The Elders' Management of the Church, by Witness Lee


In order to be capable in everything, there is the need for coordination. In order to have the manifold gifts, there is also the need for coordination. Many times, I am distressed about the elders in certain localities, because among them you do not see any coordination. Three or five of them may be meeting, discussing and planning there, yet among them there is no coordination. What is coordination? It means that your portion is here, my portion is here, and his portion is also here; everyone’s portion is here. Yet all are in coordination. However, this is not what we see in some places. What the condition of some seems to say is that unless a certain one puts out all his portions, he will not put out anything. It is either everything or nothing. To them, it is either one person’s portion, or another person’s portion. If it is not your portion, then it is my portion. Either I do it all, or I do not do anything at all. This is absolutely not coordination. The real coordination means that your portion is here, my portion is here, and everyone else’s portion is here.

In some local churches I have indeed seen this kind of coordination where everyone is included. When an action is taken, everyone’s portion goes into it. No one would say that if he does it, he does it all, and if he does not do it, he will not have anything to do with it. Rather, everyone speaks, and every brother’s portion is put into it. I may not be the one who is speaking today, but when one brother speaks, in his speaking there is my opinion and my feeling. Although I do not make the arrangements and I am not responsible for a certain district or a certain hall, yet within that overseeing there is my portion, because in some areas there is my view, my suggestions, and my fellowship. It does not mean that since a hall is not under my care, I will therefore not touch it at all. We cannot say that such-and-such a responsibility rests on one elder and that such-and-such a hall rests on another elder. We have to see that the responsibility of the whole church rests on the shoulders of all the elders. Here is the need for fellowship and coordination.

When all the elders are meeting together for business, none should feel that he is the responsible brother of a certain district or a certain meeting hall. The elders should only feel that they are the responsible brothers of the whole church. All the elders are the responsible ones of the church. This is why all are coordinating and fellowshipping together. When a matter is fellowshipped thoroughly enough, the feeling of God is touched, and the decision is made to do something, of course not all the elders will be involved in the work; there has to be the distribution of work. Some matters should be handled by you, while others should be handled by me. But no matter who does what, we are all doing the things together.

Unfortunately, in many local churches this is not the case. When a matter is taken up by a certain elder, it becomes his responsibility. When another matter is taken up by another elder, it becomes that other elder’s responsibility. When I do it, it is my job. When he does it, it has nothing to do with me anymore. Actually, there should not be feelings of this kind. When one elder speaks in one district, it should be the whole eldership speaking. When one elder makes some arrangements in one meeting hall, it should be the whole eldership making the arrangement there. This is because there is a coordination. Without fellowship and coordination, no one elder should speak and act independently, for to do so would annul the fact that the elders are plural in number. The elders are not one, but many. Whenever the elders move and speak, they do so with one another. It is not just a matter of representing one another, but a matter of being with one another. Every report is something that represents the whole eldership, because it is something that the whole eldership has fellowshipped about and is doing in coordination. For this reason, the elders must be in coordination.

(The Elders' Management of the Church, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)