1. I WAS THINKING ABOUT YOU, PETER, & YOUR SUNDAY FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS. When I was a pastor we used to call the night before the meeting the Saturday night blues! You have a terrible feeling of responsibility, you feel inadequate, you don't see how you're going to make it!
2. PASTORING IS WHAT YOU & MARIA ARE REALLY DOING! When you're down there in Sunday night meetings you're pastoring, & you've been having some very good meetings from all I hear! I hear a lot of good reactions & raves about your good meetings. However, I think you might be overlooking a method which has proven really successful in my past. I think you're overlooking some really good opportunities to train leadership for meetings.
3. YOU HAVE A LOT OF OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP TALENT! You have people you could send out elsewhere & they could take the leadership & run a meeting themselves & handle it very well. But what I think you need to do is train them now to exercise those talents under your supervision & to rotate some of it so you don't have to carry the whole responsibility & feel like you've got to be the whole show every time. I know you do have a lot of that, they give testimonies etc., but I mean the FULL responsibility of LEADING a meeting, the MC!
4. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THIS WORK WAS NOT STARTED BY ME! The Family was not really started by me, but by my children under my supervision. I seldom ever appeared publicly, but I was behind the scenes, pulling the strings, supervising, advising‚ teaching & THEY led the meetings! In the early days I didn't even go into the churches or any of the meetings or wherever it was myself at all, some people didn't even know I existed! I stayed out. My teaching & training was at home in our daily Bible studies & example & our lives & all the rest.
5. BUT WHEN IT CAME TO THE ACTUAL MEETINGS, I LET THEM SHINE & I WAS PROUD OF THEM, because they were perfectly capable of going out & doing a good job. In fact, whenever they managed to rope ME into it‚ I usually wrecked it! That was the end! I exploded, the people couldn't take it & they'd run us off! But the kids knew how to handle things diplomatically like one of them & the people loved them!
6. TAKE HUNTINGTON BEACH, THAT CLUB WENT ON FOR MONTHS BEFORE I EVER SHOWED UP! THEY led the school pickets, church picketing & sit-ins! I only came down to the Club on rare nights to teach my little Bible Class on Bible Prophecy, & they carried the whole responsibility, they ran it, they did everything! They spoke, they organised the program‚ they sang, they did the works! When they hit the road, the same thing!—Demonstrations, red-robed prophets & all the rest, most people didn't even know I existed! I taught them & pushed them out & THEY did it. That's the only way to train leaders!
7. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO BE THERE ALL THE TIME, SO YOU NEED TO TEACH THEM RESPONSIBILITY! And there's only one way to LEARN responsibility & that's to HAVE responsibility! This was Fred's method also‚ the clinical method, learn by doing! Salesmanship‚ a job, anything, they all teach the same thing. You can't just learn out of a book! You also have to work with an experienced expert who knows what he's doing & how to do it. Observe him, watch how he does it & let him teach you how to do the job by the clinical method, which means by actual observation!
8. THEY HAVE SEEN ME DO IT, THEY HAVE SEEN YOU DO IT‚ BUT THEY'LL STILL NEVER LEARN UNTIL YOU PUSH THEM INTO IT & LET THEM DO IT!—I mean to have the full responsibility of a meeting. I believe you ought to have a "round robin" & have them take turns! Having trained them‚ taught them & showed them how to do the job, let THEM do it!
9. ON THE ROAD I LET THEM DO IT, I HID OUT! I just gave my training to them in privacy. And you know how we operated at TSC, I seldom ever came down & addressed the whole mob of 250–350 people! Some of them didn't even know I existed, didn't even know I was there! I don't think I gave more than 3 or 4 public speeches to that whole mob in almost the whole year that we were there. My children were teachers & they had their disciples who were teachers. We had musicians & we had people who carried the whole meeting, the whole ball & did it all themselves without our having to be there!
10. NOW THAT'S THE WAY YOU TRAIN LEADERS, BY LETTING THEM LEAD! And if we're going to do it, you've got to turn'm over to the Lord & trust the Lord that He's going to empower'm, inspire'm, anoint'm & get'm to do it. And the best way to do it is, having set the example & started the ball rolling, stay away & let'm do it!
11. IN THE CHURCHES THE PREACHER & THE MUSICIANS DO IT ALL & THE PEOPLE DO NOTHING BUT SIT THERE LIKE BUMPS ON LOGS! They're trained that way, so they never learn to be leaders, never learn to take responsibility‚ never learn to do anything, never become missionaries or preachers themselves or anything except a few kids who go to Bible school.
12. THIS WORK WOULD NEVER HAVE GROWN & WOULD NEVER HAVE MULTIPLIED IF I HADN'T TRUSTED GOD to find some good leaders & MAKE leaders, because they HAD to be leaders, just like you, Peter, & people that I never heard of & never knew anything about. They hardly got saved before they put them in charge of something, gave them responsibility. Didn't that drive you to the Lord & you had to desperately pray He'd help you to know what to do when you were just a babe yourself & already made a leader over these people? God can do it!
13. WE WENT OFF TO EUROPE & THE MIDEAST, & WE NEVER HAD TO COME BACK UNTIL WE HAD TO STRAIGHTEN OUT SOME OF MY ROTTEN RELATIVES! We just ministered from afar by Letter, like Paul did. His letters have gone much further than his personal presence ever did. And you know that's the way WE'VE carried on ever since! What really got this Family rolling is when I got out of the way & just let THEM do it‚ under my distant supervision, advice, counsel, Letters etc.
14. THE LORD DID THE SAME THING! AS LONG AS HE WAS PERSONALLY PRESENT THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE A THING THEMSELVES, they'd have just followed Him around & let Him do it all. But when He got out of the way they HAD to do it!
15. I THINK NOW'S THE TIME BECAUSE IT WILL PUSH MORE RESPONSIBILITY DOWNWARD. They should take turns being in charge of the meeting, knowing it's their responsibility to order the program, call the shots‚ MC, etc. Try to let the people take as much part as possible, of course, singing & choosing songs & praying. The leader of a meeting can get people to participate as much as possible, testify & all kinds of things, but in the final analysis that person is in charge of the meeting for the night.
16. I'M TRYING TO SHOW YOU & PROVE TO YOU & BUILD MY CASE LIKE A LAWYER THAT THAT'S THE WAY I'VE OPERATED FOR YEARS & THAT'S WHAT'S DONE IT! That's why we have developed such amazing leadership‚ when we had nothing & nobody, no Bible Colleges, no denomination & no buildings, nothing else for them to cling to but the Lord. I wasn't even there, Maria wasn't even there, in the final analysis my children weren't even there, they had to go on their own.
17. THE APOSTLE PAUL, JESUS & NEARLY ALL OF THEM STARTED OFF WITH THEIR OWN PERSONAL TESTIMONIES, THEIR LIFE STORY. I think it would be especially fascinating to new people, or teenagers, to hear you give your own story! Tell your life story, your background & your parentage! Describe your own situation, how you were before you met the Family, what happened when you met the Family, how you got saved & what you did. All of these young leaders, especially the young teenagers‚ will gobble it up, because they want to see & know how you do it!
18. IF THERE'S ANYTHING TEENAGERS ARE WORRIED ABOUT IT'S, "WHAT AM I GOING TO DO & HOW AM I GOING TO DO IT & WHO AM I GOING TO BE?" They model their lives after heroes & heroines, the people they see & know have done it.—And you have done it! Every one of our adults has a STORY to tell! Every one of them, men & women, has got a MESSAGE they can give!—And they need to get up & tell it instead of sitting there like bumps on a log merely participating in minor ways.
19. THESE YOUNG PEOPLE, YOUNGER LEADERS & TEENAGERS, EVEN CHILDREN, NEED TO HEAR THEM TELL IT! That's how you can start off, by telling each of your adults that, "You're going to lead the meeting tonight & you're going to give the message!—And the message is going to be your personal testimony!" I think you'll find they are just going to be THRILLED!
20. THIS PLAN THAT I'M SPEAKING OF TO BE USED IN OUR OWN HOME CAN BE USED IN EVERY HOME! The adults need to introduce themselves to our young people & our teenagers. The teenagers need to know it is being done for their sake & that we're putting the emphasis on them. We're really trying to lay all our cards on the table, expose our open hearts to them, let them know who we are, what we are‚ how we got here & why!
21. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TRAINING NEW LEADERS, TRAINING NEW YOUNG TEENAGERS, & THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT! That's the way I did it with my own teenagers‚ & they lived to tell the story to this day & keep talking about Dad & his example & how he trained them & how he did this & that. But what I did was to get THEM to do it, & they virtually did it all! I just backed them up! I was like a coach behind the scenes!
22. SO IF YOU WANT TO TEACH THESE PEOPLE TO BE LEADERS—& NOW WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TEACHING TEENAGERS TO BE LEADERS—THE WAY YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT IS LET'M LEAD! Once you've had all the older members give their stories to earn the respect & introduce themselves to the teens‚ then let the TEENAGERS get up & tell THEIR story! They've got some stories to tell!
23. —IN FACT, THAT'S THE WAY I FIRST REALLY LEARNED TO SPEAK, WHEN I WAS ASKED TO SPEAK IN OUR YOUNG PEOPLE'S MEETING WHEN I WAS 15 OR 16. I really was pushed into it & I was scared to death! I got together notes & I studied the Bible for hours & I had a long list of points & Scriptures & I'd get up & start & the Lord would take over & I never got around to my notes, Scriptures or anything! Most of what I'd said was just out of my heart, about my own experience, my own past, my parents & all kinds of things, my own story!—And that's about the way I've been doing it ever since.
24. SO START WITH YOURSELVES. Maybe next Sunday night you can tell them, "Well, maybe this is the last time you're going to see me at the Meeting for awhile‚ so I want to tell you my story! And then I'm going to get YOU guys to tell YOURS! So-&-so is going to be next!"
25. THEN YOU GUYS CAN TELL WHO'S GOING TO BE ON THE SCHEDULE THE NEXT TIME & GO RIGHT DOWN THE LINE! I'm not even sure Sunday night's enough! In order to get it over with quick‚ it might be a good idea to have a round of it two or three nights a week after dinner so it doesn't take forever! Just try to get into it as fast as you can. You can even have some people still eating.
26. HAVE THE PERSON WHO'S GOING TO GIVE THEIR STORY GET UP RIGHT THERE AT THE TABLE WITHOUT MOVING & JUST GIVE THEIR STORY! "I'm so-&-so & I came from so-&-so & my friends were so-&-so, & so-&-so & so-&–so!"—How they met the Family, how they got saved & all the rest!
27. I WANT THEM TO ZERO IN & FOCUS IN ON THE CHILDREN, ON THE TEENAGERS MOST OF ALL! It's the adults talking to the teen agers & giving them their story, & then finally you come around to the teenagers themselves. Give them a night too!
28. SO THERE'S MY TIP ON HOW TO TRAIN LEADERS: LET'M LEAD! That's the only way they'll ever learn! They've had enough teaching, they've had enough example, they've had enough leading, they just about know it all! The only thing they haven't really begun to do is to DO IT, to LEAD IT!
29. SO NOW THAT'S THE STEP OF FAITH YOU HAVE TO MAKE! Like my Grandfather told my Mother: "Nina Virginia‚ some day you're going to find out the hardest thing you ever did was just to quit!" So that sort of fits the picture! One of the hardest things for leaders to do is to quit leading & let others lead, because you always feel like you know best how to lead because you are the outstanding leader. But they'll never learn to lead unless you leave!
30. THEY HAVE TO HAVE EXPERIENCE AT IT, THEY HAVE TO GAIN CONFIDENCE IN IT, THEY'VE GOT TO SUDDENLY DISCOVER THAT THEY CAN TALK, that they can get up & talk in a meeting & lead a meeting, take the responsibility, MC it, lead it & tell their own story! That's the way Paul the Apostle started virtually every meeting that's recorded in the Book of Acts, he just got up & told his own life story! And there's nothing more powerful & effective than your own testimony!
31. SO IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW TO TRAIN YOUR TEENAGERS‚ WELL, FIRST LET THEM WATCH YOU DO IT & THEN LET THEM DO IT! They're going to be amazed that they're going to be trusted with leading the meeting & telling their story. I had to when I was just about their age, & I hadn't had as much teaching & I wasn't as smart as they are right now, I didn't really even know the Lord as well. They've had the advantage of our Family all their lives!
32. THEY SHOULD BE AN IMPROVEMENT ON THE STOCK! They should become better leaders than WE are! And that's what they're going to be & need to be if they're going to survive what's coming & are going to be a blessing in those times. The rest of us are going to be a bunch of old folks, middle-aged has-beens, so we've got to give them a chance! They've had the teaching, now we have to give them the example & then let THEM do it.