LABORING IN A PERSONAL WAY
FOR THE INCREASE OF THE CHURCH
I would ask the elders if they are happy about the increase in their locality. We must make a strong decision to labor in a personal way for the increase of the church. We should schedule our time for the weekly preaching of the gospel. For the Lord’s recovery we all need a turn from barrenness to fruitfulness. We need the new ones. We need "new blood," newly saved ones. All the local churches must pay attention to this. If our number remains the same year after year, the saints may eventually lose interest in serving. Instead of being busy in the church life, they may become busy in a negative way. Mothers with young children are consumed with taking care of them. They do not have much time for other things. The only rescue for us is to change our way so that we can gain the increase. This is the only remedy.
If we cannot gain a thirty percent increase in a year, we should consider that as a failure. A twenty percent increase is good, but not that good. If twenty out of one hundred saints take this way, they can bring in at least thirty yearly. We do not need the whole church to work in this way. But it is altogether reasonable, logical, and possible that one-fifth of the saints will work in this way. Then we can gain a thirty percent increase yearly. This increase will stir up the interest of the whole church.
This burden has been on my heart for a long time. The increase of the local churches is disappointing. Many churches have been existing for years with under one hundred saints. This has caused me great concern. In the physical realm, the parents are eventually concerned that their children have children. If the parents have five children, and none of them has any children, the parents will be bothered and disappointed. Not to beget children is a serious thing. The increase of the churches is the key point to us today. I have been in the Lord’s interest for about sixty-five years. I have no trust in any kind of revival. We found out by history and through our history that big gospel campaigns do not work for the long run.
The Lord needs some of His saints to practice the priesthood of the gospel according to His ordained way. Then the Lord will have a way. The way of revival with big speakers does not work so well. What we need today is the proper increase due to our labor. If we labor faithfully, we will see the result. We need at least twenty percent of the saints among us to labor in this way. These ones can bring a thirty percent increase to the church. This will lay a foundation for the Lord to start a solid building up of His Body. In the local churches, the basic number with the basic, promising members is short. We need solid members for the solid building. We have to look to the Lord for His mercy that this work could be started among us.
(Elders' Training, Book 10: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (2), Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)