68. The Principles of Cultivating and Utilizing People
(1) It is necessary to elect and cultivate people of good caliber, who love the truth and have a sense of justice, as leaders and workers. Doing so is of benefit to the church’s work;
(2) People who, having previously been replaced, genuinely repent and are afterward capable of doing practical work, may be reelected, again promoted, and put to use;
(3) New believers of a year or two, so long as they are of good humanity and caliber, love the truth, and have taken on burdens, may summarily be cultivated and utilized;
(4) Those who, despite their arrogant, self-righteous dispositions, are not evil, should be cultivated and utilized, so long as they are of good caliber and can accept the truth.
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
As church leaders, you should learn how to discover and cultivate talent, and not be jealous of talented people. In this way, your duty will be performed satisfactorily, and you will have fulfilled your responsibility; you will also have done your utmost to be loyal. Some people are always afraid that others will steal their limelight and surpass them, obtaining recognition while they themselves are neglected. This leads them to attack and exclude others. Is this not a case of being jealous of people more capable than themselves? Is such behavior not selfish and contemptible? What kind of disposition is this? It is malicious! Thinking only of oneself, satisfying only one’s own desires, showing no consideration for the duties of others, and thinking only about one’s own interests and not the interests of God’s house—people like this have a bad disposition, and God has no love for them. If you are truly capable of being considerate of God’s will, then you will be able to treat other people fairly. If you give someone your recommendation, and that person is cultivated into someone of talent, thereby bringing one more talented person into God’s house, will you not then have done your work well? Will you not then have been loyal in performing your duty? This is a good deed before God, and it is the sort of conscience and reason people should possess. Those who are capable of putting the truth into practice can accept God’s scrutiny when doing things. When you accept God’s scrutiny, your heart is set straight. If you only ever do things for others to see, and do not accept God’s scrutiny, then is God still in your heart? People like this have no reverence for God. Do not always do things for your own sake and do not constantly consider your own interests; give no thought to your own status, prestige, or reputation. Also do not consider the interests of man. You must first give thought to the interests of God’s house, and make them your first priority. You should be considerate of God’s will and begin by contemplating whether or not you have been impure in the fulfillment of your duty, whether you have done your utmost to be loyal, done your best to fulfill your responsibilities, and given your all, as well as whether or not you have wholeheartedly given thought to your duty and the work of God’s house. You must give consideration to these things. Think about them frequently, and it will be easier for you to perform your duty well. If you are of poor caliber, your experience is shallow, or you are not proficient in your professional work, then there may be some mistakes or deficiencies in your work, and the results may not be very good—but you will have put forth your best effort. When you are not thinking of your own selfish desires or considering your own interests in the things you do, and are instead giving constant consideration to the work of God’s house, bearing its interests in mind, and performing your duty well, then you will be accumulating good deeds before God. People who perform these good deeds are the ones who possess truth reality; as such, they have borne testimony. If you are always living by the flesh, constantly satisfying your own selfish desires, then such people do not possess truth reality; this is the mark of bringing dishonor to God.
Excerpted from “Give Your True Heart to God, and You Can Obtain the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
In fact, among the many people in the house of God, some have special skills, and some have a slight fault but are still able to perform certain duties. They are suitable for performing a duty, they accord with the principles for those who perform a duty—but what about in the eyes of the antichrists? What do they believe? “Would I rub sand in my eyes? You want to have a role in my group, to compete with me. That’s impossible, don’t even think about it. You’re more capable than me, more articulate than me, more educated than me, and more popular than me. What would I do if you stole my thunder? You want me to work alongside you? Don’t even think about it!” Are they considering the interests of the house of God? No. All they are thinking about is whether their own status can be preserved, so they would rather harm the interests of the house of God than use these people. This is exclusion. Moreover, they cultivate dolts without any ability, people who are incompetent, easy to order around, pliable, and ignorant, people who lack insight, who do not think for themselves, who do not understand the truth—they are the only ones they cultivate. The unbelievers have a saying: “I’d rather lead the horse of a true man, and hold his stirrups for him, than be the ancestor of an idler.” But antichrists are the exact opposite: They would be the ancestors of these idlers. Is this not the manifestation of incompetence? For example, they mention someone who is not arrogant, and is able to contribute. When you ask them how this person is at understanding the truth, they say, “They understand it acceptably well, they have a little caliber.” In fact, this person they have mentioned hides when they encounter a small issue, they have no faith. Among such people, there are those who do not understand the truth, those who do not understand spiritual matters, those who always complain in private, and those who always make mistakes. They are a bunch of dolts, the antichrists are their ancestors, and they are the ones they cultivate. These are the people the antichrists are liable to cultivate when they become “leaders” in the house of God, and is the work of the house of God not delayed as a result? They have no regard for people who have a little caliber, who are able to understand a little of the truth, who pursue the truth, who practice some of the truth, and who can undertake the work of the house of God. Why is that? Such people would never become their slaves and followers, they would never be at their beck and call, so they cultivate a bunch of people who are foolish, timid, ignorant, stupid, slow, and who do not have minds of their own—this is the kind of garbage they cultivate. Is this way of acting beneficial to the work of God’s house? No. And do they give any thought to this? What are they thinking about? “I’m looking for whoever I can work with and get on with, whoever makes me feel significant, and can highlight my value.” Their cohort is a bunch of dolts who do not understand spiritual matters. None of them seek the truth when they encounter an issue, none of them understand the truth, none of them handle things according to the truth principles. There is one thing, however, that the antichrists do like about them: When such people encounter an issue, they seek the antichrists out and do what they say. This is the principle by which the antichrists find people to work alongside. They find a bunch of dolts, a pile of garbage, to work and kiss their feet—and ultimately, some of the work of the house of God is held up. The interests of the church and the speed of work are affected, but these people have no sense of that, and even say, “That’s not only my responsibility.” If everyone says this is not their own responsibility, then just whose is it? If no one takes responsibility when a problem occurs, what was the point in them listening to sermons all these years? The facts are right in front of their eyes, yet they still do not recognize them. What kind of people are these? This fact proves that the people the antichrists choose are no good; they do not accept the truth. Antichrists deliberately team up with dolts, contemptible wretches, and good-for-nothings who do not accept or love the truth. They rope them in, insinuating themselves with them until they are congenial, on intimate terms, and they get on well together. What is this? Is this not an antichrist gang? When you replace their “ancestors,” their faithful offspring object, they pass judgment, and say the Above is being unfair, and band together to stick up for them. Are the antichrists just some evil people? Some antichrists are wasters without any significant talents, but there is one thing about them: their special fondness for status. Do not think that being talentless and uneducated, they have no love of status; that is wrong, and it shows that you have not thoroughly understood the essence of the antichrists. Anyone who is an antichrist loves status. Since the antichrists are incapable of working alongside anyone, how are they capable of cultivating a bunch of rotten eggs and feet kissers? Do they want to work alongside such people? If they were truly able to work alongside these people, then those words would not hold true. They are incapable of working alongside anyone—and that “anyone” also includes the people they cultivate. So what are they doing cultivating them? They cultivate a group who are easy to order about and manipulate, who cannot think for themselves, who do whatever they are told, who work with them to protect their status. Protecting their status unaided would be a little difficult, a little arduous, and so they cultivate such a group of people—a group who, in their eyes, are supposedly “spiritual”—who happily endure hardship and are able to protect the “interests of the house of God.” Each of them does many different tasks, and they go to the antichrists to ask questions or consult every time they encounter an issue. They think that this is what it means to work alongside people. But is it? They find a bunch of people to give orders to, to get their work done, to cement their status. This is not cooperating—it is running their own personal operation.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (8)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
The work of cultivating and using people in the church is directly related to the issue of God perfecting people. The church should cultivate and use the kind of people who may be perfected by God. We all know that the kind of people God perfects are those who pursue the truth and have a sense of justice. They are those who have a compelling obligation and leave everything behind in order to fulfill God’s commission. They can faithfully expend themselves for God; in order to satisfy God, they are willing to bear hardships and pay the price, and they do not hanker after the pleasures of the flesh. Those who are able to bear hardships in performing their duties and are not afraid of difficulties and dangers, who only seek to fulfill God’s commission and satisfy God, who do not covet status, fame, gain, and physical pleasure; those who can accept being pruned and dealt with when they reveal corruption in the performance of their duties, who are able to know themselves, despise themselves, forsake the flesh, and practice the truth; those who can reflect on themselves and know themselves regardless of the issues they encounter, or the transgressions they commit, who can seek the truth to rectify them, and who can continue to expend themselves for God, and hold to God’s commission and the duties they should fulfill—such people can grow in their lives. By constantly equipping themselves with the truth, they can understand the work of God and bring about changes in their life dispositions. The more they serve God, the more they can understand God’s will; the more they serve, the more they can practice the truth; the more they serve, the more they can submit to God, until ultimately they can conform to God’s will. This is the process through which a person who serves God pursues the truth in their service, accepts pruning and being dealt with, gradually reduces their transgressions, and over time becomes someone who is fit for God’s use. This is also the practical experience of one who serves God being perfected. During great tribulations, if those who serve God do their utmost to pursue the truth, they will receive the work of the Holy Spirit. Their life experience will steadily deepen, their life dispositions will change, and they will be perfected.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
Determining whether or not someone is worth cultivating and can be used depends primarily on two aspects: Firstly, one must look at whether or not that person pursues the truth, whether or not they can practice the truth, and whether or not they have entered reality; secondly, one must see their attributes clearly for what they are, distinguish whether or not they have a normal humanity, whether or not they possess conscience and reason, what type of person they are and what sort of path they are on. The church’s cultivation and use of people depends mainly on whether or not they pursue the truth; this is the most fundamental principle. The reason for this is that whether someone pursues the truth or not can explain many issues; it reveals whether the path they are on is the right one or an evil one, whether or not their faith in God is practical, and what sort of attribute they possess. If they truly are someone who pursues the truth, then they will most certainly possess a comparatively good humanity, they will certainly be on the right path, and they will certainly be a relatively kind person. Therefore, God’s house repeatedly emphasizes the need to select and use as leaders those who genuinely pursue the truth; this is a matter of significance. Nobody is perfect; people all have their shortcomings. When evaluating someone, you must consider the main aspects: Whether or not they pursue the truth, are of good caliber, are resolved, and have a sense of justice. If someone can pursue the truth, then even having a few minor shortcomings or committing a few minor transgressions is not considered a problem. As long as they are truly someone who pursues the truth, then their transgressions are all resolvable. When evaluating someone, do not split hairs or judge them on their appearance; you must look at their essence. This is key. The crucial work is to find people who genuinely are of good caliber, who pursue the truth, and who are capable of doing work; and then, to arrange suitable places for them in the church, and supply and cultivate them well. When the church’s leaders and workers at all levels set foot upon the right track of belief in God, they can lead God’s chosen people onto the right track as well.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
Can a new believer who is of relatively good humanity, but who does not understand the truth or possess truth reality, be a leader? They cannot. Becoming a leader takes a year or so at the very least. People who believe in God can only come to understand a few truths once they have experienced His work for a year or so. If it is discovered that a new believer who has believed in God for six months or a year is of good humanity and fervently pursues the truth, then they should be cultivated and trained to fulfill their duty. If someone has believed in God for five or six years, or seven or eight, and is of quite good humanity and is guileless and well-behaved but only of average caliber, has attended gatherings for a few years yet still does not understand much of the truth, and possesses little reality, then is such a person suited to being a leader? If they are too lacking in caliber, then they cannot understand the truth and would be incapable of leadership; at most, they could fulfill a duty in some aspect or another. Therefore, people who serve as leaders must be able to understand the truth, be of good caliber, and at least be of average humanity; furthermore, they must have believed for one or two years, or perhaps two or three years, and be guaranteed to be able to enter some truth realities. Only people like these are worth cultivating. So, how is it determined whether a person is of good caliber? If you fellowship to them on the truth, or they eat and drink of God’s words of their own accord, and they are always knowledgeable and can understand the truth, and is relatively attuned to spiritual matters and can comprehend as soon as you point something out to them, then they are of good caliber. There are a lot of people whose caliber is not bad; when you fellowship to them on the truth, they understand, but they still do not accept the truth or put it into practice. Are such people suited to leadership roles? Absolutely not. Most of the leaders and workers who were eliminated in the past were of rather decent caliber, but these people did not practice the truth, had poor humanity, and were too deceitful; they were constantly bearing false witness and deceiving people, and did not possess even one iota of truth reality. In addition, no matter what duties they were performing, they always included adulterations and their own ulterior motives. If they were assigned some task to perform for God’s house, they would sometimes favor outsiders instead of God’s house, and live off of God’s house while secretly helping those outsiders. People like these do not have good humanity. They do not speak honestly, they do things that make God’s house have to worry, and they would rather do harm to the interest of God’s house for the sake of personal gain. These are all the most selfish and despicable of people, and the most selfish and despicable of people are not suited to leadership roles or performing duties. People like these cannot attain salvation. A person must pursue the truth, be honest, be upright, have a sense of justice, and be able to uphold the truth principles; only then is one worth cultivating and suited to becoming a leader.
Excerpted from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life