We are thankful for the combined church camp held two weeks ago. The previous time it was held was a few years before the pandemic. Brothers and sisters from the three different language groups came together, and we all got to meet a lot of new friends. It was very helpful to a new pastor like me who has just joined the church.
Discipleship is this year’s theme. According to our minister, it has been some seven years since we started promoting discipleship training to the congregation. During this period of time, it is believed that our church has explored many different methods and possibilities to achieve this.
This year, we have specially invited Pastor Paul from the IDMC church to share on this theme and he gave us a lot to consider and reflect on.
Some brothers and sisters asked after the camp what kind of activities or program would be used to implement discipleship training.
We are grateful that there is a strong interest in discipleship. Let us look at what the Bible says about discipleship or being a disciple.
Disciple means student. To be the disciple of Jesus Christ means to have Jesus as our role model, to become more Christ-like in terms of our lives, character and behaviour. If that is the case, to promote discipleship in the church is to learn together how to be more like Christ.
In other words, discipleship does not need to be a course or program, but a life-long learning. It is a process in which our lives are reshaped and remoulded by God.
Such transformation happens when we learn the principles of living from the Bible and apply them in our daily lives. For example, “No man can serve two masters, you cannot serve mammon and God.” Another example is, because we are willing to follow the teaching of Jesus Christ, we willingly return excess change to the salesperson when we buy something. Already this is the beginning of living as a disciple of the Lord Jesus. So, discipleship teaches us that in every big or small decision we make every day, we need to obey the teachings of the Bible and follow what Jesus would do? This is the way we can continue to learn and live as a disciple.
Hence, discipleship can be very simple, in weekly Bible study, listening to sermons or daily devotion accepting God’s reminder and teaching and put them in practice. This is already part of discipleship.
But as humans, we are weak, we all need to walk together and encourage each other in order to sustain this.
So structurally, we need to seek people who are willing to learn to be disciples and group them together to form a discipleship group. As a group, they can share their ups and downs with one another during their process of becoming a disciple, reading the Bible together, praying together and sharing life together.
It is noteworthy that every disciple’s age, life experiences and spiritual experiences are not the same. Each “disciple-to-be” needing a spiritual mentor to be a guide and to share about his/her struggles and successes.
Each disciple of Jesus Christ needs to follow the teaching of the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20) “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”. Every disciple should also become a spiritual tutor for younger disciples.
If we do it this way every disciple being guided and helped by a spiritual mentor, being able to share and journey with peers, and able to subsequently disciple others, then it would be a very healthy and solid structure for nurturing discipleship. This is the structure of building disciples passed down by Jesus and Paul.
It will take a long time to develop fully this biblical discipling structure from our current situation. But we do not need to hurry because every stage of development is a chance to walk with God, which is also part of our training in becoming disciples.
We hope that our church will follow the Bible and keep striving, following God’s heart. We wish that more brothers and sisters are willing to be disciples of Jesus; to offer ourselves, as a living sacrifice. God will be delighted with this. We need to follow Jesus Christ every day and in faith be pleasing to God.
感恩兩星期前, 教會舉辦了營會, 上一次已經是裡疫情之前的數年。三堂的弟兄姊妹相聚在一起, 認識了很多新朋友, 對我這 "新來" 的傳道, 是很有幫助的。
今年的主題, 是門徒訓練, 聽牧師分享, 教會希望推廣門訓, 已經七年的時間。這段時間, 相信教會是摩索了不少的方法及可能性。
到了今年, 營會特別請了 IDMC 教會的保羅牧師來分享, 實在給我們很多的提醒。
但有些弟兄姊妹, 在營會後, 會問到, 那教會將會有什麼 "門徒訓練" 的實際事工, 或項目舉行。
感恩的是, 大家都對 "門訓" 有正面的關注, 讓我們看看聖經, 門徒訓練, 或 作主門徒, 是有什麼的記載。
"門徒" 是學生的意思, 作主耶穌基督的 "門徒", 便是以耶穌為我們的學習榜樣, 讓我們的生活, 品格, 行事為人, 越來越 "像耶穌 Chris-like" 。
如果這樣的話, 在教會推行門徒訓練, 便是讓我們一起學習 如何越來越像基督。
那門徒訓練, 便不是一定一些課程或項目, 而是一生學習的功課, 是我們的生命不斷被神陶造及改變的過程。
而這樣的改造, 是在我們學習了聖經之後, 聖經的生活原則, 用在每天的實際生活中。比如說, 我們學了, " 一個人不能服侍兩個主, 服侍馬門, 又服侍神"。 那在實際生活中, 去買東西, 店員多給我們零錢, 我們因為願意跟隨主耶穌的教導, 而願意把多給我們的零錢還回給店員, 這已經是在作主耶穌的門徒。
所以門徒訓練, 是教導我們每天在作每一個大小決定的時間, 也按照聖經的教導, 耶穌的榜樣順服跟隨, 我們便一直在學習及實踐作主門徒。
所以, 門徒訓練也可以是很簡單, 在每星期的查經 聽道, 或是每天的靈修時間, 看到神給我們的提醒及教導, 我們跟著而行, 這已經是門徒訓練的過程。
但我們人是軟弱的, 我們都需要同路人, 與我們一起同走天路, 彼此支持及鼓, 才能夠走得長遠, 更有力。
所以在架構上, 我們需要有 願意學習作主門徒的人 聚集一起, 成為 "門徒小組", 一起真誠的分享, 作主門徒的過程中, 我們的喜怒哀樂, 一起讀經, 一起禱告, 一起分享生活, 一起併肩作戰。
另外, 因為每個基督徒的年齡, 生活經歷, 及屬靈經歷都不一樣, 每位願意作主門徒的, 也需要有一位 "屬靈導師 mentor" 作他們引路人, 為門徒守望, 分享導師的過往, 人生經歷, 屬靈生活中的爭札及得勝。
而每一個基督的門徒, 同時也要按照耶穌在 "大使命" (太28:18-20) 中的教導, "把耶穌的教導, 教導別人遵守", 門徒也要作在屬靈上, 更年輕門徒的屬靈導師。
如果我們是這樣實行: 每一位門徒, 都有 屬靈前輩的帶領及幫助, 有同輩的同行及分享, 也幫助屬靈後輩的承傳。這樣的架構, 是一個非常建康, 而且穩固的門徒栽培架構, 也是耶穌及保羅承傳給我們的 門徒訓練模式。
要從我們教會的現況, 發展到聖經門徒栽培的模式, 是需要很長的時間, 但我們也不著急, 因為每一個發展的階段, 也是我們與神同行的機會, 也是神栽培我們作主門徒的一部分。
希望我們教會, 能夠按照聖經, 繼續的努力, 可以按照神的心意, 有更多弟兄姊妹, 願意成為主耶穌的門徒, 把我們自己獻上, 當作活祭, 這是神所喜悅的, 是理所當然的。學習天天背起我們的十字架, 天天跟隨主耶穌基督, 以信心得著神的喜悅。