PRACTICAL POINTS CONCERNING THE WAY TO GO ON
I would like to say a word to the elders. In our locality we should not do anything in haste. At the present time, some of the saints may not feel good about changing our way of meeting from one person speaking to a meeting of mutuality with all prophesying. They may be concerned that nothing will come out if we begin to meet in mutuality and that this will result in a drop in attendance. We need to consider the situation of the saints in our locality. We have to fellowship with the saints who are concerned and with the whole church. We also have to help the prophesying in the larger church meetings. The elders need to do a supporting work. If the church is having a prophesying meeting and nothing substantial comes out in forty minutes, the elders need to take the last fifteen minutes to speak a word to the saints. When we first begin to take the way of meeting in mutuality, this may be needed. A word from the leading ones in the final fifteen minutes will fill in the gap. The elders should exercise to be very flexible in bringing the church into this God-ordained way of meeting. As long as we have a will, there is a way. We have the Bible and many spiritual books that open up the Bible. These can help us to get ourselves prepared to give a word full of the riches of Christ. In some meetings there may be no need for the elders to supply something special to support the meeting. But when we begin to take this way of meeting, the elders and certain gifted ones need to get themselves prepared and need to be on the alert to supply a word full of the riches of Christ if the meeting is empty. This God-ordained way will open up the mine for the riches of Christ to be released.
Every group meeting is a digging meeting, and every district meeting, the larger meeting of the church, is a meeting to exhibit, to display, the riches. If we have fifty meeting together on the Lord’s Day, I believe five will be very rich. They will always have some riches in their pocket. If the others in the meeting do something to support and to supply the meeting, that is sufficient. If they do not, some of the rich ones can function to make up the lack. Therefore, no meeting will be empty.
It would be very difficult for other Christian groups to take the way of all speaking in mutuality. The Bible has not been opened up among them, and they have very few books to help them get into the riches of the Bible. But with us it is different. Many of the brothers and sisters in the recovery have the riches of Christ, and they have the capacity to release these riches for the building up of the Body. They need to be given the opportunity to practice to release their riches. If we will be faithful to take the Lord’s ordained way, I believe that all the local churches will be brought on the right track within ten years. By that time the "custom" of the new way will be built up in the Lord’s recovery.
(Elders' Training, Book 09: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (1), Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)