Early in his ministry in his native China, Witness Lee joined up with renowned preacher, Watchman Nee, and went on to emphasize the experience of Christ as life and the practical oneness of the believers as the Body of Christ. Stressing the importance of attending to both these matters, he led the churches under his care to grow in Christian life and function. He was unbending in his conviction that God's goal is not narrow sectarianism but the Body of Christ. In time, believers began to meet simply as the church in their localities in response to this conviction. These local churches were soon established throughout all the Western hemisphere.