KEYWORDS: home, god, base, field, church, home base

Quality or Quantity?

David Berg

—MO December 12,1970 NO.23



2. This is where most great movements first began to deviate: PRIDE COMETH BEFORE A FALL! THEY BECAME NUMEROUS, BIG, RICH, AND POWERFUL IN THE FLESH, and lost the power of the SPIRIT! They got to where they thought numbers signalised success! In gaining numbers‚ they eased into a false sense of security and complacency—lost sight of their goal—or lost faith to attain it—stopped moving—stopped changing things—became recognised by the System, accepted by it, and no longer feared or fought or persecuted—because they made peace with or rejoined the System! IF THE DEVIL CAN'T KEEP YOU FROM BEING A CHRISTIAN, HE'LL TRY TO KEEP YOU FROM BEING A REVOLUTIONARY CHRISTIAN. He'll try to make a dead one out of you, instead of a real live one!

3. THIS IS WHY THE MODERN CHURCH SYSTEM IS SUCH AN ABOMINATION TO GOD—it's such a horrible SUBSTITUTE for reality—it's such a damn counterfeit—such a subtle deception! They decide to settle for a low cost religion—cut-price religion—10% instead of 100%—bargain counter religion!

4. These cut-rate bargain counter religions are screaming their ads all over the place: "Come to our church on Sunday! We've got a better substitute! You'll sacrifice less and enjoy it more—in ease and air conditioning!" Like the old poem: "The Church and the World walked far apart, on the changing shores of time‚" until, in the end, they joined together so you couldn't tell one from the other!

5. As my Mother once saw in a vision of the Christians being torn by lions in the Coliseum, and the Lord said, "The Church of today has moved out of the ARENA into the GRANDSTAND!"

6. How can this happen? How can they be so deceived? How can they rejoin the System? How can they go back to the Pit? How can they go back to their vomit? How can they forsake Him?—BECAUSE THEY LOVE THIS PRESENT WORLD! Why do they fall into such a state?—Because THEY'VE BEEN WILLING TO ACCEPT A SUBSTITUTE! WHY DO THEY FALL INTO SUCH FALSE DOCTRINE?—Because THEY'VE REJECTED THE TRUTH! WHY DO THEY REJECT THE TRUTH?—BECAUSE THEY'RE UNWILLING TO PAY THE PRICE! SO THEY MANUFACTURE AN EXCUSE! They've carved out for themselves a new God, a different Bible‚ an easier way—a shortcut to Heaven—when there are no shortcuts! All the shortcuts lead to hell!—"For wide is the gate‚ and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: but straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Mat.7:13,14)

7. GOD NEVER SPECIALISES IN NUMBERS!—HE LIKES QUALITY! Watch out when you get away from the rejected, despised persecuted few state—into the big, accepted majority! The majority is always wrong! The accepted Church is always the false one! The big Church is always the bad one! KEEP IT SMALL! KEEP IT PURE! KEEP IT STRONG! BIGNESS CAN COLLAPSE UNDER ITS OWN WEIGHT! You can be bankrupted by your own overhead—or mortgage the future so you're no longer free—or trade your insecure liberty for peace and safety—and bondage! When the Early Church became numerous, big, rich‚ and powerful‚ and no longer needed God, she lost Him!—And was left a hollow shell, still going through the motions! Like the little girl said about the cat, "It's gone asleep and left its engine running!"

8. Don't get too big for your britches! DON'T GET SO INVOLVED IN MECHANICS AND MAINTENANCE THAT YOU SETTLE DOWN AND STOP MOVING TOWARD THE GOAL! Don't even get so busy gaining territory that you don't securely consolidate these gains! Either of these is dangerous—moving too fast—or not fast enough! MOVE WITH GOD! DON'T RUN AHEAD OF HIM—BUT DON'T TAG BEHIND HIM! Do as Paul did—ESTABLISH the Churches!—appointing elders in each, confirming them, instructing them, and training them until they can stand on their own! Then you can go off and leave them, as Paul did, and know they'll survive—by the power of His Spirit—in obedience to His commands—able to carry on where you've left off—indigenous—self–supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating! Or better still we should say: CHRIST SUPPORTED, CHRIST GOVERNED, AND CHRIST PROPAGATING.

9. GOD WILL NEVER GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN TAKE CARE OF! If you find yourself with more than you can handle, you've bitten off more than you can chew‚ and they must be YOUR converts, and not the Lord's!

10. NUMBERS ARE NOT WHAT COUNT IN THE EYES OF GOD! God specialises in using LITTLE things—WEAK things—FOOLISH things! Watch out when you get too big—too strong—and too smart—so big, you're bragging about numbers; so strong, you're leaning on the arm of flesh; and so smart, you think you know it all—instead of depending utterly upon His Guidance! Pride cometh before a fall!

11. WHEN THE CHURCH GOT SO BIG that it was recognised, accepted‚ adopted and patronised by the State, it lost the power and blessing of God and its usefulness to Him, and He had to start another "Drop-Out" Church—one after the other!

12. IT'S ONE THING FOR THE SYSTEM TO TOLERATE YOU—IT'S ANOTHER THING FOR YOU TO JOIN IT!—There's a difference between living with it, and being part of it. You can be "in the world—but not of the world!"

13. As long as we're STILL SMALL‚ STILL POOR, and STILL PERSECUTED, we're pretty safe, and most likely to be in the will of God! But how can we stay that way? BY SPECIALISING IN QUALITY RATHER THAN QUANTITY! By specialising in spiritual strength, rather than size! And by keeping ourselves unspotted from the world—uncompromising with the System—an implacable foe of the Enemy!—BY STAYING "DROPPED OUT"!—BY KEEPING "TUNED IN" TO GOD‚ AND "TURNED ON" TO HIS TRUTH!


14. Better a young‚ small, versatile, wiry, sharp-witted, fast-moving, power-packed little runt of a "David", than a monstrous, lethargic, dull–witted, giant of a "Goliath"‚ that can barely move because of his own weight!—And on the other hand, better the slow-moving tortoise that keeps moving and gets there, than the spurt-sprinting hare‚ who runs with such bursts of speed, that he's so exhausted that he has to stop and rest, while the "plodders" pass him by! Better a live coward, than a dead hero—in some cases! Better some tough, dinky, little fruit that remains‚ than a proliferous crop that rots and dies on the vine—before it can be preserved! I'D RATHER SEE YOU ESTABLISH AND GROUND IN THE WORD A SMALL, TOUGH COLONY THAT ENDURES AND STAYS TRUE AND PURE AND CONTINUES TO MAKE SLOW, SOLID, ENDURING PROGRESS AND GROWTH AS THE LORD ADDS DAILY TO THE CHURCH—than to open the floodgates to every Tom, Dick, or Harry that wants to come along for the ride!

15. To be specific, for example: I don't think we need a whole new Colony yet in Santa Barbara or Dallas or Newton Falls, when these outposts are only a few hours drive from home base! A contact house, or camp, or bus, or small witnessing unit to act as recruiters to channel the new disciples back to home base for training—Yes!—And probably somebody else's house, or camp, or bus, belonging to some systemite who is unwilling to drop out, but wants to foot the bill and play host!—Not a whole new Colony, but outposts, missionary stations, contact houses, or recruiting spots, like Dallas and Santa Barbara which can come or go or move as the need warrants, with as little expense as possible and as small a staff as practicable!—I'd say with NOT MORE THAN HALF A DOZEN TO A DOZEN PERSONNEL ON DUTY MOST OF THE TIME—or even part-time—with the exception of the "en masse" invasions of the whole army‚ which could leave such a small beachhead behind: a mopping up, follow-up force, conserving and recruiting the results to be shipped home for basic training!

16. THESE OUTPOSTS CAN BE FLYING SQUADRONS‚ THAT EVEN MOVE FROM CITY TO CITY, as each field is reaped and the harvest gathered into the home barn—the harvesters moving on to new and ripe fields! "If they persecute you in one city, flee ye to another!" (Mt.10:23) That's usually God's signal that it's time to go! "For you must needs go into other cities also—for He has other sheep which are not of this fold (Jn.10:16)—Ye will not have gone over all the cities, yea, even of Judah, 'ere the Son of man comes again!" So let's keep it small, but moving—and we'll cover a lot more territory that way—except for the major, more or less permanent bases—the home bases of Jerusalem, Antioch‚ and Ephesus—from which we can branch out covering the other surrounding territories! We have one such major base in Los Angeles, one in Texas, and one developing in the East! I don't know that we need any more in the U.S. until conditions warrant it—and God directs it!

17. EVERY ARMY THAT EVER OVEREXTENDED ITS SUPPLY LINES AND SPREAD ITSELF OUT TOO THIN, EVENTUALLY DEFEATED ITSELF by starving itself to death or getting cut off from home base—and the whole war was lost—sometimes, the entire kingdom! Let's not let it happen to us!

18. The Lord showed us long ago on our flight from California‚ and in Laurentide, while praying for the will of God, that this was going to be His method of operation—as it was with the Early Church—and now it's being fulfilled!—That He was going to provide for us A HOME BASE—a headquarters in the wilderness—whether it be Texas and/or L.A. or the East or London or only God knows where else—FROM WHICH TO OPERATE AND COVER THE SURROUNDING COUNTRY OR COUNTRIES, by means of flying teams of witnesses encamped in fields, or the homes of friends, or even buses on the streets—so we could get the job done without being over-burdened with property, buildings, maintenance, expense, huge housing and feeding operations‚ and wasted personnel!—like the modern Church! But rather like the early Church‚ these bases should only be large enough to effectively train the new disciples sent to them from the field teams. And these major bases should each be responsible for a fairly large area, so they do not overlap or duplicate each other's efforts—and yet, not so far removed from each other that they cannot readily communicate with each other, exchange personnel, and keep in close contact with their units in the field! I WOULD SUGGEST THAT A FIELD UNIT SHOULD OPERATE NO FURTHER FROM HOME BASE THAN SAY, A DAY'S DRIVE, OR LESS, in order to keep in close contact with home support, fellowship, unity and synchronisation of endeavours! Also, the field units should be operating only so far away from home base that they would not hesitate to expect a new disciple who really means business to hitchhike‚ if necessary, in about one days' journey, to home base for training!

19. I WOULD PARTICULARLY WARN THE FIELD UNITS OF SUITCASE MISSIONARIES AGAINST GETTING INVOLVED IN TIME, MONEY, AND PERSONNEL CONSUMING HOUSING AND FEEDING OPERATIONS FOR NEW DISCIPLES—tending tables instead of ministering the Word! If they need a table to get more of the Word—SEND THEM TO THE HOME BASE! Don't get bogged down with these cares yourself, out in the field, lest they grow and choke out your fruitfulness! Only the labourer is worthy of his hire in the field—and he should expect it from the host‚ home, camp, friends, local disciples, or what have you!—Perhaps even partially supported by home base, or at least sent out with their help at the beginning, until he is harvesting fruit in the field and can eat of the firstfruits himself and of the grain which is being trodden out by his labours. Neither let us fall into the fallacy of the false church‚ that the foreign missionary has to be entirely and forever supported by the home base; but let's expect to develop our own fields support through litnessing, provisioning, and/or new disciples and only rely on home base for training them, or to help us open and develop new and more difficult projects‚ such as the PIONEERING OF NEW FIELDS, UNTIL THEY, TOO, CAN BE SELF- SUPPORTING!


20. THE MOST LASTING MISSIONARY WORKS in the world have continued on in countries even now closed to the Gospel, where the natives themselves were taught to carry on by themselves, after the missionary was gone—a procedure the Apostle Paul practiced, and which resulted in the evangelising of all Asia, and most of Europe before his death, by means of his own single-handed efforts and that of a few of his friends—by training his converts to witness and carry on after he was gone! The best ones, who were willing to forsake all and follow him to become fishers of men, he even brought home for further training‚ and to experience and enjoy the larger fellowship of the home church, until he was able to establish major field bases abroad in cities like Ephesus‚ which could train workers for the whole country—another home base, or field headquarters!


21. I think Los Angeles is DOING A TREMENDOUS JOB OF FIELD OUTREACH, BUT MAY NEED TO STRENGTHEN IT'S HOME-TRAINING PROGRAMME. Texas has a good basic training programme, but needs to send more teams into the field. I see you are both now working on these basic needs! The Eastern base is still pioneering and barely getting established, and has a long way to go before it will be safe for it to branch out very far!—Secure your basic beachhead first, before you do any further invading—as I think you've already learned! Until your base becomes strong enough‚ large enough, and adequately staffed to care for your basic training programme, it would be almost impossible for you to spare complete and effective teams for distant fields without short-changing your home base, and weakening its effectiveness.

22. May I suggest to the Eastern Base that you will find all the witnessing you can handle with such a SMALL staff and manpower, in your immediate LOCAL area‚ until you've become large enough, strong enough, and numerous enough, that you can spare full-time workers for teams in the field!

23. And may I suggest to you WELL-ESTABLISHED BASES‚ such as Texas and Los Angeles, that THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO SEND YOUR SURPLUS DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP PERSONNEL—to "go up to the help of the mighty"—and the weak—in the East—including your surplus finances!

24. And I would suggest to you at the Eastern Base, that you not weaken your bastion by premature division until such reinforcements arrive. COUNT THE COST! BE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH FORCES TO WIN THE BATTLE BEFORE YOU START IT. In some cases, God does use numbers, and this is one of them! I think sometimes He has used our very numbers in some instances, to discourage the Enemy from attacking us—so you'd better wait for more numbers there in the East before you start attacking the Enemy too far in the field!—Lest you lack sufficient reserves to hold the fort at home!

25. WHAT YOU NOW LACK IN NUMBERS, however, you certainly MAKE UP FOR IN QUALITY AND CAPABILITY OF LEADERSHIP personnel, so you should soon be able to train and develop some of your own leaders, as well as import them from other bases. A good way to know that you're ready to expand is when you have more than you need or can hold at home! Then send the surplus to needier bases or other fields!—But don't rob Peter to pay Paul! Don't weaken home base to much in order to strengthen a new colony!


26. I BELIEVE WE SHOULD HAVE MAJOR TEAMS IN EVERY MAJOR CITY IN EVERY MAJOR COUNTRY, but let's not go running off half-cocked before God supplies the necessary personnel! Let's be sure the Lord has added to the Church enough to handle it, lest we be ashamed in finding ourselves unable to finish the job! And remember that God almost always takes the cream of the crop right off the top—like the Apostle Paul—to send out in the field to evangelise and establish new churches or colonies—because such tried and proven top leadership has the needed wisdom, experience‚ and power for pioneering! They've done it before, and they can do it again! PIONEERS and APOSTLES always train their disciples to be able to carry on after they're gone, so they can continue to pioneer and open new fields. That's their job! That's always been mine, and I'm still doing it, and I learned how to do it under good teachers—other good pioneers, like my mother and father, and Fred! But I spent many long hard years in training under them, in every kind of situation and seeing how they handled it and watching them deal with every type of problem, and gaining a wealth of vital, essential‚ indispensable experience, under them, before I was ready to "go it" on my own!

27. DON'T TRY TO PUSH YOUR PEOPLE OUT BEFORE THEY'RE READY! DON'T TRY TO GO BEFORE YOU'RE READY! Usually, God will push you out when you're ready‚ by closing some doors and opening others, by the urgency of an undeniable need—by an irrefutable call—an unbearable burden—sometimes even by persecution and tribulation! When God dried up the brook, and stopped the ravens, Elijah knew it was time to move on! (I Ki.17) When Herod drew out the sword after the Early Church, they knew it was time to scatter! (Ac.8) When Paul saw the need in Asia, and that the home field could now do without him; in fact, were quite thankful to get rid of him, so all the Church could have rest, he went abroad, to seek happier hunting grounds—virtually a fugitive, a refugee‚ and an exile from home—as we are today! He hit the road to take the heat off home base, and they managed to get along very well without him—and he without them, at times!—Until he was able to establish new bases, and new churches, with new disciples‚ who were also eventually to do without him. Remember, Paul spent a long time in Damascus, and Jerusalem, and Antioch, the home bases, before he was ready for the field and they were ready to do without him!

28. DON'T BE TOO SLOW TO BRANCH OUT—like Jerusalem was‚ till God had to scatter them by the sword, BUT DON'T LAUNCH OUT PREMATURELY, either, as I fear you may be tempted to do in the East, before you are ready and able, and before you have a strong‚ firm, well-manned home base, able to spare the forces!

29. THIS WORK DIDN'T GROW UP OVERNIGHT! It took years—years of training its first leaders—my own children, then years of their operating under my own direct supervision on a very small scale, until we were ready for God to trust us with a larger ministry! Then it has taken more years recently, to develop more leaders under our leadership, before we could expand to our present proportions! Those years required patience‚ plugging, plodding, and slow, hard, work, until we were ready for God's timing of the present explosion—and capable of handling it! Don't get the idea you can be some kind of a whiz kid or boy or girl wonder that can do it faster—or you may find yourself so far out in front, you've lost touch with reality!

30. You're such a worker yourself, you're probably wondering why this country hasn't already exploded from our very presence here—PAUL SOMETIMES HAD TO DO WEEKS OF UNDERCOVER WORK BEFORE HE WAS READY TO SURFACE. Sometimes he surfaced prematurely and got chased out before he could get started! Even Jesus had to train His disciples for three and a half years before they were ready to really launch out! Even after Paul was gone from them, he had to keep writing letters to them to keep them straightened out—as we have—who still have the burden of all the churches, and pray for you continually! In fact‚ we've spend most of our time while here working on you over there—by tape and by mail and by prayer! You have been such a constant care to us and our thoughts so continually with you, that we have thus far been unable to even begin to see this country and explore its possibilities! We keep hoping we'll get to the end of these instructions, so we can leave and start looking, but here we are, still working on you, though we be half the world away—still trying to help you before we can help others—still present with you in spirit, though so far from you in the flesh! We are still unable to get away from you or to free ourselves from responsibility to you, or even to do justice to other responsibilities here!—Until we are sure we have fulfilled our obligations toward you‚ in instruction, counsel, and supervision!


31. We started this epistle in an attempt to answer a question, and again, we wound up with you and our concern over you‚ that what we've seen happen to others should not happen to us!