Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

May 16, 1912

Training the Youth to Be Workers

Mrs. E. G. White

True education is missionary training. The sons and daughters of God are called to be missionaries, called to the service of God and their fellow men; and to fit them for this service should be the object of education.

This object should ever be kept in view by Christian parents and teachers. We know not in what line our children may serve. They may spend their lives within the circle of the home; they may engage in life's common vocations, or go as teachers of the gospel to heathen lands; but all are alike called to be missionaries for God, ministers of mercy to the world.

The children and youth, with their fresh talent, energy, and courage, their quick susceptibilities, are loved of God, and he desires to bring them into harmony with divine agencies. They are to obtain an education that will help them to stand by the side of Christ in unselfish service.

Of all his children to the close of time, no less than of the first disciples, Christ said, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so I have also sent them into the world,” to be representatives of God, to reveal his Spirit, to manifest his character, to do his work.

Our children stand, as it were, at the parting of the ways. On every hand the world's enticements to self-seeking and self-indulgence call them away from the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. Whether their lives shall be a blessing or a curse depends upon the choice they make. Overflowing with energy, eager to test their untried capabilities, they must find some outlet for their superabounding life. Active they will be, for good or for evil. Let the youth be impressed with the thought that they are not their own. They belong to Christ. They are the purchase of his blood, the claim of his love. They live because he keeps them by his power. Their time, their strength, their capabilities, are his, to be developed, to be trained, to be used for him.

We should educate the youth to help the youth, and as they seek to do this work they will gain an experience that will qualify them to become consecrated workers in a larger sphere. Thousands of hearts can be reached in the most simple, humble way. The most intellectual, those who are looked upon and praised as the world's most gifted men and women, are often refreshed by the simple words that flow from the heart of one who loves God, and who can speak of that love as naturally as the worldling speaks of the things which his mind contemplates and feeds upon. Often the words well prepared and studied have little influence. But the true, honest words of a son or daughter of God, spoken in natural simplicity, will open the door to hearts that have long been locked.

Time is short. Workers for Christ are needed everywhere. There should be a hundred earnest, faithful laborers in home and foreign mission fields where now there is but one. The highways and byways are yet unworked. Urgent inducements should be held out to those who ought now to be engaged in work for the Master.

The signs which show that Christ's coming is near are fast fulfilling. The Lord calls upon our youth to labor as canvassers and evangelists, to do house-to-house work in places that have not yet heard the truth. He speaks to our young men, saying, “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Those who will go forth to the work under God's direction will be wonderfully blessed. Those who in this life do their best will obtain a fitness for the future immortal life.

The Lord calls upon those connected with our sanitariums, publishing houses, and schools to teach the youth to do evangelistic work. Our time and energy must not be so largely employed in establishing sanitariums, food stores, and restaurants that other lines of work will be neglected. Young men and young women who should be engaged in the ministry, in Bible work, and in the canvassing work should not be bound down to mechanical employment.

The youth should be encouraged to attend our training-schools for Christian workers, which should become more and more like the schools of the prophets. These institutions have been established by the Lord, and if they are conducted in harmony with his purpose, the youth sent to them will be prepared quickly to engage in various lines of missionary work. Some will be trained to enter the field as missionary nurses, some as canvassers, and some as gospel missionaries.

Our young men and young women should be devoted workers in the Master's service. If they will walk in the light that the Lord has permitted to shine upon them, they will see precious opportunities which they may improve, and do God's will from the heart. Quietly, modestly, with a heart overflowing with love, let them seek to win minds to investigate the truth, engaging in Bible readings when they can. By so doing they will be sowing the seed of truth beside all waters, showing forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. Those who are doing this work from right motives are doing an important work of ministering. They will manifest no feeble, undecided character. Their minds are enlarging, their manners are becoming more refined. They should place no bounds to their improvement, but every day be better fitted to do good work.

Many young men and women now engaged in secular labor will feel stirred to give themselves to the service of God, to become channels of light. Some will feel a burden to enter the canvassing field, and will become able evangelists. Let these be given an opportunity to obtain an education for the work of God. And let all God's workers help, aid, cheer, and encourage one another with their prayers and faithful conversation, impressing one another with the dignity and responsibility of the work in which they are engaged.

He who puts on the armor to war a good warfare will gain greater and still greater ability as he strives to perfect his knowledge of God, working in harmony with the plan God has laid down for the perfect development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers.

Young men and young women, gather a stock of knowledge. Do not always wait until some human examination pronounces you competent to work, but go out into the highways and hedges, and begin to work for God. Use wisely the knowledge you have. Exercise your ability with faithfulness, generously imparting the light that God gives you. Study how best to give to others peace and light and truth, and the many other rich blessings of heaven. Constantly improve. Keep reaching higher and still higher. It is the ability to put to the tax the powers of mind and body, ever keeping eternal realities in view, that is of value now. Seek the Lord most earnestly, that you may become more and more refined, more spiritually cultured. Then you will have the very best diploma that any one can have,—the indorsement of God.

However large, however small your talents, remember that what you have is yours only in trust. Thus God is testing you, giving you opportunity to prove yourself true. To him you are indebted for all your capabilities. To him belong your powers of body, mind, and soul, and for him these powers are to be used. Your time, your influence, your capabilities, your skill,—all must be accounted for to him who gives all. He uses God's gifts best who seeks by earnest endeavor to carry out the Lord's great plan for the uplifting of humanity, remembering always that he must be a learner as well as a teacher.

Success in any line demands a definite aim. He who would achieve true success must keep steadily in view the aim worthy of his endeavor. Such an aim is set before the youth of today. The heaven-appointed purpose of giving the gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest that can appeal to any human being. It opens a field of effort to every one whose heart Christ has touched.

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” is Christ's command to his followers. Not that all are called to be ministers or missionaries in the ordinary sense of the term; but all may be workers with him in giving the “glad tidings” to their fellow men. To all, great or small, learned or ignorant, old or young, the command is given. In view of this command, can we educate our sons and daughters for a life of respectable conventionality, a life professedly Christian, but lacking His self-sacrifice, a life on which the verdict of him who is truth must be, “I know you not”?

Thousands are doing this. They think to secure for their children the benefits of the gospel, while they deny its spirit. But this can not be. Those who reject the privilege of fellowship with Christ in service, reject the only training that imparts a fitness for participation with him in his glory. They reject the training that in this life gives strength and nobility of character. Many fathers and mothers, denying their children to the cross of Christ, have learned too late that they are giving them over to the enemy of God and man. They sealed their ruin, not only for the future, but for the present life. Temptation overcame them. They grew up a curse to the world, a grief and shame to those who gave them being.

“The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly.” And a world is to be warned.

With such preparations as they can gain, thousands upon thousands of the youth and those older in years should be giving themselves to this work. Already many hearts are responding to the call of the Master Worker, and their numbers will increase. Let every Christian educator give such workers sympathy and cooperation. Let him encourage and assist the youth under his care to gain a preparation to join the ranks.

There is no line of work in which it is possible for the youth to receive greater benefit. All who engage in ministry are God's helping hand. They are coworkers with the angels; rather, they are the human agencies through whom the angels accomplish their mission. Angels speak through their voices, and work by their hands. And the human workers, cooperating with heavenly agencies, have the benefit of their education and experience. As a means of education, what “university course” can equal this?

With such an army of workers as our youth rightly trained might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come,—the end of suffering and sorrow and sin! How soon, in place of a possession here, with its blight of sin and pain, our children might receive their inheritance where “the righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever”; where “the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick,” and “the voice of weeping shall be no more heard.”

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