Ellen G. White Writings

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Pastoral Ministry, Page 13


For over half a century Ellen White worked shoulder to shoulder with ministers of the gospel, and shared with them inspired counsel. She held a high view of their calling, as is clear from statements such as the following: “The gospel minister is engaged in a very solemn, sacred work” (Evangelism, 184); “The minister stands as God's mouthpiece to the people, and in thought, in word, in act, he is to represent his Lord” (Gospel Workers, 20).

From the rich treasury of her writings, the compilers of this book have brought together a selection of inspired counsels that apply most directly to the life and work of the local church pastor. Research was done by the General Conference Ministerial Association using the CD-ROM, 1990 edition, of The Published Ellen G. White Writings. It was discovered that Mrs. White used some derivative of the word Clergy 114 times, Minister 10,762 times, Pastor 385 times, Preacher 735 times, and Shepherd 1,540 times. Research focused especially on these quotes. The goal was to be complete, but not exhaustive; that is, to include material on every area of pastoral ministry, but not to quote every statement she made on each. Thus the principles are set forth, but not repeated unnecessarily.

Quotations usually include full paragraphs. If a paragraph is interrupted and continued later, this is indicated. In each case, the source is given, so the reader may search out and study the quotation in its original context. As a rule, quotation marks are not used around selections from the inspired writings, inasmuch as all text not in bold face, enclosed in brackets, or otherwise noted, is from Ellen White. Subheadings have been supplied by the compilers, and appear in bold type. In general, these include words or phrases borrowed from the quotations they introduce.

A large portion of Mrs. White's writings are anecdotal; that is, they are accounts of events that happened in her life, the life of another person, or the history of the church. Principles are set forth, but often indirectly. To find these principle requires more effort on the part of the reader than would be necessary if the writings were straightforward essays. However, this style makes interesting reading, and makes clear the fact that Ellen White's work for the church was a hands-on work.

Readers should look for the central principles contained in her counsel, and then apply those principles in a practical way in their own time and culture. She herself wrote, “regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored;

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