CARING FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE BY STIRRING UP THEIR LOVE FOR THE LORD
A sister in the full-time training began to visit another sister who is presently in college. While in college, the young sister has had to work full-time as well as attend class—and study, so she does not have time to come to the meetings. Often, the sister went to visit her at home and she was not there. On one occasion, she found her at home and tried to help the young sister by pray-reading Ephesians 1:17 with her. Though her response was very good and she wants the sister to come back, the sister is puzzled as to what to do in her next visit.
The work among the young people, especially the children of the members of the church, is very, very crucial. The wisest way to work with the children is to help them to love the Lord. If you would be a person who is qualified to work among the young people, you must be a person loving the Lord freshly every day. The junior high young people, humanly speaking, are lovers. They love many things, such as animals and clothes. The younger you are, the more you love. Junior high young people are at the best age to be led into the proper love of the Lord. Yet this kind of labor is not very easy, and many of the parents do not have a way to help their children. When you are a person who loves the Lord freshly, you can stir up a young person to love the Lord. Once a young person loves something, he will do everything for it. In this case, to help her pray-read Ephesians 1:17 is aiming a little too high. The best thing to do on the next visit is to stir up her love for the Lord.
THE PURPOSE OF THE HOME MEETINGS BEING TO NOURISH THE NEW BELIEVERS
We have realized that when we meet a person who “soars in the air” with their thoughts, we must restrict their thought to a particular point. In the same way, we also must be restricted in our burden and purpose. When a carpenter takes a piece of wood, he has a purpose for its use. We also must have a purpose whenever we visit new believers; otherwise, we will waste our time. We should always keep in mind that if someone is a new believer, our primary purpose in the home meeting is to feed him. Every time we get together with him, we must keep in mind that our purpose is to nourish him.
LABORING CONSTANTLY AND LEAVING THE RESULT TO THE LORD
We should labor and labor without any expectation of what the result will be. We should just labor, pray, and seek the Lord’s leading and His guidance with His wisdom. We leave the result to the Lord. All farmers know that as long as they labor, there will be some harvest. No labor is in vain. There will be a harvest, but do not expect to have a quick result. The quicker the result, the quicker the result disappears. If someone comes into the church life in three days, it is doubtful whether he will stay or not. But if it takes six months to gain one person, it is more likely that he will become settled in the church life. This may seem to be slow, and the increase may seem very small, but if only one out of every three members in the church brings one into the church life each year, the church will increase thirty-three percent a year. A full-timer may be able to bring five to ten people into the church life a year. This is not too slow. Our need is to labor. This new way is just to labor in the right way, that is, in the way of spending time every week to visit new believers in their homes.
To baptize people is not very difficult, but to get a person established in the experience of Christ, in the daily experience of God’s full salvation, and in the church life is more difficult. To do this will take at least half a year. Anything quicker than this is not trustworthy. We all have to labor, leaving the result to the Lord. Even if we labor for two years with little result, we should not be disappointed or lose heart. We must believe that whomever we have labored on will eventually remain.
PRACTICING THE NEW WAY WITH PATIENCE
First, we visit people in their homes to get them saved and baptized. Then once they are baptized, we go back to have home meetings with them. We should not expect to do something fast in these home meetings. We have to be prepared to spend at least half a year to gain one person. Sometimes it may take longer. Therefore, it is better to always have three or four new believers under our care at the same time.
To baptize is easy, so you have to realize that you should not baptize too many at once. You should not baptize people foolishly. You should baptize only three or four and keep these under your care for half a year. Then in the next half of the year, you may baptize another three or four. You should exercise some discernment over the new ones in order to discover the one among them who is the proper person on whom you can labor in order to gain him for the Lord’s interest. You must exercise some selection. Of course, your selection may not be that accurate, but, in general, it helps in your labor. You should baptize wisely, exercise some discernment, and spend most of your time in caring for the newly baptized believers.
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)