An Open Letter
Your reasons for coming to the training
You should not join the training simply because you had once told yourself that 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 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 FTTMY 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 for a seeking young brother or sister to be, after their college/university graduation than the full-time training!
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 honored and remembered by the Lord. Second, sanctify your life style from worldliness for the sake of the training and 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, preparing you for the full-time training phase of your life.
What you must read before you come
In addition to getting a mandatory college/university degree, you must have, at a minimum, read through the following books before you can enroll in the FTTMY:
- The entire Bible at least 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
- 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 college 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 7 annual international conferences and trainings in the Lord’s recovery today (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. Those who plan to come to the training should try to read as much of the Bible (finish the New Testament for sure) and the various titles from this book list as possible. Thereafter, reading from the entire list will be a prerequisite for all FTTMY applicants.
If possible, you should save up some money so that you can support yourself, in however small a way, while in the training. The two-year training will cost around RM30,000 (the cost for one-year training will be around RM15,000) in room and board, including expenses for all activities during training in session, but 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 (this is especially for those who have time to prepare for this, e.g., even during your secondary school years) 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, nor accept scholarships that bind you for many years (unless you really have no other alternative to support your studies). 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 FTTMY. In any case, try not to be entangled or encumbered by the affairs of this life so that you can please the Lord who has enlisted you in His army (2 Tim. 2:4).
A foretaste of the training
The FTTMY may be open for certain periods of time for short-term enrollment to university, college and upper secondary school students while it is in session. For example, you are welcome to participate as a short-term trainee during your school breaks. This short foretaste may help you to become more determined to enter the 2 year full-time training after you graduate from college. Moreover, fellowship often with the full-timers and trainees from your locality to stay informed about the training. Join them in their labors and get a taste of what full-time training life is like.
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 FTTMY 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.