Ellen G. White Writings

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Pastoral Ministry, Page 53

Chapter 8—Leadership

Working for God in a lowly station helps prepare one for pastoral leadership—Brethren, treat men as men, not as servants to be ordered about at your pleasure. He who indulges a harsh, overbearing spirit might better become a tender of sheep as did Moses, and thus learn what it means to be a true shepherd. Moses gained in Egypt an experience as a mighty statesman and as a leader of the armies, but he did not there learn the lessons essential for true greatness. He needed an experience in more humble duties, that he might become a caretaker, tender toward every living thing. In keeping the flocks of Jethro his sympathies were called out to the sheep and lambs, and he learned to guard these creatures of God with the gentlest care. Although their voice could never complain of mistreatment, yet their attitude might show much. God cares for all the creatures He has made. In working for God in this lowly station, Moses learned to be a tender shepherd for Israel.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 262, 263.

Leadership necessitates gaining the confidence of those for whom you labor—In order for a man to become a successful minister, something more than book knowledge is essential. The laborer for souls needs integrity, intelligence, industry, energy, and tact. All these are highly essential for the success of a minister of Christ. No man with these qualifications can be inferior, but will have commanding influence. Unless the laborer in God's cause can gain the confidence of those for whom he is laboring, he can do but little good.—Testimonies for the Church 3:553.

Do not lead with harshness and severity, but with respect, kindness, confidence, and love—You do not feel under sound obligation to God to be patient and kind and respectful toward your ministering brethren and toward every member of the church. They lose confidence in you and then your influence is crippled. You need the kindness, courtesy, meekness, and lowliness of Christ. You have many valuable qualifications that can be perfected for highest service if sanctified to God. You should feel the necessity of approaching your brethren with kindness and courtesy, not with harshness and severity. You do not realize the harm you do by your sharp, domineering spirit toward them.—Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 245.

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