Elders' Training, Book 04: Other Crucial Matters Concerning the Practice of the Lord's Recovery, by Witness Lee


Never have any thought of securing your position. As long as I labor in the Word, render the teaching to the saints, and open up the Word to all the seeking ones, I do not need to secure my position. Some of the young ones among us may think that if they could not get a group of believers to work on, they would not have the security of their living. They may think, “If I don’t have a church to work for, what shall I do? Then how could I make a living and be full-time?” I advise all of you, especially the young ones, to drop this thought. If you have this thought, I would advise you to go back to get a job to make a living. Do not go full-time with this kind of thought. When you go full-time, you must give your living “to the air.” When I say this, I mean that you will never starve to death. The Lord will feed you and He has many ways to feed you. If you really mean business with Him, you do not need to take care of your position, and you do not need to think about your living. The Lord will give you your food.

This same fellowship applies to the elders. This is why I told the elders never to consider that the church is under their hand to maintain their position. Again I say that in the church, position is like the doves on the street. If you do not care for these doves, they may come to you. If you care for them and go after them, they will fly away. Position is just like this. If you like to get it, it flies away. If you do not care for it and care only for the Lord’s interest, which includes the healthy condition of the church in which you are and the recovery of the Lord, your position is heavily secured. Otherwise, no matter what way you try to secure your position, it will not work. You will only damage yourself and damage others. This is why I felt the urgent need to have this training. Do not hold any work in your hand. Do not hold any church in your hand. Do not do anything to keep your position. This is altogether foolish.


As an older brother among you, I must testify that I have passed through all the roads already and that I know the roads. Most of you have not traveled on every road yet. I know what is not the right way. If you take the way I have warned you not to take, this will be a tragedy. I do not want to see this happen to you. We who are working for the Lord should not keep any work in our hand. This is not our work, but the Lord’s work. We are just His slaves. The Lord tells us clearly in Luke that after doing our work, we have to come to our Master and say, “We are unprofitable slaves; we have done what we ought to have done” (17:10). Even if you have done much work, eventually you have to go to the Lord and say, “Lord, I am not useful. Forgive me.” This should be our experience. No work is our work and no work should be in our hands.


The elders also must realize that no church is their church. As we have seen, there are only three definitions used for the church—the church of God, the church of Christ, and the church of the saints. The church is not the church of the apostles nor of the elders. Rather, the elders are of the church. Do not consider the church you are now taking care of as your church. First Peter 5:2 indicates clearly that the church is God’s possession assigned to your shepherding. The church is not your possession but God’s possession. We are just little servants. All the elders are servants and all the churches are one Body bearing one testimony. Then we are under the blessing of the Lord. Otherwise, we miss the mark. When we miss the mark, we miss the blessing and then we have to struggle for ourselves. This is not the right way.

(Elders' Training, Book 04: Other Crucial Matters Concerning the Practice of the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)