USING LIFE LESSONS IN THE HOME MEETINGS
In six months of taking care of the home meetings in a weekly way, you should mainly try to help the new believers according to the lessons in Life Lessons. Of course, you cannot finish all forty-eight lessons in only twenty or so weeks. But as those caring for the home meetings, we should become acquainted with all forty-eight lessons. The book Life Lessons was written according to the sequence of Christian experience, not according to doctrine. Yet these lessons should not be taught as a textbook. You should put these forty-eight lessons within your heart, becoming very familiar with their content. Then as you prepare to go to the home meetings, you will have a deep sensation concerning which point you need to work into the new ones by feeding them. Your purpose and goal may be to help the new brothers to know and experience their regenerated spirit. But when you arrive at the home meeting, the atmosphere and the real need may be altogether different. The urgent need may be to share with them something about dealing with idols. To postpone this matter another week would be too late. Therefore, you must put aside the matter of the human spirit and immediately pick up the matter of dealing with idols. By sharing this matter, you cover another one of the forty-eight lessons on that visit.
On your next visit, you may still have the human spirit as your goal in feeding the new ones. The atmosphere, however, may still not be for the human spirit. It may be on knowing the Bible. With such an atmosphere, to insist on discharging your burden concerning the human spirit would be something of legality. It would also be wrong. You must fit into the situation, sensing the atmosphere and giving a word concerning the Bible, the divine revelation. By doing this, you spontaneously cover another lesson among the forty-eight. You may not have used a copy of the book Life Lessons, but you covered one of its lessons. By doing this again and again, you will eventually cover each lesson in the book in a living and flexible way according to the situation.
To work in the home meetings is to nourish the new believers with the baby food contained in the Life Lessons. Each lesson is like a jar of baby food. You should keep each lesson in the “pocket” of your heart. Then whenever there is a need, like a medical doctor after the diagnosis, you are able to meet any patient’s need. You not only know what medicine to prescribe, but also will have the medicine on hand to give to them. We have to nourish the babes with baby food.
We should not conduct the home meetings in an aimless way. We should always conduct the home meetings with the aim of injecting one of the Life Lessons into the new believers. We may not be able to finish all forty-eight lessons with one new believer in six months, but we may be able to complete at least twenty within that period of time. The material contained in one lesson may be too much for one injection, but we must realize that each lesson is like a “basket of peaches.” Perhaps only a portion of the basket is needed for the new believer we are caring for. We must feed the new believers according to their need.
LEARNING TO CARE FOR PEOPLE BEING A LIFELONG MATTER
For many years in the churches, we have suffered loss for two reasons. We did not feed people in home meetings, and we did not know how to feed people. In the past someone may have been baptized, and we may have had the burden to visit him; but after several visits, we lost interest because we did not know what to do, and there was little result. Likewise, the new believer we visited had little interest in continuing to receive our visits. We all must learn to do the work of home meetings to nourish the new believers with baby food.
From 1940 to 1943 in the church in Chefoo, I began to learn how to visit the homes and how to take care of new believers. Now I am just opening some doors for you to learn as much as you can. In this training, I am simply opening the doors and giving directions for you to go and learn more. Gradually, day after day, as we take care of two or three new believers year-round, we will bear two or three remaining fruit yearly into the church life. In the course of our lifetime, we may bring one hundred to one hundred fifty into the church life. Be assured that when we enter into the eternal tabernacles (Luke 16:9), these one hundred to one hundred fifty will welcome us. What a wonderful life this is! Doing the work of nourishing the believers in the home meetings builds the church and helps us to know what it means to be built up with others.
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)