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迈向一家精心门训的教会                           文:曾金发牧师

门训是福音传到地极的关键。圣经多处经文显示上帝刻意地将普世宣教与门训有策略地结合一起。 此外,我们的主耶稣也刻意地将这两项结合在祂所颁布的大使命中:“所以你们要去,使万民作我的门徒。(太廿八18-20)”。所以,神所结合的, 人不可分开。

比尔乎尔,在其著作《作门训的教会》The Disicplemaking Church中提到:“除非教会将《门训》纳为主要的议程,不然普世宣教只是一个虚幻。” 单靠属灵的加增是不可能赢得世界,上帝的心意乃是要藉精心门训所产生的属灵倍增来赢得世界。

即是这样,门训就是教会的主要使命。

所有的牧者都清楚知道教会必须以门训为本。因此,很多教会都将“门训”列入他们的使命宣言中(执行或否);但是,我们所面对的问题并不是我们否认门训的重要性,而是,当中存在着两个问题:1. 各个教会对“门训”的定义都不一样  2. 许多教会对门训无从下手。

门训的定义:

门训是指这样一个过程:带领人与神建立正确的关系,藉精心设计的成长策略培育他们直至在基督里长大成熟。然后,他们也能在其他人身上倍增这整个门训的过程。

以上的定义有四个重要层面:

1

带领人与神建立正确的关系

合乎圣经的门训始于尽职的传福音,将人带到神的面前,透过耶稣基督与神建立正确的关系。耶稣的真门徒必须要有胸怀普世的异象、看见禾场的眼光以及对失丧灵魂的负担。

2

培育他们在基督里长大成熟

新约圣经对门徒训练(门训)及门训的主旨之一是强调灵命的成熟(参弗4:12)。如此刻意的装备其实也包含了心灵创伤及受伤的修复,从中帮助他们成长,而不是只单单带给他们安慰。

3

精心设计的成长策略

初信者及信徒的成长都需要被关顾,因为灵命的成长并不会自然产生。我们要为他们精心设计一个跟进及成长的策略来帮助他们成为一个门徒。我们需要有一个以圣经为本的核心课程供给不同层次的门训。换句话说,所关顾的范围是从初信者到较成熟的基督徒,每一个人都需要有符合他们需要的装备。

4

然后,他们也可以在其他人身上倍增这整个过程

门训所关乎的是透过倍增使之发挥最大的影响力。因此,灵命的倍增是门训的一个核心重点。其实,没有继承者就没有成功。若我想知道我的门训工作做得怎样,就必须找到属灵的果子,不仅在我所帮助的人的生命中,也得看他们如何去帮助其他人的生命。这就是灵命的倍增!

某确类

灵命成熟先于灵命倍增。但是,很多时候我们都没有与神建立更深的关系。我们的信心非常肤浅。我们的灵程都缺乏委身、缺乏成熟度以及缺乏在灵里得安息。我们很常为了权宜之计而牺牲了灵命。结果,我们在历史中拥有最大的教会,但灵命却是最肤浅的!

当今门训所面对的危机是缺乏深度。

我们面对福音被简化的悲剧。我们告诉人上帝可以为他们做什么,然后我们才告诉他们,他们能为上帝做什么(这样上帝就可以为他们做得更多!)因为人堕落的本性,人往往只关心他们的“所做”(doing)过于“所为”(being)、以成就取代真诚、以目标取代成长、以事工取代成熟。

但是福音的核心是呼召人而不是单单人的所做。这乃是一个属灵真实的呼召。 21世纪的教会所面对最大的挑战就是透过精心的门训建立有深度的门徒—培育信徒作基督真实的门徒。这并不表示我们不关心我们的目标、成就或门训的所作所为,而是,我们对有深度的真实门训是必须要合乎圣经的教导。我称这种门训为“某确类”。它是有深度的门训,从里到外!

 

运动还是石碑

我将我的生命献于一个属灵的运动,而不是一个石碑。感谢上帝的恩典,祂呼召我成为教会的牧者;透过这个呼召,在新加坡甚至新加坡以外留下一个有价值的门训遗产。也因为我只能活一次,所以我为此死而无憾。

但是,一个运动若过于建制化,它就会成为一个石碑。我们很容易保持外在的现状但却忽略了其重要的成长因素。一个异象就此而化为无有。

一个基督徒领袖首要任务就是要透过祷告确定上帝所给的异象,然后就竭力追求那个梦想。

上帝给我的梦想就是把圣约播道会建立成一个精心门训的教会—“建立一个精心门训的教会的模式来发起精心门训教会的运动,借此推动倍增更多精心门训的教会,以回应大使命的托付!”

我有一个梦想,梦见一个健康、有动力的精心门训教会。 一个以圣经为本的群体来带动世界级的督导实习及领袖培育。我看见圣约播道会被神兴起成为培育基督徒领袖的基地。我看见万国委派他们的牧者及教会领袖到这里受装备。我看见我们如何与神学院配搭装备牧者及领袖。我看见我们差遣许多服事团队到不同的地方装备领袖。

我梦见一个被圣灵授权及深植于神话语的教会,一个圣道与圣灵的教会。我觉着被神呼召使圣约播道会成为一个范本,即能够平衡灵恩派及非灵恩派之神学及教会生活的桥梁,结合了神话语的真实性及圣灵的充满(即结出属灵果子);成为这时代中见证神迹奇事的教会但仍然降服在圣经的权威底下。我看见信徒真实地期待在这教会的主日敬拜中能与神相遇,同时获扎实的真理供应,即能成为一个有动力且结合了创意的艺术来触及这后现代。

我梦见有显著蜕变生命的事工。我看见一个教会拥有完善设施、有干劲的团队、一个有效动员信徒的小组架构及一个追踪所有信徒个人成长的PDA记录(PDA-个人复兴、与神亲密的约会及主动地顺服神)。我看见每星期都有人信主、信徒生命被神及其他信徒触动的见证。我看见信徒被教导如何祷告、如何成为成熟的门徒并被装备参与教会内或外的事工。

我看见许多家庭去服事年轻或年老的、基督徒或非信徒。我看见优良的儿童俱乐部。我看见有成效的青少年事工,他们不仅成为门徒也被培育成为下一代的领袖!我看见父母被装备成为敬虔的家庭,作社会的光。我看见在职场的信徒被装备以致有能力承担工作的压力、活出信仰并在职场上为主作见证。

我梦见有差传使命的教会;不是一个拥有众多的差传使命,但却是能活出差传使命的教会。我看见我们教会的财政预算凸显出对这使命的优先性。我看见当教会愿意拓展差传事工,神就赐福我们。我看见一个为普世宣教祷告的教会并有热忱地在未得之民当中植堂。我看见我们差遣宣教士及宣教队进入未得之民中。圣约播道会将会成为一个放眼向外的教会—完全委身与神对这个教会、这个城市及这个世界的救恩呼召。

梦想总归只是梦想,除非付诸予行动!而我希望实现这个梦想、这个异象的最主要的原因是:因为它是上帝对我生命的呼召—留下属灵的遗产,藉此倍增精心门训的教会来回应主的大使命!

结论:

门训是上帝所要的一种宣教动力。塑造门徒不仅是大使命的核心亦是上帝给予普世教会最主要的使命。

因此,委身於门训是符合圣经及神学的教导。门训不只是顺服在基督大使命中的命令,也在传福音的蓝图里守着灵命成熟的目标。有鉴于此,门训就是健康教会及普世宣教的关键。那我们还等什么呢?让我们认真地看待这个大使命吧!

 

TOWARDS AN INTENTIONAL DISCIPLEMAKING CHURCH (IDMC)

by Rev Edmund Chan

Disciplemaking is the key to world evangelisation. It is evident in the Scriptures that God intends world missions and disciplemaking to be strategically joined together. After all, didn’t our Lord Jesus intentionally join them together in His Great Commission: “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.” (Matt 28:18-20)? And what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

Bill Hull, author of The Disciplemaking Church, wrote: “Unless the church makes making disciples its main agenda, world evangelism is a fantasy.” It is impossible to win the world through mere spiritual addition. God intends the world to be won through the strategy of spiritual multiplication through intentional disciplemaking

If so, then disciplemaking is the core mission of the Church.

Every thinking pastor would readily concur that the Church must return to its disciplemaking roots. As such, many churches have “disciplemaking” in their mission statement (implied or otherwise). The problem is not that we deny the importance of disciplemaking. Rather, the prevailing problem is twofold: (1) “disciplemaking” means different things to different churches; and (2) many churches don’t know how to go about it!

Definition of Disciplemaking

Disciplemaking is the process of bringing people into right relationship with God and developing them to full maturity in Christ, through intentional growth strategies, that they might multiply the entire process in others also.

There are four significant considerations this definition:

1 Bringing people into right relationship with God
Biblical disciplemaking starts with responsible evangelism, bringing people into right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The true disciple of Jesus must have world vision; exemplified by an eye for the harvest and a heart for the lost.
2 Developing them to full maturity in Christ
One of the key emphases of New Testament discipleship and disciplemaking is spiritual maturity (cf. Eph 4:12). Such intentional equipping also involves restoring the wounded and the hurting – not merely to bring comfort but to nurture maturity in them!
3 Through intentional growth strategies
New converts (and believers) are not to be left on their own to grow. There is to be an intentional follow-up of new converts and intentional growth strategies for the development of authentic discipleship in the lives of the believers. A Bible-based core curriculum must be developed for a multi-level discipling. In other words, there must be something for everyone – from the new converts to the spiritually advanced.
4 That they might multiply the entire process in others also
Disciplemaking is about maximising influence through multiplication. Thus spiritual multiplication is one of the core emphases of disciplemaking. Indeed, there is no disciplemaking without reproducing effective disciplers. If I want to see how well I am doing in disciplemaking, I must look for spiritual fruits, not just in the people whom I am helping, but also in the lives of those that they help in turn. That’s spiritual multiplication!

A Certain Kind

Spiritual maturity precedes spiritual multiplication. However, we are no longer going deep in our walk with God. Our faith is often shallow. Our spiritual pilgrimage is often lacking in sacred commitment, mature tenacity and spiritual restedness. Our spirituality is often sacrificed at the altar of expediency. The result of that is that we have the largest Church in history but the shallowest!

The crisis of disciplemaking today is a crisis of depth.

We face the tragedy of the truncated Gospel. We tell people what God can do for them; then we tell them what they can do for God (so that God can do more for them!) In the spirit of fallen humanity, doing supercedes being. Accomplishment supercedes authenticity. Goals supercede growth. Ministry supercedes maturity.

But at the heart of the Gospel is the call to BE, not just to DO. It is a call to spiritual authenticity.The critical challenge confronting the 21st century Church is reproducing authentic disciples of Christ – disciples with depth – through intentional disciplemaking. That does not mean that we do away with goals, or accomplishments, or the ‘doing’ aspect of discipleship. Rather, it means that we must have a biblical grasp of authentic discipleship that has depth. I call this the discipleship of “a certain kind”. It is discipleship with depth. Depth from the inside out!

Movement or Monument

I gave my life for a spiritual movement. Not a monument. By God’s grace, He has called me to pastor a local church; and through it, to leave behind a worthwhile disciplemaking legacy in Singapore and beyond. And because I have only one life to live, I will settle for nothing less.

However, a movement can become a monument. It can become too institutionalized. The outward status quo can be respectably maintained but the vital growth-orientation may have already given way to a maintenance-mentality. A vision can die.

The first task of Christian leadership is to prayerfully determine a God-given vision. The rest of the way is to relentlessly pursue the dream.

And the dream that God has given is to establish Covenant EFC as an intentional disciplemaking church – “to build an IDMC Model so as to launch an IDMC Movement in order to catalyze a Multiplication of Intentional Disciplemaking Churches to fulfill the Great Commission Mandate!”

I have a dream. I dream of a healthy, vibrant, Intentional Disciplemaking Church. A biblically-functioning community that becomes a centre for a world-class mentoring internship and leadership development. I see Covenant EFC raised up by God as the spawning ground for thousands of Christian leaders all over the world. I see nations sending their pastors and lay-leaders to be equipped here. I see us complementing the seminaries in the training of pastors and leaders. I see us sending out ministry teams to equip leaders in diverse places.

I dream of a church that is empowered by the Spirit and grounded in the Word. A Word and Spirit Church. I feel called to build Covenant EFC as a dynamic model of the balance between charismatic and non-charismatic church-life and theology. Between the veracity of the Word and the reality of the fruit of the Spirit. A church that witnesses signs and wonders in the contemporary scene; yet a church that maintains a humble but firm biblical critique of the unsound excesses. I see a church with a worship service where an encounter with the Lord is a weekly expectation and reality. Yet a church with a solid pulpit ministry, that is ably complemented by vibrant worship and a creative arts ministry to reach a postmodern world.

I dream of effective life-transforming ministries. I see a church with excellent facilities, a competent and empowered staff, an effective cell infrastructure for laity mobilization, and a track-record of growth by conversion through a PDA lifestyle (of Personal revival, Divine appointment and Active obedience). I see weekly testimonies of people coming to the Lord, testimonies of lives that are touched by God and by the people of God. I see members tutored in prayer, discipled in Christian growth and equipped for effective ministries within and without the church.

I see families ministered to, both young and old, Christians or otherwise. I see excellent super-kids clubs for children. I see effective youth ministries reaching and discipling youths (and developing our next generation of leaders!). I see parents equipped and empowered to establish godly families as lights in the community. I see working adults equipped and empowered to cope with the pressures of working life, excitedly living out their faith and sharing Christ in the marketplace.

I dream of a missions church. Not a church with missions but a church in missions. I see our church budget significantly testifying to this priority. I see us increasing our missions giving as the Lord blesses us. I see a church fervent in prayer for world missions, with a passion to plant churches in the unreached people groups (UPGs) we have adopted. I see us sending missionaries and missions teams to these UPGs. Covenant EFC will be an outward-looking church, totally committed to the redemptive purposes of God for our church, our city and our world.

A dream will remain a dream unless it is acted on. And I want to realize this dream, this vision, for one primary reason: it is the call of the Lord upon my life to leave the legacy of a movement. A movement that will see the multiplication of Intentional Disciplemaking Churches to fulfill the Great Commission!

Conclusion

Disciplemaking is intended by God to have a missiological impetus. Making disciples is at the very heart of the Great Commission. It is God’s primary agenda for the world-wide mission of the church.

As such, a commitment to disciplemaking is biblically and theologically sound. It obeys the command of Christ given in the Great Commission. It holds to the aim of spiritual maturity in the Master Plan of Evangelism. It is the key to church health and world evangelisation. So what are we waiting for? Let’s take the Great Commission seriously.

Let’s GO MAKE DISCIPLES!!