I. BY FELLOWSHIPPING WITH YOUR COMPANION THROUGH DESPERATE PRAYERS FOR THE LORD’S BLESSING
In this message we want to fellowship about how to start your vital group. First, you have to fellowship with your companion through desperate prayers for the Lord’s blessing. We have shared previously that we need to look to the Lord for some companions. If you do not have a companion, pray desperately from tomorrow to get one. Without a companion, there is no way for you to start the vital group. Then you need to fellowship with your companion through desperate prayers. You should not just talk to one another. Talk means nothing. It is vanity. When you come together, it is better to turn your talk into prayer. If you talk, talk to the Lord.
Furthermore, we should not pray in a routine way. We should pray desperately, “Lord, I’m so barren; I’m not happy about this, Lord; help me get out of this.” This is genuine prayer. I do not want to pray routine prayers. If I pray, I must pray something out of my burden. In order to pray routine prayers, we do not need to exercise our spirit or to shed tears. But when we pray desperately from our spirit to discharge our prayer burden, we will weep. We must have this kind of genuine and vital prayer.
If the Lord has mercy upon us and we would receive His mercy, our vital group will do well, and after six to nine months, we should split our group to have a new start. This should take place again and again. We must take a way of doing things in every step by having the full assurance that the Lord is satisfied and that we also are satisfied.
We need to have desperate prayers for the Lord’s blessing. We should pray, “Lord, we are nothing, so we have nothing. But You are the all-inclusive Lord, and You are the unsearchably rich One. We need Your blessing. Without Your blessing, we are dead. Without Your blessing, we are cold, not even lukewarm. Without Your blessing, we are just fruitless. We need Your blessing.” We must pray in a desperate way, “Lord, grant us the remaining fruit that we need. We have been barren for many years.” Such a prayer of desperation causes us to have a thorough repentance.
Dear saints, to be a Christian should mean something. Our being a Christian is not just for escaping from hell and going to heaven. This is too low. The Bible shows us something much, much higher than this. It shows us that God has an eternal economy, His eternal plan. We are here meaning business with the Lord to be one with Him for the carrying out of His economy. This is why we need to fellowship with our companion through desperate prayers for the Lord’s blessing.
II. TO START FROM THE FIRST STEP OF THE GOD-ORDAINED WAY—TO GET SINNERS SAVED TO MAKE THEM THE MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
We have heard the steps of begetting, feeding, teaching, and building up. In order to start our vital group, we need to start from the first step of the God-ordained way—to get sinners saved to make them the members of the Body of Christ. We are going to get sinners saved to make them the living, functioning members of the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is practical, present, and for today. God’s eternal economy is to get a Body for Christ, but hardly anyone on this earth is caring for this.
The Lord charged us to go to disciple the nations (Matt. 28:19). We should not excuse ourselves by saying that the nations are too evil and that the current and tide of today’s world are too strong. When we go to the Lord to give Him an account, He will not take any excuses. The Lord needs us today because of the negative situation. He needs us to go and get sinners saved to make them the members of the Body of Christ. We need to be desperate to bear new ones as remaining fruit each year. It is absolutely abnormal to be in the church life year after year without bearing fruit.
III. TO REVIEW ALL OF YOUR ACQUAINTANCES—RELATIVES, NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS, SCHOOLMATES, AND COLLEAGUES—AND MAKE A LIST OF THEM
We also need to review all of our acquaintances and make a list of them. Our acquaintances include our relatives, neighbors, friends, schoolmates, and colleagues.
IV. TO PRAY OVER THE NAME LIST AND SEEK THE LORD’S LEADING CONCERNING WHO SHOULD BE THE FIRST FOR YOU TO TAKE CARE OF
Then you need to pray over the name list and seek the Lord’s leading concerning who should be the first for you to take care of. If you would pray in this way, the Lord will lead you and you will have the burden to contact specific people. You need to take every step of the God-ordained way by prayer. You should not do anything without adequate prayer.
(The Training and the Practice of the Vital Groups, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)