LABORING PERSISTENTLY WITH ENDURANCE TO BEAR REMAINING FRUIT
These figures are accurate, but I do not have the same confidence in our practice because we do not have patience. We get disappointed so quickly and quit. We need to be earnest in our intention to bear fruit. If we will go out just once a week for only forty-four weeks a year for three full years, we could gain six as remaining fruit. I do not mean that you will baptize only six, but among all those whom you baptize, six will become remaining fruit. The Lord Jesus says, “I appointed you that you should…bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). The Lord’s desire is for remaining fruit. The problem is that we have never built up a habit to labor persistently over a long period of time. We expect to learn the new way, practice it for two months, and gain a lot of fruit. Otherwise, we get disappointed. We must all learn to take the slow way of fruit-bearing.
Learning by Practicing
I have studied and even experimented with the new way very much. I can assure all of the saints in the churches that they will be successful if they will be faithful to go out for two to three hours every week, week after week, for forty-four weeks a year. While the saints are practicing this, they will learn many things. In the past sixty years, I did not learn many things from others. I learned simply by my practice. No one taught me how to write the footnotes. No one taught me how to write a poem, a song, or a hymn. Over sixty years ago I began to write; I wrote a tract on the wonderful way to save souls. That writing was somewhat childish, but I continued throughout the years to practice and practice and practice. Eventually, I wrote the hymn, “O glorious Christ, Savior mine” (Hymns, #501). If you will practice persistently, you will eventually learn the proper way.
Needing the Elders’ Stirring Up
I do not expect that all the saints will go out, but I do expect the elders to bear the burden to stir up at least one out of every three to practice the gospel preaching in this way. Let the others rest. Some are too old, some are too young, and some are too weak, but they are all dear brothers and sisters. We must love all the dear saints, the weaker ones as well as the stronger ones.
If the elders will be diligent, I have the assurance that they can stir up one-third of the saints to preach the gospel by reaching people. If you take this word, you do not need any more teaching. You only need to practice. To ride a bicycle, you do not need any teaching; you only need to practice again and again. Eventually, you will ride quite well. This is how I have learned, so I have the confidence that you do not need any more teaching; you simply need to practice. I assure you that if you continue to practice diligently, you can gain two solid new ones within one year. You might not need to go by teams; you could do this by yourself.
You must be so definite and persistent. If no one will go out with you, you should still go out for the Lord one day a week for two or three hours. There is no need of so many teachings. Just go! If there is a door, knock on it. If people are on the street, talk to them. Practice every way. In one year, you can baptize at least ten, and out of these ten, two will be remaining fruit.
If the elders stir up just one-third of the saints, every year this one-third can triple. If fifty are stirred up, they may baptize over five hundred and bring at least one hundred into the church life as remaining fruit. However, to do this, these fifty must go out for two or three hours every week for ten months each year. Otherwise, we cannot expect any success. Today in the United States, it is easy for us to do this. We have so many “warm doors” to knock on, the doors of people we know. Through these “warm doors,” I believe many more doors will be opened to us. One “warm door” will open up two more doors. We do not need to be concerned with how many people we baptize; we simply must labor, labor, labor!
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)