Periodic Changes are Advantageous

It is a serious thing for people to come to look upon a leader as indispensable to a church, an institution, or a conference. The Lord does not want us to lean on the arm of flesh, nor to trust too much in human wisdom.

Dr. H.W. Miller

In the parable of the talents, the Lord shows us that men differ in the tal­ents bestowed upon them. To some are given ten talents; to others, five; and to some, perhaps but one. Where one man is strong, another may be weak. If one man remains too long in the same position, his weak points as well as his strong ones may mold the work, and things may get into a rut. On the other hand, it ofttimes broadens a man to labor in a new field, making new contacts, and dealing with a new and different set of problems. Likewise, changes in leadership often put new life and enthusiasm into a field.

It is a serious thing for people to come to look upon a leader as indispensable to a church, an institution, or a conference. The Lord does not want us to lean on the arm of flesh, nor to trust too much in human wisdom. God has a thousand ways to help of which we have never thought. Reasonable changes in lines of endeavor in various fields ofttimes in­crease the adaptability of the laborers involved, and make for unity and strength in the cause of present truth.

God desires His work to move forward in a balanced way. Some leaders lean strongly toward institutional development, while others stress the enrolling of many new converts each year. The first type of leader may be needed for a season; but it he were to remain too long in executive leadership in one field, there would be danger that men and means would be largely centered in institutional endeavor. On the other hand, the second type of leader, who thinks chiefly of souls won to the church, may be greatly needed in a field where there has formerly been but little evangelistic en­deavor.

Yet if such a one should remain for a long period as leader, the membership might grow into a great group of believers with no adequate provision for the education of the children, no institutions for the sick, and but meager facil­ities for producing the printed page. In fields where the energies and spiritual interests of increasingly large constituencies are not thus properly fostered and developed, a reaction is very liable to set in, causing loss in member­ship.

Transfer to another field from a position long held by an administrator, should in no wise be regarded as a reflection upon him, nor an in­dication that his work has been a failure. It may, and usually does, mean just the opposite. This strong leader who has built up the work wisely and well in one place, is needed to build up the work in another field. The fact that we can often change leadership in a field, and yet the work go on from strength to strength, is evidence that God is the leader, after all, and that He Himself directs His cause.

Shanghai, China.

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Dr. H.W. Miller

February 1933

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