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二○一八年十二月二十九日/十二月三十日                                                                             Click here for English version

2019 年,渴求大恩

蕭壽華牧師

2019 年北宣家將會進入一個成長的新階段。候任堂主任周曉暉牧師會從 1 月至 6 月底擔任教會的代堂主任,期間我將支取半年的安息年進修假,7 月復職至 12 月底,並於 2020 年正式退休。2019 年的上半年,周牧師將履行堂主任的各項職責,帶領教會及整體教牧隊工。他需要承擔更多崇拜講道的服事,每月最少兩個週末,每次三至四堂講道,他也要主領執事會、教牧同工會、關懷中國事工委員會、崇拜發展策進委員會及多個小組事工會議;除了牧養弟兄姊妹,他還要關懷支援許多教會領袖、教牧同工不同的需要——代堂主任或新堂主任的服事,需要北宣家弟兄姊妹的代禱、支持、鼓勵及幫助!

30 多年前我開始承擔堂主任的職責,曾有弟兄將我與滕近輝牧師比較,覺得我未有足夠資格帶領教會,我非常同意他的觀察,只是內心知道那不是我自己的選擇,而是主交託給我的職分。但是我當時仍是盼望自己可以多一點學像滕牧師,那成了我早期事奉的壓力,我發覺自己也因而不敢帶領、怯於決策。直至有同工看到我的情況,坦誠鼓勵我:「你放膽帶領,我們給你犯錯的空間。」以後我才放膽按神給我的領受、風格、性情作帶領。今天回望過去,深信主是信實的,祂過去如何,今天也必如何;祂揀選祂的僕人,祂也會為祂的揀選負責,祂會賜下足夠的力量、恩賜並聖靈各樣的恩惠,成全祂所託付的,因為,祂愛祂的教會。

2018 年教牧同工們曾多次商討,渴望神在 2019 年挑旺我們愛慕主話的心。北宣家內有不少人已經信主多年,但卻沒有穩定每天靈修,甚或連讀聖經一遍也未試過。有些弟兄姊妹即使讀過聖經一、兩遍,但卻不曾經歷過神的話觸動自己、轉化自己的生命,不曾像以馬忤斯路上的兩個門徒,聽見主講解聖經之後,心裡就「火熱」了。我們渴望北宣家弟兄姊妹更多靜心「聆聽主」,誠實地去「遵從主」,進入與主耶穌更親密的關係裡。

我們也感受到今天弟兄姊妹面對著多種生活挑戰,以致常出現靈裡乏力的情況,但我們相信「那等候耶和華的,必重新得力」。2019 年教會呼籲我們進入「代求」的職事,延續投入團契生活的追求,「在此儆醒不倦,為眾聖徒祈求!」本著愛,深切為弟兄姊妹守望代求,叫我們經歷「重新得力」!深願我們也特別為在職青階段的弟兄姊妹、及中國內地教會代求,求主在這些年間,復興在他們中間的工作。






Pastor's Sharing
2019: Thirsting for Abundant Grace
Rev Gordon Siu

The year 2019 marks a new phase in the growth of the NPAC Family. The Senior Pastor Designate, Rev Arnold Chow, will be Acting Senior Pastor from January until the end of June. I will go on six months' Sabbath Year study leave, which is due, returning in July until the end of December. Thereafter, in 2020, my retirement will formally start. During the first half of 2019, Rev Chow will assume all duties of the Senior Pastor, leading the church and the pastoral team. He will be delivering more sermons – at three to four services a week, for at least two weeks a month. He will be chairing meetings of the Deacons Board, the Pastoral Team, the China Ministry Concern Committee, the Committee for Worship Development, as well as meetings of various ministry groups. In addition to shepherding brothers and sisters, he will be supporting and caring for numerous church leaders and pastoral team members who have different needs. All these ministries require your prayer, support, encouragement and assistance!

More than 30 years ago when I first became Senior Pastor, a brother compared me with Rev Philip Teng, considered that I was not yet qualified to lead the church. I entirely agreed. But deep in my heart, I knew the serving role was not my own choice but was entrusted to me by the Lord. Nevertheless, at that time, I hoped I could learn to be more like Rev Teng. That became pressure to me in my early ministry. I became scared of leading and reluctant to make policy decisions. Then, a co-worker who knew what was happening put forth a frank suggestion: "Go ahead and lead. We will give you room for mistakes." Since then, I led according to His will, my style and character. Looking back today, I am convinced of the Lord's faithfulness. What He did then, He will do today. He chooses His servants and takes responsibility for His choice. The strength He gives suffices. His gifts and various graces of the Spirit will accomplish His mandate -- because He loves His church.

Deliberations among pastoral staff in 2018 have been summed up in a longing for God to kindle our hearts in the coming year to seek His Word. We know that quite some members of the NPAC Family have been Christians for years without regular quiet time. Some may not have read the entire Bible once. Others may have done so once or twice, but have never been touched by the Word of God, nor have their lives been transformed by it. On the contrary, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus heard the Lord’s explanation of the Scriptures and their hearts “burned within” them. It is our hope that brothers and sisters of the NPAC Family will more often quietly listen to the Lord, honestly obey Him and have a closer relationship with the Lord Jesus.

We also understand that brothers and sisters today are faced with various challenges in life which make them spiritually drained. But we trust that "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." The church calls upon everyone to take up the ministry of intercessory prayer in 2019, to further our pursuit of a devoted fellowship life. We hope brothers and sisters will "be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people," and that they will earnestly pray for and, in love, watch over other brothers and sisters so we can renew our strength. Let us particularly pray for our working young adults as well as the churches on the Mainland. In the coming years, may the Lord revive work in these areas.