The Training and the Practice of the Vital Groups, by Witness Lee


You should not limit yourself to your acquaintances. The Lord said to go to disciple the nations, to disciple everyone. So you should keep yourself open to the Lord for His new leading to visit new people other than your acquaintances.


Actually, there are many ways to visit, to contact, and to gain the gospel candidates. Here I would like to mention some of them.

A. To Visit Them by Appointment Continuously

You do not need to go out to knock on cold doors. You can visit people by making appointments with them. You must do this not only continually but also continuously, day by day.

B. To Invite Them to Your Dinner Regularly

We also need to have a practice and a habit of inviting people to have dinner with us. We should do this regularly. Brother Eugene Gruhler, Sr. was an example among us of a brother who was always taking care of people in this way. Nearly every Lord’s Day, this brother’s home was prepared to receive people for lunch after the morning meeting. He would oversee the meeting and invite certain ones to come to his home afterward to eat with him.

I fellowshipped with the elders recently that they must learn one thing: to contact people. The best way to contact people is to invite them to your home for dinner. This is the most effective way to get people. Something can be impressed into people in this way. After many years they may still receive the help and even be saved by your one contact with them in your home.

I would like us to consider what we are here for. The world means nothing to us. We are here purely for the Lord and His desire to disciple others, to save them, that they may become the members of the Body of Christ which we are now building. According to our present situation, we do not have the new material for the building up of His Body. We may go on year after year in the church life without many people being baptized. The new ones whom we do baptize may disappear from our midst after a while. They did not survive due to the shortage of proper and adequate care. If a mother delivers a child and does not take care of it, it will not survive. We need to follow the example of the apostle Paul, who said that he cared for the new believers “as a nursing mother would cherish her own children” (1 Thes. 2:7).

C. To Write Them concerning Their Salvation Periodically

We also need to write our gospel candidates periodically concerning their salvation. We may write a particular person once every two weeks. Thus, within a whole year we can write this one twenty-six times.

D. To Mail Them Gospel Tracts and Spiritual Booklets All the Time

When we write people we should also mail them gospel tracts and spiritual booklets.

E. To Pray concerning the Spiritual Welfare of Certain Definite Ones for Your Whole Life

We should not pray for too many people. Instead, we should pray concerning the spiritual welfare of certain definite ones for our whole life. George Müller had a list of people for whom he prayed on a regular basis. Eventually, all of them except one were saved before his death. After his death this one also was saved by the Lord.

According to history and according to the Bible, if there is no prayer for anyone, no one can be saved. You and I were saved because somebody prayed for us. No doubt, God has chosen millions of people. But there is the need of human prayer to cooperate with the divine choosing. If you do not pray, God has no way to visit a particular chosen one. There is the need of prayer to match His choosing. If you just pray occasionally, that will not work. You must be burdened to pray for certain ones and continue that prayer for your whole life.

Everyone who prays knows that to pray is to climb a high mountain. The enemy, Satan, will send many things to frustrate our prayer. He does not want anyone to pray. Because of this warfare, we must pray with much persistence (Col. 4:2). Prayer is a struggle. Whenever we start to pray in our homes, the phone may ring or someone may knock on the door. It is best not to answer the phone or the door during our prayer time. We should consider ourselves to be away because we are occupied with our Lord in the third heaven. If we do not pray, no one may call or knock at the door. But as soon as we begin to pray, someone calls or comes to contact us. Is this coincidental? Actually, the phone call or the knock at the door was instigated and sent by the devil to interrupt and stop our prayer.

F. Whatever Way You Take, You Should Do It Persistently with Patience and Endurance and Do Not Expect to Have a Quick Reaping

Whatever way you take, you should do it persistently with patience and endurance and do not expect to have a quick reaping. All the farmers know that they cannot have a quick reaping. A quick reaping means a poor reaping. The farmers have to be patient to care for their crop until the time for harvest comes. After a period of time, you will gain some new ones as remaining fruit. This will be a recompense to your persistent labor in the gospel.

G. Learn How to Use Biblical Verses and Tracts

We also need to learn how to use biblical verses and tracts. We have recently published some tracts entitled Our Faith, Our Gospel, Our Commission, and Our Meetings. We will do our best to put out more of these tracts for our use in the gospel. When we go to contact people, they may wonder who we are and what we believe in. We can give them the tract entitled Our Faith as a gift. This tract is concerning our belief in the Bible, God, Christ, the Spirit, and God’s redemption and salvation. We can read a paragraph with them, perhaps the paragraph concerning our belief in the Bible. After reading this paragraph, they will become clear that we are Christians who believe in the Word of God. This will help to open up the situation with the ones whom we contact. We should study the main points in these tracts with the appropriate biblical verses so that we can be equipped to gain our gospel candidates.

(The Training and the Practice of the Vital Groups, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)