I am happy that we could be together in this elders’ meeting. This is probably the biggest elders’ meeting we have had in the United States. There are five hundred thirty brothers here in attendance. I noticed that many young ones are among the elders. I am happy about this, but I am also quite concerned. Paul’s charge to us is that the "new hands" should be considered carefully before being brought into the realm, the circle, of the eldership. In 1 Timothy 3:6 Paul says that an overseer should not be a novice, or a new convert.
On the other hand, there need to be learners in the eldership. Learning spiritual things may be likened to learning a language. It is easier for a young person to learn a new language. An older person may learn a new language, but it is difficult for him to get rid of his accent. In this sense, it is very good to have young ones in the eldership. However, I also want to warn the young ones. I have passed through your age, and I do know what is in a young man that can be a possible problem. This does not mean that we older ones do not have any problem. We have our problem, the middle-aged brothers have their problem, and the young brothers have their problem. Every age group has its problems.
When you are young, the problem is your pride. It is hard for the young people to avoid pride. In the past sixty to seventy years, I have been watching over the recovery and the world situation. I have discovered that pride is the problem with the young people. In the past seventy years, the Lord brought in some brilliant, marvelous, excellent young ones among us. However, about eighty percent of the brilliant young ones whom the Lord brought into our realm were spoiled by their pride. Thus, we are short of hands today.
Because the recovery is real and rich in truth, the entire world is open to the recovery. Especially, I would say that all of Central America and South America, with Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands, are open to us. We have so many requests from these places for some to come and help them. This has become our burden. We cannot bear this much. We are short of hands. If we had fifty co-workers who would be able to go to help meet the present demand, it still would not be sufficient. In New Zealand, Australia, Korea, and southeastern Asia, there is also the need.
I received a letter three days ago from a brother in Mongolia. I want to report to you that there is a local church of about twenty-five saints there in the recovery. Most of them are either students or professors in the universities. The way they meet and serve is absolutely in the new way. They have also asked for some to come there to help. These ones in Mongolia are open and eager to know the Bible and to know the Lord. Who will go to them? This shows again that the door is wide open to the Lord’s recovery.
(Further Consideration of the Eldership, the Region of Work, and the Care for the Body of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)