We hope anyone who uses these lessons could allocate some regular time to gradually read, fellowship, and pray over the perfecting messages in The Children Volume 1. Without the vision, the plan, and the perfecting imparted in those messages, the lessons contained in volumes 3-5 are like unrelated pieces of a big jigsaw puzzle. We need a vision, a plan, and perfecting, and then the lessons will be useful.

Sterling Byassee, The church in Santa Ana - Steve Clark, The church in San Antonio


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I. Developing Your Own Daily Family Home Meeting - (Attached Below) Refer also to for a Workable Pattern

II. Neighborhood Children's Home Meetings- G.G.

III. Lord's Day Children's Meetings- G.G.

IV. Conferences, Advances, and Outings

V. Summer School of Truth

A. Introduction

B. Teachers' Training- Four Abstracts of messages given by Brother Witness Lee

C. Overview by Gene Gruhler

D. Pleasant Hill and Bay Area-report by Paul Hon

E. New York- report by Ricky Acosta

F. Fellowship by Dennis Higashi

G. Fellowship by Francis Ball

H. Comments by Paul Hon and Gene Gruhler

I. Questions & Answers-Gene Gruhler and Paul Hon

J. Austin- report by Gary Evans

1. Sample letter of Invitation

2. Introduction Given on First Day of 1990 School

3. Sample Calendar

VI. Preparation, Behavior, and Discipline

A. Spiritual Content and Definite Practical Arrangement

B. Behavior Problems-G.G.

VII. Crafts and Activities:

A. Crafts and Activities: Developing the Character and Skills of Older Children- G.G.

B. Puppets/Puppet Playhouse

VIII. Recreation

A. Recreation (outline)- W.N.

B. Recreation and Exercise: Not Entertainment and Sports- G.G.

C. Games


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The majority of what our children will receive concerning the Lord is not from a once a week corporate children’s meeting but from our daily life, in our homes. For this we need to know how to sow to them and water regularly. For this a consistent daily time in our homes with our family is an absolute necessity. Included in the following pages are many practical helps on how to start, what to get into, and how to carry on and maintain such a time in a regular, living, and attractive way.


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We selected a time before school. We decided that we would give a little time before the children have to go to school and deal with the world. We needed to select a time that is practical for us and practical for them. If it is not practical it will not last.  If you want it to go on and on, you have to consider when is the best time to do it.


The first morning came. I called the kids,  “OK, we have ten minutes before you go to school. Come on, we are going to read the Bible for 5 minutes.” I couldn’t believe their reaction. It is true that the devil lives in our flesh. Right away he came out: “Read the Bible! We only have ten minutes left to play!” It was like they were saying, “Who do you think you are?”  Believe it or not I had two attorneys in front of me. When you infringe upon their right of playtime you are dealing with something great. To them this is the most important thing in the universe! “You dare to interfere with our play-time?”


I took a breath; I went back to my corner.  One thing I knew was that it has to be pleasant, it has to be joyful, but I have to gain them. I considered, “You played 45 minutes all morning, can’t you give the Lord 5 minutes?” They dropped their rifles.  They were disarmed. They came grudgingly.  They sat down and we started to read the Bible, Matthew 1:1.


We started reading the genealogy. They read, and then I read. After a few moments I needed to explain something. I started to explain something, very briefly. As soon as I had finished that, the atmosphere had changed, the Spirit had come. Like a dove, He was sitting on their shoulders. They were subdued, the Spirit came, they were happy. Right away I closed the Bible and said, “That’s all.” They responded immediately, “That’s all? Was that five minutes?” They were shocked. I Responded, “Today you can play for two more minutes.” That was such a sweet beginning.


The next day I said, “Come on we are going to read the Bible again.” There wasn’t even a complaint.  They just came. We read for five minutes and closed the Bible. Everyday five minutes, five minutes, five minutes. It grew into 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes. I had to cut it back to 15 minutes. Even though they were open for more than 15 minutes. My feeling was to limit it to 15 minutes.


Some mornings we parents are “out of it”. Sometimes we get upset with our children. I don’t remember what one of the children did, but anyway he got a spanking one morning. I was upset. I said, “I am not going to read the Bible to you!” I did not actually say it to them, but I said it in my heart. “They don’t deserve to read the Bible. Let them go to school in their minds today.” I remember that morning so well. I needed God’s mercy. My older son Benjamin came to me with tears of repentance, “But daddy aren’t we going to read the Bible before we go to school?”  Then the tears came down from my own eyes.


We sow to the spirit but one day we reap the life. That has happened many times. It has become a family custom. Paul says don’t give up the custom of meeting together. We need to make gathering together as a family a custom.  If every time we gather together it is a big battle, then we have not made it a custom yet. We need to press on until our family is accustomed to meeting around the Lord and His word.

Sterling Byassee – The church in Santa Ana


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Refer also to for a Workable Pattern



Fellowship thoroughly with the Lord, your spouse, the saints and your family. Start small and keep it short.


Intimate concern but with a clear standard.


Preparation and scheduling for a regular but flexible time.


A. Leading by example, not forcing their function but filling them up.

B.  Make it fun, something they look forward to. Attract them to the meeting.


A. SINGING is most needed

B. READING and SPEAKING -help the children to know the facts of the Bible and memorize verses.

C. CALLING and PRAYING -keep it short and simple. Lead, not force.

D. The meeting should be on the children's level, not yours


Not family centered but God's purpose centered brings in direction, encouragement and supply


Minimize distractions and have adequate Bibles and songbooks very available.


A. It is worthwhile to endeavor and endure over the long run to learn by practice and fellowship.

B. Encourage a loving family atmosphere where the children can open up and discuss their problems.

C. Over the long run, the children will grow up realizing the priority in your family.

D. Your children will be much better prepared and constituted to face the temptations of junior and senior high school.


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"Jesus looked up and I must stay in your house" Luke 19:5.

"...Today salvation has come to this house..." Luke 19:9.

God put the people He created into families. Every family is to be a place of rest, joy, and blessing. Today, many families quarrel, have lost their peace and joy and are divided because of sin. Sin causes man to lose the peace with God and among man. Through His dynamic salvation, God took away the sin of man in order to recover the peace between God and man, and the peace between men. Salvation takes away the sin of man and recovers the peaceful atmosphere and joy in families. God desires to bring salvation to every family. Through the homes that are open to Him, God will live with man. Wherever God is, there is peace. Wherever Christ is, there is joy.

"...And in your seed (Christ) shall all the families

of the earth be blessed" Acts 3:25.

To meet in our home is a basic step in experiencing God's dynamic salvation. When He dwells in your house, He will sanctify your home with His presence. Your home will enjoy the blessings of God’s peace, joy, and harmony. Meeting together will help to alleviate divisions in the household. It helps bring in and preserve God's life with His dominion and authority into your home. Having daily home meetings will establish in our daily life and with our family members the normality of the church life, which includes calling on the   Lord, singing, praying and speaking. Meeting together opens the door for further speaking and exercise around the home. Your family life will be enlightened, strengthened, uplifted, and built up together in oneness. Meeting in our home will strengthen our whole family to meet with and care for God's family, His economy, the church.

"And everyday... from house to house they did not cease

teaching and bringing the good news of Jesus as the Christ" Acts 5:42.

In summary, the primary goal of having home meetings is to lead our families into the fellowship of our Lord Jesus Christ and bring them into God's divine economy. We may have many lesser goals such as; helping them sing, to know the Bible, to call on the Lord and touch their spirit, to pray, and confess their sins. But our main focus, our purpose in life, for our home meeting is the increase and building up of the church, which is the body of Christ. This is our primary goal. This main focus should be spoken in our family meeting and emphasized over and over. Some children may not fully understand our speaking, but eventually our goal will become their goal. (To refresh your vision concerning your family in relationship to God's economy, you may want to re-read the messages in the in Volume 1 of this series entitled: "Bringing God's Expression and Authority into Our Family" and "Preserving the Vessel and Preparing for the Treasure".)


Do not start immediately, but pray and fellowship thoroughly with your spouse about all the details of your home meeting. Do this until you are both of one mind on how you are going to carry it out. Single parents can pray and fellowship with other families about their details. Every family is different and schedules are different so there is no set time or way to carry it out. Anticipate any problems and be prepared to deal with them.

Before you start, have adequate fellowship with all the members of the family explaining why (the purpose) you are having a meeting, the importance of the meeting, what you are going to cover, when you are going to meet and how long (short) the meeting is going to be.

Listen to their comments: problems and adjustments but do not make any decision to make a suggested change in front of them. Later fellowship with the Lord and your spouse or other saints about the children's comments and consider whether any adjustments in your arrangement should be made according to what they said. Then begin to meet with any adjustments made- but also be open for improvements. This way is neither dictatorship nor democracy but headship with fellowship.

As far as attending meetings, there should be no options given to the children on whether they should come or not. But at the same time we should ATTRACT THE FAMILY TO THIS TIME and not force them. We need to LEAD THEM in a positive yet gradual way. We might want to start by having only one small meeting a day at first, and that for 5 minutes or so in duration. Eventually we can work up to two short meetings a day; once in the morning and again in the evening. (See the chapter on "Parenthood" by Watchman Nee in Do All to the Glory of God) (Editorial Note: See also the chapter on "Parents" by Watchman Nee in Volume 49 of the collected works)



"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,

as the custom with some is, but exhorting one

another, and so much the more as you see the day

drawing near" Hebrews 10:25.

Guard this experience to keep it positive, not a legal chore for the family but an enjoyable "custom." A good atmosphere can by established ahead of time by setting up a clear standard as to what is expected from the children. In this way there are no surprises, no questionings or reasonings that may cause disorder during the meeting. If your children "run wild" you may need to re-read the chapter on "Parenthood" by Watchman Nee on discipline and enforcing your orders. Children's attitudes will change from day to day, but if we show them an intimate concern and loving-kindness with an exercised spirit, their general attitude will be good.

"And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due

time we shall reap if we do not faint" Galatians 6:9.

When the children are in a "wintertime" the parents can be easily discouraged. Yet, if you are a faithful and consistent "farmer", they will still receive something, even though you may not see the harvest right away.


Select an appropriate time, one that can be practiced regularly. If you are having a time in the morning (such as before school), schedule your children to go to bed early enough so they can get up early enough to prevent your meeting time from being squeezed out or rushed. By observation or by checking with them, find out how much time they need in the morning to get ready for school. Preparation by packing lunches and laying out clothes the night before may be helpful. Then arrange their getting up time so they can be ready and you can have your meeting with no distractions. If possible make your meeting time the last thing they do before departing for school. If you have children who depart at different times, find a time that all can attend.

Meeting in your car on the way to school is not bad but consider rising a little earlier so you can meet in your home. That may produce a more solid time.

If you want to meet with the children in the morning but one spouse has to go to work before the children rise, the remaining spouse can have a time with the children. In overcoming any difficulties and obstacles to meeting with your family, the saying is true; "Where there is a will there is a way."

As parents we need to help our children and even ourselves take care of any other responsibilities that need to be taken care of each day, such as homework, household chores, etc. This will free up the time to meet together. If you are short of time, look to the Lord for what time wasting activities need to be cut out or curtailed. We need to have a definite, regular, yet flexible time. START SMALL such as a 5 minute meeting and KEEP IT SHORT according to the capacity of the children and not the adults. Some days you may have only one minute- grab the opportunity.


Lead the children by your example. DO NOT FORCE THEM TO FUNCTION. Do not pump a dry well. FILL THEM UP. Help them to be filled up by singing, reading and speaking. Then they will spontaneously function. This may take several months but be patient. If possible get all to participate whether in singing, reading or speaking. Taking turns reading is good, as well as letting each child call a hymn. Even the younger ones can participate here. Direct questions to each child to enable them to speak and even give them the opportunity to ask their own questions.

If the age span of the children in your family is from 2 years to 15 years old, you obviously cannot gear a meeting to the 2 year old, but include them as much as possible (such as singing). It may be helpful to have the younger ones in the room doing a quiet activity that is not distracting to the older ones. Even though they are not directly involved with the meeting, they do hear things and will get more than you expect.


Keep the meeting on the children's level, always making it enjoyable.


"Be filled in spirit. Speaking to one another in psalms

and hymns and spiritual song, singing and psalming with

your heart to the Lord" Ephesians 5:18b-19.

Singing is needed much more than talking. Children never get tired of singing but they do not want to hear you preach at them for an hour. Children are deeply and strongly impressed by singing. It will be hard for them to forget the short songs and slogan songs that they learn. Sing with your family, but don’t do it in a formal way. Sing in a variety of ways yet always sing in a very living way. If you do not know the tunes, purchase the corresponding audio song tapes and then "sing-along" with them.  In addition to our singing, we should also practice speaking the words of the songs and hymns one to another.


"And that from a babe you have known the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" 2 Timothy 3:15.

Children need to know the facts of the Bible but they do not need too much teaching. You may want to begin with reading the gospels, maybe one chapter a night. If children can read, help them to read the Bible; they will be more impressed by what comes out of their own mouth. With some children you may want to discuss a main point. You may want to ask the older children some specific questions about what was read. This helps their attention and their retention.


But it is very easy for us as adults to get too deep, so remind yourself of the age group you are speaking to. Long scenarios tend to lose the children's interest. From the portion that was just read the children can pick out a verse/s to pray-read. Older children having a bigger capacity and hunger can also be brought into the ministry by sharing a point out of a life study, or from other materials. This could stimulate their appetite to read more on their own. It is also very good for them to memorize one verse or more a day from the Bible (possibly at the supper table.) In selecting verses, consider where they are in the "Ten Year Plan" and then pick out appropriate verses to strengthen their progress.


In the morning time, either the mother or father should close with prayer. Ask God to bless the children. Do not pray for things too deep; that they could not understand. Adults should exercise to pray short simple prayers, not overwhelming the children, in order that they can follow and understand.


In the evening family time, prayer is an absolute necessity. The mother should also be able to draw out the children's talk. Let them tell you if they had any problems during the day or if there is anything on their heart that makes them uneasy. Let them pray a little.  Lead the children in all simplicity. Teach them a few words and lead them to confess, but do not force them. Pray for the children continually until each child knows how to pray on their own.



If your home meeting is in the evening, time it so that you do not "shoot" the whole evening with your own home meeting. Some saints become so over burdened with, "MY" family, that they neglect God's family. Losing the vision of God’s eternal purpose, they become self-centered, individualistic, unbalanced, isolated and detached, not caring for the other things that build up the body of Christ such as; the church prayer meetings, the small group meetings, prophesying, and the visiting of other families with the gospel and for the purpose of shepherding them. Learn to take care of your family for God's eternal purpose. In typology in the book of Numbers all the families' tents were centered on and pointed toward God's tabernacle. This shows us that our families are not the center but they are for God's house, His body, the church.

Learn to coordinate with the church- especially with what is going on in the children's meetings. Fellowship brings in direction, encouragement and more supply. First ask your children what is going on in their meeting. The serving ones are more than happy to fellowship their burden and often children meeting materials are available for use in the home.


If possible use a room of your house that has a minimum of distractions.  Anticipate any distractions and remove them if necessary. Have the items that you are going to need handy and in adequate supply such as Bibles and songbooks. There are a variety of songbooks available:

(i.e. Hymns, Hymns Jr., 100 Selected Hymns, or Songs for the Young People.) Collect audio singing tapes that can be listened to and sung along with.


To have a regular family home meeting in the Lord is one of the most worthwhile practices in our Christian life. We must endeavor to build it up gradually and positively. It has been said that; "Anything worth learning is worth doing poorly while learning." Have an attitude that you are learning to meet with your family. If necessary re-read any handouts such as these until you have "got it down". Learn to fellowship with other saints regarding your successes and your failures. Visit personally or take your family with you to visit other families in order to learn from them and also to be a supply to them. Give yourself a year to learn. Do not give up! Rather, endeavor to see your family, along with the families of those being saved, built up strongly in the Lord and in His Economy.


The foregoing notes are a compilation of the sharings of saints in San Antonio, Texas and Santa Ana, California; the Full-Time Training in Taipei, Eugene Gruhler, Witness Lee, and Watchman Nee. [Re-edited 5-16-07 srn]



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