FEEDING THE LAMBS
After you have baptized people and have brought them to salvation, the next thing you need to do is feed them. In order to do this well, you need to be persons full of concern for people. You need to be interested in others and be concerned for their condition. When you bring a person to salvation, the joy it gives you is the same as if you yourselves were being saved, and this person becomes your child begotten through the gospel. You should never teach him by human methods. Instead, you need to feed him by the Spirit of God. When he rises up from baptism, you have to provide him with a lesson, helping him to know that he has a spirit, that he is now regenerated, that God is Spirit, and that this Spirit is His ultimate consummation. Now He is everywhere, even in his mouth and in his heart. As long as he calls on the name of the Lord, he will touch God within, and will enjoy God’s presence. This is the real feeding. Such feeding should be done as frequently as possible.
If a person is baptized today, you can start to have a morning revival with him tomorrow. The best way is by telephone. It is a convenient and time-saving way. You can make an appointment with him and should pick out an appropriate time in the morning to pray-read the Lord’s word with him over the phone. This should last for about ten minutes. Through this, he will touch the Lord and will enjoy the Lord. It is not good to read too much each time because he cannot digest it all. It is best to use only two or three verses. You should simply digest the Lord’s word through prayer. There is no need for too much explanation. Occasionally, you may explain a little. In addition to this, you must help him to take these two or three verses and allow them to rise up in him over and over throughout his whole day, whether at work or at home, and to pray over them for his supply. Besides this, you can also feed him at other times on the telephone. In this way, you will have more contact and conversation with him and will be able to give him appropriate suggestions and definite leadings. In this way, before long you will see him growing in the Lord and being changed. Day by day he will not only be able to eat well, but will also learn much. This will produce some very great results.
ESTABLISHING GROUP MEETINGS
If every one of us preaches the gospel according to the new way, bringing people to salvation and feeding the lambs, in a few months we will be able to gain two or three persons. A few of us can then bring our lambs together to form a group and establish a group meeting. First, in the group meeting we should not try to conduct worship services. Second, we should not try to meet. Third, we should not sing, pray, or read the Bible in the same way we used to do. When we come together, we should simply be normal. However, we should not be common. Rather, we should be full of praise and thanksgiving within. Spontaneously, there will be the mutual care, the mutual intercession, the mutual shepherding, and the mutual help. You need to take care of all these things in every group meeting. At a certain point, everyone will be very clear how many brothers and sisters there are in the group and what the condition of their family is. Everyone needs to learn to fellowship whenever anything happens and to let everyone else know about it. In this way, the group will have a foundation, and much will develop out of this.
This is why we say that the small groups comprise the major portion of the church life. If a local church is to be strong, the number of people attending the groups must be high. It is better that the number of people attending the group meetings exceed the number attending the Lord’s Day meeting. If this is the case, our church life will not merely be worship services, but a practical church life. Besides the mutual care, feeding, mutual acquaintance, and intercession, another main function of the group meeting is the perfecting. It is best to spend half of the time to do this work. How do we perfect? We do not have appointed teachers or designated leaders. Everyone is a student as well as a teacher. Anyone can ask questions and anyone can answer questions. Some may answer in a shallow way, and some may answer in a deeper way. It is very good, of course, if an answer is correct, but if an answer is incorrect, it does not matter. There will always be some who can wisely make an adjustment. Eventually, all the answers added together will become a very good and complete message. Unconsciously, the attendants will learn the truths. Week after week they will spontaneously obtain nurturing and perfecting.
(The Vision of the Divine Dispensing and Guidelines for the Practice of the New Way, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)