Click here for English
今年 1 月，北宣家成立了社區見證部，隸屬於社關事工科。在疫情之中，我們深深體會，教會需要加強與鄰舍建立關係，並強化「義工」的網絡，透過社區探訪和活動，關心隱藏在社區不同角落的鄰舍，也為回應社區的突發需要，多作準備。我們也需要加強與區內其他堂會和基督教機構的聯繫，藉著彼此間的協作，帶動教會在社區中的福音見證。
May God Kindle Our Love for Neighbors in Our Hearts
Rev Lawrence Chan
"To light up our lives with God's love and live out the practice of 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" This is the mission statement of NPAC. It brings out the important point that the spiritual life and mission of a Christian are intertwined and that both come from God. They are not just human passion and goodness.
The second half of the mission statement comes from Acts 20:35. "It is more blessed to give than to receive" is now a well-known proverb. The word "give" (διδωμι) is often associated with condescending giving and is not always taken positively. Indeed, the word in the original language is often used to refer to bestowing from a higher level to the lower. But in the context of the church, a community which has received life from God, let us remember that "giving" is mutual sharing. It is an opportunity by which God blesses both parties in the act.
Before quoting from the Lord Jesus, Paul had this exhortation for the church: "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak" (Acts 20:35). The sharing and caring that God wants, whether it involves distribution of supplies or professional social services, must stem from the bottom of our hearts, out of love for the needy. Love urges us to walk with them, share the presence of God and the hope that the gospel brings. The church is not instituted to solve social problems, and we do not have such capacities too. Nevertheless, the church needs to continually bring forth believers who can set an example for the saints. These Christians will stir up the hearts of others, wherever they are, to "help the weak." "The weak" here may refer to those physically or emotionally ill or those who are poor in spirit or relationships. When we go to our neighbors, we will find the gifts of God unfolded in this caring relationship. This does not come from us, but from God. Therefore, whether the church is resourceful or not, and whether the service rendered is professional social services or general caring ministry, the most important thing is really the presence and the work of God.
This January, the NPAC Family has set up the Community Ministry under the Social Concern Ministry. It is our deep awareness amid the pandemic that the church needs to strengthen our relationship with our neighbors. We also need a stronger network of "volunteers". By means of visitations and activities, we will care for our neighbors hidden in various corners of our community. In doing so, we will be better prepared to respond to emergent needs of the community. We also need to strengthen our ties with other churches and Christian organizations in our neighborhood, collaborate with them to take forward the church's witness for God in the community.
"Be a good neighbor. Share the presence of God" – this integrates part of the essence of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. It is also the conviction which the Community Ministry wishes to live out together with brothers and sisters.
May God kindle our love for our neighbors in our hearts!