ONE MOVE THROUGH ONE MINISTRY TO PRODUCE AND BUILD ONE BODY FOR ONE TESTIMONY
The ministry of the New Testament was carried out first by Peter’s company. Then the New Testament economy was carried out further by Paul’s company. Peter’s company was mainly for producing the churches among the Jews in the Jewish land, and Paul’s company was mainly to produce the churches among the Gentiles in the Gentile world. In the New Testament, however, the revelation is more than clear that these two regions with the Jewish and Gentile churches were one move by the Lord through one ministry to produce and build one Body for one testimony.
Based upon the New Testament, we must see that on this earth today the Lord has only one move by one ministry. This ministry is not your ministry, my ministry, nor anyone else’s ministry, but the ministry of the New Testament. This is why we began this training by seeing what the New Testament ministry is. The New Testament ministry is the unique ministry, and by His mercy the Lord has shown it to us.
THE PROBLEM OF REGIONAL FLAVORS
Now we must see a basic problem that we are facing and even that we may be in. Due to certain environments and certain political situations on this earth the Lord’s move, although by one ministry, is in different regions. This fact may influence us to think that each region should be different from other regions, that each region should have different churches. We may think that in Europe they should have European churches, in Asia they should have Asian churches, in Latin America they should have Latin churches, and in the United States they should have American churches. I think that this is not only unconsciously existing in our mentality, but it also might be expressed in our practice.
Even in the United States some part of the nation began to have the churches through a certain worker. Then another part of the nation began to have the local churches through another worker, and a third part of the same nation began to have churches through another worker. Due to the different workers, naturally, automatically, and spontaneously there are different regions of the work to carry out the Lord’s recovery in different churches. We must see that a hidden problem is here in the different regions. No co-worker has ever said anything about this matter, but unconsciously, unintentionally, and even subconsciously, a very solid and deep difference exists in the real situation.
Let me use one region as an illustration of what I mean. This certain region always bears a special flavor. Among these brothers in this region there is an unconscious, unintentional, and subconscious feeling that their region and all the churches in their region bear the same flavor. Although the brothers in this region have never said this, such a thing does exist. There is not only such a feeling among these brothers, but also to some extent this is their practice. When these brothers are talking together and another brother from another region comes up to join them, they immediately stop talking and change their subject. The subject which they were talking about is over because a “foreigner” from a “foreign region” has come to join them.
I am happy to say though, that another particular region does not bear any flavor in a good sense. The brothers who go out from this certain region do not bear their regional flavor. Some brothers from other regions bear their regional flavor wherever they go.
The principle of what I illustrated to you applies to the whole recovery. We are all in the recovery, but mostly we bear a regional flavor. This is not scriptural because all the members in the Body of Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, should bear the same flavor. As long as we bear different flavors, this secretly and unconsciously is killing the unique and genuine testimony of Jesus which is being borne by the Body.
(Elders' Training, Book 04: Other Crucial Matters Concerning the Practice of the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)