THE STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH MEETINGS
In between the group meetings and the meetings in the meeting halls, we may need yet another level of meetings. Taipei has a few districts with six or seven hundred saints and some with three or four hundred saints. In these districts, we should have a meeting place to allow these saints to have a meeting that is nearby, in which they can help one another. Even if they cannot all come, at least a good number can come. The subduing strength of such a district meeting will greatly influence the entire community.
In conclusion, the meetings of the church can be divided into at least five levels: home meetings, group meetings, district meetings, meeting-hall meetings, and big joint meetings. We should have these five levels of meetings regularly, but we must have the home meetings as the foundation. If the home meetings are not done well, nothing else will be profitable. This will require the elders to take the lead personally and all the brothers and sisters to follow in coordination with the help of the full-time trainees. Then we will certainly produce a good result quickly. This is the long-range view for which we are hoping. I believe that in a few years this will be seen by the angels, the devil, the worldly people, and Christianity. This is the Lord’s church in which there is no organization or dependence on preachers, but in which all are living and following the Lord’s leading. Even the question of whether to continue as a full-time serving one or to get a job is completely organic and free.
The first two steps of the new way have been put into effective practice; the last two steps need further research. Although we already have a rough framework and road for the last two steps, we still need the detailed research and experiments, especially concerning how to lead the home meetings, teach the truth, and minister life. On the one hand, we need to research, and on the other hand, we must continue going on, or else our research will not have a foundation, and there will be a blow to our morale.
THREE IMPORTANT MATTERS RELATED TO THE MOVE OF THE ENTIRE CHURCH
Related to the ministry, we have been led by the Lord to work with the goal of building up the church. Therefore, there are three important matters that we must fellowship about so that all the churches will know the present situation of our work. First, we have bought more than twenty-four acres of land in Linkou, and we hope to be able to build a large meeting hall, but our application for the building permit was not approved. Now we are busy carrying out the training and researching the new way; when we want to have a big meeting, we can rent a stadium. From this perspective, the matter of building the large meeting hall in Linkou can be postponed without interrupting our work.
Second, there is the matter of the support for the full-time serving ones. In order to evangelize Taiwan, it would be best if there were 2,500 full-time serving ones; at least we will need one thousand. If we calculate for one thousand, to support their living and to meet the need of their activities, we will need at least NT$10 million every month, so in one year we will need NT$120 million. If we calculate that in US dollars it would be about $4 million. This is not a light burden. Therefore, there is the need for us to take practical action by offering with respect to manpower, time, and money. Without people, time, or money, we will not be able to do anything. I hope that all the elders will have thorough fellowship with all the saints concerning this need.
Up to now there are not yet that many full-time serving ones. The Lord’s grace, however, is always rich and overflowing, so we still do not feel straitened. But once the spreading work officially begins, our financial needs will increase greatly, and if at that time we cannot keep up with the financial needs, it will affect the morale and create problems. In the present stage all the churches, not only in Taiwan but over the whole earth, should care for this matter in one accord and participate in this great move of the Lord in Taiwan. This will not end in a short time but will continue on for at least five years. For this reason we all should properly receive this burden before the Lord to faithfully offer our portion. If we do this, the situation will get broader and wider, and the increase of the Lord’s grace will follow.
Third, there is the need of the full-time training. Because this is a world-wide training, many saints from overseas are attending. The cost of their travel alone is a very great expense. In the future there will also be a training in America which will be for the saints from the Western Hemisphere, while the training in Taiwan will mainly be for the saints from the Far East. At present, we do not have enough helpers, our preparation is not adequate, and the practical way for the carrying out of the training has not yet been made clear. As a result we can only have a training here in Taiwan. This requires not only some arrangements in the affairs of personnel but also a large financial supply, so we all must spare no effort.
Communications today are increasingly improving, so the globe has become smaller. Therefore, the Lord’s work is spreading more and more. Moreover, English has become the world language, and the Lord has arranged that America and Taiwan would be the two main training centers for the move of His recovery. This is truly the Lord’s grace, so we must grasp it. Three years ago there were a total of just over six hundred churches in the entire world, but now we have already increased to about nine hundred localities. Most of these are located in Central and South America. There are also some in Europe. All of this requires our coordination through the training and financial supply. Otherwise, we will not be able to keep up with the Lord’s move.
Hence, we all must receive the burden not just for Taiwan and the Far East but also for the entire earth. May we all have a clear understanding of the present move among the churches in the Lord’s recovery, and may we know the long-range view for the work, as well as for our future plans, so that we will be able to practically coordinate with the Lord and really participate in His present move.
(The Furtherance of the New Way for the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)