THE FOCUS OF THE CHANGE IN SYSTEM—THE HOUSEHOLD
The focus of the change in system is the household. In the New Testament we see many sweet households, such as the household of Caesar (Phil. 4:22), the household of Cornelius (Acts 10:22-24), the household of Lydia, a seller of purple-dyed goods (16:13-15), and the household of the jailer whose name is unknown (vv. 29-34). There was also the household of Stephanas (1 Cor. 1:16) and the household of Crispus (Acts 18:8). In addition, there were houses in which the meetings were held, such as Aquila and Prisca’s house (Rom. 16:3-5; 1 Cor. 16:19), the house of Nymphas (Col. 4:15), and the house of Philemon (Philem. 1-2). These examples clearly show us that the unit of God’s salvation and service is the household.
Even in the Old Testament, in the two great types of salvation, the household was the unit of salvation. The first was the type of the flood in which the eight members of the house of Noah entered into the ark and were thus saved from God’s judgment on the world (Gen. 7:1; Heb. 11:7; 2 Pet. 2:5). The second was the type of the Passover in which each Israelite household took a lamb, killed it, put the blood on the doorposts and the lintel of the house, and ate the flesh of the lamb. It was not a lamb for each person but for each household as a unit (Exo. 12:3-8). In the past we have ignored these clear truths of the Bible; we were influenced by Christianity and were distracted and carried away.
From the beginning of the Lord’s recovery in China, Brother Nee pointed out that the church needs to be built up with the household as a unit. I received this matter from him and brought the practice to Taiwan. In addition, I introduced the practice of the “groups.” However, in 1984 when I returned to Taiwan, these two practices were almost non-existent. We were under the influence of the nations and were following their customs (2 Kings 17:33) to walk in the way of the denominations in Christianity by copying their practice of big meetings in which one man speaks while all the rest listen. This practice brings forth the “clergy” and the “laity,” which prevents not every saint from functioning. Seeing this, I want to bring out a specific way for our practice at this crucial time.
DEFINITE STEPS NEEDED FOR PRACTICING THE CHANGE OF SYSTEM
Having an Average of One Full-time Serving One Out of Every Twenty Saints
Out of every twenty saints meeting in the Lord’s recovery there should be one full-time serving one. Although I cannot say that this is a revelation from the Lord, I feel very clear inwardly that this is an excellent way. I also trumpeted this call very clearly in the United States, hoping that all the more than six hundred churches on the six continents would be able to do this. This is the first principle for carrying out our change of system: that one out of twenty of the saints would be full-time.
Some news has come in from two local churches. One locality which has one hundred eighty in the meetings is willing to produce nine full-timers, and the other locality which has eighty in the meetings will produce four full-timers. Now the church in Taipei, which has four thousand people regularly attending the meetings, has produced two hundred full-timers. This altogether corresponds to the principle of one out of twenty. I am very happy about this.
(The Furtherance of the New Way for the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)