THE WAY TO BE THE NEW TESTAMENT PRIESTS
OF THE GOSPEL
Since we are priests of the gospel, we need to preach the gospel to save sinners. Since we are branches of the Lord, we need to bear fruit. In the past we practiced "preaching the gospel by the church," meaning that everyone took part in preaching the gospel, and the effect was not bad. However, we did not reach the level of being priests of the gospel. Since every believer is a New Testament priest of the gospel, everyone needs to preach the gospel to offer saved sinners as sacrifices to God. This is the service that is according to the Scriptures. For this reason, since 1984 we have seen the need to change our practice. In the past six years, we were continually experimenting and trying out various ways, and did not have a definite way of practice. From 1984 we had some realization, and in August 1986 a training center was formally established in Taipei as the laboratory to research the God-ordained new way. It was not until August of last year that I felt that we had found a definite way; we have finished the preliminary step of the study of the new way and have something to present to the churches.
First, every church must receive grace from the Lord to stir up and motivate the brothers and sisters to build up the habit of contacting people, and the best way to contact people is to knock on "warm doors." Every brother and sister should make a list of twenty names that includes their unsaved relatives, friends, classmates, colleagues, and neighbors. The people on the list will serve as the objects for the saints to contact in their preaching of the gospel in mutual coordination. Some relatives whom you have been contacting for years are still not saved. But the result might be different if someone else preaches to them, and it is possible that they will be saved. There are many examples of those who have been saved in such a way. There are over one thousand three hundred churches in the Lord’s recovery on the whole earth. If every church has fifty priests of the gospel who go out to contact the acquaintances of all the saints, the gospel will spread.
Next, group meetings must be established in all the places. To properly practice the group meetings, we must be living and organic. There are no set ways to have group meetings, and to have such a meeting is not to have a "worship service." Group meetings are for free fellowship, prayer, and mutual care and shepherding. In the meeting there is no program, no schedule, and no one who takes the lead. On our way to the meeting, we should begin to praise and sing. When we arrive at the brother or sister’s home, we should not wait but should begin to fellowship and share, sing, or pray, doing everything according to the Spirit. If there is a need, we should pray for one another and care for one another. We can also tell one another about our present condition and can nourish one another. At the same time, we should also carry out some teaching of the truth. This is not to have some specially appointed ones do the teaching, but to have the mutual asking of questions and mutual teaching. In this way all the individual fellowships will add up to a very good message; this will render help to the attendants. This kind of practice still needs our deeper study.
For the practice of the new way, first we must be revived every morning, and then we must have an overcoming daily life. Every day we should rise up early to call on the Lord’s name and have fellowship with the Lord. Then we should get into His Word and use two or three verses to enjoy Him. This will enable us to have a new beginning with the Lord in the morning. After this, to serve as a reminder, we may jot down the points concerning which the Lord inspired us with when we were with Him. When the weekend comes, we can put together the inspirations of the six days and compose a very good draft of a prophecy with which we can prophesy for the Lord in the Lord’s Day meeting. We should not only do this ourselves, but we should also perfect others to do this so that more saints will be able to function. Thus the meetings will surely be fresh, rich, and full of supply, not only attractive to people but also able to build them up.
(The Up-to-Date Presentation of the God-Ordained Way and the Signs Concerning the Coming of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)