Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We would like to take this opportunity to fellowship with you a few important matters regarding your preparation for the Full-time Training in London. Whether you are still in secondary school or in university you should take these points seriously if you plan to attend the FTTL at some future date.
1. Your reasons for coming to the training.
You should not join the training simply because you had once told yourself you would come, or because your friends are coming, or because your parents or serving ones want you to come, or because you need to “fix up” your spiritual life. While these may be good intentions, you must first and foremost possess a personal desire, no matter how weak it seems, to be perfected as a living, functioning, and overcoming member of the Body of Christ for the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose. In other words, you must have a heart to be trained. You should not come to the training just to “put in your time” or to “look good” in front of other saints. The FTTL is not only a place of enjoyment and glory, but of discipline and exposure. Its goal is high and its standard uncompromising because it is a training of the Lord’s recovery according to God’s economy. Although the benefit one can reap from it is unlimited, it is not for everybody. This training is for those who are seeking and desirous. Having said that, we are still strongly persuaded that there is no better place to be for a seeking young brother or sister after their university graduation than the full-time training!
2. Living your life with the training in view.
If you intend to join the full-time training some day, we encourage you first of all to hand yourself over to the Lord for this purpose, that is, to consecrate your life specifically to Him and His will so that the training has priority over all your other objectives. Such a consecration is in the principle of seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). It will surely be honoured and remembered by the Lord. Second, sanctify your lifestyle from worldliness for the sake of the training; do not be conformed to this age. In particular, avoid any personal involvement or relationship with members of the opposite sex. This is in the principle of purifying yourself with the hope of being like the Lord when He is manifested one day (1 John 3:2-3). Third, thoroughly immerse yourself in the church life wherever you are. Like a plant nursery, the church life is the special environment that preserves and nurtures you humanly and spiritually, readying you for the full-time training phase of your life.
3. What to read before you come.
In addition to getting a mandatory university degree, we suggest, at a minimum, to read through the following books before you come to the FTTL:
- The entire Bible once (the Old and New Testament Recovery Version, preferably more than once)
- The All-inclusive Christ—Witness Lee
- The Economy of God—Witness Lee
- Young People’s Training—Witness Lee
- Basic Lessons on Life—Witness Lee
- The Experience of Life—Witness Lee
- The Knowledge of Life—Witness Lee
- A Young Man in God’s Plan—Witness Lee
- A Brief Presentation of the Lord’s Recovery—Witness Lee
- The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures—Witness Lee
- Character—Witness Lee
- The Glorious Church—Watchman Nee
Reading the Bible will ensure that you have a general idea of the contents of the Scriptures. The ministry books, on the other hand, will provide you some basic spiritual knowledge of the crucial items in the recovery. It may seem like a lot of work, but with a little scheduling, you can easily finish reading all of them in a few years. In fact, we encourage the serving ones in the university campus work in the churches to devise a four-year plan to help our young people read through the Bible and these spiritual publications. Furthermore, we cannot encourage you strongly enough to participate in all the semi-annual trainings and other conferences (either live or by video). This will develop in you a healthy appetite for the ministry through which the divine revelation from the interpreted word comes.
4. Financial considerations.
If possible, you should save up some money so that you can support yourself, in however small a way, while in the training. A year of training will cost
you around £5,100 in room and board, excluding personal expenses. Although your sending church or your parents may be willing to help you financially, your own putting aside something over the years (even in secondary school) with the full-time training in view is a strong indication of a serious attitude and commitment on your part. Also, you should try not to incur unnecessary debt aside from student loans. As a young person, you should cultivate proper spending habits. You should learn to live within your means, neither borrowing nor squandering away your money but laying it aside for a heavenly and divine purpose. We even propose that you start a savings account dedicated for your expense needs in the FTTL. In any case, try not be entangled or encumbered by the affairs of this life so you can please the Lord Who enlisted you in Him army (2 Tim. 2:4).
5. A foretaste of the training.
The FTTL is open for short-term enrollment to university and secondary school students while it is in session. For example, you are welcome to participate as a short-term trainee during your school breaks. Many have done so in the past and as a result, became more determined to enter the training after they graduate from university. Moreover, fellowship with the full-timers and trainees from your locality often to stay informed about the training. Join them in their labours and get a taste of what full-time training life is like. (View the short-term training application from our application page).
6. A heart to serve the Lord full-time.
Some of you may have been touched by the Lord from time to time to consider serving Him as a full-timer for the rest of your life. While such a desire is not a requirement for attending the FTTL and must be subject to the test of time, environment, and the Body, we do encourage you to water that seed within you. The burden of the training is also to produce a good number of young people who will present their whole life to the work of the recovery to spread His testimony throughout the earth for the consummation of this age.
If you have any questions about the FTTL, contact the responsible brothers in your locality, or the FTTL office. May the Lord bless you, strengthen you, and ready you for the training through your cooperation with Him in the coming days. Hope to see you in the FTTL! Grace be with your spirit.
Yours in Christ,
The FTTL training brothers