63. The Principles of Electing Leaders and Workers
(1) It is only appropriate that those elected to be leaders and workers must have a pure understanding of the truth and able to accept it; they must pursue the truth and be of good caliber;
(2) Not all those with arrogant dispositions should be tarred with the same brush. If someone is able to accept the truth and do practical work, they may be elected;
(3) So long as they have truly repented and are capable of practical work, leaders and workers who have transgressed and been dismissed in the past may be elected;
(4) Those elected as leaders and workers must be the best choices among those who are relatively able to resolve problems by fellowshiping on the truth and who can do practical work.
Relevant Words of God:
Since the beginning of His work throughout the universe, God has predestined many people to serve Him, including those from every walk of life. His purpose is to satisfy His will and bring His work on earth to smooth completion; this is God’s aim in choosing people to serve Him. Every person who serves God must understand His will. This work of His makes God’s wisdom and omnipotence, and the principles of His work on earth, more evident to people. God has actually come to earth to do His work, to engage with people, so that they may know His deeds more clearly. Today you, this group of people, are fortunate to serve the practical God. This is an incalculable blessing for you—truly, you are raised up by God. In selecting a person to serve Him, God always has His own principles. Serving God is by no means, as people imagine, that it is simply a matter of enthusiasm. Today, you see that all who serve before God do so because they have the guidance of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, and because they are people who pursue the truth. These are the minimum conditions for all those who serve God.
Excerpted from “Religious Service Must Be Purged” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who can lead churches, supply people with life, and be apostles to the people must have actual experience; they must have a correct understanding of spiritual things and a correct appreciation and experience of the truth. Only such people are qualified to be workers or apostles who lead the churches. Otherwise, they can only follow as the least and cannot lead, much less be apostles who are able to supply people with life. This is because the function of apostles is not to rush about or to fight; it is to do the work of ministering life and leading others in transforming their dispositions. Those who perform this function are commissioned to shoulder a heavy responsibility, one that not just anyone can shoulder. This kind of work can only be undertaken by those with life being, that is, those who have experience of the truth. It cannot be undertaken by merely anyone who can renounce, who can rush about, or who is willing to expend themselves; people who have no experience of the truth, who have not been pruned or judged, are unable to do this type of work. People with no experience, who are people without reality, are unable to see reality clearly because they themselves are without this kind of being. So, this type of person is not only unable to do leadership work, but, if they remain without the truth for a long while, they will become an object of elimination.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and grant them greater entry into the truth. His work can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people liberation and freedom, and the capacity gradually to grow in life and to have a more profound entry into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short. His work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules, and what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to people’s actual needs. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality, nor into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to adhere to a few worthless rules. Such guidance can only lead people astray. He leads you to become like him; he can bring you into what he has and is. For followers to discern whether leaders are qualified, the key is to look at the path on which they lead and the results of their work, and to see whether followers receive principles in accordance with the truth, and whether they receive ways of practice suitable for their transformation.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
The Principles of Electing Church Leaders and Deacons
After the founding of a newcomers’ church, a year of living the church life will mean that God’s chosen people will naturally be familiar with each other, and annual elections for church leaders and deacons can be introduced. The principles of these elections must be fellowshiped before they are held, and the truth should also be fellowshiped on in light of the relevant words of God. The results of the elections will only be correct and appropriate if a majority of people first understand the principles behind them. The election of church leaders and deacons must be done according to the work arrangements of the house of God. People must not follow their own whims, or elect people by relying on guesswork and imagination. These matters must be handled in a principled way, so that a majority of people can cast a fair vote. Election of leaders and deacons in newcomers’ churches is not subject to the length of time a person has believed in God; as long as a person has believed in God for over six months, truly believes in God, is of good humanity, loves the truth, and feels a sense of burden toward the church, then they can be elected as a leader or deacon. Electing church leaders and deacons based on these principles ensures that the majority will be able to stand firm. The principles of electing church leaders and deacons are now stipulated as follows:
1. They must be sensible, of good conscience, kindhearted, and they must love the truth;
2. They must be able to accept the truth, focus on reflecting on and knowing themselves, and be capable of true repentance;
3. They must feel a sense of burden toward the church, be able to offer sincere help to their brothers and sisters, be relatively honest and upstanding, and have a sense of justice.
People who basically fulfill the three conditions above may be selected as leaders or deacons. Prior to elections, each person should pray to God and accept His scrutiny. They should guarantee that they will vote in the election in accordance with God’s requirements, and make God a guarantee that they will obey the truth, forsake the flesh, and cast a fair and impartial vote based on the facts, and not based on their own sentiments or imaginings.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
The selection of leaders at all levels in God’s house is primarily based on three criteria, but it is not a simple matter to determine whether someone meets these three criteria. It is certainly unreliable to depend on a single person’s subjective judgment; evidence provided by three or four different parties, who are familiar with the candidate’s circumstances, is therefore required to ensure that the judgment is accurate. Because of this, prior to selecting a leader, we must gain an understanding from multiple parties, obtaining evidence and information provided by those familiar with the candidate and by leaders and co-workers who are superior to the candidate as well as ones who are subordinate to the candidate. God’s chosen people must have a comprehensive analysis by which to balance the pros and cons; and finally, if we have determined that this person has truly met the three criteria, then they can be elected. This is the necessary procedure for selecting leaders at all levels, and it is a completely fair, appropriate, and reasonable process. The evidence given by those four parties familiar with the candidate can include the following:
1. Evidence provided from those in the church who have known this person the longest and have the closest relationship with this person (at least three to five people);
2. Evidence presented by the majority of people from the church;
3. Evidence provided by this person’s family, friends, and relatives;
4. Evidence presented by co-workers from the higher and lower levels (at least three to five people).
These are the evidence from the four aspects most critical for understanding if someone has met the three criteria. The evidence from only one or two aspects is insufficient, therefore we must obtain the evidence from three or four aspects. Primarily, we must verify the following five situations using the evidence:
1. We must verify that this person’s humanity is rather honest and upright, that they have a sense of justice, and that they are certainly not someone who is crooked and deceitful, promiscuous or evil;
2. We must verify that their understanding of truth is pure and that they love the pursuit of truth, and that they are certainly not someone who is absurd and does not understand spiritual matters, or someone with too shallow an understanding of truth;
3. We must verify that they are competent and are loyal to their duties, and that they are certainly not someone who shuns hard work and muddles through when fulfilling their duties;
4. We must verify that they have a true understanding of God, that they have true obedience, and that they are certainly not someone who harbors notions and resistance against Christ and the man used by the Holy Spirit;
5. We must verify that they are people who can perform work in accordance with the arrangements from the Above, and that they are certainly not people who behave differently and act on their own ideas.
Accurate evidence regarding these five conditions must be obtained from those four parties familiar with the candidate. If the issues in these five respects cannot be verified, then the three criteria certainly have not been met. All five of these respects must be verified before determining that a person has met the three criteria, and only then can they be selected. Only by selecting people based on the information provided by those four parties familiar with the candidates can accuracy be ensured. If anyone should select leaders without acquiring the evidence from those familiar with them from four parties, then this person must be someone irresponsible toward God’s chosen people, and they must be someone who acts willfully and is arrogant and conceited. All those who have been selected based on subjective assumptions, without acquiring the evidence from those familiar with them from the four parties, these people must be reevaluated (except for those who are very familiar). This is the rule of God’s house. Everyone must follow it; it must not be violated! Anyone who goes against the rule of God’s house and selects leaders based on their own subjective decisions is rebelling against and resisting God, and they are an antichrist.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
The election of leaders and workers is of the utmost importance to the church. Leaders and workers must at least possess some truth realities, and they must also have discernment over people and be able to discover talent and cultivate those who pursue the truth. If a leader or a worker cannot tell whether a person possesses truth reality, or whether a person is of a high or low caliber, and they only pay attention to what gifts that person has, then they lack discernment and do not possess spiritual understanding. This person is without question not suitable to be a leader or worker. If anyone elects leaders and workers who are without discernment, then they themselves are blind and they blindly stir up great trouble. They do not know how to see whether a person has spiritual understanding or whether that person’s caliber is good or bad. Such people themselves have no caliber whatsoever. Is it necessary to understand the truth in order to perceive whether a person is good or bad? It can be deemed unnecessary, because what defines a good or bad person can be determined by a person’s conscience. People who act according to their conscience are undoubtedly good people, and they are incapable of great evil. Even if they have hostility toward others, they will not go so far as to harm them. Those who act against their conscience and who harbor treacherous and cunning intents are evil. Therefore, one may discern whether a person is good or bad by relying on their conscience. However, in order to discern whether a person possesses truth reality or not, and whether they love the truth or not, we have to possess at least a little understanding of the truth. For example, how should we view whether or not a person has principles in handling their affairs? How should we determine whether or not a person possesses truth reality? Does someone who preaches letters and doctrines possess truth reality? People are generally unable to discern these things. They must at the very least understand a little bit of the truth, because if they do not, they cannot discern whether or not people possess any truth reality. To be able to discern the essence of a person, and clearly see who a person is, one needs to understand the truth. If leaders and workers are unable to even discern if a person is of good or bad caliber, and whether they possess truth reality or not, this proves that such leaders and workers themselves do not possess truth reality.
Excerpted from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life
Decisions to vote for church leaders and workers must also be based on whether their written answers to the truth examination questions contain any actual experiences and knowledge. One’s answers to the truth examination questions are most revealing of whether one possesses any truth reality. At election time, all candidates should read out their written answers to the examination questions for God’s chosen people to hear, who should then vote based on how the candidates typically perform as well as their examination responses. God’s chosen people must understand that the principles of God’s house in electing church leaders and workers are: 1. They must be sensible, of good conscience, kindhearted, and they must love the truth; 2. They must be able to accept the truth, focus on reflecting on and knowing themselves, and be capable of true repentance; 3. They must feel a sense of burden toward the church, be able to offer sincere help to their brothers and sisters, be relatively honest and upstanding, and have a sense of justice. These are the three principles for electing church leaders and workers. If even one of these principles is not met, God’s chosen people must not select that candidate to serve as a leader or worker. Only those who are relatively qualified to fulfill all three principles and are a bit better than most people can be elected. God’s house will call to account the leaders of any church that violates these election principles. Electing a wicked or deceitful person as a church leader or worker is a most serious problem that disrupts and disturbs the work of God’s house. God’s chosen people must expose, report, and deal with such an occurrence in a timely manner. Church leaders and workers everywhere must strictly supervise church elections, and absolutely must not allow the process to be manipulated by wicked people.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
The selection of leaders and workers should be based on whether or not they can solve practical problems. Those who can solve practical problems in regular fellowship should be selected as leaders and workers. The person who solves the most problems should be the main leader or worker, while those who solve fewer issues may be selected to be ordinary leaders or workers. The leaders and workers should be selected according to this standard. Are there any age restrictions for solving practical problems? No matter whether someone is an elderly brother or sister in their sixties or seventies, or a younger brother or sister in their twenties, as long as they are able to fellowship on the truth and solve some practical problems, they can be chosen as a leader. There are no age restrictions, so do not try to set rules. As long as the person can solve practical issues, they may be chosen irrespective of the depth of their experience. Some people have believed in God for many years and appear to have a lot of experience, but if they cannot solve any issues then they are not qualified to be a leader. What sort of person is qualified to be a leader? Those who can solve the practical problems and difficulties of God’s chosen people. They are able to use the truth to resolve problems regarding how God’s chosen may enter into life, problems when people face trials or are pruned and dealt with and find it difficult to submit, problems regarding people not being able to understand when reading God’s words, as well as problems regarding how to deal with physical life and relatives of the flesh. Such people make suitable leaders. If a person can only preach letters and doctrines, and is unable to solve any practical problems, then this person is a religious imposter, and is wholly without truth reality. Now are you clear about what it means to possess truth reality? It means being able to solve all kinds of practical issues for God’s chosen. This is to possess truth reality, which proves that a person has experience, and that they are capable of understanding and capable of performing work. In short, they have strength. If a person cannot solve the problems of God’s chosen, first, they do not possess truth reality; second, they are incapable of performing work; and third, they are incapable of understanding. They are totally without strength, and such people absolutely cannot be selected to be leaders and workers. If they are elected, they must then be eliminated!
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
Now, after repeated instances of being replaced, and of being pruned and dealt with, many people in God’s house have finally woken up. They have realized that they are without truth reality, that they have been too corrupted and have not been obedient, and they have begun to repent. If they have a true understanding of themselves and genuinely repent, especially after having been replaced and then re-elected a few times, then such people have exhibited some true change and should be promoted. Why should they be promoted? Because the number of people who can perform practical work is few. Human beings are too corrupt, and are unable to truly change without judgment and chastisement. No person can be fit for God to use without undergoing trials and refinement, and being pruned and dealt with. All of the people who have been corrupted by Satan have a satanic disposition and a satanic nature. Therefore, experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, and experiencing being pruned and dealt with, is to experience God’s work. If a person has experienced being replaced several times, has experienced failures and has fallen down, and can still stand back up and truly repent, then this is the effect of God’s judgment and chastisement. Is there anyone who is relatively less corrupt, and after listening to the judgment and chastisement of God’s words and coming to know their own corruption, and meeting normally every day, unwittingly experiences a wholesale change in their disposition? Is there such a person? No, there is not. Every person must go through judgment and chastisement, pruning and being dealt with, and trials and refinement, and they must go through trials and refinement hundreds of times before they may be perfected. What does this mean? Human beings have been so deeply corrupted that they cannot achieve change simply by being pruned and dealt with a few times. Therefore, the more judgment and chastisement, and pruning and being dealt with corrupt mankind goes through, the better it is for them—this is God’s profound love. Some people, even after a few times of failing and falling down or being promoted and demoted, are still capable of standing up to perform their duties. This shows that they are in the right and are people who pursue the truth. If they were not people who pursued the truth, they would perhaps have been exposed and cast out after the first time they were replaced. Those who still pursue the truth and continue to perform their duties despite having repeatedly failed and fallen down are people who have faith in God. No matter how He treats them, they will never abandon Him. After being replaced and exposed a few times, they are still able to self-reflect and try to know themselves, genuinely repent, and stand back up. Whether God uses them or not, they still follow Him and perform their duties to repay His love. It is only people like these who truly love the truth and love God. When comparing a person such as this who has displayed repentance, and who has truth reality, with a person who has not experienced failures or falling down, which one is more suitable to be a leader or worker? The person who can still stand firm after repeatedly being replaced has real testimony, whereas the person who has never experienced pruning and being dealt with, and who has never failed and fallen down has no real testimony of experience. If they are really replaced, and they fail and fall down, then it is difficult to say whether they are passive and weak, or are simply unable to get back up again. Whether a few individuals will be able to continue to follow God is unknown. Some people act better and more vigorously when disciplined; with others, when you speak gently to them, they will still sometimes fall down, cry, and be unable to get up. Which of these two kinds of people becomes stronger? The person who is disciplined, right? Therefore, in selecting leaders and workers, you must be able to distinguish that those who are disciplined grow strong, as they are constantly experiencing being pruned and dealt with. After going through this process, they can be obedient and can truly repent. Such people are guaranteed to make progress, and when chosen to be leaders and workers, they will be reliable and dependable. Do not choose a person who has only been handled in a gentle manner. They are too fragile, and have not undergone any trials or chastening. They have no stature, are devoid of humanity in their boorishness, and they are like children, naive and unreliable.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
We must pay attention to the following when electing church leaders and deacons:
1. Never elect people who are possessed by demons or have often been worked on by evil spirits.
2. Never elect the antichrists who are arrogant and conceited, do not listen to anyone, are irrational, dare to judge God’s work, and spread their notions and fallacies.
3. Never elect “yes-men” who like to speak and act on emotion, cannot adhere to principles, and do not uphold the interests of God’s house.
4. Never elect people who love to talk about letters and doctrines, do not practice the truth, and bear no burdens and take no responsibility when performing their duties.
5. Never elect people with poor humanity, who like to form cliques, stir up enmity, are crooked and deceitful, or have malicious dispositions.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements