The Practical Building Up of the Local Churches

According to the God-ordained Way

The church as the Body of Christ is built up in the divine life by the proper functioning of all the members of the Body. The New Testament further reveals that God has ordained a particular way for the carrying out of this building work. Witness Lee outlines this God-ordained way, comprised of four aspects:

A local church is built up by the functioning of all its members with the perfecting of the gifted persons, such as the apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds and teachers (Eph. 4:12), through:
1) the preaching of the gospel to get sinners saved and baptized (Matt. 28:19);
2) the feeding of the new believers in their homes for the growth in life and in truth (John 21:15; 1 Pet. 2:2);
3) the perfecting of the saints in the group meetings for the building up of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:12); and
4) the prophesying in the church meetings for the building up of the church (1 Cor. 14:1-5, 23-26, 31).
The gifted persons carry out their ministry in perfecting all the members of a local church in a locality, that all the members of that local church will be able to do what the gifted persons can do (Eph. 4:12) in the above-mentioned four items, for the building up of that local church, issuing in the building up of the universal Body of Christ. The gifted persons do not build up the church directly; rather, all the members who have been perfected by the gifted persons build up the church directly.

(Witness Lee, Brief Presentation, 32-33)

Elsewhere, Witness Lee states:

The regular procedures of the church work in the Lord’s recovery today consist of four steps: begetting, nourishing, teaching (perfecting), and building. Begetting is to have sinners saved and regenerated to become the members of Christ (1 Cor. 4:15b; Matt. 28:19); nourishing is to feed the new believers for their growth in the divine life (1 Thes. 2:7; John 21:15, 17); and teaching is to perfect the saints that they may mature to be built (Matt. 28:20a; Eph. 4:12-16). The steps of begetting, nourishing, and perfecting are all for another higher step, that is, for the building up of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:12b, 16) in the local churches (Rev. 1:4a, 11).

(Witness Lee, Practical Points, 17-18)

Witness Lee’s teaching involved not only the vision of the building up of the Body of Christ, but also the way to build up the local church practically through the steps of the God-ordained way.

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