Church Life Is Affected by the Quality of Leaders
Believers in God should all know that God’s will is to make all of God’s chosen people truly obey God’s work, accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words and various trials, suffering and refinement, and finally achieve true knowledge of and obedience to God to become people who truly worship God. Only those of God’s chosen people who achieve this result through experiencing God’s work are people truly saved by God. For God’s chosen people to be brought onto the right track to believing in God and enter the reality of God’s words, the proper election of church leaders is of crucial importance. The concrete issues and practical problems of God’s chosen people still require church leaders to resolve them, because only church leaders have the most opportunities to connect with God’s chosen people. Only if church leaders are elected properly will all the actual problems of God’s chosen people be genuinely resolved, and God’s chosen people will be able to more accurately experience God’s work and get on the right track to believing in God.
Most of God’s chosen people in the church are people who have just recently accepted God’s work of the last days. The majority of them still don’t understand the truth; they have no ability to discern at all. They can’t distinguish the work of evil spirits or the false Christs and antichrists that deceive people, let alone discern Satan’s philosophies, its laws of life, and its various heresies. They are therefore very easily deceived and led astray, and must rely on church leaders and workers at all levels to supply and support them so they can get on the right track to believing in God. If a wrong or unsuitable person is chosen as the leader of a church, then dozens of God’s chosen people in that church will have their lives delayed. If a church leader is someone possessed by ghosts (including those who have often been worked on by evil spirits) or is an antichrist, then those of God’s chosen people led by him or her will be led astray, onto a path of evil, and their lives will be completely ruined. If those deceived people become Satan’s lackeys or tools of evil spirits, they will then start to deceive even more people and the scope of the damage will spread wider and wider, like a plague. This is the consequence of choosing the wrong church leaders. It’s too ghastly to contemplate! There are enough instances of false Christs and antichrists deceiving people everywhere to prove this. In some areas, thirty percent of church leaders were wrongly selected. This is a very serious problem that will harm or ruin the lives of many of God’s chosen people! A church that chooses the wrong leader will at least delay the progress and eventually ruin the lives of thirty to fifty of God’s chosen people. If several hundred churches all choose the wrong leaders, tens of thousands of people’s chances to be saved will be ruined, and all the efforts expended by brothers and sisters in preaching the gospel will also go to waste. Who should bear responsibility for this? Who is capable of bearing this responsibility? Can the personal punishment and curse they receive from God make up for these tens of thousands of lives? How could this not infuriate God? This is the terrifying outcome of serving God but resisting God. Who among all the church leaders recognizes the seriousness of this problem? I used to often emphasize, “Never use people possessed by ghosts (including those who have often been worked on by evil spirits) and those antichrists,” but most people turned a deaf ear and still acted perfunctorily or irresponsibly when selecting leaders. They were all afraid of offending people but didn’t care about offending God. Aren’t they precisely the people who serve God but resist God? Is working like this doing right by God? Is it doing right by the brothers and sisters? They enjoy God’s blessings but cannot act in accordance with God’s requirements, thus selfishly harming God’s chosen people. Isn’t this like the Chinese saying, “Helping the enemy at the expense of your own people”? They always act like “yes-men” when doing their work but they betray the interests of God’s chosen people, seeking to please Satan at the cost of the lives of their brothers and sisters. Is this serving God? Is this the behavior of someone loyal to God?
If a person can pursue personal desires and ignore God’s will in this important issue of principle of selecting church leaders at all levels, then isn’t their behavior that of resisting and betraying God? How can this not sadden God’s heart? Church leaders at all levels should self-reflect on just how many people who don’t conform to God’s requirements have been selected as leaders and workers at all levels of the church, and on what principles and conditions they based their decisions to use certain people. They need to be held accountable to God for all of these things. All those who chose the wrong people to be leaders must explain themselves in a written report that will then be kept on file. If you selected someone who belongs to Satan to work for the church, then you are complicit in their crime. This is an unshirkable responsibility. If you are an intelligent person, you must immediately rectify any mistakes you discover and redeem yourself. Otherwise, if you delay the life entry of God’s chosen people, you will regret it for the rest of your life.
The work of selecting church leaders is directly related to the life entry of God’s chosen people. The impact of leaders at all levels in the church is very important to whether or not God’s chosen people can get on the right track to believing in God and be saved by Him. In particular, the impact of church leaders at the grassroots level cannot be reproduced by upper-level leaders. Therefore, electing and cultivating grassroots leaders properly is the most crucial work of God’s house, and all people who serve God should pay attention to it. The salvation of God’s chosen people can only be guaranteed if leaders in every church of God’s house are elected properly and with foresight. This is a fact nobody can deny. Only then can we do right by God and God’s chosen people.
We should see clearly that it is not enough for God’s house to only do a good job of selecting members of the pastoral area decision-making teams and the regional decision-making teams. If leaders of districts are selected wrongly, this might still lead people in all churches astray. If regional and district leaders are all chosen correctly, but church leaders are selected wrongly, then church leaders will still be able to lead people in the church down the wrong track. Accordingly, the impact of church leaders cannot be underestimated. That’s how tense and intense the war in the spiritual world is. A wrong choice of leaders at one church can easily ruin several dozen lives. If any member of the regional decision-making team or a district leader is selected wrongly, the influence won’t be minor and they will definitely delay the progress of or ruin the lives of many people. We must not ignore this. People who don’t possess the truth will be able to cause mischief and disturbances with just a bit of status. They can’t help themselves. Church leaders and workers at all levels should see through this, and should treat God’s heart as their own, and do a good job of protecting and supplying God’s chosen people. We must not lose any of God’s sheep.
All of the work done by the above is to properly cultivate all leaders and workers of God’s house. The final goal is for church leaders and workers at all levels to be able to bring God’s chosen people onto the right track to believing in God and into the reality of God’s words. God’s will cannot be done through God’s chosen people if church leaders are not selected correctly, because God’s work will be disrupted by such leaders. The reason why in the past God’s house expelled people possessed by ghosts (including those who often have been work on by evil spirits) and those antichrists was to eliminate these obstacles and stumbling blocks to doing God’s will. Even though these evident obstacles and stumbling blocks were eliminated, there are still plenty of obstacles and stumbling blocks that have not revealed themselves. All those who serve God should know very well that selecting possessed people (including those who often have the work of evil spirits) and those antichrists for leadership roles is essentially setting up an obstacle to the fulfilling of God’s will and putting a stumbling block on the path to the kingdom for God’s chosen people. Isn’t any person who does this effectively an accomplice of Satan? Isn’t this the behavior of a lackey of Satan? If a person who serves God does things that make Satan happy and make God upset, isn’t that precisely serving God but resisting God? Isn’t that the substance of such behavior?
To ensure that all leaders of the churches of God’s house are selected suitably and without error, God’s house hereby stipulates the following special rules: All leaders of grassroots churches must be elected and may not be personally appointed by any person. Church elections shall be conducted through anonymous voting. The conditions for being a church leader and the reasons for choosing a good church leader must first be properly communicated before the election commences.
Elected church leaders must be equipped with the following characteristics:
1. They must be a person who pursues the truth. Pursuing the truth is reflected in being able to regularly eat and drink God’s words, loving to communicate the truth, seeking new light, and sincerely seeking to understand the truth. Additionally, a person who pursues the truth must at least be a person who accepts the truth, can accept being pruned and dealt with while fulfilling their duty, and can genuinely repent when they transgress. A person who pursues the truth is not afraid to face facts and speak honestly. For them, one is one and two is two—they don’t quibble or pretend, and they recognize and respect facts. The special thing about a person who pursues the truth is that they can accept the truth. Regardless of who communicates the light and essence of the truth, they readily accept and submit to it. Hence, a person who pursues the truth is someone who often grows and achieves transformation. God’s chosen people must see clearly just who genuinely pursues the truth before they cast their votes.
2. They must be a person with a sense of justice. Good people have a sense of justice, have a clear idea of what one should hate or love, are willing to do good deeds, and are willing to walk the right path. Due to Satan’s corruption, however, it is also inevitable for good people to transgress, but the substance of good people and that of wicked people are completely different. Good people feel remorse and suffer when they transgress, and repent when they do the wrong thing, but wicked people don’t feel ashamed or repentance when they do evil. This is a fact everyone can see. Good people are quite kind-hearted, and don’t do things that make them indebted to others. They especially don’t do things that deceive or hurt others. Good people are people who are charitable and willing to help others. The most important thing is that good people are willing to pursue the truth and walk the right path in life. God’s chosen people should be able to distinguish between good people and wicked people before they cast their votes.
3. They must be a person with a sense of burden. People with a sense of justice will all feel a sense of burden toward the church and be willing to help others and guide others onto the right path. If they are a person who pursues the truth then they will have good prospects. They will have a sense of burden toward the church, be willing to shoulder heavy burdens, and will expend themselves for God. As long as it is for the sake of God’s house and is a righteous deed, they will feel duty-bound to do it and show utter devotion. A person with a sense of burden toward the church will be fit for God’s use once they are equipped with the truth and enter the reality of the truth. A person with a sense of burden toward the church will certainly have the motivation and aspiration to pursue the truth. A person who truly has a burden toward the church and takes responsibility for the life entry of other brothers and sisters will surely protect the work of God’s house and be willing to help them resolve anxieties and problems. Such a person enjoys communicating God’s words, often has the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and is able to communicate pure knowledge, helping people gain support and supply. Most people will definitely be willing to get along with those with a sense of burden toward the church. Such people are the most suited to being church leaders, and God’s chosen people should see this clearly.
People equipped with the above three characteristics may be elected as a church leader. If anyone basically has these three characteristics and is just a little deficient in some aspects, they can still be elected if they have the potential to be cultivated, but the best candidates available should be elected. No one is perfect, so as long as they can bring people onto the right track to believing in God and into the reality of God’s words, it is not a problem even if they have some shortcomings and transgressions. If they cannot lead people to believe in God and enter the truth, then we cannot elect them no matter how good a person they are. We should grasp this important principle when electing church leaders. As soon as any person who is not equipped with the truth has status, it will be difficult for them to avoid doing disruptive things. This is a fact. God’s chosen people should all see this point clearly and be able to distinguish and compare to see who basically accords with these three standards, and then select the more outstanding among them to be church leaders. This is beneficial to the house of God as well as to the individual, and completely conforms to God’s will. Conversely, anyone who casts a vote for a wicked person is casting a vote for Satan and endorsing Satan, making themselves God’s enemy and also the enemy of God’s chosen people. Such people ought to be cursed. Electing church leaders also reveals a lot about people, and God is surely inspecting in secret.
We must pay attention to the following when electing church leaders and deacons:
1. Never elect people who are possessed by ghosts or have often been worked on by evil spirits.
2. Never elect the antichrists who are wildly arrogant, don’t listen to anyone, are irrational, dare to judge God’s work, and spread their conceptions and fallacies.
3. Never elect “yes-men” who cannot adhere to principles, love to talk about letters and doctrines, and whose speech is based on emotions rather than principles.
4. Never elect people who don’t love to communicate the truth, are unwilling to help, support, or interact with others, and are relatively lazy and selfish.
5. Never elect people with poor humanity, who like to form cliques, stir up enmity, are deceitful, or have malicious dispositions.
God’s chosen people should all understand that doing a good job of choosing church leaders is a major thing that affects whether or not each one of God’s chosen people can be saved. God’s chosen people should all have this attitude: Pick whoever can lead you onto the right track to believing in God; pick whoever can guide you to be saved by God. No matter how they used to treat you, you should let go of your personal grudges and cast a totally impartial vote. If you truly believe in God, then for the sake of being saved by God, you should elect church leaders and deacons correctly. Voting based on emotions and personal desires only harms yourself and could ruin your life. It won’t achieve any benefits and is not in the interests of any of God’s chosen people. When electing church leaders and deacons, God’s chosen people should all learn to be considerate of God’s will and learn to practice the truth. Don’t vote emotionally, let go of personal grudges, and act in accordance with principle. Only by doing so are you conforming to God’s will and are taking responsibility for your own life. Let’s see who can uphold the truth and cast a fair vote! After each church has met and communicated this properly, they can officially elect their church leaders and deacons. Elections must be held and supervised by district workers.
From now on, church leaders and deacons will be elected once a year. Leaders and deacons who achieve good results in their work may be re-elected, and continue to be re-elected in perpetuity on the approval of the majority of voters. Appointing leaders and deacons by election is fair and reasonable. On the one hand, it resolves the issue of inappropriate appointments ordered by upper-level leaders, and on the other hand it prevents unsuitable leaders from continuing in office. This is beneficial to both the work of the church and God’s chosen people. In the past, the proportion of qualified people appointed by district leaders was too low. There were too many deviations, mainly because mankind’s corruption is so deep. All those who have not been saved and perfected are not suitable. This is an undeniable fact. Thus, church leaders and deacons must be democratically elected and must not be directly appointed by any person. This way shows the church’s responsibility toward God’s chosen people.
After church leaders and deacons are elected, they will be directly nurtured, provided for and supported by district leaders and workers. If the elected person cannot get any real work done after a period of time, a new election may be held for their position. New elections can also be held for the positions of elected deacons who are unsuitable. But holding elections is the correct method, which must be upheld and never abandoned.
The work of God offers people freedom of choice. From now on, leaders and workers at all levels of the church will be elected by God’s chosen people, and all those not approved by God’s chosen people must be banned. An elected person who is later exposed when they encounter trials should be removed, and God’s chosen people should vote again for somebody new. Personal appointments by leaders are mostly incorrect and have less chance of success, while the majority of those elected by God’s chosen people are relatively correct and have a better chance of success. This is a fact and must be respected.
November 6, 2006