Concerning District Meetings

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this article shows how to take care of a local church in a district level.
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  THE CONSIDERATION OF SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES Finally, I have some feelings to share with the brothers and sisters. First, it is not enough to merely divide big district meetings into smaller ones; there must also be the Spirit. To have merely the principle but not the Spirit is to have dead regulation. The principle of the district meetings is according to the truth; nevertheless, we must have the Spirit while carrying out the truth. Otherwise, our practice will be merely according to dead letter and doctrine. The truth is like the rails of a train track, and the Spirit is the power that moves the train. Thus, the deep sensewithin me is that the brothers and sisters need to look to the ord and be willing to rise up to receive a strong burden from the ord to open their homes to become spiritual homes.Today a brother may go to a small locality where there is no church, and he may pray, !O ord, Iam here, and I need to meet and serve. Then he will have the burden to find some saints or lead some sinners to the ord. #fter he has found a group of people, they will begin to pray together. In this way they will have the Spirit and be burning within. #s a result they will rise up to follow the way of the truth by meeting together and raising up a local church in that place. In the same  principle, there may be a brother whose home is far away from a district meeting; moreover, although he loves the ord, he is limited in the meeting and does not have much opportunity to function. $ecause the district meeting is going to be divided into smaller meetings, he may pray, !ord, I would like my home to become a base, or place, to provide the brothers and sisters with more opportunity to serve %ou. This is the one thing we are asking the brothers and sisters to do. For this, we need to go before the ord to pray and ask the ord to put such a fervent burden in every brother and sister. &e need many homes as bases to meet 'od(s need. In these many homes, or bases, the brothers and sisters must inwardly have a fervent burden for the truth to be worked out in an unhindered way.Second, not every home needs to be opened to become the base of a smaller meeting, nor is every saint able to be a responsible one in a small meeting. &e hope that every brother and sister and not only the responsible ones in the current district meetings will have the desire to tell the ord, !ord, our meeting should be subdivided into smaller meetings so that I may have the opportunity to serve %ou. I may not become a responsible one, and my house may not become the base for a small meeting; nevertheless, I would like to put my shoulders to the task. Third, a small district meeting should include no more than two hundred people. )erhaps only fifty will meet regularly; these fifty should then bear the burden to take care of the rest by repeatedly visiting them, seeking them out, recovering them, and stirring them up. If this is the case, I believe that it will bring in a great blessing. 'radually, although the ratio of those who attend the meetings may not be high and the spiritual content may not be deep, the atmosphere of the meetings will be strong. In this way we can arrive at the point where at least seventy to eighty percent of the saints attend the meetings. If the ord has mercy on us, from now on we will  practice in this way* There will be si+ or seven strong message meetings every ord(s ay at the main stations for the ministry of the word. #ll the saints will gather at these si+ or seven locations to receive the ministry of the word; then on the weekdays they will be in the smaller district meetings fellowshipping and sharing concerning the help that they received from the ministry of the word, as well as what they have e+perienced of -hrist in their daily life.  Fourth, I hope that the elders and responsible ones in the various districts will try their best to render the brothers and sisters spiritual supply so that such a supply would replace regulation. If there are strict regulations but not an adeuate supply, the districts will be like a person who has only skin and bones but no flesh; such a person is ugly and unseemly. &e need to have much spiritual supply. Often spiritual supply needs to substitute outward administration. I have no intention to rebuke the elders concerning their administration, but I feel that the ratio of spiritual supply to administration is not so proper. From now on, the elders of the whole church and the responsible ones for the various districts need to pursue spiritual growth and provide the brothersand sisters with more spiritual supply, trying their best to replace administration, according to  principle, with spiritual supply. In this way the ord(s blessing will surely increase. The more  blessing there is, the more the church will grow; the more the church grows, the more district meetings there will be and the more the brothers and sisters will be brought into function./ The Ground of the Church and the Service of the Body,  -hapter 0, Section 12 LEARNING SPIRITUAL LESSONS The burden in this message is not to fellowship regarding the practice of these two matters; rather, it is to point out 'od(s intention in reuiring us to practice both of these matters simultaneously. For e+ample, in a small city there may be only twenty to thirty brothers and sisters. 3ach one is able to function, and they are kept from being divided. 3ven if a person wanted to divide this small church into smaller churches composed of 4ust eight to ten people, I  believe that the saints would not want to do this. In a big church, however, it is difficult to maintain the oneness and at the same time have everyone function.&hy did 'od ordain this5 &hat is 6is intention5 6is primary intention is that in this difficult situation we would learn spiritual lessons. 7o matter how big a church may become, it cannot be divided. #t the same time, every saint in the church needs to fulfill his function. $ecause the  brothers and sisters are in such a !tight spot, they must genuinely learn spiritual lessons. Strictlyspeaking, it does not reuire that much to learn to be an elder, a deacon, or a full8time serving one in a small locality; however, to be an elder, a deacon, or a full8time serving one in a large locality reuires a person to learn many lessons in regard to many matters.In a large church life we need to be subdivided into districts. If we do not have district meetings, many brothers and sisters will not be able to function. #lthough it is right for us to divide ourselves into districts, it is not right to divide the church. 'od allows us to have separate districtmeetings within the church, but 6e does not allow us to be divided into many churches within the same locality. #lthough the saints within one locality compose one church, they may meet in different districts. This is a solemn matter. 9ecently the brothers have e+perienced a sense of heaviness. They do not know how to divide the saints into districts without seemingly dividing the church. The brothers are not sure what to do in order to help the saints in different district meetings and yet continue to maintain the oneness of the church. The more district meetings there are, the more difficult it is for the elders and those responsible for the districts.  et us suppose that a certain brother who is responsible for a district meeting used to be an elder in a small local church. $ecause there were only twenty to thirty saints, it was easy for him to serve there. ater, due to his 4ob situation or other reasons, he moved to Taipei. $ecause he loves the ord and has some spiritual weight and function, he was asked by the church in Taipei to be aresponsible one in a district meeting. 6owever, there is a great difference between being a responsible one in a district meeting in a large church and being an elder in a small church. Things may be simple in a small locality, but they are not so simple in a large locality. One surelyneeds to be spiritual to be an elder in a small locality. 6owever, in order to be responsible for a district meeting in a big locality, one needs to be even more spiritual. This is because in a small local church, it is possible to make decisions or act in an independent way, but as a responsible one in a district meeting within a large local church, one cannot make decisions or act in an independent way. &hatever the responsible one does, he needs to care for the oneness of the church./ The Ground of the Church and the Service of the Body,  -hapter 1, Section :2 Every District Meeting Needing to HaveRich Content in Order to S!! y the Saints The district meetings are generally fresh and living and are different from the past; more saints are speaking in the meetings, and the atmosphere is more open. 6owever, as a whole, the speaking is not rich enough, so the content of the meetings is rather poor; this is a shortcoming that reuires our further study. From now on we will spend more time focusing on the ninety8si+ districts in Taipei; we will study these districts one by one and present the condition of each district to the saints. This may be likened to our appearing before the ord(s 4udgment seat in the future. #t that time the ord will ask us what we have done since the day of our salvation. 9omans :0*: says, !&e will all stand before the 4udgment seat of 'od, and verse :< says, !3ach one of us will give an account concerning himself to 'od. =oreover, in =atthew :<*>?, the ord spoke even more severely, saying, !3very idle word which men shall speak, they will render an account concerning it in the day of 4udgment. 'od records all the words that we speak in our entire life. Today man invents euipment such as audio machines and computers to record sound and information, but 'od does not need to invent anything; 6e has already recorded what we have spoken. This is what the $ible reveals to us.I hope that the saints will make progress in the matter of prophesying. #lthough we all speak in the meetings, we still need to improve. &hat we lack is rich content in our speaking. This can be compared to a ball game. Sometimes though every player is capable, because of the weather conditions, everyone feels spiritless on the field, and in the end they lose the game. &e have at most fifty people in each district meeting. If all fifty would speak, the meetings would be marvelous. 6owever, one of the responsible brothers may not be happy when he gets up in the morning, another brother may be upset, and many others may have their own situations. In the  end, although everyone speaks, every person(s speaking was poor, and the entire meeting was flavorless.#t such times, if one of the brothers is watchful, he will be able to turn the condition of the meeting. In a basketball game, when there are only fifteen seconds left and the result has not yet  been determined, the coach will ask for a time out to instruct the players, presenting them with a strategy so that they can score in the last fifteen seconds. Sometimes, because of the speaking during the time out, the team gains the final victory. It is the same with the condition of the meetings. Someone must be on the alert and speak something in spirit so that we all can learn and be encouraged.&hen we older ones first began to serve in the church, we led in this way; that is, we e+ercised to be alert. Fifty years ago we learned to !direct the rudder in the meeting; though the directing may have not been visible outwardly, we were absolutely in control of the rudder in a hidden way. For e+ample, when a prayer in the meeting was off the mark, we would inwardly ask the ord to bring the prayer back to the burden. &hen some saints were not functioning properly, wewould ask the ord to find someone to uplift the meeting. The ord always answers this kind of  prayer. Today in the process of changing the system, we must be on the alert while directing the rudder of the meeting. &hen we see that the condition of the meeting is not proper and that there are only three or five minutes remaining, we should stand up and speak a word to supply the saints. This depends on our labor in our daily life. If we speak well, we will be able to supply others. Our meetings must be like a feast to which we all gather. On the table there is food, not empty bowls and plates; however, the food may be tasteless. 7evertheless, if in the last few minutes someone would open his mouth to speak the ord(s word, everyone will be supplied. The ord has revealed this way to us, and if we take it, every group meeting and district meeting will be enriched. This reuires that we all labor.&e must labor over the ord(s word, grasping every opportunity to redeem the time and get into the riches in the ord(s word. #fter we have prepared a ten8minute prophecy, we can practice by speaking it to people. If we do not have a person to speak to, we can speak to the wall. &e need to practice unceasingly so that we can uickly learn to speak the ord(s word in the meetings with a rich content. The sisters should not think that because they are sisters, they do not have a responsibility. #lthough the sisters cannot be elders, they should be prophets who prophesy for the ord. There were many prophetesses in the Old Testament. For instance, the first one who took the lead to praise 'od after the children of Israel crossed the 9ed Sea was =iriam, a  prophetess /3+o. :1*<8<:2. There are also prophetesses in the 7ew Testament. #ccording to #cts, )hilip the evangelist had four daughters who prophesied /<:*@2; this, I believe, was due to )hilip(s family being a learned family. 6ence, we see that the habit of prophesying must be  promoted.&hether we are a brother or a sister, we should prepare ourselves to prophesy in the district meetings on the ord(s ay. &e should not wait until the ord(s ay; instead, we should prepare our prophecy by Thursday. Then when we come to the meeting, we should speak it before the  brothers and sisters to supply them. )reparing to prophesy in this way is worthwhile. Some may wonder if this kind of preparation involves too much human effort. 6owever, if we consider =ary as an e+ample, we will realiAe her familiarity with the Old Testament reuired human
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