PERFECTING THE NEW BELIEVERS
The second big step is to perfect the new believers. In our preaching the gospel by visiting, we bring people to believe in the Lord and we baptize them; then they become new believers. Now they are new born babes, and what they need most is care, which is also the perfecting. In the past we have been short in this matter, because most brothers and sisters have not been under such leading and perfecting to enable them to lead and perfect new believers. Although we have sometimes cared for them, visited them, and encouraged them to come to meetings in the meeting hall, the result has not been encouraging. This is because we did not see clearly that what God wanted was not to compel people to come to the meetings, but rather to bring the meetings to their homes. When we visit people, it is to bring the gospel of salvation to people. In the same way, when we perfect them after they are saved, it is to bring the meetings to their homes. We cannot expect that bringing the meetings to them two or three times will be sufficient, just as we cannot feed a newborn babe only two or three times. We were not clear about this in the past. So, although we have baptized many, only a few are left. This time we have learned the lesson. As we go back to the Bible, we see that immediately after people are saved and baptized, we need to meet with them in their homes.
Therefore, we should not leave a new one right away after we baptize him. We need to spend at least half an hour to an hour to lead a newly baptized one to know that today Christ as the Savior is the Spirit, even the life-giving Spirit, and that He entered into his spirit at the moment he believed, to enliven his spirit and to cause him to be regenerated. Simply speak to him in this way according the Bible, show him the related verses, and then lead him to pray and use his spirit to call on the name of the Lord to contact the Lord Spirit. Afterwards, go back every two or three days for a month. Use ten home meetings to work into him the basic Christian knowledge and experience in order to lay a good foundation of life. Then change the home meeting frequency to once a week, or at least once every other week, caring for him this way for as long as a year. In the process you must tell him that we are not professional preachers, but only those who have had the Lord’s grace and are constrained by the Lord’s love to bring people to be saved, to grow, and to be perfected by the Lord. We are the same as they are, all being brothers in the church, meeting and functioning together. For this reason, bring them to learn all that we do in the meetings. Bit by bit they can learn to pray, to call hymns, to speak the hymns, to read the Bible, and to speak for the Lord, thereby developing their organic ability.
ESTABLISHING GROUP MEETINGS
The third major step is to establish group meetings. First we have meetings in the new believers’ homes. Perhaps after one or two months, they would like to meet other Christians. We could then bring three to five nearby new believers together and establish a group meeting. As the saints know one another, they will encourage and establish one another. Meanwhile there will be the bond of love, the mutual fellowship, and the mutual care. Moreover, there will be the opportunity for all to manifest the organic ability in each one by speaking for the Lord and testifying for the Lord.
It is hard for a single piece of coal to start burning, but by putting a pile of coals together, they will burn, and the more they burn, the hotter and the bigger the fire will get. Needless to say, men are social beings. They do not like to be alone. The best gathering is a Christian gathering, where you are not only undefiled and away from evil deeds, but you also enjoy grace and know the truth. What was originally meetings in homes becomes a group meeting, where people can be more interested in reading the Bible and be more encouraged to love the Lord. They can learn from the Bible reading and can experience the Lord in loving Him. Spontaneously they have more to testify of and can further speak for the Lord in the meetings.
(Messages Given to the Working Saints, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)