The Elders' Management of the Church, by Witness Lee


A. Harmony

With such a coordination, the church will surely be in harmony. Disharmony in the church is fully caused by the elders. If the elders are in harmony, it is impossible for the brothers and sisters not to be in harmony. The elders are the source of harmony in the church. I do not at all like to go to a church in disharmony. That is a most painful experience. A church in disharmony is a punishment to the brothers and sisters. How sweet, peaceful, and happy a thing it is to have harmony in the church!

B. Authority

The authority of the elders rests upon their harmony. A brother once asked the elders, "You tell me to submit to authority. But if the elders are not in harmony, whose authority do you expect me to submit to? Which head should I submit to?" This is an honest statement. If the elders are not in harmony, there will be no authority.

C. Life

One thing is sure: where harmony is, there is authority, and where authority is, there is life. The living water of life flows out from the throne. The bud shoots forth from the top of the rod. Resurrection life is derived from authority, and the authority of the elders comes from the harmony among them.

D. Fruit

If the elders are in harmony, and if they have the authority and the life, whatever they do will bear good results. If they preach the gospel, people will be saved. If they edify others, others will get the help. If they visit, people will be revived. The church will be very prolific, and there will be clusters of fruit. I can tell the brothers and sisters that a barren church is surely a sign of the disharmony of the elders. When the elders are in harmony, there will be authority and life; there will be the begetting and nurturing power, and there will be the abundant fruit. Hence, the brothers have to realize that our gains and losses are small matters. The big question is the harmony in the church. If the Lord does not have a way, if hundreds of thousands of souls are not saved, if many are not perfected and are not truly built together, the blame rests on the elders. Once the elders have a good coordination, immediately a harmonious spirit will be produced. This is authority, and this is life. Under such circumstances, whatever they do, there will be abundant fruit because God’s presence is there. May the Lord be merciful to us, and grant us to learn this serious lesson, so that the Lord’s blessing can be poured out among us.

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