Church Theme for the Coming 3 Years
Rev. David To
As a continuation of the last two-year theme, “Arise and Build”, the theme for the coming three years is “Go and Bear Fruit”. This simply means that we need to go and yield the fruit Jesus wants us to produce.
Every follower of Jesus Christ, or disciple, is a new being (2 Cor 5:17). We have to live out our faith according to our saving grace (Eph 4:1). Our lifestyle must testify as witness to Jesus Christ. This is why in 2017, sermons centered on the five pillars or values of a Christian life. These included Celebration (Col 3:16-17), Nurturing (2 Tim 3:16-17), Body Life (Eph 4:1-3), Community Concern (Matt 9:35-36) and Missions (Rom 10:13-15). These five elements are integrated and inseparable, and also biblically based for living out our Christian faith. Disciples of Jesus Christ should be sensitive to the presence of God in our own lives and in all facets of our being, whether in church, at home, in school or at work; connecting God’s Word to our daily life; journeying with one another in Christ, loving one and other, and supporting one and other; living out our faith in a tangible way so as to impact the local community; and also to intentionally participate in local and overseas missions through prayer and action. This is also why we re-structured the congregational council based on these five pillars. We hope that through whatever activities or happenings held in the church, they will be conducive to the building up of the biblically based lifestyle of a disciple.
Besides emphasizing these five pillars, the spiritual journey of a disciple needs to proceed and progress so that we can accomplish Great Commission of Jesus — “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 29:19). In the end both we ourselves as well as the church will multiply. The spiritual journey is said to be based on the disciple-making blueprint proposed by Dann Spader in his book, 4-Chair Discipling. He basically uses a chair concept to describe the four stages of the spiritual journey of a disciple. The first is Chair 1 (Come and See, Jn 1:39) where people are basically the Lost. They need to seek Jesus to satisfy their needs. Then they are ministered and evangelized to. They follow Jesus and go to Chair 2 (Follow Me, Jn 1:43) which is the Believer. These believers need to know their true identity and to learn more about Jesus. Then do what Jesus does. The Chair 3 (Become a Fisher of People, Matt 4:19) is the Worker. These workers have experienced spiritual growth. They are servants of God. They need to be equipped to evangelize and to minister to others. In traditional churches, many Christians are satisfied to be at this stage. Yes, they are good disciples. But they need to move beyond to become the Disciple-makers. They have to be in Chair 4 (The Disciple-maker, Jn 16:16). They have to “Go and Bear Fruit”. They are to make disciples who in turn can make disciples. This is the goal of Jesus’ Great Commission that through disciple-making we can multiply and make disciples of all nations.
It is in the coming three years, maybe in the long run, that our church will focus on the final spiritual journey, Chair 4. That means making disciples who can make disciples is the goal of the church. The other chair stages are mainly journeys for us to go through. But we need to be aware that these different chairs are related and that the movement of each chair represents the stages of our spiritual journey in attempting to accomplish the Great Commission of Jesus.
Based on the above concept, the year theme of 2018 is Follow Me, 2019 is Become Fisher of People and 2020 is Go and Bear Fruit. Let us learn together and grow together so that we can make disciples who can make disciples.
January 7, 2018