Working Relationships

Working relations at all levels of our organization.

By F. H. ROBBINS, President of the Ohio Conference

In God's great plan of organization as laid down for this people, in which each worker has a definite relationship and certain duties to perform toward each body of men to whom he is responsible—the local, union, and Gen­eral Conferences—a knowledge of this rela­tionship on the part of each worker is essential in order that in the cause of God the highest state of efficiency may be attained. "Order is the law of heaven, and it should be the law of God's people on the earth."—"Testimonies to Ministers," p. 26.

In Psalms 103 King David said the angels do the commandments of God. Thus the heav­enly beings follow the law of order. From the very beginning of the world, an organized plan can be seen in all God's created works. In the Exodus movement, Moses was a great general for God, and he led that large army of 600,000 men out of Egypt, marching five in a rank as soldiers sometimes march in our day. With the pillar of cloud leading the mighty host of Israel by day, and the pillar of fire by night, there was order.

When Jesus was on earth, He was the exemplification of perfect order and harmony in everything He did. And He set the ex­ample for the apostolic church—the outstand­ing church of all the ages. The last church on earth, in order to be the remnant of the apostolic church, must have the qualifications of that church and definite organization. Satan has his forces united and is constantly en­deavoring to destroy the organization of God's people, because he recognizes that order is necessary for success. He realizes the neces­sity for individual effort, and it is important that each worker be fortified and understand the part he is to act in God's great program, so that the work will progress and not be hin­dered by lack of cooperation.

The worker in the local conference should maintain an attitude of loyalty toward the organizations he is serving. It is his duty to carry out the programs instituted by his em­ploying body. When a campaign is in­augurated by the local, union, or General or­ganization, he should promote the plan as outlined, and work toward the finishing of the goal in a given time. And not only should he endeavor to close a campaign on time, but he should begin on time. Otherwise it is difficult to reach the goal. It is possible, of course, for a worker to reach his goals 100 percent and yet maintain an attitude that is not helpful to those with whom he works. If he does not work willingly, with the love of God in his heart, a great deal of what he has accomplished is lost because of lack of har­mony. However, this is the exception and not the rule.

The worker should be sure the methods he uses are progressive. In order to keep abreast of the times, it is often necessary to change from the old way and use a newer method. A worker who cannot adjust himself to new ideas as proposed and adopted by the organ­ization, will soon find he has lost out, and someone who is willing to advance and take advantage of every principle that will further the cause of God will supersede him. Of course, it is realized that no one should be asked to violate principles which he feels are moral or fundamental. The Lord has endowed each man with a conscience and certain in­dividual rights which must be recognized. The work of a true leader in God's cause is made plain in the Spirit of prophecy:

"While respecting authority and laboring in ac­cordance with wisely laid plans, every worker is amenable to the Great Teacher for the proper exercise of his God-given judgment and of his right to look to the God of heaven for wisdom and guid­ance. God is Commander and Ruler over all."—"Testimonies to Ministers," p. 492.

When a circular letter is received from the General, union, or local conference, it should be read carefully, as well as the material ac­companying it, and as far as possible the duty outlined should be performed. Just because a letter bears only a one-and-a-half-cent stamp, do not throw it into the wastebasket without examining its contents, because economy plays a great part in the work of God, and many times important messages are sent in this way. It has been reported that one general letter sent out in a union conference, inviting the workers to attend a convention, was thrown into the wastebasket and not read by most of the workers. As a result of this, when the convention opened, many workers were absent.

The worker should realize that those to whom he is responsible love him, and he is not asked to perform certain duties through any desire to place heavy burdens upon him. He is happier, and so are those in charge, when unity and love prevail. The ready response of workers to the given tasks expedites the work of giving the third angel's message. Not only should a worker fully understand his relation­ship to the local conference, but he should know that when he wishes to appeal to a higher body, it should be done through the medium of the organization he is serving. There are three steps above the local conference, as fol­lows: the union conference; the division, which is a division or section of the General Conference; and the General Conference. A request should pass through the local and union conferences before it reaches the Gen­eral Conference.

When visiting brethren from the General, union, and local conferences, who represent the organized work, go to the different churches in the field, these workers should be shown every courtesy by those in charge. Preference should be given to them and their plans, and they should be asked to speak at the meetings. In a word, to describe the relationship of a worker to the great program which is set forth by those in charge, unity is the key to the whole situation. "How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Ps. 133:I.

"Let us be determined to be in unity with our brethren. This duty God has placed upon us. We shall make their hearts glad by following their counsel, and make ourselves strong through the in­fluence that this will give us. Moreover, if we feel that we do not need the counsel of our brethren, we close the door of our usefulness as counselors to them."—id., p. 500.

In Christ's intercessory prayer just before His crucifixion, He prayed earnestly for unity among His followers, knowing that without it they would fail. The hour has come for a greater work to be done in our conferences. To accomplish this, we must have faith in God and united action. All who love God and keep His commandments, even at a sacrifice, will press together in concentrated ministry to save the lost.

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By F. H. ROBBINS, President of the Ohio Conference

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