"The Work of God ... Can Never be Finished --Until..."

Early in my ministry I was impacted by a striking statement directed at Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders. It has shaped my thinking ever since. In fact it is so poignant and so vital I firmly believe that if we took it seriously the work of God would have been finished a long time ago and we would have been in the kingdom ere this.

When you read what it says in Gospel Workers, page 351, take a few moments and allow the words to permeate your very soul. In fact you may need to read it several times to catch all that is being said. "Those who have the spiritual oversight of the church should devise ways and means by which an opportunity may be given to every member of the church to act some part in God's work. Too often in the past this has not been done. Plans have not been clearly laid and fully carried out, whereby the talents of all might be employed in active service. There are but few who realize how much has been lost because of this ... The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work, and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers ..." (Emphasis mine).
Vernon B Parmenter, Associate Secretary, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and Director, Adventist Volunteer Center.
I have dreamed and hoped and prayed that my colleagues in leadership might catch a vision of what could and would happen if we just followed the divine blueprint. Imagine for a moment if all of our pastors and church leaders did nothing else but "devise ways and means" for "every" church member to use their gifts and talents. This does not mean that every church member would be out giving Bible studies as we may have thought in the past. But it means that our pastors and leaders would determine what gifts and talents our church members have and then "devise" a task for each one. Imagine what would happen if ALL our pastors "devised" a task for "every member."

Included in the task assigned to church leaders is the responsibility of not only "devising ways and means" but of equipping each member to perform their task. So often we neglect to train. How much more effective we are when trained specifically for an assignment. And the end result would be that our pastors and church leaders would have their hands full conducting baptisms every week. In fact our church elders would need to be authorized to baptize new converts in order to handle the numbers.

"The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work..." I doubt if Ellen White said this because God needs the numbers to reach the millions of the world but rather because every member who "rallies" will be changed by the experience. And it is one thing for our pastors and leaders to fulfill their responsibility but we as church members need to be willing too. We must respond! If we are willing "to act some part in God's work" the sooner we can all go home. The work will be finished! What do you say? Why not volunteer your talents and gifts today and offer a year of your life in service so that the work will be completed.
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