Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, Page 233

if they receive the hospitalities of their brethren or friends, to leave a blessing with the family by seeking to encourage and strengthen its members. They should not neglect the duties of a pastor, as they visit from house to house. They should become familiar with every member of the family, that they may understand the spiritual condition of all, and vary their manner of labor to meet the case of each. When a minister bearing the solemn message of warning to the world receives the hospitable courtesies of friends and brethren, and neglects the duties of a shepherd of the flock and is careless in his example and deportment, engaging with the young in trifling conversation, in jesting and joking, and in relating humorous anecdotes to create laughter, he is unworthy of being a gospel minister and needs to be converted before he should be entrusted with the care of the sheep and lambs. Ministers who are neglectful of the duties devolving on a faithful pastor give evidence that they are not sanctified by the truths they present to others and should not be sustained as laborers in the vineyard of the Lord till they have a high sense of the sacredness of the work of a minister of Christ. 3T 232.3

When there are only evening meetings to attend, there is much time that can be used to great advantage in visiting from house to house, meeting the people where they are. And if ministers of Christ have the graces of the Spirit, if they imitate the great Exemplar, they will find access to hearts and will win souls to Christ. Some ministers bearing the last message of mercy are too distant. They do not improve the opportunities that they have of gaining the confidence of unbelievers, by their exemplary deportment, their unselfish interest for the good of others, their kindness, forbearance, humbleness of mind, and their respectful courtesy. These fruits of the Spirit will exert a far greater influence than will the preaching in the desk without individual effort in families. But the preaching of pointed, testing truths to the people, and corresponding individual efforts from house to house to back up pulpit effort, will greatly extend the influence for good, and souls will be converted to the truth. 3T 233.1

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