What makes church organization essential for our time? Rev. 14:6; Luke 10:2.
We have a global task to accomplish--that of preaching the gospel to everyone everywhere. This demands careful planning and cooperative action.
Regarding the development of our work in the early years of our movement, we read: "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." - Testimonies to Ministers, p. 26.
Yet many members resisted the idea of organization, regarding it as too authoritarian. This resistance, however, did not prevail: "We sought the Lord with earnest prayer that we might understand His will, and light was given by His Spirit that there must be order and thorough discipline in the church--that organization was essential.... order is the law of heaven, and it should be the law of God's people on the earth.
"We had a hard struggle in establishing organization. Notwithstanding that the Lord gave testimony after testimony upon this point, the opposition was strong, and it had to be met again and again. But we knew that the Lord God of Israel was leading us, and guiding by His providence. We engaged in the work of organization, and marked prosperity attended this advance movement." - Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 26, 27.
This "work of organization" made it possible for our denomination to establish schools, medical institutions, community-service centers, missions, churches, and publishing houses.
With regard to the church, what are we warned not to do? "Let none entertain the thought that we can dispense with organization.... It has been built up by His [God's] 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." - Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 27, 28.