THE WHOLE CHURCH INVOLVED
IN THE CARE OF THE NEW BELIEVERS
Concerning the perfecting of the new believers, we also have to do it as a Body. Previously, whenever the number of saved ones increased, we faced problems. Today, as soon as a person is saved, he has to be perfected. This kind of perfecting is a kind of spiritual education. There is a big difference between those believers who have received the proper education and those who have not received the proper education. In Foochow over twenty brothers and sisters are devoted to the work of caring for the new believers. We have divided up all the streets in the city, and we have assigned definite brothers to take care of every district. The whole city of Foochow is divided into five districts, and all the brothers and sisters are charged with the responsibility of taking care of these districts. The older brothers and sisters who cannot move around freely stay behind to count the attendance; when someone is absent, they inform the brothers who are responsible for the visitation work. These visiting brothers and sisters will look up the absent one and will conduct make-up lessons with him. He has not come to the meeting, so the brothers go to his home and repeat the same thing to him. An absent one may end up saying that it is too much of an imposition on the brothers, and that rather than having them to come to his home, he would rather go to the meetings. Although we cannot say that the new believers are advanced in any kind of extraordinary way, we can say that they are more advanced than the old ones. This is the church building itself up, or perfecting itself, in love.
Therefore, the question is whether or not we have seen the church. The service of three or five people is not the church. Only the service of all the brothers and sisters is the church. Perhaps here is a group of brothers and sisters who spend some money to hire a pastor, and who ask the pastor to do everything for the others. The rest may still love one another. You may say that there is very little difference here, but I will say that there is a big difference here. There is a difference between the Body working and one individual working. There is also a difference between a minister working, and every brother and sister working.
THE WAY FOR THE WHOLE BODY TO RISE UP TO SERVE
A. All the One-talented Ones Being Put to Use
Formerly, we had new believers who were zealous to serve. But as soon as human zeal comes in, the flesh comes in also, and as soon as the flesh is stopped, the service stops also. If we allow such people to serve, the church will be brought into confusion. But if we do not allow such people to serve, the church will become silent. If you put down a person’s flesh, his spirit will be put down as well. This became a problem for the co-workers, and this is the reason we did not find the way in the past. It is for this reason that authority needs to be recovered in the church. On the one hand, all the one-talented ones have to rise up. On the other hand, the church has to exercise its authority to deal with the flesh.
Today, men always wait for Paul’s five talents to come along. But we may have to wait a hundred years before God will give us a great gift or a great ministry. We may have to wait decades before there is a teacher raised up. The way today is the way of the whole Body serving. Although the one-talented ones are not worth much, when a few of them are put together, they equal a five-talented one. As soon as a person is saved, he has at least one talent. There is no one who has less than one talent. In the church, one cannot find anyone who does not have even one talent, unless, of course, such a one has buried his talent. Today, the building up of the church hinges on the building up of the one-talented ones. If some five-talented ones are raised up, we praise the Lord for it. In terms of function and result in the work, the great gifts are surely good when they are coordinated together. It is good to have the help of the five-talented ones and the two-talented ones. But what we need today is for the one-talented ones to rise up. The way to deal with the flesh is by the authority. But at the same time, the one-talented ones have to rise up. Only this will afford the church a way to go on, and only then will there be works for the church to do.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 64, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)