things. Criticism will be freely given. But shall this stir up the passion of the human heart? Or will the voice of God’s workman be heard in song:PCL 271.2

    “Rock of ages, cleft for me;
    Let me hide myself in thee.”
    PCL 271.3

    The work of the very best of God’s laborers will often be commented upon by men who have not a genuine experience in what it means to hide in Christ. Condemnation will be passed upon those who may be trying to do their work faithfully. Then is the time for God’s workers, to show their gentleness, to hide in the cleft of the Rock. God’s voice says to them, “Be still and know that I am God.”—Letter 66, 1898 (August 26)PCL 271.4

    To give way to passion, to pour forth a storm of harsh words, is setting a most objectionable example before the other workers. Such a course will spoil your [Bro. Boeker] influence and your religious experience. You will gain the name of not knowing how to deal with minds. There is a proper way to correct evils. Take the one apart that you have good reason to think needs words of caution, and speak to him quietly and calmly, as a Christian ought to speak to a fellow being. Never speak in a way that will stir the worst feelings of the heart. Thus you may place it forever beyond your power to help him spiritually. Thus you may lead him to lose confidence in those from whom he should receive light and help.—Letter 196, 1901 (September 18)PCL 272.1

    Influence of Christian character—We should never stir up strife by domineering words and actions. Put away everything like hard dealing, and seek for a closer walk with God. . . .PCL 272.2

    I know from the light that God has been pleased to give me that those who have held responsible positions are inclined to feel that they have a right to exercise more authority than their positions justify them to. God will sanction no tyranny, no sharp dictation, for this naturally repels souls and they are unfavorably affected by the manifestation of this disagreeable spirit, which stirs up the worst passion of the human heart. If men in responsible office do not show partiality but exercise the patience and kindness of Jesus, they will find this course more effective than the preaching of sermons, the exercise of power, or the presentation of strong argument. The silent influence of Christian character will fall upon men as the sunbeams of heaven.—Letter 22, 1889 (January 18)PCL 272.3

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