Instruction and Exhortation to the Trainees, by Witness Lee


Wherever you go, wherever you are, wherever you stay, and wherever you serve, you should be one with the church. Although that church is different in appearance and in a few practices, that is still the church. You have to be one with the church. This is based upon the Lord’s teaching. Even in His prayer of aspiration, He desired that all of His believers would be one (John 17:21). There are at least four verses in John 17 in which the Lord refers to the oneness (vv. 11, 21, 22, 23). You must keep this as a basic principle that controls your entire being. Since the church is one, you have to be one with the church.


Second, you should be submissive to the leading ones (Heb. 13:17). Quite often a number of saints consider the leading ones in other churches to be very good, but not the leading ones in their church. They consider that it is better for them to be the leader because they could do a better job. They would not be so willing to go along with these leading ones. However, you should not think this way. The United States does have a particular advantage in its election process. Before the actual election day when people vote, many different things are spoken and done. But once a candidate is elected president and ushered into his office, then immediately all the Americans take his leadership. Among 240 million Americans, there may be another ten, twenty, or even fifty who are more intelligent and much more capable than the president. But we do not hear the voice of revolution. They all take that one leadership. It should be the same with us. Regardless whether the leading ones are not as good as you are in your consideration, or how intelligent you may be, you must consider God’s arrangement and His sovereignty and take them as the leading ones. Similarly, we have to believe that it is under God’s sovereignty that our president has been elected into office. Likewise, there should not be different voices in a local church.


Third, you should love all the saints (John 13:34). In John 13 the Lord particularly teaches us to love one another. Genuine love has no terms and no conditions. It does not mean that when others are good in your eyes, you love them, and when you feel that they are not good, you do not love them.


Fourth, you must learn to coordinate with all the members in one spirit (Phil. 1:27a). This is really hard for us to learn. You may love others, but you just cannot go along with them. You cannot coordinate. This is the greatest weakness that you all have to avoid. Through the years, I have seen a lot of things in the church life. Two or three brothers might quarrel for half an hour over the way to arrange the chairs. They did not merely talk, but quarrel. Even among the sisters some insist to use a dry cloth to dust the furniture. Others insist to use a wet cloth. Their debate became a case that was brought to the attention of the elders for a decision. This is too much. If some sisters prefer to dust with something wet, just let them do it. The others have to learn the lesson and vice versa. As long as it is mopped or dusted, that is good enough. If you could not give up your opinion, you have to learn more lessons in the church life. We do not know, naturally speaking, how opinionated we are. Sometimes we criticize a person about his tie. This exposes our opinions. We must kill all of our opinions. Then we can coordinate, in spite of many differences, with all of the members of the Body of Christ for building up and service.

(Instruction and Exhortation to the Trainees, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)