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The local churches and the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee have been the subject of controversy in two major areas over the past fifty years.
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Local churches (affiliation) - Wikipedia

Our unique leader is Christ. We have no official, permanent, organized human leadership. Furthermore, there is no hierarchy of any kind and no worldwide leader. We regard no person as infallible, and we do not follow anyone blindly. Those who take the lead do not lord it over the saints, but rather shepherd them in love.

The Local Church

Likewise, those who serve the Lord do not control the churches, but rather serve them as bondslaves of Christ in the ministry of the living Word. Each local church is autonomous in its administration. Therefore, there is no central headquarters. No particular local church should be regarded as the head church or leading church.


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On the contrary, all the local churches share the same standing before the Lord. We pray, praise, sing, give testimonies, and minister the Word.

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The church meetings are open, and all believers are free to participate. The word "pray-reading" is a compound word that describes our practice of praying with the words of the Bible. What is the church? Why has God called us into these little communities?

The Local Churches' Practices (3)

Does the local church really matter? The local church is the way God intends to accomplish his mission in the world. Local churches do local evangelism.


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  • The local church should matter to us because it matters to God. Therefore, the church is central to the purposes of God and is of benefit to the world around us—even today in our increasingly hostile culture. It is simply unthinkable then to separate Jesus from the local church.

    Why the Local Church was included in the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions

    If the gospel is the diamond in the great salvific plan of God, then the church is the clasp that supports it, holds it up, and shows it in its greatest light for the world to see. The local church is where the believer grows.

    How to Love God When You Don’t Feel It

    It is primarily in the local church that Christians learn doctrine, receive reproof, and train in righteousness see Ephesians 4: The local church provides opportunities for growth that are available nowhere else. Very often people will turn up on our doorstep having heard the gospel through some parachurch ministry.

    Yet they almost always have large gaps in their biblical knowledge and Christian behavior. Without a local church committed to patiently teaching and training them, these people will flounder indefinitely.

    Who is your leader?

    The local church is the place where believers must submit themselves to spiritual authority. Many people from many walks of life struggle with issues of authority, though this problem is especially prevalent in the schemes of Scotland. God calls Christians to submit to spiritual authority within the local church see Hebrews All believers are called by God to put themselves under the care and oversight of elders.