A FEW POINTS OF FELLOWSHIP FOR THE ELDERS AND DEACONS WHO ARE NEW IN THE COORDINATION
Being Responsible and Accurate in Speech
Finally, I have a few points to fellowship with the elders and deacons who are new in the coordination. First, you must learn to speak accurately among the children of God. No elder can be irresponsible in his speaking, and no deacon can be inaccurate in his speaking. We truly need to be rescued in this matter. Elders and deacons need to learn to speak responsibly as well as accurately. Neither inaccurate words nor irresponsible words should be spoken. All inaccurate and irresponsible words are death. Those of you who are elders must not make a judgment based on rumors. You must remember that it is not easy to believe the truth, but it is easy to believe a lie. Today in the church there are too many irresponsible words. Every word we speak must be accurate, and we need to be accountable for our words. Otherwise, there will surely be many problems in the church.
Not Disclosing Any Matter That Has Not Yet Been Formally Decided and Announced
Before any matter that has been discussed in the service meeting is formally announced in public, neither the elders nor the deacons should go out and talk about it. This does not mean that we have any dark secrets. This is simply for the benefit of others. It is best not to talk to others about matters in the administration of the church before the matters are decided. You should not disclose these matters even to someone as close to you as your wife. Otherwise, you will offend the church. For example, suppose we have decided to have a conference but have not announced it yet. If we have made only an internal decision, we should not carelessly spread the news. Instead, we should wait until it is fully decided and formally announced before we have open fellowship about it. We should not take this matter lightly, but we must pay serious attention to this. Regardless of what you hear and see, especially concerning the matters discussed in the meetings of the elders and co-workers, you should not spread them to others. This is not because we have anything dark to hide but is for the benefit of others. Any matter related to the administration of the church should remain only in the fellowship and should not be carelessly spread outside before it is decided. If we carelessly spread information, this shows that our learning is short. If we all would understand this limitation and hold on to it, then there would be no gossiping, no scandals, and no problems in the church.
Learning to Ask More and Not Making Any Decisions on Our Own
Furthermore, all the saints in coordination must learn not to lightly make decisions on their own concerning matters about which they are not clear. The principle here is that no one should make any decision alone. Even if we are already clear, we still should ask and fellowship. Who should we ask? We should ask the elderly saints. For important matters we surely need to seek fellowship from others and find a way to solve the problem together before the Lord. The more we ask, the less likely we will be to make mistakes. In any case, it is better not to reach a decision by ourselves. In the church there are so many people and so many matters. Thus, it is not proper to make decisions on our own. Never think that it is a shame to ask others. Rather, humble yourself to be taught, and learn to ask often.
Not Having Our Own Opinion and Our Own Way
Another point is that we should not have our own opinion and our own way. We must learn to put aside our own opinions. All our opinions must be put forth in fellowship in the service meeting or in the elders’ meeting. If we know that our way is not good, we should not try to get others to accommodate us. We are all people of limitation, and what we know is limited. Hence, we should learn while doing. The extent of our awareness of church affairs also shows the extent of our learning and of our being restricted before God. We need to learn to speak accurately, to not spread abroad the matters discussed in the meetings, to ask more questions, and to make less decisions on our own. Moreover, we should not hold on to our own opinions and our own ways. We need to pay attention to and learn all these things.
(Being Apt to Teach and Holding the Mystery of the Faith, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)