December 14, 2019

Changing our Concepts and Habits to Take the God-Ordained Way (Part 1)

“Unless we have the right view and are willing to change our concept and our system so that every saint fulfills his function, we will not be able to multiply…” (Shepherding the Church and Perfecting the Young People, Chapter 3, Emphases added)

During the recent vitalization training for the churches in the West San Gabriel Valley in Southern California, the following points on the God-ordained way were brought out. They are summarized below and will be posted in 3 installments. Please use the comment section below for further fellowship on these points.

1) To build up the Body of Christ as the organism of the Triune God = to build up the functioning of EVERY member

2) The home is the micro-organism within the organism: the health of the organism is determined by the health of the micro-organism; thus, in order to build up the organism we must first care for and build up the micro-organism.

3) The church is not only God’s meeting place but also His dwelling place, where He lives (Hymn 852), i.e., our homes; in the same principle, our spiritual experience takes place primarily not where we meet but where we live.

4) Three emphases of the God-ordained way:

  • Working the truth into the saints
  • Working the church life into the homes
  • Working the gospel into our living

5) We need to have 6 changes of concepts and habits (practices):

  • From meeting to people: from meeting-centered to people-centered
  • From big to small: from holding big meetings to gathering in 2s and 3s
  • From coming to going: from always asking people to come to going to visit people where they are
  • From “center to circumference” to “mutuality to mutuality”: from one-directional working on a few “promising” ones to mutual caring among all
  • From “top to bottom” to “bottom to top”: from having a top-down one-directional organized church structure to everyone actively initiating and functioning
  • From “small to big” to “few to many”: from making one home meeting bigger and bigger to multiplying one home into many homes—-the principle of the mustard seed vs. the principle of the grain of wheat

7 thoughts on “Changing our Concepts and Habits to Take the God-Ordained Way (Part 1)

  1. Through this training I realize how we need to have our concept, habit (practice), and system (structure) changed through the renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:2). The 6 changes of concepts above are not some slogans; we need to bring them to the Lord for His exposing and enlightening. The following points may also help to expose a bit just how great our need is and where we are in relation to the God-ordained way:

    1) When we heard that during the first three hundred years of the church history (NB: longer than the history of the US) all Christians practiced their church life without a meeting hall, we say, “wow, how could that be?”

    2) When we learned from Acts that in the beginning of the church life thousands of (new) believers met as the church in Jerusalem without a meeting hall (and with only twelve apostles), we say, “wow, how could that be?”

    3) When we heard that today in China, just like what happened in the case of Jerusalem above, there are many places where tens of thousands of saints are meeting in one city as the church without a meeting hall, we say, “wow, how could that be?”

    4) Most importantly, the churches in the three cases above all possess two outstanding characteristics: a) church life in the homes and b) rapid growth and spread. Through this we may start to see the deeper relationship between homes and the God-ordained way for the church (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 8:3; 12:12; 16:15, 34; 20:20). May the Lord continue to enlighten us and bring us on in practicing the God-ordained way.

  2. A brother once mentioned that vision and practice go together. You cannot separate the two. Without vision there is no practice and without practice there is no vision. This means that the inward condition of man should match the outward expression. This is revealed to us in Romans. In chapter 12 man’s whole being is exercised to reign in life for the Body life. It tells us that the saint’s body has to be available/prepared/presented (12:1), the mind needs renewing (the leading part of our soul which causes the emotion to follow automatically) (12:2-4), and finally their spirit will be burning to serve the Lord. The result is a serving according to the structure of the genuine Christian life(12:9-10, 13:8-10);(14:23, 16:26);(12:12).
    May the Lord televise this vision into us and produce a response from our whole being to practice the new and living way!

  3. Amen. May the Lord revolutionize our concepts and habits from meeting-centered to people-centered, and from asking people to come to going to meet where they are.

  4. Recently, we had a sisters conference and what we saw can resume in one word: HOMES. Our home is a key point for the things of the Lord, it is where we can minister grace and Christ can be manifested. It is also a place where we can be ajusted, perfected and tempered. That is the reason why the Lord wanted to enter to our homes because it is where He can function y talk to us closely. Hence, meeting in homes is the way to live the divine life, is the pulse of live because what we hear, we practice it.

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