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    Chapter 10—Planting Churches in the Cities

    Churches to Be Planted in City After City.—When I look at the piles of buildings there are here [in Battle Creek], I feel sad at heart. If you [church leaders] had the missionary spirit, if you had gone out in accordance with the largeness of the message, in accordance with its breadth and importance, you would not have erected one half of the buildings you have here. You would have made plants in city after city, and God would have approved of your work. He does not like your administration. He does not like your nearness of sight. He wants you to open new fields, and for years He has been calling upon you to do this. This takes money and laborers; but I read in Daniel that they which turn many to righteousness shall shine forever and ever. We want to be in that company. We want to be among the shining ones in the kingdom of God. There we shall want to see those for whom we have prayed and worked. God help us.—The General Conference Bulletin, April 5, 1901, p. 85.MTC 140.1

    Church Members to Benefit Others.—Upon all who believe, God has placed the burden of raising up churches. The express purpose of the church is to educate men and women to use their entrusted capabilities for the benefit of the world, to employ the means God has lent, for His glory. He has made human beings His stewards. They are to employ His entrusted talents in building up His work and enlarging His kingdom. Our churches, large and small, are not to be treated in such a way that they will be helplessly dependent upon ministerial aid. The members are to be so established in the faith that they will have an intelligent knowledge of true missionary work. They are to follow Christ's example, ministering to those around them. Faithfully they are to fulfill the vows made at their baptism, the vow that they will practice the lessons taught in the life of Christ. They are to work together to keep alive in the church the principles of self-denial and self-sacrifice, which Christ, His divinity clothed with humanity, followed in His work as a missionary. It is imparting the knowledge of Christ's love and tenderness that gives efficiency to all missionary operations.—Pacific Union Recorder, August 1, 1901.MTC 140.2


    Churches to Be Organized; Larger Churches to Assist Smaller Ones.—I have often thought how much more abundantly we should be blessed if in the larger churches there were a well-organized band of workers, who would become missionaries to cities and towns, teaching others the precious lessons they have learned, of truth, of righteousness, of a judgment to come. All should be learners, but not ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth. Be diligent students, and all the time practice what you learn. This will give you an experience which will be of the highest value to yourselves, and will surely benefit others. God has given us light, which He has commanded us to let shine; and if some souls embrace the truth in a locality, organize them into a church as soon as it can be wisely done, and let them do what they can to build a humble house of worship, as they have done in Willis [Michigan], which they can dedicate to God, and where they can invite His presence to be with them. He says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Then let the larger churches which are free from debt come to the help of their sister churches, and give of their entrusted means toward these smaller places of worship, that the small churches may not be oppressed and discouraged under a load of debt. Let us not, like the priest and the Levite, pass by on the other side. What blessings would be meted out to the churches that help in this way, and what love on the part of the poorer churches, as they realized that they were watched over for good! And with this help freely and cheerfully rendered would come enlarged views of Christian helpfulness and duty. A bond of brotherhood, and love strong and tender, would be created between the members of the churches, large and small; and all petty jealousies and envies would be burned out by the love so substantially expressed.—The Review and Herald, July 21, 1891.MTC 141.1

    Work to Continue Until Church Is Well Established.—Our workers are not branching out as they should in their efforts. Our leading men are not awake to the work that must yet be accomplished. When I think of the cities in which so little work has been done, in which there are so many thousands to be warned of the soon coming of the Saviour, I feel an intensity of desire to see men and women going forth to the work in the power of the Spirit, filled with Christ's love for perishing souls.MTC 142.1

    The heathen in the cities at our doors have been strangely neglected. Organized effort should be made to save them. We are now to work to convert the heathen who are in the midst of us—those who are living within the shadow of our doors. A new song is to be put in their mouths, and they are to go forth to impart to others now in darkness, the light of the third angel's message.MTC 142.2

    We all need to be wide awake, that, as the way opens, we may advance the work in the large cities. We are far behind in following the light given us to enter the cities and erect memorials for God. Step by step we are to lead souls into the full light of truth. Many are longing for spiritual food. We are to continue working until a church is organized and a humble house of worship built. I am greatly encouraged to believe that many persons not of our faith will help considerably by their means. The light given me is that in many places, especially in the great cities of America, help will be given by such persons.—Pacific Union Recorder, October 23, 1902.MTC 142.3

    Church and School to Be Built for New Congregations.—When a company of believers is raised up, careful provision should be made for the permanence and stability of the work. A house of worship will be needed, and a school where Bible instruction may be given to the people. The workers should not leave their field of labor without building a church and providing a schoolroom and a teacher. ... All this has been presented before me as a panoramic view. I saw workmen building humble houses of worship. Those newly come to the faith were helping with willing hands, and those who had means were assisting with their means. A schoolroom was prepared for the children. Teachers were selected to go to this place. The number in the school was not large, but it was a happy beginning. I heard the songs of children and of parents. Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.—Manuscript 3, 1899 (Australasian Union Conference Record, July 26, 1899).MTC 143.1

    New Churches Increase Number of Available Workers.—We should seek in every place to raise up a company of believers who will unite with us in uplifting the standard of truth, and working for rich and poor. Then as churches are established, there will be an increase of helpers to labor for the destitute and the outcast.—Manuscript 3, 1899 (Gospel Workers, 436).MTC 143.2

    Money Better Spent Reaching Those Who Then Can Help Reach Others.—If the efforts, the talent, the labor, the money, which have been thrown into Chicago for the last several years had been appropriated toward acquainting with the truth of God for these last days a class of people who could have been reached with wise, well directed efforts, many would have received the truth who would now be working to give it to others of their own class.—Manuscript 46, 1900 (Manuscript Releases 4:422).MTC 143.3

    Every City in America Should Have a Memorial for God.—Why are so many places passed by? Look upon the towns and cities yet unworked. There are many large cities in America, not only in the South, but in the North, yet to be worked. In every city in America there should be some memorial for God. But I could mention many places where the light of truth has not yet shone. The angels of heaven are waiting for human instrumentalities to enter the places where witness has not yet been borne to present truth. The Lord's name is reproached. Please read your Bibles, and see if it is not true that our work has scarcely begun.—The Review and Herald, December 30, 1902.MTC 144.1

    Minister to Move to Different Field After a New Church Is Organized.—Young ministers should not be encouraged to preach to the churches. This is not their work. They are to go forth without the camp, taking up the work in places where the truth has not yet been proclaimed. Let them go in the humility and meekness of Christ, obtaining strength from the source of all strength. ...MTC 144.2

    Ministers are not to spend their time laboring for those who have already accepted the truth. With Christ's love burning in their hearts, they are to go forth to win sinners to the Saviour. Beside all waters, God's messengers are to sow the seeds of truth. Place after place is to be visited; church after church is to be raised up. Those who take their stand for the truth are to be organized into churches, and then the minister is to pass on to other equally important fields.—The Review and Herald, August 19, 1902.MTC 144.3

    Churches Weakened by Ministers Hovering Over Them.—The time that has been used in preaching to our churches has not strengthened them, but has made them weak and helpless, to be fed with milk and not with meat. God has been calling upon His ministers to leave the ninety and nine and hunt for the lost sheep. Your [Elder and Mrs. Stephen N. Haskell's] experience is to be a lesson for all who are hovering over the churches—consumers and not producers. We tell you to put your trust in God. Let Him guide you. The Lord Jesus is answering your prayers.—Letter 132, 1901 (Manuscript Releases 10:227, 228).MTC 144.4


    Many Small Centers Needed.—It is the Lord's desire that renewed efforts shall be put forth in many places, and small plants be established. A work is to be done that is to open the way for the advancement of the truth, and that will increase the faith of souls. ...MTC 145.1

    There are many fields to be worked, and calculations should not be made to plant many large interests in a few favored localities. The Lord has instructed me that we are not to make many large centers; for in every field there should be facilities for the successful carrying on of the work. For this reason a few large institutions should not be allowed to exhaust all the income of means. In small and large cities, and in settlements that lie outside the cities, there should be maintained small centers where faithful watchmen are stationed who will labor for souls. Wherever the missionary worker goes, there should follow his efforts the establishment of some small plant that the advance of the work may be hastened. When God's servants do their work faithfully, Providence will open the way for these facilities in many places.—Letter 30, 1911 (Evangelism, 535).MTC 145.2

    Work to Be Done in Many Localities.—You [Dr. J. H. Kellogg] know that I have had light to the effect that there are altogether too many interests centered in Battle Creek. Progress ought to be made elsewhere. How many cities there are in America which have been left untouched! Why not let some of your energies be devoted to setting men at work in different localities? Let the influence of truth be far-reaching. Let the knowledge of how to preserve health be widely disseminated. Let work be begun where scarcely anything has been accomplished.—Letter 43, 1895 (Manuscript Releases 17:309).MTC 145.3

    Not to Hide Away in Colonies.—This is no time to colonize. From city to city the work is to be carried quickly. The light that has been placed under a bushel is to be taken out and placed on a candlestick, that it may give forth light to all that are in the house.—Manuscript 21, 1910 (Medical Ministry, 302).MTC 146.1

    Members Who Congregate Together Called to Wider Service.—Time is fast passing. The day of the Lord's reckoning is approaching. Seventh-day Adventists are not to colonize. We are to work as Jesus has given us an example. Of the work of Christ we read: “And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the seacoast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” This is the work that will open doors for the truth. ...MTC 146.2

    Thus was the time of the Great Missionary occupied. I think of the work that might be done if those held in Battle Creek and a few other favored places were carrying forward the work in the villages and towns and cities in which there are no memorials for the truth. ...MTC 146.3

    When the eyes of the members of our large churches are anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, they will arise, and go forth to fulfill this commission. When their hearts are imbued with the Holy Spirit, they will worship the Lord their God, and Him only will they serve. The Lord is calling upon those who are congregated in congested centers to go forth into the places where the truth has never been proclaimed. They are to teach the things that Christ has commanded, leaving alone the various suppositions born of erratic theories. False teachers will come in, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. Satan will bring forward fables to militate against the principles of Christ's teaching. God calls upon His faithful messengers to search His Word, and to teach only those things that Christ has commanded. ...MTC 146.4

    There is too much hovering round our institutions, too much ease-loving. The commission of Christ is to be carried out to the letter. God's people must consecrate to Him their means and their capabilities. The faithful soldiers of the cross of Christ are to go forth without the camp, bearing the reproach, and following in the path of self-denial trodden by the Redeemer.MTC 147.1

    The ministers who are hovering over the churches, preaching to those who know the truth, would better go into places still in darkness. Unless they do this, they themselves and their congregations will become dwarfed. Our religion has become weak and sickly because the members of the church have left their first love. They might be strong men and women in Christ if they would obey the Lord's directions.MTC 147.2

    I am commanded to lift my voice in warning, and to call upon our people who are gathered together in Battle Creek to go forth and take up the work appointed them by God. The world is perishing in sin. How much longer will you allow yourselves to be held from the great, needy vineyard, when the history of this world is so near its close?—The Review and Herald, February 9, 1905.MTC 147.3

    Centralizing Large Institutions Not Best.—Something has been done in foreign missions, and something in home missions; but altogether too much territory has been left unworked. The work is too much centralized. The interests in Battle Creek are overgrown, and this means that other portions of the field are robbed of facilities which they should have had. The larger and still larger preparations, in the erection and enlargement of buildings, which have called together and held so large a number in Battle Creek, are not in accordance with God's plan, but in direct contravention of His plan.MTC 147.4

    It has been urged that there were great advantages in having so many institutions in close connection, that they would be a strength to one another and could afford help to those seeking education and employment. This is according to human reasoning; it will be admitted that, from a human point of view, many advantages are gained by crowding so many responsibilities in Battle Creek; but the vision needs to be extended.MTC 147.5

    These interests should be broken up into many parts in order that the work may start in cities which it will be necessary to make centers of interest. Buildings should be erected and responsibilities centered in many localities that are now robbed of vital, spiritual interest in order to swell the overplus already in Battle Creek.—Testimonies For The Church 8:59, 60. (1904)MTC 148.1

    Members Clustered Together Lose Sense of Mission.—The word of the Lord has come to me that there are too many believers clustered in a few places and that many are losing their sense of the shortness of time and their burden to proclaim the third angel's message. There is to be true conversion of heart on the part of every such believer. Those who are connected with our offices of publication need especially to carry a burden for souls and to study ways and means of doing personal work in the highways and hedges.MTC 148.2

    The Lord is not glorified in the swelling of numbers that is seen in some of our centers of training and of missionary effort.—Manuscript 53, 1910.MTC 148.3

    Battle Creek Fires Allowed by God to Decentralize Church Institutions.—The Lord permitted fire to consume the principal buildings of the Review and Herald and the sanitarium,*The Battle Creek Sanitarium burned on February 18, 1902; the Review and Herald Publishing Company burned on December 30, 1902. and thus removed the greatest objection urged against moving out of Battle Creek. It was His design that instead of rebuilding the one large sanitarium, our people should make plants in several places. These smaller sanitariums should have been established where land could be secured for agricultural purposes.—Testimonies For The Church 8:227. (1904)MTC 148.4


    Pray for God's Guidance When Planting Churches.—We must seek wisdom of God, for by faith I see a strong church in that city [Palmerston, New Zealand]. Our work must be to watch and to pray, to seek counsel of the One wonderful and mighty in counsel. One mightier than the strongest powers of hell can take the prey from Satan, and under His guidance the angels of heaven will carry on the battle against all the powers of darkness and plant the standard of truth and righteousness in that city.—Letter 79, 1893 (Evangelism, 39).MTC 149.1

    Converts to Be Thoroughly Grounded in the Truth.—Wherever an effort is made to raise up a church, thorough and faithful instructions should be given to those who accept the truth. No part of the work should be neglected, and they should not be left to themselves when the laborer goes to a new field, but should still receive care and instruction. Let nothing be left in an incomplete, slipshod manner. Whatever is done should be done with thoroughness. The few who are thus brought into the truth will in time accomplish more than if there is a greater number uneducated, untrained, who do not realize their responsibility, and whose peculiarities are woven into their religious experience. It will be far more difficult to undo that which has been done wrong, and put another mold on the work, than to take the work from the very beginning.—The Review and Herald, October 5, 1886.MTC 149.2


    Unbalanced Members Undermine God's Work.—In all the history of the church, no reformation has been carried forward without encountering serious obstacles. Thus it was in Paul's day. Wherever the apostle would raise up a church, there were some who professed to receive the faith, but who brought in heresies that, if received, would eventually crowd out the love of the truth. Luther suffered great perplexity and distress from the course of fanatical persons who claimed that God had spoken directly through them, and who therefore set their own ideas and opinions above the testimony of the Scriptures. Many who were lacking in faith and experience, but who had considerable self-sufficiency, and who loved to hear and tell some new thing, were beguiled by the pretensions of the new teachers, and they joined the agents of Satan in their work of tearing down what God had moved Luther to build up. The Wesleys also, and others who blessed the world by their influence and their faith, encountered at every step the wiles of Satan in pushing overzealous, unbalanced, and unsanctified ones into fanaticism of every grade.—The Spirit of Prophecy 4:245. (1884)MTC 149.3

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