The organization of the church
To be able to fulfill the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15, 16), to accomplish much work in a relatively short time, and to guarantee peace and united action, exact order and organization are indispensable.
“God is a God of order. Everything connected with heaven is in perfect order; subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. Success can only attend order and harmonious action. God requires order and system in His work now no less than in the days of Israel. All who are working for Him are to labor intelligently, not in a careless, haphazard manner. He would have His work done with faith and exactness, that He may place the seal of His approval upon it.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 376.
Purpose and goal of the organisation
“As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization there would be great confusion, and the work would not be carried forward successfully. To provide for the support of the ministry, for carrying the work in new fields, for protecting both the churches and the ministry from unworthy members, for holding church property, for the publication of the truth through the press, and for many other objects, organization was indispensable....
“We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of regulation and order. In this way license shall not be given to disorderly elements to control the work at this time. We are living in a time when order, system, and unity of action are most essential.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 26, 228.
Importance of organisation
“Let none entertain the thought that we can dispense with organization. It has cost us much study and many prayers for wisdom, that we know God has answered, to erect this structure. It has been built up by His direction through much sacrifice and conflict. Let none of our brethren be so deceived as to attempt to tear it down, for you will thus bring in a condition of things that you do not dream of. In the name of the Lord I declare to you that it is to stand, strengthened, established, and settled.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 27, 28.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.” Numbers 11:16, 17.
According to the advice of Jethro (Exodus 18:21, 22) to have rulers of ten, fifty, one hundred, and one thousand, and then Moses with the seventy elders, we believe that it is good for God’s church today to have a similar structure:
• Field or mission field
• General Conference
The church committee should be composed of the church officers who carry the burdens and concerns of the church. The leader, the secretary, and the treasurer automatically belong to the committee by virtue of their election. This applies also in the fields, unions, and the General Conference. The committee is composed of an odd number of members, usually 5 or 7.
The election of church officers is very important, for the welfare and progress of the work depend to a great degree on its leaders. Therefore, the greatest care should be taken when men and women are called to service in the church of the Lord.
All who are called to a church office should be humble, peaceable, just, free from covetousness, kind, and diligent and possess a spirit of conscientiousness, sobriety, and hospitality.
Primary Officers of the General Conference
The primary officers of the General Conference are involved not just in planning but in hands-on daily operations. The advancement of God's work into new countries entails frequent contact, for representatives on the ground in each country face circumstances requiring great wisdom on every possible level–financial, administrative, and spiritual. Frequent phone calls and emails to and from officers and staff provide support in training, counsel, and assistance in decision making. In addition, these brethren travel frequently to lead delegates' meetings and elections, attend conferences, and participate in seminars.