What do you do when your congregation is old and frail, and mostly still outside of Christ’s family of believers?
YOU PRAY MORE! AND, YOU PROCLAIM CHRIST AND EXPOSE THEM TO THE WORD OF GOD REPEATEDLY. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who will believe!” (Rom. 1:16) “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12) “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Is. 55:11)
信道是從聽道來的，聽道是從基督的話來的(羅馬書10:17) 我不以福音為恥，這福音本是神的大能，要救一切相信的，先是猶太人，後是希臘人。(羅馬書1:16) 神的道是活潑的，是有功效的，比一切兩刃的劍更快，甚至魂與靈、骨節與骨髓，都能刺入、剖開，連心中的思念和主意都能辨明。(希伯來書4:12) 我口所出的話也必如此，決不徒然返回，卻要成就我所喜悅的，在我發它去成就的事上必然亨通。(以賽亞書55:11)
How do we proclaim the Good News to the people in our GREAT CONGREGATION of Dalin? We use many tools and approaches:
- Telling Bible stories from Creation to Christ. Check out http://www.storyingthescriptures.com for their salvation set of videos in either Mandarin or Chinese. I prefer to use this set of stories for those not yet saved to give them an understanding of why Christ had to come.講聖經故事:從創世記到基督耶穌。上網搜尋http://www.storyingthescriptures.com 會找到一系列的國、台語福音影片。我們使用這些影片，讓那些還未得救的人了解為什麼耶穌要來。
- Add to the Bible story some praise songs or hymns, and a blessing or prayer, and try to make it a regular event, and you’ve got a Lighthouse cell-group! A Lighthouse in every neighborhood is our aim!此外，也用讚美歌或聖詩，再加上祝福或禱告，讓聚會成為經常性的活動，一個燈塔細胞小組就產生了
- E3 Partners’ “First Steps” provides two different tracts for Discovery Bible Studies which provide the basis for follow-up and discipleship, on pages 76-77.
- Actually, “First Steps” has some very valuable practices to pass on to our new believers, like praying for as many as 100 unsaved friends and loved ones, preparing their testimony and purposefully sharing it with people on their list–seeking out five at a time; proceeding through their list until all have had the chance to hear the Good News. Then when there is interest, following up with telling Discovery Bible Studies or Bible Telling. [Our congregation in rural Taiwan has many people who are either illiterate or just not used to reading! So Bible Telling the Creation to Christ stories, or using an Audio Bible to introduce short passages for Discovery Bible discussions is a great way to go!“First Steps”對新信徒有許多很實用的教導，例如:為100位親友代禱，列親友名單，然後書寫自己的見證並逐一向他們做見證，直到所有親友都聽過福音。若有人有興趣，就可以繼續以Discovery Bible Studies 或是Bible Telling的內容跟進。(在台灣鄉村有極多數的百姓是文盲或是不習慣閱讀的人，使用Bible Telling 的故事或是有聲聖經機可以導入一些聖經的討論也是很棒的方法。)
How do we gain a hearing with our people here in the Great Congregation of Dalin?
- Food distribution for shut-ins and needy.為行動不便和有需求的人送餐
- Foot massages and other services offered to those fighting chronic pain or health problems. (There I am giving Chian Mama a foot massage up in the top center pic of my Great Congregation drawing!)我們為那些久病和有健康問題的人提供腳底按摩及其他的服務。(圖畫上方是我為大林的簡媽媽腳底按摩)
- Sometimes you just have to socialize while they work; the right corner pic shows me sitting on a stool sharing a Bible story or testimony with a group of ladies peeling the bamboo shoots (a very big product of Dalin, Taiwan!)有時你得在他們工作時與他們交流。右上角的我坐在小凳子上，為一群正在忙著剝筍殼的媽媽們分享見證或聖經故事。(大林盛產竹筍)
- We love our elderly–and rural Taiwan has mostly elderly grandparents taking care of their grandchildren. The top left corner shows a group especially tailored to encouraging a group of elderly in a Minxiong neighborhood called Golden World. This group always begins with light exercise, and proceeds with singing, then a testimony or Bible story, and prayer (or blessing–those new to getting to know God might not let you pray for them, but they love to receive a blessing!). Bread or Ensure is distributed at the end. This is something Mark and I are gearing up to do in our own home in Dalin with our neighbors.我們疼惜長輩-在台灣鄉村地區有為數眾多的家庭是由祖父母帶孫兒長大的。圖畫左上角是我們在民雄金世界社區，為長者量身訂做的活動-聚會以暖身運動開始、歌唱、見證或聖經故事然後以禱告或祝福 (新朋友可能會拒絕禱告，但他們都樂意接受祝福)，最後會發送營養補充品(如麵包或安素)作為結束。這也是我和何牧師在大林我們的鄰居間要做的事。
- English is, also, a big draw; we offer bilingual Bible study– to families with students. God wants to bless those who keep His Word–“Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, . . .that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn,. . ” (I Kings 2:3) “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” (Josh. 1:8)英文課也很受歡迎。我們為家庭和學生們開雙語查經班。上帝祝福所有遵守他話語的人–遵守耶和華─你神所吩咐的，照著摩西律法上所寫的行主的道，謹守他的律例、誡命、典章、法度。這樣，你無論做什麼事，不拘往何處去，盡都亨通。(王上2:3) 這律法書不可離開你的口，總要晝夜思想，好使你謹守遵行這書上所寫的一切話。如此，你的道路就可以亨通，凡事順利。(約書亞記1:8)
- Love them to Jesus! Take them to the hospital, and visit them in the hospital. Make them banana bread. Even go to court with them when problems arise.愛他們、帶他們就醫、到醫院探望他們、為他們做麵包，當糾紛發生時，陪他們上法庭。