The greatest need of this movement today is a more spiritual ministry. I do not put anything above that in importance, absolutely nothing. The outstanding need today is for men who are so filled with the Spirit of God, and who can be so led by the Spirit of God, that they will make spiritual interests first in the welfare of the church. Therefore, I believe that it is appropriate and proper, in this first session of our council, to give consideration as to what we can do to inspire our ministry to greater spirituality.
I am sure that I do not need to spend a moment in endeavoring to convince any one present that there is need of a more spiritual ministry among us. I believe we have come to a time when there should be a complete reversal of certain features of the program upon which we have been working. Please do not misunderstand me when I say "program." By this, I mean our own individual relationship to the things of God.
Recently I went through Volumes III, IV, and V of "Testimonies for the Church," and read through all those sections that deal with the ministry.
As I read those messages calling for a wholly consecrated ministry, I cried anew to God to give me that very experience, and to make me the kind of minister that is called for. I am not satisfied with what I have been. I cannot go on as heretofore.
Many of us preach the truths of God's word in a flippant manner. Many of us have taken our divine responsibility altogether too lightly. And I just wish to say to you, my brethren, that my heart cries out that every one of us workers here in North America may have such an awakening as is called for, which will lead to the changing of our whole situation, and lead us to face our problems from an altogether different standpoint.
We should recognize that our work is not done when we have attended board meetings and committee meetings, or when we have planned for the Harvest Ingathering and the Big Week efforts. These are proper details to be taken care of, but our primary work, it seems to me, is to reach out after an experience in our own hearts which will enable us to help all who are associated with us in this work, and lead them, on into deeper spirituality, and greater power and usefulness in the service of God.
Now I have said this much merely by way of introduction for your individual part in the consideration of this item on the agenda, which reads, "How can we inspire our ministry to greater spirituality, piety, and usefulness?" I hope that there will be the utmost freedom in this round table discussion.