A MEETING FOR TEACHING AND PREACHING
First of all, you must study the Word. Then it would be good for the churches to have training meetings, a “teaching and preaching” meeting where people can hear the truths of the Bible in an atmosphere of preaching. If this is held on the Lord’s Day mornings, relatives and friends can be invited, and eventually others also will be encouraged to come. This meeting is not for the shallow gospel, but for the broadened gospel, covering a span from eternity to eternity. Such a meeting will be a place where your acquaintances can come and hear the truth. I believe this way is based upon the principles in the New Testament. The apostles in the book of Acts just preached and taught the Word.
How does this differ from what Christianity practices? First of all, their sermons often do not give the real truth from the Bible. Secondly, they usually have hired, professional preachers, teaching the laymen. Thirdly, their teachings are all too often without much reality.
Our intention is not to have two or three brothers do all the preaching. All of us must be the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. It is not too much to say that we must all be apostles. Apostle does not refer to a position; it simply means sent one. “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). The Lord was speaking to all the disciples when He said this, not only the apostles. Every believer, then, should be a sent one. If you go to your parents to speak for God to them, you are a sent one. Then, when you speak for God to them, you become His spokesman or prophet. What is it that you speak? It is the good tidings. This makes you an evangelist as well. When some people receive the gospel and become believers, you take care of them. This means you are a shepherd too. You may even shepherd your parents, if they receive the word you spoke to them as an evangelist and as a prophet when you were God’s sent one. Finally, you may teach them from Genesis 2 about the tree of life and the woman built up from Adam’s rib. If you are all faithful like this, within a few years the whole town may be turned to Christ!
Let us love the Lord and come to Him to fellowship with Him by reading His Word and praying. Day by day live this way. You will have experiences of Him and also learn the teachings with the enlightenment. Then gather for the church meetings. In this meeting not just a few leading ones should speak. The elders take the lead. You must all do what the elders do. Whatever they speak, you speak. You follow and learn from them. Such meetings will be attractive, convincing, and subduing. In this way you will get the proper knowledge and enlightenment.
This will lead to increase. Among your neighbors and friends will be some who will see your way of living. They will notice that you have the truth and know how to speak, preach, and teach. Behind the scenes pray for a few of them. God will answer your prayer; He will move according to the tracks you have laid for Him in prayer. He is the way. There is no need to arrange and organize some program. In the Lord’s recovery all we need is the Triune God and the Bible. We can take Him in through the Bible, and we can pray. This is the way we live.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)