III. FELLOWSHIP WITH THE DEACONS
In the church, in addition to the elders, there are some serving ones, who are the deacons. For example, in Taipei there are the responsible ones for the districts, the business-office serving ones, the group-meeting responsible ones, those who are responsible for visitation, for cleaning, for chair and hall arranging, for ushering, and for clerical work. With all these serving ones, the elders need to maintain continual fellowship. This is why I said that the elders should spend all their time with these positive things and should not spend too much time to do what the deacons should do. Never think that if the elders do not watch over the arrangement of chairs and the hall, they will have nothing more to do. No. There are too many things that they should do. They need to visit and to fellowship with the serving ones. The elders have to fellowship with the serving ones individually one by one. The fellowship needs to be thorough, and they need to do this again and again. If they would do this, there will be many great results.
Do not say that the deacons are doing a good job already, that some are taking care of the windows, the floors, and the chairs, and some are responsible for the ushering already, and that things are more or less all right. No. They are not all right. It is like a pot of flowers that is growing. If you give it fertilizer regularly and water it every day, it will grow in one kind of way. If you do not give it fertilizer and do not water it, it can still barely survive, but the appearance will be different. In order for the church service to be full of life, with few problems, and with much perfecting of people that takes them onward and upward, there is the need for the elders to have continual fellowship with the serving ones. I cannot relate to you all the things involved in this kind of fellowship. But when you practice it, you will see the amount of blessing it brings.
Some elders feel that when the church is divided into districts and all the meetings are handed over to the district responsible ones, the elders will be out of a job. It is true that if the elders do not take the proper way of eldership and are still serving as elders in a natural way, the day will come when the church becomes too big and the districts so large that they are divided, and they will find themselves out of a job. But if you would learn and would not serve as an elder in the natural way, but would serve as an elder under the Lord’s leading, you will see that there are too many things to do. It is true that the work is handed over to the district responsible ones. But you have to fellowship with them to see how these responsible ones are doing. In Taipei there are over thirty districts, with about 160 to 170 district responsible ones. It is a tedious job for the elders to fellowship thoroughly with these ones. How great a responsibility this is! Yet how great is this blessing! Suppose the ten elders can fellowship thoroughly with these 160 to 170 district responsible ones, and they can maintain a regular fellowship with them. How great an achievement that will be! Yet how glorious it will be also!
(The Elders' Management of the Church, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)