REPORT OF THE WORK
The following is a report on the work:
A. The Building of the Big Meeting Hall
How should Shanghai go on? What kind of way should the church in Shanghai take? The foremost question is the building of the meeting hall. Either we do not build anything at all, or we have to build a big hall. Before the Lord, what we see is not just what we have right now. The brothers and sisters should have some foresight. Other than the big meeting hall, there is the need to divide the work into five districts: Chia-bei, Yang-she-pu, southern French Concession, Fu-she Road, and Inner-city. Shanghai has a population of 4.2 million; there are many things that need to be taken care of. Foochow has only 320,000 people. Recently, a thousand people were added to Foochow, and there was no way that we could take care of them all.
B. Everyone Begetting and Nourishing
More important than the business responsibilities, there are the spiritual responsibilities. These are works such as the bringing of friends to the gospel meetings, the visitation of the new believers, and so forth. The friends and relatives that you bring to the meetings should be taken care of by you yourself. When the new ones stand up in the meetings to answer the call, the speaker will not necessarily notice them, but you will. The speaker on the platform can be deceived through oversight, but you will not be deceived easily. If every brother and sister will bring their own friends, men will not be saved in a loose way. You can be very sure that certain ones are saved or not saved, and it will not be easy for false believers or false brothers to slip in.
After a person is saved, the more matured ones should take up the responsibility to care for him. Sometimes it takes five to ten persons to take care of one. You have to help such a one to read the Bible and to pray. You have to follow him up and to check if he has consecrated himself. If you do not do your job, the brothers have to rise up to reproach you. You have to see if the new ones are coming to the meetings, and what their family backgrounds are. If a brother cannot come for any reason, you have to go to him to make up the lessons for him. Brother Cheng, if you are the one responsible for the make-up lessons, and others do not come to the meetings, you cannot sit there and rest. I hope that concerning the matter of preaching the gospel and the visitation of the new believers, every brother and sister will participate in the work.
C. The Caring for the Poor
Another more basic work is the caring for the poor among us. No matter how high a position a person occupies, or how reputable is his name, he has to learn to be led away to the lowly. We should gather together all our used items, such as old clothing, old socks, and so forth, and should invite those who cannot make a living otherwise to come and mend, wash, and iron this clothing, and we should preach the gospel to these people. Whether or not they will believe, we will still ask them to come to work. If we do not do this, our heart will be too narrow. By doing this, our hearts will be enlarged. Many brothers and sisters do not have any patience with the poor people. By doing this, our hearts will be enlarged. If we do this, one day we may not be able to find any used items in the church any longer; all the old things will have been given away. The early churches always cared for the poor (Gal. 2:10). It is wrong for a church to preach spiritual teachings only. Among us, every one of us has to deal with the unbelievers, every one has to deal with the new believers, and every one has to deal with the poor people.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 53, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)