In the past weeks, since there have been signs that the coronavirus outbreaks are slowing down, most governments are actively promoting business reopening and resumption of production. We should be much more desperate for our vital groups to reopen for business and resume production in order that the functions of the vital groups can be fully restored.
Practicing of the vital groups, on the one hand, is to vitalize ourselves so that we can become the overcomers; on the other hand, is to recover the functions of the saints, so that every saint can participate in begetting, nourishing, perfecting and building. The purpose of resuming the work of vital groups is to restore the vital groups’ original functions and to bring them back to the normal condition. The purpose of practicing vital groups is to recover the saints’ the original condition ordained by God of the believers.
At the moment, western countries are trying to figure out how to get the society reopened after the outbreak. However, their focus is on bringing people back to their normal life, e.g. going out to restaurant, theater and other public places, etc. What the government concerns the most is to restore the society’s superstructure, but not the substructure. The latter is the underlying framework of the society. If we want to stabilize the substructure, the reopening of work and production is crucial.
In a certain sense, we can say that the vital groups are the “substructure” of our church life. The two things that the vital groups can help recover, the normal Christian life and the function of each member of the Body, are extremely essential. Without the foundation laid by the vital groups, we cannot have a solid “superstructure” of the church life.
Similar to the restoration of the quality of people’s life, the reopening of work and production is necessary so as to restore the quality of the church life. Therefore, the reopening and resumption of every vital group is necessary. Practicing the vital groups is for everyone to function and to serve God. The spreading of the gospel today should rely on every member, rather than “the spiritual giants; likewise, the work of shepherding and perfecting should be carried out by all the saints, instead of some “gifted ones”. Therefore, to resume the production of the vital groups, every saint needs to rise up to preach the gospel and take care of others.
During the coronavirus outbreak, the vital groups played an important role in sustaining the connections among the saints. We should go on practicing the vital groups, not only in the sense of “reopening for business” but also “resuming production”. We should not just “stay at home”, but “work from home”; we should not only pray, but also produce the building materials for the house of God.
After this epidemic, the industries need to first restore the connection with their clients and with their suppliers, before they can reopen for work. This first step is to take care of both the upstream and the downstream. Likewise, every vital group also needs to take care of its “upstream” and “downstream” connection. To restore the connection with the “upstream supplier” is to receive God’s dispensing in the Spirit through the word of God, so that each member in the group can be a vital member and an overcomer. Meanwhile, we should also develop our “downstream” relationships by renewing the old relationships and building more new relationships. With the assurance of both “supply and demand chain”, we can have our vital groups ready to reopen for work and resume production
To recover the society from a months-long epidemic, we need the full cooperation and collaboration of all the parties. It is more so to recover the church from centuries-long “hibernation”. For this we need the one accord among the saints. In this new stage, we should not only renew our old relationships, but stretch forward to approach the new ones for their new needs and new challenges. In doing so, the work and production of the vital groups can soon be resumed, the running of the great wheels of God can go on, and the plan of God can be carried out.
The turning point in the fight against the virus is coming near, and people’s heart are now widely open. After the gray horse ran on stage, now it is the time for the rider on the white horse to go forth and conquer.
Brothers and sisters, rise up! Be a diligent priest of the gospel of God! Let’s preach the gospel and Save the fallen! Save millions from perishing!
Rise! Preach the gospel now!
Rescue the fallen!
Lo, millions perishing daily in pain!
Quench not your heart of love,
Count not possessions:
Rise! Preach the gospel while moments remain.
At the same time, in order to gain the up-to-date revelation, we need to keep praying unto the “utter exhaustion” (Dan. 9:21). The original 24-hour/21-day prayer has been extended to 30 days. We encourage all the saints to join this global prayer, especially the ones who have not participated yet. We hope every brother and sister can partake of this move of the whole church. (For more information, please visit http://unceasinglypray.org )