Because of the need of the work, I was transferred to a place to be a small-district leader. At one meeting, the church leaders reported that most of the brothers and sisters were in a passive state and unwilling to perform their duties. So, I fellowshipped, “The brothers and sisters are unwilling to perform their duties mainly because they don’t know the trend of God’s work. Now there are disasters everywhere such as bird flu, the plague of rats and so on. Many people had died. In Huayin County, the flood washed out quite a few villages, and many people lost their lives. In the Iraq War, people were killed, injured, or disabled. How tragic! Locusts ate 200 hectares of wheat overnight. You have money but cannot use it; you have grain but cannot eat it. You go back and tell the brothers and sisters to watch more TV news and read more newspapers at ordinary times and see to what extent God has done his work. If we still don’t prepare good deeds now, one day we will also fall into disasters like the Iraqis, weeping and gnashing our teeth.” After hearing my fellowship, the church leaders gave an active response, and they all kept nodding and said, “Now the disasters are really great. It seems that there is not much time left to prepare good deeds. After we go back this time, we will do our utmost to cooperate to do the gospel work well.”
In the following period, every church in our small district concentrated on talking about disasters. Through talking about disasters, the brothers and sisters who were previously passive became active, those who didn’t want to do the hosting work were now willing to do that, and those who had wanted to give up their duties dared not do that anymore. They all threw themselves into the gospel work. By the end of the month, we counted the number of the people we won in the gospel work and it was twice as large as that of the previous month. Seeing this, I was very satisfied. And I thought to myself, “The brothers and sisters indeed lack the ‘vision’! It seems that I should talk more about this aspect hereafter.” From then on, every time I went to the churches, I talked a lot about disasters. The greater the disasters were in the outside world, the more enthusiastically I talked about them, and the more interested the brothers and sisters were in listening to. And they all were willing to cooperate in the work. For two months, the results of the gospel work of the churches were very good.
But before long, news about disasters were gradually reported less, and the brothers and sisters forgot the disasters bit by bit; besides, seeing no disasters befalling them, they all lost their enthusiasm and returned to their previous states; and nobody did the gospel work. Facing such a situation, I got angry and complained: “The disasters are so great, and how come they don’t fear them? They simply don’t want their lives!” Then I hurried to gather the church leaders for a meeting, and continued fellowshipping about the situation of the outside world. But after my talk, I saw that they still looked very indifferent. My heart was very distressed and my mind was a blank. I was at a loss what to do. Helpless, I came before God to seek: “O God! The brothers and sisters are passive and unwilling to perform their duties. I don’t know where the problem is. May you inspire and guide me so that I have a way to practice.”
One day, I read these words in The Manual of the Principles for the Church Work: “All the work a servant of God does is for people to understand the truth and enter into the reality of God’s word…. What is the root of all the problems of man? They all are caused by his lack of the truth. If one really has the truth, then all his problems will not be problems and don’t need him to solve…. If a leader has no truth, it can be said that he can’t solve any problems, let alone lead people to understand the truth. Then, what meaning does his work have?” I also read these words in the man’s fellowship: “The obligation of a leader is mainly responsible for leading the believers in God to practically experience God’s word, and helping them understand the truth by solving their problems with the truth…, understand the deep meaning in God’s word, and understand God’s intention…, have one heart and one mind with God, and perform their duties properly. Only by solving problems with the truth can he bring the people before God to be gained by God in the end, and can he complete God’s commission to him.”
After reading these fellowships, I woke up suddenly. Now I realized that the brothers and sisters were passive and unwilling to perform their duties, and this was mainly because they didn’t have God’s word as the foundation and didn’t understand the truth. But I didn’t see through the substance of the matter and thought that because of their lacking the “vision,” the brothers and sisters were passive and unwilling to perform their duties; so, I only paid attention to talking much to them about disasters to stimulate them and activate them. Yet, this method to lead the brothers and sisters could only maintain their states for a short while but not solve the problems from the root. As a result, after a time they relapsed into their previous states because they didn’t receive the watering of the truth and didn’t understand God’s intention. God required the leaders to fellowship more about the truth and bring the brothers and sisters into the reality of God’s word, so that they could understand God’s intention and would cooperate with God and perform their duties properly. But I paid no attention to fellowshipping with the brothers and sisters about God’s word to help them understand God’s intention, know God’s work, and know themselves. Instead, I only concentrated on talking about disasters, and I even asked them to watch more TV news or read more newspapers at usual times. Such a practice of mine was really ridiculous! If I continued to lead people this way, I could only distance them farther and farther from God and go astray in the end. Wasn’t my doing so the practice of a false shepherd? Wasn’t I harming others and myself? I really deserved to be punished by God!
Thank God for exposing me. I have seen that I wasn’t exalting God’s word or testifying about God in my work but leading the people by man’s methods. I have also seen my pitiful state of having no truth. From now on, I will spend more effort in the truth and equip myself with more words of God. No matter whose problems, mine or the brothers’ or sisters’, I will practice solving them with the truth, so as to bring the brothers and sisters into the reality of God’s word and perform my duty properly.
Lanzhou City, Gansu Province