Fringe Benefits

Fringe Benefits

One wonders what the Advent Move­ment is coming to when the call to service is weighed and considered on the basis of the fringe benefits that go with the job. Would it not create the right atmosphere for a genuine revival of gospel service if we could recapture the right spirit of labor­ing for Christ? What did He offer His dis­ciples?

President, British Union Conference

RECENTLY one of our in­stitutions got in touch with a potential worker with a view to employment. In answering the inquiry the worker asked for details of the service, salary, and par­ticularly what "would be the fringe benefits offered"!

One wonders what the Advent Move­ment is coming to when the call to service is weighed and considered on the basis of the fringe benefits that go with the job. Are we training workers who deeply appreciate the privilege of working for Christ or are we educating a class of professional per­sonnel who care more for the money of­fered, the hours of actual work required, the expenses and fringe benefits provided, and the security that comes at the end of a leisurely, assured term of service?

Would it not create the right atmosphere for a genuine revival of gospel service if we could recapture the right spirit of labor­ing for Christ? What did He offer His dis­ciples?

Our Lord called His men and sent them forth to preach. He did not promise them the security of substantial salaries and all the benefits that men regard as necessary adjuncts of a promising career.

'Look, I send you out like sheep among wolves; be wary as serpents, innocent as doves. And be on your guard, for men will hand you over to their courts, they will flog you in the synagogues, and you will be brought before governors and kings, for my sake, to testify before them and the heathen. . . .

'All will hate you for your allegiance to me; but the man who holds out to the end will be saved. . . .

'A pupil does not rank above his teacher, or a servant above his master. The pupil should be con­tent to share his teacher's lot, the servant to share his master's. If the master has been called Beelzebub, how much more his household!' (Matt. 10:16-25, The New English Bible).*

In every age the Lord of the harvest has called His servants to self-sacrificing toil. Those who catch the spirit of Christ are more concerned about the prosperity of the cause of God than they are about self-improvement. They are called to serve, not to be served. We hear altogether too much in these days about how this or that call may enrich and develop the individ­ual's experience and less about how the cause of God may be developed and His work finished.

When Winston Churchill assumed the leadership of Britain in its most crucial hour he invited the nation to follow him, and in one of his most inspiring speeches he said, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." The nation rallied to this stirring call and grimly fought until the ultimate victory crowned their efforts.

So the great leaders of God's cause have called on men to "suffer affliction with the people of God, [rather] than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt" (Heb. 11:25, 26).

When Paul received his call to apostle-ship he was not offered any fringe bene­fits, but the Lord informed Ananias, "He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake" (Acts 9:15, 16).

Are we failing our young people today by appealing to their self-interests and bribing them by benefits and bonuses in­stead of repeating the challenge of our Lord, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy of me" (Matt. 10:37, 38)?

Such have been the Pauls, the Luthers, the Wesleys, the Whites—and countless others who have spurned the world's bright toys in order to grasp the eternal values. Such is Dr. Albert Schweitzer, turning his back on a brilliant career as musician, phy­sician, and outstanding scholar, in order to devote his skill to the afflicted lepers at Lambarene. "What imprudent men the benefactors of the race have been. How prudently most men sink into nameless graves, while now and then a few forget themselves into immortality."

The god of this world "asks men to place their affections upon the good things of this world. If he succeeds in engaging the mind and affections, the heavenly at­tractions are eclipsed. All he wants of man is for him to fall under the deceitful power of his temptations, to love the world, to love rank and position, to love money, and to place his affections upon earthly treas­ures. If he secures this, he gains all that he asked of Christ."—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 480.

On the other hand, "Christ gave no stinted service. He did not measure His work by hours. His time, His heart, His soul and strength, were given to labor for the benefit of humanity. Through weary days He toiled, and through long nights He bent in prayer for grace and endurance that He might do a larger work. . . . To His workers He says, 'I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done.' "—The Ministry of Healing, p. 500. It was such as these who founded the Advent Movement. It will be such as these who will be used of God to finish His work and usher in the kingdom. To some Jesus will say, "Thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things," while to others He will say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant ... I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."


* The New English Bible. © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge Univer­sity Press 1961.


Advertisement - Ministry in Motion 300x250

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

President, British Union Conference

November 1961

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Protestant Episcopal Church—Anglican

The American Episcopal church is a self-governing branch of the Anglican Communion. At the 1930 Lambeth Conference it was declared as a "Fellowship within the one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church ... in communion with the See of Canterbury."

Candles in the Night—No. 4

Quakerism has made distinctive contribu­tions to Christian thought. Its women were spiritually inclined, domestically skilled, and had courage like steel. In fact, the te­nacity of Quaker women made history.

Spiritual Witness in Our Sanitarium

This article will deal with the workers of the Hinsdale Sanitarium and Hos­pital at Hinsdale, Illinois. This institution is bearing strong witness for the truth. It seems appropriate that a report should go out to the readers of the Ministry magazine, giving a brief resume of what is actually being accomplished by way of evangelism.

What Has Happened to the Singing Evangelist?

Why is it on the testimony of administrators and leading evangelists that the number of singing evangelists is constantly dwindling? Is there a reason why each year those who are talented in this line are seeking and accepting other work within the ranks of the organiza­tion? It would be folly for me to think that I have the answer, but I would like to share some of my convictions.

Daniel Eight in the New Testament

It is a significant fact that the only time Christ gave a command to understand a specific Old Testament proph­ecy He placed His finger upon Daniel 8:9-14. Not only so, but the two chief writers of the New Testament, Paul and John, by allusion to this same prophecy re­inforced their Lord's admonition.

Some Books I Can Recommend

Book recommendations from Harold L. Calkins

The Cairo Center

THE story of the Cairo Center is a story of the mirac­ulous love and power of the Lord. Christian leaders of both Orthodox and Protestant denominations have been amazed to learn that Seventh-day Adventists received per­mission to build such an institution on one of the city's main squares.

Dedicating the Church

The dedication of a church is always a most inspirational and joyous hour. Understand­ably, the pastor is eager to de­velop a dignified, meaningful service worthy of the occasion.

Andrews University Extension School at Beirut, Lebanon

Adventist ministers and teachers in the Middle East enjoyed a special em­phasis this summer on the study of evangelistic proce­dures and the Bible in the light of archeology. The ex­perience was one that will long be remembered and appreciated.

"What Think Ye of Christ?"

Although Jesus made sure that men understood His divinity and oneness with God, there are countless millions who through the ages have denied this.

"Logos" and "Lalia"

After a night on the Mount of Olives, Jesus came to the Temple to teach the people. It was to be a busy day.

The Minister and Culture (Concluded)

It is not difficult for a minister to under­stand the value and importance of wide reading. After all, sermon writing is a re­sponsibility that is ever with him and which the conscientious minister takes se­riously. Less understood, often, is the im­portance of culture in the fields of music and art.

"Never Lose Your Sense of Urgency" Part 1

Tucked away in Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy, as translated by J. B. Phillips, is a message that should burn its way into the thinking of every Seventh-day Adventist worker. It is a message espe­cially for us who lead God's people in these last days.

The True Thanksgiving Spirit

The one hundredth psalm is a beautiful poem that climaxes six consecutive psalms of thanksgiving. In this poem all peoples of earth, friendly and hostile alike, are invited to join Israel in offering thankful praises to God for His abundant mercies and blessings.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated


Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)