THE PRACTICE OF THE NEW WAY BEING THE WORK OF THE NEW TESTAMENT PRIESTS OF THE GOSPEL IN OFFERING SACRIFICES
In the past, we may have heard, to some degree, something concerning the practice of the new way among us. It is very unfortunate and heartbreaking that several churches have wrongly understood the new way that has been brought in and have also spoken mistakenly about it. The new way is not door-knocking alone; it does not consist merely of knocking on doors to visit people for gospel preaching. That is only the beginning of the new way. To practice the new way is to come back to the Bible and take the way ordained by God for the New Testament priests of the gospel to carry out the work of the gospel. This way includes primarily four major steps. The first step is to personally visit people for the preaching of the gospel to lead sinners to be saved through regeneration and then to offer them to God as sacrifices. The second step is to go to the homes of the new believers to nourish and cherish them that they may grow in life so that they can present themselves as living sacrifices to God. The third step is to ask the new believers to participate in small group meetings so that they all will be helped and instructed, and so that everyone opens himself and everyone fellowships. Such opening and fellowshipping bring in mutual interceding, mutual caring, and mutual shepherding. Moreover, these small group meetings afford everyone the opportunity to ask questions concerning truth and life. During this time, no one leads the meeting or acts as the only person who answers questions, but all of the attendants answer according to the measure and depth of what each one knows. Everyone speaks a brief word and adds to the speaking of others. In less than ten minutes, seven or eight people can answer a question in a complete way so that everyone learns and everyone is taught.
If we have this kind of small group meeting, week after week, for fifty-two weeks yearly, how much and how greatly we will be benefited! These meetings are neither the worship services in the denominations nor the meetings among us for listening to messages. In the small group meetings there are no religious ceremonies nor predetermined programs and procedures. Instead, everyone who comes to the meeting begins the meeting while still in his home or on the way, coming with singing and praying. Whoever comes into the meeting can simply sing and pray without waiting, and when others come, he can begin to open up himself for mutual fellowship. If there is any problem or need, they simply pray for one another. In this way, spontaneously there is care and shepherding. Any question concerning truth and life can be brought out for all to answer and to teach and learn from one another so that all may be perfected. The fourth step is to help the perfected ones to be God’s prophets speaking for the Lord in the meetings, speaking the Lord into people, so that all the saints are supplied and the Body of Christ is built up. This is the culminating step.
PRESENTING OURSELVES TO TAKE THE NEW WAY ORDAINED BY GOD
These four steps taken together constitute the new way of which we have spoken in these days, that is, the way ordained by God from the past unto eternity, which He has revealed in the Bible for us to take. I fully realize that this way does not seem convenient to many of our dear saints, but the commission that I have received from the Lord is not to speak messages that are convenient to the brothers and sisters. If so, I would have failed the Lord and cheated you. At this time I am speaking sincerely and faithfully concerning what the Lord intends to recover in us. The proper church life in the Lord’s recovery today is one in which every believer is a New Testament priest of the gospel. Although we all have our own occupation or business, we should still set aside an amount of time and present ourselves to go out personally for preaching the gospel and offering saved sinners to God as sacrifices. We should also go to the homes of the new believers to have home meetings that we may nourish and cherish them and lead them to grow. Moreover, every week we need to spend time to bring them to the small group meetings that they may be taught and perfected. Furthermore, we ourselves should pay the price to love the Lord, pursue to be spiritual, delve deeply into the truth, have experiences in life, always maintain the fellowship between us and the Lord, and always be ready to receive inspiration in our spirit that we may be those who prophesy for the Lord in the meetings. If we are willing to do these things, we become the genuine New Testament priests of the gospel to carry out the entire gospel work; that is, to deliver a God-chosen and called one from the position of a sinner to become a child of God and a member of Christ, and to help him to grow, be perfected, and eventually prophesy for the Lord for the edification of the saints and the building up of the Body of Christ. If we truly do this, God’s New Testament economy will be accomplished quickly, and the day of the Lord’s coming will be near. May the Lord bless us.
(The Church Life in the Lord's Recovery Today, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)