Basic Principles for the Service in the Church Life, by Witness Lee


In my experience I have always been tested by the brothers in the service. This kind of testing is very hard to take, but you simply need to take it. You may tell the Lord, “Lord, this is a cup from You, and I have no choice but to take it.” This is the way for you to learn the lesson of serving the Lord in the way of coordination.

When you do things by yourself, it seems that everything is convenient, but when you do things with others, it seems that nothing is convenient. For example, I would always prefer to travel by myself in the Lord’s work. However, in China, under the Lord’s sovereignty and under the coordination of the co-workers, I always had to travel with two or more brothers, and even to be the leader among them for the traveling. I am a person who always likes to have everything ready ahead of time, to leave nothing to be done at the last minute, and I would urge the brothers to have everything prepared for our trip. Every time there would be someone who was not ready. Eventually I would need to help him get ready, take care of things for him, and do everything for him, and we would not be ready on time. I encouraged everyone to take responsibility for their own things and not to burden others, but whatever way I tried, nothing seemed to work. Eventually I had to submit to the Lord and learn to be patient, and I had to take care of all the suitcases and all of the problems for the others. The more people you have traveling with you, the more problems you have—the luggage, the things others forget, all the special needs. You have no choice but to help. It seems that the others have come to help you, but you need to help them. They become a burden instead of a help, but they are really a help for you to learn the lesson.

One of the biggest problems is to visit a church with several co-workers to be received for hospitality by the church. Many co-workers simply do not know how to be a guest. There are many problems and many lessons for us to learn in the coordination.

What should you do in all these situations? You cannot dismiss your co-workers and send them home. You simply need to learn the lesson in the coordination. This is the only way for you to serve the Lord with others to build up the church. You should not be a giant. You should not be the one who is on the top. You always need to be coordinated with others. If you will try this way, you will surely see where you are. It is not so easy.

We are always ready to dismiss others. When some matters of the service were assigned to certain brothers or sisters, many times they would say that they wanted to make it clear that no one should come to the place where they were to serve. If they were to do the cooking, they would insist that no one else come to the kitchen. On the one hand, this is right, but on the other hand, they needed a few not only to help them but also to be a burden to them. Otherwise, there would be no lesson for them to learn. If you have some helpers that are a burden to you in the service, then you will be limited, broken, and adjusted. You need someone to be your burden. You may be too quick, and you need someone to burden you to slow you down. Then you will learn the lesson, and you will bring people in.


In serving the Lord in the way of coordination, the best test of your service is to check, after a certain time, how much of the service is in your hand and how many more people have been brought into your part of the service. After six months, if all of the service is in your hand and nearly all of the people are gone—you are almost the only one left—that is serious. You may be much better than others in doing the job. However, although the job is done in a much better way, the situation in the church life has actually become worse. By doing a better job by yourself, you have actually brought damage to the church life.

You need to bring more people in, and eventually not even one percent of the work should be left in your hand. Everything should be in the hands of others, and eventually there may be hundreds of people serving with you. This is the way of coordination, the way to bring people in and to have the church built up. The more you serve, the less is in your hand. The more you serve, the larger is the number of serving ones.

You should not consider the job that you have done. Rather, you need to consider the percentage of the service that is in your hand and the number of the serving ones. There are some real lessons to be learned regarding this matter. The biggest lesson in this matter is brokenness. We may talk about being broken, but the way to be broken is to serve the Lord with your brothers and sisters in the way of coordination.

(Basic Principles for the Service in the Church Life, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)