National Online Speakers Refresher Course
The National Online Speakers Refresher course was held smoothly on 9th May, 2021 (Sunday). There were a total of 146 ministers, brothers and sisters participated in this seminar (Northern Region -16, Perak Region -14, Central Region – 86, Southern Region – 29, East Coast -1). Pr. Chien Ming Rui of Taiwan General Assembly was arranged by the International Assembly to assist in this course as a speaker. Pr. Chien started the first lesson by sharing on a few topics, namely, “The Definition of Sermonising”, “The Role of a Sermon-Speaker” and “The Importance of Sermon-speaking”.
He continued his sharing on the topic, “The Attitude of a Sermon-speaker” along with numerous bible verses related to the topic. Subsequently, through the topic of “The Equipping of a Sermon-speaker”, he encouraged everyone to have the correct beliefs and faith, to realise our own commission, and on how we should constantly enrich our Bible knowledge, emphasise on our own spiritual cultivation and pray for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we should learn from our Lord Jesus who had received power from above and had the spiritual authority and power to preach the gospel to many.
(1) The importance of a sermon speaking
Pr. Chien Ming Rui then ended the morning session with the topic, “Rightly Handling the Word of Truth (I) – Things to Take Note of in Sermon-Speaking”. He shared that all speakers should learn how to use positive encouragement more frequently to deliver the teachings of God. He used Paul as an example and illustrated his principles, such as how Paul brought people before God with the truth. Before the end of the morning session, Pr Chien shared 1 Cor 9:19-23 with regards to how we should incorporate the current situation of members into sermons, like what Paul had done in order to gain more people. The ultimate goal of empathy is so that more people can share in the blessings of the gospel. Pr. Chien also shared that while we are having services online due to the current condition of the pandemic, we should also rely on ourselves and our family altar to sustain our faith.
(2) The Basic of Hermeneutics
The second session started at 2PM with a hymn, then Pr. Chien Ming Rui continued to share on the topic, “Rightly Handling the Word of Truth (II) – Basic Principles of Hermeneutics”, where he examined two main questions in hermeneutics: “What was the significance of the Scriptures to the readers of that time?” and “What are the teachings applicable to people in the modern era?”. He also explained the importance of hermeneutics, the relation between exegesis and sermon-speaking, and also shared some examples from the Bible. Pr. Chien explained the ideal steps of exegesis in-detail: (1) Careful Observation; (2) Structural Analysis; (3) Interpretation of the Scriptures, (4) Application of the Scriptures. He used Joshua 1:1-11 as an example and pointed out many examples in modern life. One by one, he explained how the four steps should be carried out to: observe the history; analyse the situation of that time; explaining the passage based on the context; and how to use the “Parity Law” method in our lives today. Pr. Chien also reminded us not to remain only in the study of the history and events in the Bible, but to list practical applications of these Bible verses in today’s life, allowing people to receive and be filled with spiritual food.
((3) Basic of Hermeneutics
In the final session, Pr Chien continued to share the “Basic of Hermeneutics”, He encouraged everyone to read the notes which will explain in-detail the things to take note of in the four principles of Hermeneutics:
(1)Context (Preceding and Subsequence verses),
(4)Interpreting the scripture with scripture.
Lastly, Pr. Chien Ming Rui reminded everyone on the “Sarcasm of Sermon Speaker – Be Prudent not to be like the Pharisee”. He shared the bible verses of (Matt 20: 1-12), (Rom 2: 17-21) and (1 Tim 4: 16) and encourage on what is required of a speaker:
(1) To have strict requirements towards others as well as towards ourselves; (2) To teach others through our example while teaching ourselves; (3) To have persistence in doing these things.
Pr. Chien quoted Matthew 23:5-12; 6:1-2,5,16 to remind everyone present not to become like the Pharisees who desire vain glory and status, expecting others to see what they do and praise them. In addition, we should not make use of God for our personal benefits (1 Tim 6:5). All that we do should be out of love from a pure heart, a good conscience and from sincere faith (1 Tim 1:5-7). We should also have a teachable heart, only then are we able to become teachers of others (Isa 50:4; 1 Tim 4:6).
May all glory be given unto the one true God.
Poodle Online Pastoral Training
Date: 16th May 2021
Speaker: Pr. Jian Ming-Rui (Taiwan)
Theme: “Well done good and faithful servant”
9.30 AM: Morning Prayer
Elder Andrew Tee quoted Matthew 7:21-23 to encourage everyone to be a good servant that does the will of the heavenly father and is known (original text: familiar) by God.
10:00 am – 5:00 pm : 6 lessons.
Below are some of the insights gained from the lessons.
As mentioned by Pr. Jian, a good servant must have these three characteristics:
Kindness, loyalty and knowledge. Among these three, kindness is of the utmost importance with loyalty being the second.
Being knowledgeable refers to having the capability to resolve matters. But if one only has knowledge without kindness and loyalty, it would be terrifying since it may evolve to be an intellectual crime. It is a grace of God to be a servant, and this sovereignty lies with God.
To be a servant also means to be tested by God. God isn’t one who does as He pleases. We need to understand and accept it willingly.
The motivation to serve should arise from the love of Christ. Constantly reminisce on the love of God and be a grateful person. One who is grateful will naturally show gratitude.
To manage well the household of God, one must first manage well his/her own household. To manage well the household, one must first manage well him/herself.
How can we effectively manage ourselves? One should have self-requirement, self-management, self-discipline, and life directions and strive to serve as an example in every area.
How can one manage well his/her household?
Manage the children well. Do not be like Eli, whom did not strictly rebuke and rectify his sons when they were disobedient. Be also not like Samuel, making his son the leader when he is actually incapable. Be like Joshua, who resolved to manage himself and his household well to serve the entire congregation.
Lesson 3: Pastoring skills (1)
Firstly, one must be upright, and his/her speech and actions must be aligned.
Be like Daniel who lived a conscientious life with a clear conscience, allowing all to behold his beautiful spirituality. Do not be like king Saul whom was humble before being anointed yet changes after ascending to the throne.
Secondly, co-workers must be in one accord.
God co-works with His servants. When God co-works with us, automatically we will receive spiritual authority. At the Beautiful Gate, Peter uses “we” in his sermons from the beginning till the end and not an “I” was present. As for John, he was silent all the while; nonetheless, God still manifested great wonders.
How can co-workers be in one accord?
Everyone should study the words of God according to the truth, and never interpret the scriptures according to one’s wishes. Co-workers should also pray in one accord. God hearkens when two or three gather in prayer.
Lesson 4: Pastoring skills (2)
A good shepherd knows his sheep, and the sheep also recognize his voice.
A shepherd must understand the situation of every members’ faith. Members will feel warm in heart if you are able to call out their names when you meet them. A good shepherd must feed the sheep on time, allowing them to be well filled. For the ones whom are injured, you need to treat their wounds. When you care for every single member, very naturally they will love coming to the church.
Lesson 5: Pastoring skills (3)
As how the Lord Jesus loves Judah till the end, we are also to rescue the weak with love. Co-workers must also be equipped with team spirit where everybody can help one another and compliment each another’s gifts.
Humility is then the key to achieve this. One who is humble will view others as the stronger party. One who is humble will know how to reflect. Shepherds must learn how to accept suggestions. Those who take advice is wisdom (Proverbs 13:10)
Lesson 6: Pastoring Plan
These few programs can then be organized to deepen one’s faith:
Truth edifying class. A variety of fellowships. Religious education classes.
Like how Moses trained Joshua and how Paul trained Timothy, We also need to unleash potentials for the sake of successors. However we ought to understand that men can train but it is God who uses.
We need to strengthen the organization in order to attain the stage where everyone has a task on hand. Appoint those who are capable and everybody can shelter this responsibility together. This will then minimize the workload.
Before the concluding prayer, Elder Joshua Phoong wants everyone to ponder on how can we make use of the current technology to enhance the efficiency of pastoral works in midst of this pandemic.
The truth can never change, but the methods in conveying the truth can vary accordingly to the era and circumstances. No matter how, we still need to save some individuals.