Basic Principles for the Service in the Church Life, by Witness Lee


The right way is this. On the first day that I come here to serve, I may do ninety percent of the things and leave ten percent in the hands of others. But after one month, I am taking care of only sixty percent, and the other thirty percent has passed into the hands of some others who have come in to serve with me. After another month, I may take care of only thirty percent, and another month later, maybe only five percent, then a little later, only one percent. The rest of the job of the service goes to all the serving brothers and sisters. One sister takes care of the piano. A brother takes care of the hymns. Another takes care of this, and another takes care of that. To serve the Lord in this way I need to learn many lessons. Each one of us naturally thinks that he is the best and would never let others do the same thing he does. But if you would learn the lesson to be coordinated with others, you need to learn how to look down on yourself and how to be limited by others. Otherwise, you could not bring people more and more into the building.

There was a sister in China who was quite capable, educated, and experienced in doing things, and she loved the Lord very much. However, when she came into the service of the church, the more she served, the more everything came into her hand. After two or three months, it seemed that all the others had been dismissed. One day the elders asked her why it was that there were only two or three left in the Lord’s service, when a few months ago there had been quite a number. They asked where the others were. Her answer was that they did not know how to do things, and they did not do them well. The more she served, the more all the others were dismissed because of her ability and her capability. No one could work as fast as she could. In everything it seemed she was right because she was so capable. But in spiritual reality she damaged the church life very much. She acted independently. Later on, with this sister there was a great spiritual cancer.

A cancer is a part of the body that overdevelops, a group of cells that goes wild, that goes too far. You need to be limited by others so that you will not be a cancer to the Body of Christ. You need to be limited by others so that you will be a member coordinated with others, not a cell gone wild.

The best way for us to serve the Lord in the church is this way. The first week that you come to serve the Lord, you may take care of seventy percent of the things, and the others take care of thirty percent. The next week, you take sixty-five percent, and the others thirty-five percent. The third week, you may take sixty, and the others, forty. With you the percentage is always being reduced, and with the others it is always being increased.

From another angle, the first week that you come, only five percent of the saints are serving with you. After one week, there are eight percent, then twelve, twenty, and eventually, maybe after one year, one hundred percent. The percentage of the work in your hands is always being reduced, yet the number of the people serving with you is always increasing. After maybe one or two years, the service will be absolutely out of your hands and one hundred percent in the hands of all the brothers and sisters. The number of the serving ones will be increased from just a handful to more than a hundred. This is the right way.

If you take this way, you will learn to be limited, to be broken, and to submit yourself to others. If you do not serve the Lord with others, you will never know yourself, but when you serve with others, you will be exposed how “good” you really are. In this kind of service there are many lessons for you to learn.

(Basic Principles for the Service in the Church Life, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)