SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Sunday November 10, 1996

Origin of Church Organization

Exod 18:13-27 ; Mark 3:13,14

What Old Testament precedent do we have for church organization ? Exod. 18:13-27.

"He [God] designs that we should learn lessons of order and organization from the perfect order instituted in the days of Moses, for the benefit of the children of Israel" - Christian Service, p. 73.

It is important to note in verse 21 that Moses' appointed counselors were men who held the honor of God supreme and who were free of deceit, partiality, and self-interest. Thus not only were the people properly served, but they could also esteem their leaders as men of outstanding character, whose counsel they could heed and whose authority they could respect. "

Thou wilt surely wear away" (Exod. 18:18, KJV). "You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out" (NIV). Jethro wisely counseled Moses to organize the people before both he and they wore out their health. Overextending ourselves, even for the Lord, seldom accomplishes more. And once we are worn out, we can accomplish nothing. Organization not only helps us to be more efficient, it can also protect our health.

Describe the formal action Christ took to establish His church. Mark 3:13, 14.

"The first step was now to be taken in the organization of the church that after Christ's departure was to be His representative on earth....

"Jesus had called His disciples that He might send them forth as His witnesses, to declare to the world what they had seen and heard of Him. Their office was the most important to which human beings had ever been called, and was second only to that of Christ Himself. They were to be workers together with God for the saving of the world." - The Desire of Ages, p. 291.

In addition to ordaining the 12, Christ sent forth 70 other laborers, two by two, with instructions on how to conduct their gospel work (Luke 10: 1-9, Luke 10:17-20). Consider how you feel when you have much to do.

Are you able to get more done when you are organized? How could being more organized help you work for God more effectively?