A NEW AND EFFECTIVE WAY
We must be clear, however, that when the church is about to move ahead, we cannot avoid having some who will blow cold wind or pour cold water on us because they think that it is of no use to gain new ones. They say that when you have many births, the number of deaths increases also. Therefore, they believe it is better to give birth to just a few and save the trouble. Actually, even if we take away the percentage of those who are lost, dragging, or unreliable, we will still be able to gain some reliable and remaining fruit as our increase, our multiplication.
More than sixty years ago Brother Nee and I often told the saints that we should double our number every year. After coming to Taiwan, I said the same thing—that we should double our number every year—whenever I mentioned the matter of increase. By 1984 when I returned to fellowship about the new way and to practice the change of system, I mentioned this matter again. This time it was in a public stadium, and you all stood up and responded to my fellowship, promising to bring one person to salvation every year and saying that the church membership would double. Today, two years later, what is the result? You have not saved many because you have not had an effective way. You have expended much time and energy, but your efforts have been wasted. This time I would like to fellowship with you a specific way for our practice. If you are willing to do things in this way, we will definitely be able to double our numbers in one year. Furthermore, it will be with remaining, reliable fruit. If this is the case, it will take only four years for four thousand to increase to sixty-four thousand. How could we not be excited about this?
To use a common saying, if we are not willing to make this kind of “business deal,” we are really foolish. According to the Lord’s word, if we reject this kind of fellowship, when we meet the Lord, we will not be able to give an account before Him (Matt. 25:14-30). We are accountable not to men but to the Lord. This is not a loose or careless word. This is the Lord’s word which will be fulfilled at His judgment seat (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10). Today among us the truth is clear and rich, and the leading of the Holy Spirit is definite and trustworthy. We certainly must not be slow to respond or hesitate to make a move. An increase at the rate of doubling the number every year is something without precedent in the history of Christianity. This matter alone is worthwhile for us to give our whole strength and expend our entire being.
I suggested to all the elders in Taipei that they should pass on this burden to all the saints and ask every one of them to write a consecration slip at the table meeting on the Lord’s Day. Whoever has a heart to love the Lord should consecrate themselves especially to go out door-knocking every week for two hours. Beginning next week I will train these consecrated ones, stir up the fire of their love, give them a definite way to practice, and teach them how to go out door-knocking.
THE CHURCHES’ COORDINATION CONCERNING THE NEW WAY
In the first term of the Full-time Training, there were seven hundred attendants. According to my observation, the trainees have already learned the first step of how to knock on doors and lead people to believe and be baptized. But after these people are saved, there are three more steps we need to get into in a deeper way. The second step is that we must go to people’s homes after they have been baptized to continue meeting with them. We must have meetings in their homes. The third step is that after we have set up a meeting in their homes, we must teach them the truth and help them to grow in life. This is not very easy to do. The fourth step is that while we are teaching people the truth and helping them to grow in life, we must help them to have the full knowledge concerning the church and to live in the practical church life.
In this term of training we have already baptized 4,800 people. Of these people, 2,600 are reliable, and we have established 1,000 home meetings. After a month, when the training is over, how will the church in Taipei care for these 2,600 people and these 1,000 home meetings? This is a pressing problem for us to resolve. For this, the church in Taipei must raise up at least 1,000 people who will go out to visit these new ones and care for them in the home meetings. This is a matter which cannot be delayed, and I hope that the elders will pick up a great burden and pray much for this and that the saints will also receive this fellowship.
There is one point about which we must be clear. Although you have turned in your consecration slips expressing a desire to go out door-knocking for two hours every week, it still must be approved by the elders. If some of you are not chosen, you should not be disappointed. You can still continue to pray and contribute your money and strength to support and supply this move. As to who should go out door-knocking every week and who should stay home to support by praying and making monetary contributions, this matter will be decided by the elders. We will be responsible for training the consecrated ones. Later they will all come to the training center to be blended together and to coordinate together for visiting and caring for new ones or for continuing to go out door-knocking in order to gain more people. This is a definite and practical way which I hope you will carry out steadfastly.
I believe that none of the saints who love the Lord and are for His recovery would disagree, nor should any disagree, with this fellowship. We have neither changed the truth nor negated the life. Rather, we have just had a new breakthrough with regard to the way of preaching the gospel, releasing the truth, and leading others to follow the Lord and come into the church life. We should make progress in this matter. In the world today, no matter what field you are in, the practical methods are constantly being reformed and improved. This is true even in the field of education. Therefore, we definitely must not cling to the old ways. Because Taiwan keeps updating its concepts, every aspect of society is able to prosper. I hope that we also would be able to make changes and be renewed in order that the numbers in the churches could grow and increase.
In order to practice this new way, we must be in one accord. The way has been clearly set forth before our eyes; if we continue to loosely express our opinions at will, we will make a mess of the whole situation. Changing the system is necessary, and our way of practice is excellent. All that is needed is for us to carry it out in one accord. The saints who meet regularly must produce one full-timer for every twenty saints to go out door-knocking every day. They must also produce one door-knocker for every four saints to go out door-knocking for two hours every week without fail. The elders should encourage and stir up the saints to consecrate themselves. Then the saints should receive training, be put into groups, and go out to knock on doors and care for others. If the churches cooperate in this way, I believe that the increase in the churches will ensure for us a great future.
(The Furtherance of the New Way for the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)