With regard to the practical affairs of the church, the brothers and sisters must be very concerned and very clear. Regardless of what kind of affair it is, all must put their hand to it. For example, the cleaning of the meeting place and the care and arrangement of the blankets and sheets that belong to the church are all in the nature of the service of the Levites. The care of those who are needy among us and the receiving and sending off of visiting brothers and sisters are also work in the nature of the Levitical service. There is a great amount of work in the nature of the Levitical service. There is much work in the church service office, which is also Levitical.
When a person serves God, there is the priestly work on the one hand, and there is the Levitical work on the other hand. Both should be accomplished. On the one hand, you participate in the spiritual service, and on the other hand, you should also take care of the practical affairs. Remember that Stephen and some others took care of serving food. That was the service of the deacons, the work of the Levites. When the disciples distributed the loaves and collected twelve baskets of fragments and on another occasion collected seven baskets of fragments, they were doing the work of the deacons. In particular, Judas’s responsibility for the purse was the business of the deacons. The Lord Jesus at the well at Sychar sent His disciples away to buy food. Their buying of food also was the work of the deacons. These things occupy a great part of Christian work. This category of things is what everyone in the church must properly learn before God.
Brothers and sisters, at this point I think I can make a suggestion. Please pay close attention to this. There are many brothers and sisters who have some spare time. There are also many sisters at home who have no time whatever. They have to cook, and they have to take care of their children. Why would the brothers in the service of the Levites not take responsibility in this matter by actually arranging for someone to go to their home to help them? The responsible ones can tell them that there are two sisters among us who can help them do the laundry two hours every week. This is also the work of the Levites. At the time of the apostles, the widows of the Hellenists were not adequately being cared for, and there were murmurings. Such was the church. Although this was not something spiritual, but rather a practical affair, it still needed to be done.
There are many things that we can consider before the Lord: (1) the cleaning work; (2) the arranging of the hall and the work of ushering; (3) the need for a group of brothers and sisters to take care of the breaking of bread and the baptisms. Some need to be responsible for the bread and the cup for the bread-breaking meeting. We also need some who are trained to take care of the matters related to baptisms, such as helping those who are being baptized go down and come up out of the water, change their clothes, etc. (4) Giving to the poor among the unbelievers. When unbelievers are involved in disasters of floods or fire, the church should take care of them. (5) Caring for those who are poor among us; (6) the receiving and sending of brothers; (7) the bookkeeping; (8) the kitchen service; (9) the service office; (10) the transportation service. In places where cars or vans are available, some need to oversee their use. (11) The clerical work, which includes handling the incoming and outgoing mail; and (12) helping the poor brothers and sisters do their household chores, including laundry, sewing, mending, etc.
I also expect that every brother and sister will bear the burden in practical affairs. Never let a situation exist where some have things to do and others are doing nothing. The service of the church is always for everyone. If there are some brothers and sisters in our midst who have time, it would be good for them to help other brothers and sisters in their housework. Every week they could go to another brother’s or sister’s house to help for an hour or two, doing some miscellaneous things for them. Especially, it would be good for those sisters who are housewives with wealth and good standing to go to some brother’s or sister’s house to do some washing and mending. They should not just have people working for them, while they themselves do nothing. It befits them as Christians to go to the homes of poor brothers and sisters and do things with their own hands.
(Further Talks on the Church Life, Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee)