Evangelism/Finance and the Budget
Sit Down and Count the Cost—God’s people are not to go forward blindly in the investment of means that they have not and know not where to obtain. We must show wisdom in the movements that we make. Christ has laid before us the plan upon which His work is to be conducted. Those who desire to build must first sit down and count the cost, to see whether they are able to carry the building to completion. Before they begin to carry out their plans, they must advise with wise counselors. If one worker, failing to reason from cause to effect, is in danger of making unwise moves, his fellow workers are to speak words of wisdom to him, showing him where he is in error.—Letter 182, 1902.
Strict Economy—Let all who take up the work in our large cities be careful in this respect—in no place should there be any needless expenditure of money. It is not by outward display that men and women are to learn what is comprehended by present truth. Our workers are to practice strict economy. God forbids all extravagance. Every dollar at our command is to be expended with economy. No great display is to be made. God’s money is to be used to carry forward in His own way the work that He has declared must be done in our world.—Letter 107, 1905. (p.86)
Begin Without Display—Why should we delay to begin work in our cities? We are not to wait for some wonderful thing to be done, or some costly apparatus to be provided, in order that a great display may be made. What is the chaff to the wheat? If we walk and work humbly before God, He will prepare the way before us.—Letter 335, 1904.
Balanced Evangelism—God forbid that there should be a large outlay of means in a few places, without considering the needs of the many fields that have scarcely any help. Self-denial exercised by the brethren in favored localities in order that adequate help may be given to needy fields, will aid in accomplishing a work that will bring glory to God. None can afford to build a high tower of influence in one locality, while they leave other places unworked. The Lord grant that our senses may be sanctified, and that we may learn to measure our ideas by the work and the teachings of Christ.—Letter 320, 1908.
Bearing Expense of a Worker—In the great cities many agencies are to be set at work. Those who are so situated that they cannot act a part in personal labor, may interest themselves in bearing the expenses of a laborer who can go. Let not our brethren and sisters make excuses for not engaging in earnest work. No practical Christian lives to himself.—Manuscript 128, 1901.
Churches Finance New Work—Those who know the truth are to strengthen one another, saying to the ministers, “Go forth into the harvest field in the name of the Lord, and our prayers shall go with you as sharp sickles.” Thus our churches should bear decided witness for God, and they should also bring Him their gifts and offerings, that those who go forth into the (p.87) field may have wherewith to labor for souls.—Manuscript 73a, 1900.
God’s Provision for City Work—I have had messages from the Lord, which I have given to our people over and over again, that there are many monied men who are susceptible to the influences and impressions of the gospel message. The Lord has a people who have never yet heard the truth. Keep to your work, and let the property that shall be donated to the advancement of the truth be so used that a center shall be established in _____. Let proper persons, who have never revealed the selfish, grasping spirit which withholds the means that ought to be used in the large cities, be selected to carry forward the work, because God acknowledges them as His chosen ones....
God will move upon the hearts of monied men, when the Bible, and the Bible alone, is presented as the light of the world. In these cities the truth is to go forth as a lamp that burneth.
The question has been asked, Why have you made a specialty of laboring for the lowest, most debased class, passing by the men of discrimination and talent? There is a field all ripe for the harvest, and the Lord has means whereby this field shall be worked. There are men of large business capabilities who will accept the truth, men who trust in the Scriptures, who, from the treasure house of the heart can bring forth things new and old. Controlled by the Holy Spirit, these men will move in a way that will clear away obstructions, so that the people may be warned of the soon coming of the Lord....
In many testimonies I have stated that wealthy men, who have their Lord’s money, will be moved by the Spirit of God to open doors for the advancement of the truth in large cities. They will use their entrusted (p.88) means to prepare the way of the Lord, to make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Those who work in the large cities are to reach if possible to the high ones of the world, even to ruling powers. Where is our faith? God has presented to me the case of Nebuchadnezzar. The Lord worked with power to bring the mightiest king on the earth to acknowledge Him as King over all kings. He moved upon the mind of the proud king until Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged Him as “the most high God,” “whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.”—Letter 132, 1901.
Solicit the Wealthy—Let those who labor in the interests of the cause of God lay the necessities of the work in _____ before the wealthy men of the world. Do this judiciously. Tell them what you are trying to do. Solicit donations from them. It is God’s means which they have, means which should be used in enlightening the world.
There are stored up in the earth large treasures of gold and silver. Men’s riches have accumulated. Go to these men with a heart filled with love for Christ and suffering humanity, and ask them to help you in the work you are trying to do for the Master. As they see that you reveal the sentiments of God’s benevolence, a chord will be touched in their hearts. They will realize that they can be Christ’s helping hand by doing medical missionary work. They will be led to co-operate with God, to provide the facilities necessary to set in operation the work that needs to be done.—Manuscript 40, 1901.
Others, Too, Must Have Facilities—Elder_____ uses with prodigality money that should go to the sustaining of workers in different parts of the field. (p.89) He needs to remember that others besides him are to have opportunity to use their talents in the Lord’s work. And they are to be given facilities for work, so that they can labor without sacrificing health and even life itself. One worker is not to absorb a large amount of money to carry on his line of work according to his own plans, leaving his fellow worker without the means he ought to have in order to do the work assigned him. Even if this money comes from outsiders, it is still the Lord’s money. God has not ordained that one worker should have a superabundance, while his fellow worker is so bound about by a lack of means that he cannot accomplish the work that should be done.—Letter 49, 1902.
Converted Souls to Provide Means—As men and women are brought into the truth in the cities, the means will begin to come in. As surely as honest souls will be converted, their means will be consecrated to the Lord’s service, and we shall see an increase of our resources.—Manuscript 53, 1909.
Build Up a Reserve Fund—Evangelistic work is not to be carried on in the selfish, self-exalted manner in which Elder _____ has carried it on. The means that come into the hands of the workers in the Lord’s cause belong to God and are to be used in an economical manner. When large sums of money are given to the work, let a portion of the means be laid by; for there will be emergencies to meet in the Lord’s great vineyard.—Letter 149, 1901.
Wise Management in New Fields—There is great importance attached to the starting in right at the beginning of our work. I have been shown that the work in _____ has been bound about without making that decided advancement that it might have made if the work had commenced right. Far more might have (p.90) been done with different modes of management, and there would have been less means actually taken from the treasury. We have a great and sacred trust in the elevated truths committed to us.—Letter 14, 1887.
Economy Not to Excess—While we are to be economical, we are not to carry economy to excess. It is one of the sad, strange things in life that great mistakes are sometimes made in carrying the virtue of self-sacrifice to an extreme. It is possible for the Lord’s workers to be presumptuous, and to carry too far the self-sacrifice that prompts them to go without sufficient food and without sufficient clothing, in order that they may make every dollar go as far as possible. Some laborers overwork and do without things they ought to have, because there is not enough money in the treasury to sustain the number of workers that ought to be in the field. There would be more money if all would work in accordance with Christ’s injunction: “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”—Letter 49, 1902.
Avoid Petty Meanness—The one object to be kept before the mind is that you are reformers and not bigots. In dealing with unbelievers, do not show a contemptible spirit of littleness, for if you stop to haggle over a small sum, you will, in the end, lose a much larger sum. They will say, “That man is a sharper; he would cheat you out of your rights if he possibly could, so be on your guard when you have any dealing with him” But if in a deal a trifle in your favor is placed to the favor of another, that other will work with you on the same generous plan. Littleness begets littleness, penuriousness begets penuriousness. Those who pursue this course do not see how contemptible it appears to others; especially those not of (p.91) our faith; and the precious cause of truth bears the stamp of this defect.—Letter 14, 1887.