THE LEADING ONES
AND SOME OF THE LEADING SEEKING ONES
TAKING THE LEAD TO PRACTICE, IN A DEFINITE WAY, EACH STEP OF THE GOD-ORDAINED WAY
The leading ones and some of the leading seeking ones should take the lead to practice, in a definite way, each step of the God-ordained way. In nearly every church there are, besides the elders, some leading seeking ones. The elders and these seeking ones should take the lead to practice the God-ordained way. We should not tell the saints to go out to knock on doors. That will not work. The leading ones in the church are the "head sheep." They have to go out and others will follow their example.
Besides attending the regular meetings of the church, the leading ones and the leading seeking ones should set aside their time once (better twice) every week for three hours to practice the new way. We should not start to practice the God-ordained way and then forsake the regular church meetings. We still should attend the regular church meetings while we are practicing all the steps of the new way.
First, we need to get sinners saved and baptized in a solid way (Matt. 28:19). It may be hard for us to gain new ones in the United States. But if we would be faithful to the Lord and budget our time once or twice every week for three hours to go out to reach people, we can gain two remaining fruit every year. Be assured that this will happen if we are faithful to go out year-round every week for three hours. We only need to do this for forty-five of the fifty-two weeks of the year.
After we have baptized two or three, we do not need to baptize more. We need to take care of the ones we have baptized by going to their homes. We need to feed these new believers in their homes once or twice every week for an appropriate period of time (John 21:15; 1 Pet. 2:2). The amount of time we spend with the new ones in home meetings depends upon our discernment of their situation. If we feel that they are still young, we need to feed them more. In the course of our labor, we will baptize a number who do not remain in the church. But we should always exercise to have two or three new believers under our care as our children, nourishing them as a mother and entreating them as a father (1 Thes. 2:7, 11). We are the parents, the mother and the father, of the new believers. We need to raise them up as our children.
Every group of four of the leading ones and the leading seeking ones should bring the two or three who are under their care together to practice the group meeting to learn how to fellowship with one another, how to pray for one another, how to care for one another, how to shepherd one another, and how to teach one another by mutual questions and mutual answers, that they all may be perfected to do the work of the building up of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:12). In the group meetings we should not do anything according to the old way. We need to get into the printed ministry that has been released on the group meetings so that we can carry them out in an organic way. The teaching in the group meetings should not be carried out by one person. In these meetings everyone is a student and everyone is a teacher. The teaching is carried out by the mutual asking and answering of questions. If a new one says that she does not know why she has to be baptized, all of the attendants can say something to answer her question. When everyone speaks, their speaking becomes a good message. Then everyone not only learns the truth but also learns how to speak, how to answer, and how to teach. Everyone can ask, and everyone can answer. After much study, we have found that this is the best way to have the group meetings. In this way all can be perfected to do the work of the building up of the Body of Christ, that is, to prophesy. Only prophesying can do the work of the building up of the organic Body of Christ.
(Elders' Training, Book 10: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (2), Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)