NOT CARRYING OUT A SOCIAL WORK,
BUT MINISTERING CHRIST AS LIFE
We are not sent to carry out a social work. In the church the only effective way to contact people is to minister Christ as life. No one can solve all the problems of society. The Lord Jesus worked on the earth for three and a half years, but He did not change the Jewish society. We should not touch certain matters. We must learn to be wise and not get into the realm of good and evil. If we get involved in a case in the way of carrying out a social work, we will not be able to help people. Rather, we may offend them.
We have to shepherd all the saints, but if the Lord blesses us, there will be too many persons to take care of. Therefore, we must consider whether a certain case will waste our time. After a certain period of time, we may discover that a certain case is one which no one can help. We must be wise and discern the situation. It may be worthwhile to spend all our time on one family. However, if the Lord has entrusted us with many people, we should stay out of complicated involvements. We have no time to waste. We are not fellowshipping here about a social work. We are fellowshipping concerning how to gain people for the Lord’s purpose, and the best and only effective way to gain people is to minister Christ to them. However, not everyone to whom we minister Christ will receive Him. Even when the Lord Jesus preached, not everyone received Him. We have to act in His wisdom and not get involved in difficult situations.
An elder must not remain in the realm of the knowledge of good and evil. If we remain in this realm for several years, we may get involved with many situations and offend many people. The wisest way to be an elder is to stay away from any kind of involvement in negative situations. If anyone comes to us, we should not care to be a judge or a policeman to arrest them. We should simply try our best to minister Christ to people. If they receive Him, we are thankful to the Lord. If they do not receive Him after several contacts, we may discover that their situation is a hard case which may waste our time.
(Elders' Training, Book 11: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (3), Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)