It is not ordained ministers upon whom we must depend for this work, but laymen who love and fear God, and who feel the burden for the salvation of souls. They can be agents and coworkers with divine providence in seeking to save the lost. We want those who have sanctified energy, moral and intellectual. Let these put to use the talents they have, and by exercise they will grow. It cannot be otherwise if they abide in Christ. In His companionship they will be constantly growing in wisdom. Christ says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” With Christ by your side, as your Teacher and Leader you can do all things.
There are many who have for years been rejoicing in the light of truth; let them now practice the lessons they have learned. They have the Word of God, and the precious experience. Let them use the knowledge to a purpose. In all humility of mind seek to learn ways and methods of reaching those who are still in error and darkness. God calls; shall we hear His voice? God calls upon the lay members of His church to enter the field and do what they can by individual effort. All are to work for perishing souls, laying hold by faith upon the power of faith to work with them. Moments are precious.
Everyone must be a learner, not a graduate; he must engage in the work with a humble heart, wholly dependent upon God. He may make mistakes, but errors in judgment will be corrected by education. Defeats may be turned to victories. As he advances, he can learn wisdom through failure, caution from imprudence. But learn, not let go. Keep the dear Savior by your side; pray always; ask counsel of Jesus.
There are thousands who, if they would give themselves to the Lord without selfish reservation, might go with their families into new regions where the truth is not known, and establish themselves as citizens, and then watch for souls as they that must give an account. They might speak to the young, telling them of the love of Jesus. They could visit families, and in a pleasant manner introduce some excellent reading from our papers or publications. Let these silent messengers speak to them; and when the opportunities seem to be favorable, suggest a season of prayer, and the reading of the Bible. Angels of God will open ways for all such workers; they may become channels of light. Let them be constantly learning, constantly receiving, and constantly giving. . . .
What is needed, then, is to set at work scores, yes, hundreds, who now have their light hidden under a bushel or under a bed. . . .
There are souls who are willing to make any move for Christ’s sake, but they think they are not qualified to do the sacred work of God. They have accepted the truth, and rejoice in it; but they have not come to the point to cry, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.” They do not seek to make terms with the Lord; if they are convinced that He calls them, they will make any and every sacrifice for the truth’s sake. It is just such ones as these, who are little in their own eyes, that the Lord chooses to use in the work of saving souls. They are not required to preach doctrinal discourses; but by personal effort they can reach hearts, and win them for Christ and the truth.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during a public ministry that spanned more than 70 years. This selection is from “Lay Members as Pioneers,” An Appeal for Self-supporting Laborers to Enter Unworked Fields, chap. 4, pp. 21, 22.