Submitted by: Ben Gallarda (Paris, France)
In the book Messages Given to the Working Saints Brother Witness Lee states that “the working saints are the backbone of the church” (http://www.ministrybooks.org/witness-lee-books.cfm; #291). The context of this statement is a thorough discussion of the four steps of the God-ordained way and the participation by all the saints for the building up of the Body of Christ. A brief consideration of the some of the reasons for this statement brings some insight into our role in the church life and the Lord’s move today.
It may be that the working saints are the backbone of the church in relation to the God-ordained way primarily because we are the largest group of saints in the church life. Even with a healthy number of job-dropping full-time serving ones and a vibrant group of students, the main section of a local church will likely be young adult to middle aged working saints. Therefore, we must participate in the carrying out of the God-ordained way, for if we do not, there will not be sufficient numbers of saints engaged in this way for it to be effective. Yet the working saints form quite a diverse group and are occupied with all of the cares and concerns of marriage, family, career, finances…the list is endless. This is where the beauty and wisdom of God’s ordained way comes in. The God-ordained way is a way in which every saint can participate; if some saints are unable to join the way a church is carrying out the God-ordained way, it is not the God-ordained way. Therefore, despite the many distractions and demands on our time and energy, we are able to participate in the God-ordained way for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Additionally, the working saints form a critical pattern to new ones who are coming into the church life. Job-dropping full-time serving ones are priceless, and their labor is of immense value to the Lord. However, the new ones we care for may not aspire to serve the Lord in a job-dropping way, but instead seek to emulate the working saints who are caring for them. New ones need to be shepherded not only by job-dropping full-timers but also by working saints. The full-timers can bring the new ones to the homes of the working saints or bring a working saint to visit new ones. In this way, the new ones will see a pattern in someone who has a job, a family, and any number of things a young person may aspire to have one day, yet who loves the Lord, is consecrated to Him, and despite having a respectable living in the world, actually counts it all loss on account of Christ.
We need to realize that as working saints, we are the backbone of the church, that we can and must cooperate with the Lord for the carrying out of the God-ordained way for the building up of the Body of Christ, and that we are patterns to the new ones under our care. And we should be one with the Lord to blend and coordinate with the other members of the Body for this great enterprise of the Lord.