The Elders' Management of the Churchby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The oversight and administration of the elders are nothing other than the gospel, the perfecting, and the service. Following the gospel, there is the perfecting, and following the perfecting, there is the service. As to the service, it must be done in coordination. The one thing that requires the most spiritual consideration in service is the matter of coordination. The oversight and administration of the elders must be carried out in coordination. If they cannot be carried out in coordination, the elders’ administration will surely be weak. We have to realize that if the Lord is to gain the goal in the church in this age, the saints must be built up together. This building up is the coordination. The gospel brings in the saved sinners. When a person is saved, he needs to be perfected. After being perfected, he needs to serve. However, he must not serve individually but must serve in coordination. This is the coordination in service. It is the building up of the church.
Some people have taken our use of the word coordination to mean the organization of institutions. Actually, the two things are very different. The word organization is not found in the Bible, but the word coordination is found in the Chinese Union Version. The Chinese translation of 1 Corinthians 12:24 says, “God coordinated the body together.” From this verse we derived the word coordination. The Body is coordinated together by God. You can say that the Body is an organization, because it is organized together by the different parts. But God says that this Body is a matter of coordination. Romans 12:5 says, “We who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Being members one of another to become one Body is a matter of coordination. Now let us consider the various aspects of coordination.
The elders have to consider seriously everyone who wants to come into the coordination to see if each one has life. In common terms, we should find out if such a one is saved or not. Here, however, we are not emphasizing the matter of salvation but the matter of life. Today Christianity has spoiled the term salvation. It seems that salvation has come to mean only the forgiveness of sins, the deliverance from perdition, and a passage to heaven after you die. But the elders’ administration of the church is toward the goal of coordination. For this reason the elders cannot pay attention simply to an incomplete salvation. Instead, they should pay attention to whether or not a person has life. If the goal is merely salvation, there would be no need of administration, oversight, or coordination. Since everyone will go to heaven anyway, why does the church still need oversight? Why is there still the need for coordination? Hence, in order to administrate the church, you must take life as the foundation. The first consideration is that you must have life.
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