87. The Principles of Serving in Coordination

1. You must perform all church work in strict accordance with work arrangements, do your utmost to fulfill your duty, and never allow yourself to do whatever suits you;

2. You must obey the work of the Holy Spirit and the principles of the truth. You must not adhere to self-will or be restrained by other people, and you must not sell out principles, but must supervise each other;

3. Do not seek to prevail over others, but seek and fellowship the truth in all things to reach a common consensus. Learn from each other, do not get caught up with the past, and respect and obey each other;

4. You must uphold the work of God’s family. If you discover that your partner has a problem, you must help them without delay. If you are not able to cooperate together, then you must promptly seek to resolve the problem.

Relevant Words of God:

For the church to be built, you must follow the spirit. Do not proceed by acting blindly, but stay in your place and fulfill your own function. You should not step outside of your roles, but fulfill whatever function you can perform with your utmost strength, and then I will be truly pleased. It is not that all of you will serve the same function. Rather, each of you should play your own role and dedicate your service in coordination with others in the church. Your service should not deviate in either direction.

from “The Nineteenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

It is these two main principles to abide by while at work: One is to perform the work exactly according to the arrangements from the above, and to perform tasks with the principles that have been set forth by the above. The other point is to follow guidance from the Holy Spirit within. Once these two points are grasped, work is very unlikely to miss its mark. For you whose experience in this area is still limited, your own will adulterates your work more. At times, you may not understand the enlightenment or guidance from the Holy Spirit within; at others, you appear to understand it, but you are likely to ignore it. You always imagine or deduce in a human way, doing as you think appropriate, with no concern at all for the intention of the Holy Spirit. You go about your work solely according to your own ideas, setting aside enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. Such situations occur frequently. Inner guidance from the Holy Spirit is not at all transcendental. It is in fact very normal: The inner reaches of your soul know this is the right way to do it, and that this is the best way. Such an idea is very clear; it is not the result of cogitation, and sometimes you do not fully understand why to do it this way. This is often none other than enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. Such a situation is what occurs most commonly in most people. The Holy Spirit guides you to act in the most appropriate way. It is not the result of your consideration, rather you have a feeling in your heart and you intuit that this is the best way to do it. Perhaps this is from the Holy Spirit. One’s own will is often the result of the thought process and is colored by their own ideas: What’s in it for me, how I will benefit—these are part of anything that people determine to do themselves. Guidance from the Holy Spirit in no way contains such adulterations. It is necessary to pay careful attention to the guidance or enlightenment from the Holy Spirit; particularly in key issues you must be careful in order to grasp it. People who think too much, who like to act on their own ideas are most likely to miss it. Good workers, promising workers, pay attention to the work of the Holy Spirit. People who obey the Holy Spirit fear God and seek truth tirelessly. To satisfy God and bear witness for Him, one should investigate one’s own work for elements of adulteration and intentions, and try to see how much is motivated by personal wishes, how much is born of enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, and how much is in keeping with the word of God. You must constantly and in all circumstances examine your words and deeds. To practice often in this way will put you on the right track of serving God.

from “The Main Principles of How Workers Work” in Records of Christ’s Talks

I want to remind you that you cannot be even a little vague on My word and any carelessness is unacceptable. You must heed and obey it and go about things in accordance with My intentions. You must always be alert and never have a disposition that is arrogant and self-righteous, and you must always rely on Me to cast away the natural old disposition that dwells within you. You should always be able to maintain the normal condition before Me, and have a stable disposition. Your thinking must be sober and clear and should not be swayed or controlled by any person, event, or thing. You should always be calm in My presence and always maintain a continuous closeness and fellowship with Me. You shall show unyielding courage and stand firm in your testimony to Me. Rise up and speak for My sake and fear not what other men say. Focus on satisfying My intentions and do not be controlled by others. What I reveal to you must be done in accordance with My intentions and cannot be delayed. How do you feel inside? Are you uncomfortable? You will understand. Why are you unable to stand up to speak for My sake and be considerate toward My burden? You keep engaging in petty scheming, but I see it all clearly. I am your support and your shield, and all is in My hands, so what are you afraid of? Isn’t that being over emotional? You must quickly cast aside the emotions; I do not consider emotions and I exercise righteousness. If it is of no benefit to the church, then your own mother and father are no exception!

from “The Ninth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If you want to fight the good fight for the truth, then first of all, don’t give Satan any chance to work, and to do this you will need to be of one mind and be able to serve in coordination, relinquish all your own conceptions, opinions, views and ways of doing things, quiet your heart within Me, focus on the voice of the Holy Spirit, be attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit and experience God’s words in detail. You must have only one intention, which is that My will can be carried out. You should have no other intention. You must look to Me with all your heart, watch My actions and the way I do things closely, and do not be negligent at all. Your spirit must be sharp, your eyes open. Ordinarily, those whose intentions and objectives are not right, those who love to be seen by others, who are eager to do things, who are prone to interrupting, who are strong in religious doctrine, Satan’s lackeys, etc., when these people stand up they become difficulties for the church and the eating and drinking of brothers and sisters comes to nothing; when you find this kind of person play acting then ban them immediately. If time after time they do not change then they will suffer greatly. If those who stubbornly persist in their ways come to their own defense and try to cover up their sins, the church should cut them out immediately and leave them no room to maneuver. Do not lose a lot by trying to save a little, and keep your eye on the big picture.

from “The Seventeenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

God lifts the needy from dust, where the humble are made high. I will use My wisdom in all its forms to govern the universal church, to govern all nations and all peoples, so that they are all within Me, and so that all of you in the church might submit to Me. Those who did not obey before must now be obedient before Me, must submit to each other, accept each other, have interconnected lives, and love one another, all drawing on others’ strong points to offset their own weaknesses, serving in coordination. In this way will the church be built, and Satan will have no opportunity to exploit. Only then will My management plan not have failed. Let Me give you another reminder here. Do not allow misunderstandings to arise in you because such-and-such person is a certain way, or acted in such-and-such a way, letting you become decadent in spirit. As I see it, this is not appropriate, and it is a worthless thing. Is the One you believe in not God? It is not some person. The functions are not the same. There is one body. Each does his duty, each in his place and doing his very best, every spark of enthusiasm a flash of light, seeking maturity in life, thus will I be satisfied.

from “The Twenty-first Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

You must perform your function and fulfill your duties as normal; this does not happen all at once, but must be sustained. You must take My heart as your heart, My intentions must become your thoughts, you must consider the situation as a whole, let Christ emanate from you, and join together to serve. You must keep pace with the work of the Holy Spirit and throw yourself into the method of the salvation of the Holy Spirit. You must empty yourself and be an innocent and open person. You must fellowship normally with your brothers and sisters, be able to do things in spirit, love one another, let others’ strengths balance out your weaknesses, seek to be built in the church. Only then will you truly have a share in the kingdom.

from “The Eighteenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Today the requirement of you to work together harmoniously is similar to how Jehovah required the Israelites to serve Him. Otherwise, just end your service. Because you are people who serve God directly, at the very minimum you must be able to be loyal and obedient in your service, and must be able to learn the lessons in a practical way. Especially those working in the church, would any of the brothers and sisters below dare to deal with you? Would anyone dare to tell you of your mistakes face to face? You stand high above all, you are really reigning as kings! You do not even study or enter into such a practical lesson, and you still talk of serving God! At present you are asked to lead a number of churches, and not only do you not give up yourself, you even cling to your own notions and opinions, and say things like “I think this thing should be done this way, as God has said that we should not be restrained by others, and that nowadays we should not submit blindly.” Therefore each holds to his own opinion, and no one obeys the other. Though you clearly know that your service is at an impasse, you still say, “As I see it, mine is not far off. In any case we each have one side; you talk of yours, and I of mine; you fellowship about your visions and I talk of my entry.” You never take responsibility for many things that should be dealt with, or you just make do, each person venting his own opinion, prudently protecting his own status, reputation, and face. No one is willing to humble himself, neither person will give himself up initiatively to amend the other and be amended so that life may progress more rapidly. Very seldom when you are working together does any of you say: I would like to hear you fellowship with me about this aspect of truth, because I am not clear about it. Or to say: You have more experiences than I have on this matter; can you give me some direction, please? Wouldn’t this be a good way of doing it? You on the upper levels hear a lot of truth, and understand a lot about service. If you people who coordinate to work in the churches do not learn from each other, and communicate, making up for each other’s shortcomings, from where can you learn lessons? When you encounter anything, you should fellowship with each other, so that your life can benefit. And you should carefully fellowship about things of any sort before making decisions. Only by doing so are you being responsible to the church and not being perfunctory. After you visit all the churches, you should get together and fellowship about all the issues you discover and problems encountered in work, and communicate the enlightenment and illumination that you have received—this is an indispensable practice of service. You must achieve harmonious cooperation for the purpose of the work of God, for the benefit of the church, and for spurring the brothers and sisters onward. You coordinate with him and he coordinates with you, each amending the other, arriving at a better work outcome, so as to care for God’s will. Only this is a true cooperation, and only such people have true entry. There may be some speech that isn’t suitable during cooperation, but that does not matter. Fellowship about it later, and get a clear understanding of it; do not neglect it. After this sort of fellowship you can make up deficiencies for the brothers and sisters. Only ceaselessly going deeper like this in your work can you achieve better outcomes. Each of you, as people who serve, must be able to defend the interests of the church in all things you do, rather than looking out for your own interests. It is unacceptable to go it alone, where you undermine him and he undermines you. People acting this way are not fit to serve God!

from “Serve as the Israelites Did” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

You must have an understanding of the many conditions men will be in when the Holy Spirit performs work on them. In particular, those who coordinate to serve God must have an even better grasp of the many conditions brought about by the work that the Holy Spirit performs on men. If you only talk about many experiences and many ways of entering in, it shows that your experience is too one-sided. Without grasping many situations in reality, you are unable to achieve transformation in your disposition. If you have grasped many conditions, then you will be able to understand various manifestations of the work of the Holy Spirit, and see clearly through and discern much of the work of the evil spirits. You must expose the many notions of men and go straight to the heart of the issue; you must also point out many deviations in people’s practice or problems in believing in God so that they may recognize them. At the very least, you must not make them feel negative or passive. However, you must understand the many difficulties that objectively exist for people, you must not be unreasonable or “try to teach a pig to sing”; that is foolish behavior. To resolve the many difficulties of men, you must understand the dynamics of the work of the Holy Spirit, you must understand how the Holy Spirit performs work on different people, you must understand the difficulties of men, the shortcomings of men, see through to the key issues of the problem, and get to the source of the problem, without deviations or errors. Only this kind of person is qualified to coordinate to serve God.

from “What an Adequate Shepherd Should Be Equipped With” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Man’s Fellowship:

To be a leader serving God you must have principles. … Secondly, never try to find tricks or rely on your own ideas. Follow the arrangements from above strictly. If you are truly earnest in your work and want to achieve results, you must spend a lot of time and energy on all work arrangements and devote the maximum effort.

from “One Must Have Principles in Serving God” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life

Seven principles for serving in coordination:

The first principle: All of the church’s work must be carried out according to work arrangements. It is absolutely not allowed to go one’s own way, and it is necessary to practice mutual supervision.

The second principle: In deciding work, and in handling problems, decisions may be made only after consensus is reached through fellowship.

The third principle: If it is impossible to achieve unity of opinion, it is necessary to seek truth and solve the problem as soon as possible. After consensus has been reached, then carry out the work. If seeking truth also does not solve the problem, report the matter to a higher level of leadership. Find the source of the problem.

The fourth principle: Among partners and among leaders and workers, sometimes it is permissible to compromise. There may be forgiveness, with permission given to the other party. This is restricted to routine work only. When important work is involved, it is not permissible to compromise. The principles must be upheld.

The fifth principle: Among leaders and workers, take care to always submit to the one in whom the Holy Spirit is working.

The sixth principle: If a person forcefully upholds his own opinion and goes his own way, practices despotism, and is revealed as a false leader or an antichrist, then his partners and co-workers must report it and expose it, and deal with it immediately. There must be absolutely no lenience.

The seventh principle: If actions that violate the work arrangements bring some loss to the work of God’s family, and create some destruction, it must be reported and exposed, investigated and dealt with.

from The Fellowship From the Above

There is no main role and deputy in coordinating to serve. Everyone stands on an equal footing, and the principle is to achieve a consensus through fellowshiping about the truth. This requires people to obey one another. That is, whoever speaks correctly and speaks in conformity with the truth should be obeyed. The principle is to obey the truth. The truth is authority, and whoever can fellowship about something in line with the truth and see things accurately should be obeyed. No matter what people do or what duty they fulfill, obeying the truth is always the principle. People must not obey status and power, and even more, they must not be restrained by knowledge or fame and prestige. Status and power really are too harmful to people. Status and power foster one’s satanic disposition, can affect their practice of the truth, and can also restrain and bind people, making them walk the wrong path. That is why status is not authoritative when coordinating to serve. Only God’s words and the truth are authoritative. One is not to be obeyed because of their position, regardless of how high it is. But as long as one can fellowship about the truth and has the right path of practice, they should be obeyed regardless of how low their position is. The most taboo thing about serving in coordination is relying on status and power to restrain people and making people obey status and power. This is the way of Satan and that of false leaders and antichrists, and ought to be banned. Leaders and workers of all levels of the church must practice serving in coordination. From now on, God’s house will not allow anyone to be an authoritarian dictator. This is the correct path of service. Each regional decision-making team, district leaders, and church leaders all serve in coordination, and there is no distinction between main role and deputy. Only those who can learn how to serve in coordination can learn how to obey and break free from their corrupt disposition of being arrogant, self-right and authoritarian. Only those who learn how to serve in coordination have the likeness of a proper human being. This is extremely beneficial to achieving change in one’s life disposition.

from “The Meaning and Explanation of the Ten Principles of the Church Life Established by God’s Family” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God

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