For a time, the result of the gospel work in our small district was not good, and I was like a cat on hot bricks, not knowing what to do. I really feared that the work would remain unfruitful by the end of the month when I had to report the number of people and thus I would “lose face” at the meeting. One day, I learned that one of the church leaders had brought several people over. At once I was beside myself with joy, thinking, “Right! The inefficiency of the work is connected with the qualities of the preachers of the gospel. I will mobilize those of good qualities to preach the gospel, and this will surely be effective.” Thereafter, I threw aside the work arrangements and principles of God’s family. I gave the example of that church wherever I went, and called on the other church leaders to take the lead in going out to preach the gospel. Soon, the churches presented a picture of “prosperity.” The church leaders and the life deacons went out vigorously with the brothers and sisters, to look for gospel clues and to testify to the gospel friends. One month later, the result of the gospel work did go up. Now I was overjoyed and was even more defiant of the principles of God’s family. I thought that as long as the result went up, my doing the work in any way would be after God’s heart.
While I was going further and further on the wrong path of working according to my own ideas, I was astounded when I counted up the number of people at the end of the following month. Not only more than half of the new believers brought over in the previous month were not admitted into the churches, but several of the old believers in the churches dropped out; some brothers and sisters could not even keep their normal church life.… In the face of this miserable condition, my brows could not unknit. I kept wondering: What on earth is all this about? How come those new believers gave up after believing for a few days? How come some old believers in the churches who have followed for so long a time have now dropped out? What is the cause? …
About these problems arising in the churches, I remained puzzled after much consideration. I had to come before God to seek. Afterward, I read God’s words: “You serve God by your natural disposition and according to your own preferences, but you always think that what you desire is what God is pleased with and what you do not desire is what God loathes, and you work completely according to your own preferences. Is this serving God?” Reading here, I quickly opened The Manual of the Principles for the Church Work. “The Work Responsibilities of a Church Leader” flared up at me: “… The main work of a church leader is to take care of the church life of each small group…. A church leader must go to each small group to live the church life….” All at once I came out of the heavy fog. That the churches had these problems was all caused because I violated the work arrangement and went my own way. I thought back to myself: In the commission, I did not touch God’s will but worked only according to my own idea and preference. I had no regard at all for the principles of God’s family and no place for God in my heart, and I always believed that what I thought was what God was pleased with. I was too arrogant and self-right! According to the requirement of God’s family, a church leader should be in the church sustaining the brothers and sisters in their life entering in and taking care of the church life of each small group. However, I ignored the work arrangement and called on the church leaders to go out preaching the gospel. As a result, the churches lost their original orders all at once. The new believers brought over could not receive timely shepherding and watering, so that they could not be admitted into the churches in due time. The church life of the brothers and sisters was abnormal and they could not receive normal supply and support in the meetings, so that they became depressed in their spirit and were unwilling to attend the meetings, and some even left God. Weren’t all these serious consequences caused by my violating the work arrangement and working according to my own idea?
At that moment, I trembled with fear, and in bitter tears, I fell down before God and repented: O God, I have not done my duty well according to your requirement. In order to preserve my vainglory and face, I worked according to my own idea and caused severe losses to the work of your family. I have become an evildoer in your eyes and have disgusted and grieved you. O God, now I have seen the serious consequences of working according to my own ideas. I am willing to rely on you to correct the deviation in my practice and do things strictly according to the principles of your family. Never again dare I follow my own ideas to act wildly in your family. I will perform my duty honestly and properly according to your requirements, refrain from going my own way, and be a person who has principles in doing things and who puts your heart at ease.
Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province