In a training following the July 4th weekend conference, Brother Titus held a couple of Question and Answer sessions. Through these, he was able to share his heart with the saints, and to bring many into his present burden for the churches. The following is an excerpt from one of these sessions.
Question: How can I be equipped when there are not that many role models in my locality? Should I stay to be a good role model or move to be trained first?
There are two kinds of churches in the Bible. One is called a center, like Jerusalem or Antioch. From Jerusalem, many churches were raised up. Antioch raised up apostles, servants of the Lord who traveled and raised up churches. I like to be with brothers who advance. I like to be in a church life that can advance us.
Cleveland is supposed to be a base where many brothers are raised up. But we have four full timers, and I’ve never heard one elder tell me what their expectations are for these four. And they have no shame. When I consider you brothers, I always consider your future. I don’t just consider today. So, my consideration is that you four brothers must have your fields. You must have places you can minister. Must have meetings you can lead. Must have brothers you can raise up, and they can be useful before the Lord. Who cares for you? When I say this, I am very sad. The elders use you. “We have a good brother.” So what? What about his future? There is very little burden or care. All these full timers are talented. They all have the ability to work with the church themselves. Yet we put these four people in one meeting, and the elders are still thinking about what to do with the meeting. The elders never come to tell you four brothers–I tell you now publicly, it’s to their shame–go ahead and lead the meeting. They have no concern about you.
I have a wild thought: the leadership rotates. Do I make sense to you? You have the church in Cleveland, you and a brother go plan everything. Write down everything and talk with us. What are you going to do in these three months? Then another brother, considers for three months what the brothers should do. Every time I talk with the elders, “Oh we have this brother; We have that brother.” Every time I hear it, I shake my head. Shame. Shame. You are not a good elder. You are wasting your life, and you are wasting others’ lives. Eventually I ask the question: You have this good brother, but what is your expectation of him? How would you let him attain what you expect? Brother, isn’t that bureaucracy? No elder would say, “I am in bureaucracy.” We have the best elders in the world—I mean what I say. None of them is controlling, none of them is manipulating, none of them wins favor. How Christ looks at the church, can you look at the church the same with Christ? When you serve, how should the church go? What Christ expects, that is what you expect. I may be too hard on the elders, but honestly every time I hear this brother’s name or every time I hear that brother’s name, I say “Poor brothers.” You two become flowers. You beautify the elders. How about you? Who cares? Does this brother have a future? Who cares? Does this brother have a future? Who cares?
Today, you do have many good brothers who are role models for you. You have Rex. Let me repeat this to you: Rex has had ten years of very hard time. Today you appreciated his speaking, right? When you are speaking well, you have to learn to let others speak. That is a hard lesson because you feel they are wasting time, but do you realize you are speaking well because you have wasted a lot of time? I can speak well because many young people were sacrificed by me. If you are in a place and very lonely, what should you do? You could, for instance, speak to Rex. I believe if you fellowship with him, “I am very lonely, can you help me in my development?” I believe Rex will say yes. He is a servant of the Lord, he has no right to say no. If you want to move to another place, maybe it’s ok, based on the leaders. If the leaders where you are give you adequate opportunity to operate, don’t leave, because you have a good field. Maybe it’s just three couples, but that’s a good field. Learn how to preach the gospel, how to raise up young people, how to work with the second generation; learn how to let the meeting go on healthy and strong. Don’t learn from Cleveland. Every Sunday morning, four full timers are in the meeting wasting their life. If I were you brothers I would go away. Why do you stay in the meeting? You don’t need that kind of message or thing.
I strongly advise you brothers all—each one—work with five. Everyone. I have five people working with me. If I don’t, then I recruit. I go from house to house of the saints, “Would you like to work with me? We can pursue together, we can read the word together, we can love one another together, we can preach the gospel together, we can open our house together, we can do everything together.” With me, I have a little group. With me, there’s a little group in the church life. Whatever the church messes up, we make it up. If the church doesn’t preach the gospel, the five people with me, we preach the gospel. If the church does not pursue, then the five who are with me, we do. Don’t wait for the church arrangement. To me, I couldn’t understand you four brothers. Your question is, “Who can be my role model? What should I do?” My feeling is: you brothers should move away. You stay in Cleveland—for what? Go raise up the church in Lakewood. What’s wrong with that? Go raise up the church in West Lake. What’s wrong with that? Go raise up the church in Berea. Let’s have a meeting here. I trust you brothers. You will not be people with no judgement who do stupid things. You would have a view, but refuse to be common.
There are two books you must read: Number one, “Be a Brother.” To be a brother is not easy. Another one, “Refuse to be Common.” In so many places, the whole church life is too common. You have the right to refuse to be common. What should I do with you? You four full timers should raise up four churches in two years. Grab whosoever you can in the church life in Cleveland. Remember that song? “Oh Lord, let us be joyful; oh let us be joyful in the Lord.” You know brothers, the whole thing is like Eli: old. You should be like Samuel. Don’t look at the old man; you develop. I hate to say it: 20 Jesus lovers in a meeting of 60, and the meeting is dead. What kind of thing is this? How do I know the meeting is dead? Because no new ones come. Any meeting that is alive, new ones come a lot. In 2021, we give the church to the four brothers for one year. You lead, we all are quiet. You tell us to clean the meeting hall, we clean the meeting hall. You tell us to clean the garden, we clean the garden. You be the real leaders and we’ll see how the church does. Everyone is an elder for three months. I would say, three months to try. “I’m not an elder, but I would like to learn to assume the eldership for three months. I want three other brothers to work with me.” Then three months later you [another brother] will have three months and we all work with you. Begin to have something new, fresh, how the church should go on. You have been trained enough to know how to be spiritual enough, to not do wild things. Lord have mercy.