- Category: Pastor Letters
- Published: Sunday, 15 July 2018 00:00
最近很多校園華人學生數目都略為減少了，原因可能很多: 有人歸咎是川普總統的移民政策，對移民不友善，使來美留學的機會減少；加以中、美之間的磨擦增加，也減低了外國學生來美求學的意願；另也有人認為: 是因為中國目前經濟的快速成長，減低了出國留學的需要等等。但從屬靈的層面來看，留學生的減少必有屬靈的原因在其中；自從留學的門戶大開，到現在差不多也有十年了，回顧過去多年北美校園事工，普遍來說是失敗的，學生大量增加，各地校園團契學生的數字，卻沒有顯著的增加; 很多校園華人學生的數目，比起十年前增加了五至十倍，但華人團契學生的數目，能維持十年前的數字，就已經是很不錯了，許多校園團契的人數，反比十年前的學生人數更少。過去的校園團契，都是由學生主導，校園事工都是學生計劃，也由學生去推動，學生參與事奉越多，往往長進就越快，校園團契一般較有生氣，參加的人也比較多；現在不少校園團契，是直接歸屬教會，有教會豐富的資源作後盾，聚會的場地、經費，都完全沒有問題，在人手方面，很多教會都會安排一些弟兄姊妹作同工或顧問，甚至聘請全職的傳道人，專作校園事工；投資雖然大，但可惜往往達不到預期的果效，參加的學生，還是沒有增加多少。校園事工作不好，神就自然減少安排人來美國讀書，因為神的心意就是要得著學生，成為日後教會的器皿，得著日後祂國度的精兵。學生來得多，我們卻沒有辦法去得著學生，我們就是辜負了神對我們的期望，這就是北美眾教會對神的虧欠。我們需要趕緊從這些虧欠中出來，求主幫助我們回轉到祂面前，好好依靠神，完成神的心意，為神的國得著更多年輕的精兵。
每當我們的校園事工碰到困難的時候，我們都會怪罪新一代的學生: 怪他們家庭的背景太富裕、被世界所吸引、對福音沒有興趣、年輕人嬌生慣養、很難帶領與教導他們、他們愛玩、不肯來參加聚會等等。但我們很少反思我們作校園事工的人與方法，在北美作校園事工的同工，很多都不敢向學生傳福音，深恐講福音會嚇阻福音朋友來聚會，這些都是我們不知福音的大能，不知不覺間就以福音為恥。我們著重建立學生與我們之間的關係，卻沒有能力建立學生與主之間的關係，我們辦很多活動吸引學生來聚會，卻沒有辦法把人留在團契，更進入不了教會，因為人沒有先被基督所得著; 我們若只看重學生數量的增加，卻不能建立質量的增加，當學生的靈命沒有被建立，數量的增加充其量只是曇花一現，很快就消失了;若我們對神的話語領受有限，就很難用神的話語去牧養主的羊，我們只好用活動的方式去吸引人；當神的話語在團契中稀少的時候，學生就活在靈性與心靈的黑暗當中，弟兄姊妹心靈有問題時，我們也沒有辦法用神的話去輔導他們；團契顧問或帶領同工常常對聖經的根基很不扎實，不能用神的話帶領學生走神的道路，並在校園中為主作見證。我們只盼望用輕鬆的方式帶領學生，卻缺乏對學生的門徒訓練與栽培，深怕對學生有什麼要求，人就不來參加聚會；我們只花很多的時間作校園事工的研討，但卻沒積極又實際的建立學生作主門徒，我們不能建立學生作同工，團契輔導就代替學生來事奉，我們只能建立一群著重享受的學生，卻不能讓他們成為肯付代價、走主道路的門徒與同工，他們成為一班扶不起的人，團契顧問或校園傳道人事奉越來越累，學生卻越來越弱，學生不能成為第一線的校園同工，校園事工就沒有辦法興旺起來。
到六月十五日報名截止前，已有一百多位弟兄姊妹報名參加，這次是研讀「福音書 – 基督生平」，是未來兩年半研讀新約的開始，求主藉著這次讀經營，讓弟兄姊妹不僅能認識基督生平，也更了解基督，立定心志忠心跟從主、作主的門徒。請為六月至七月中，在這一個多月，弟兄姊妹忙著作指定的專題作業，並在來參加讀經營前，更多默想神的話語來讀告，求主賜福他們的學習; 也為讀經營的老師、及中心的同工們禱告，在這幾週，他們都被分派作輔導，要個別的指導弟兄姊妹的專題作業。這是不容易的工作，求主加添他們的力量與智慧。也請為講員蘇桂村牧師與師母禱告。
雖然八月讀經營的報名已截止，您若要更多認識與追求主，可以報名參加八月門徒與同工訓練營。讀經營並不是門徒訓練營的進階班，只是在這一個禮拜專心研讀某幾卷經書，所以不論初信或成熟的基督徒，一生都需要不斷接受門徒訓練與同工的裝備。這也是中心要求弟兄姊妹若要參加讀經營，必須每兩年就要至少回來一次參加門徒訓練，因為讀經營學習的範圍只是66本書的研讀，門徒訓練營學習的範圍是比讀經營更廣闊，為了要造就弟兄姐妹作主門徒， 並為各地校園團契栽培新學年的新同工，補充因畢業或離開的弟兄姊妹，所以要在各方面建立門徒與同工，其中包括：聖經的知識、真理的教導、靈命的建立，生活的教導、生命的提升，並事奉的裝備等，是同工全面的建立。這是門徒所需要的教導與裝備，絕不是一、兩次的門徒訓練營就可以完全學成，每一位作主兒女的，不論信主多久，都應當帶著謙卑的心、與飢渴慕義的靈，一生把握機會來接受裝備。請多鼓勵弟兄姊妹來參加，也請為這次訓練營的講員: 莊大能牧師、李玉惠姊妹、並中心同工等禱告，求主更大地使用他們，好建立更多的人。請儘速報名與預備心、更多邀請人來接受裝備。
新學期是神再次給我們傳福音的機會，求主讓各地的教會與校園，都能把握這美好的機會，快快的去傳福音。求主賜福短宣隊的傳福音事工，使各地弟兄姊妹都看到，福音是神的大能，要救一切相信的，讓短宣的事奉，使各地同工因此勇於傳福音，好叫福音在各地興旺起來。這次短宣隊仍分兩梯次來美中各校園宣道，約有十家教會參與，日期為 8月17-26日與 9月7-16日， 請在禱告中記念各短宣隊的籌備與裝備事工，也預備美中弟兄姊妹的心，趁著開學時將福音快快傳出，讓更多迷失的靈魂，快快的信主，快快被裝備，早早被建立成為門徒與同工。若您們校園需要短宣隊與您們一起同工， 在新的學期好好傳福音，請儘早與我們聯絡，我們會盡力安排，也請為這次的短宣事工禱告！盼望神更多使用今年的短宣，為神多得靈魂，顯明神福音的大能，好叫各地團契與教會，因見神的大能，就放膽傳主的福音，使校園事工能得著更大的興旺。
- 為餐廳與維修同工宿舍的擴建工程禱告，並為Pastor Shull與他的孫子工作安全禱告，求主也保守天氣正常，好讓工程能順利的進行。
- 為高牧師在Columbia, MO的事奉滿有聖靈的能力禱告，並帶出哥城華人教會與美中各校園的復興。也請為高師母這幾個月要做化療禱告，求主減輕治療的痛苦，使師母能盡速得著康復。
Dear brothers and sisters,
Peace in the Lord!
How time flies! The hot summer has arrived and life on campus is often not so busy. May the Lord help us grasp the opportunity to equip ourselves to be His useful vessels! Through praying and pursing the Lord may we become powerful witnesses for the Lord in the new semester!
Reflections on Decreasing of the Number of Chinese Students on Campus
Recently the number of Chinese students on many campuses has decreased slightly. Possibly there are quite a few reasons. Some blame President Trump’s immigration policy for being unfriendly to immigrants, which reduces the chance of studying in the United States. The mounting friction between China and the States also diminished the willingness of foreign students to study in the United States. Others believe that the rapid economic growth in China has reduced the need to study abroad. But at the spiritual level, there must be a spiritual reason for the decline in the number of foreign students. It has been almost a decade since the door to study abroad opened wide. Looking back at the past years of campus ministry in North America, general speaking it has been a failure. While the number of Chinese students has increased substantially, there has been no corresponding rise in the number of students participating in Campus Fellowships. The number of Chinese-speaking students on many campuses has multiplied by five to ten times as compared with 10 years ago. However, now it is commendable for the number of students in Chinese fellowships just to maintain the count of 10 years ago. The number in many Campus Fellowships is even smaller than it was 10 years ago. In the past, the campus fellowship was all student-led, and the campus ministry was all planned and promoted by students. The more students took part in the ministry, the faster they tend to mature spiritually. Therefore, Campus Fellowships were very lively and brought in many participants. At present, many Campus Fellowships are directly affiliated with a church, backed by her rich resources, with their venue and funding being quite unassailable. Many churches have appointed some brothers and sisters to serve as coworkers or advisers, or have full-time pastors to serve exclusively as campus ministers. Although the investment is huge, unfortunately it does not tend to achieve the desire result. The number of Chinese students still did not increase much. So to some degree, when campus ministry did not grow, perhaps God reduced the number of students coming to those locations. “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability…” God’s will is to make people useful vessels for the churches in the future and also as Christian soldiers for His Kingdom. If students came in with large numbers, but we were not able to win them over, we have failed God’s expectations on us. This is what the North America churches owe to God. We need to get out of this debt quickly and ask the Lord to help us return to Him, and to rely on Him to fulfill His purpose, winning over more people to His Kingdom.
This is of course a guess, but a more responsible guess than blaming this new generation of students, complaining that: their family backgrounds are too wealthy; they are attracted by worldly pleasures and not interested in the gospel; they are too spoiled to be led and taught; they love to play around rather than come to fellowships; and so on. But we rarely reflect on the coworkers and methods of our campus ministry. Many of us who serve on campus in North America dare not share the gospel to the students. We dare not preach the gospel because we are afraid to scare them away coming to our meetings. We do not know the power of the gospel, and unconsciously we are ashamed of the gospel. “I was afraid and hid your gold in the ground.” We focus on building relationships between students and us, but do not have the ability to build relationships between students and the Lord. We provide many activities to attract students to our gatherings but cannot keep them in our fellowships, let alone to attending church, because they were not first won over to Christ. If we value only the quantity of students, but not their quality, the spiritual life of the students cannot established. The increase in quantity is at best ephemeral and soon disappears. Moreover, if we have limited understanding of the Word of God, it is difficult to feed the Lord’s flocks with the Word of God. As a result, we could only attract people with activities. When the Word of God is scarce in fellowships, students would live in spiritual darkness. When brothers and sisters have spiritual problems, we cannot mentor them with the Word of God because fellowship counselors or leading coworkers are often ungrounded in the Bible and cannot use the Word of God to lead students along the path of God and to witness for the Lord on campus. We only hope to lead the students in a relaxed way and do not provide disciple training and cultivation. We are deeply afraid that people will not come to our meetings if we make any request on them. When we only spend a lot of time on campus ministry seminars but do not actively and practically train up students to be disciples of Christ, we were not able to equip them to be coworkers. Subsequently Campus Fellowship advisors serve at the positions the students should do. We only can build a group of students who values personal comfort and fail to help them become disciples and coworkers who are willing to pay the price to walk the path of the Lord. Very soon the students cannot stand up on their own feet. The Fellowship advisors or campus pastors grow more and more exhausted while the students are getting weaker and weaker spiritually. If the students cannot become front line campus coworkers, the campus ministries will not be able to thrive.
Students do not always come to the States in large numbers. With the number of foreign students slightly reduced, we must reflect before God whether our campus ministry can meet the expectations of the Lord. While many foreign students are still studying in the States today, we should quickly adjust the direction and methods of our church ministry and focus on building the quality of students more than attracting the quantity. Let us focus on establishing the relationships between students and the Lord more than the relationships between students and us. May the Lord first establish the spiritual depth of our campus coworkers, so that the Word of God will shine ever brighter in our hearts and that we may use the truth of God to shepherd His little lambs and to feed these young students with the richness of God’s Word. May God help us have the courage of preaching the gospel to the students, and quickly build them up to be the Lord’s disciples and campus student coworkers. May the Spirit of God enable these students to become light on campus today and in the future become “the chariots and its horsemen” of the church and God’s Kingdom.
Youth Disciple Training Camp (June 3rd to 9th)
Thank the Lord! How wonderful to see nearly a hundred young brothers and sisters to attend this June Youth Disciple Training Camp with willingness to pursue the Lord! The Youth Disciple Training Camp is the camp that is promoted most easily among CWC camps. Young people come to the camp not because of the invitations of CWC coworkers but because of the invitations by themselves. Although they knew that the camp was not for fun but for the pursuit of the Lord, they encouraged each other to attend out of desires for the Lord and being His disciples. And the number of youth participating in the camp is increasing year by year. May the Lord continue to work within these youth to do greater work through them.
East Coast July Disciple and Coworker Training Camp (July 3rd to 7th)
August Bible Camp (July 29th to August 4th)
By June 15th, the deadline for registration, there are over 100 brothers and sisters signed up for this camp, studying “the Four Gospels – the Life of Christ”. It is the beginning of the New Testament studies for the next two and a half years. Through this Bible Camp, may the Lord help brothers and sisters not only understand the life of Christ but also know more about Him, and set hearts to faithfully follow Him and to be His disciples. Please pray that the Lord will bless these brothers and sisters as they are busy with finishing writing assigned reports during this one and a half month from June 1st to mid of July. Please also pray for the teachers and CWC coworkers. During these weeks they are assigned to advise individual brothers and sisters on their assigned reports. This is not an easy task. May the Lord provide them with strength and wisdom! Please also pray for speakers Pastor and Mrs. David Su.
August Disciple and Coworker Training Camp (August 5th to 11th)
Although registration for the August Bible Camp is closed, if you still want to learn more about the Lord, you can sign up for the August Training and Coworker Camp. The Bible Camp is not an advanced class for disciple training camps. It is just a week of studying a few books of the scriptures. Both new believers and mature Christians need to receive disciple training and coworker training all their lives. This is the reason that CWC requires brothers and sisters to attend the disciple training at least once every two years to be qualified to attend the Bible Camp. The scope of Bible camp is only 66 books. The scope of the disciple and training camp is much broader to equip brothers and sisters to be disciples of Christ, to train new coworkers for local campus fellowships in the new semester, and to staff up brothers and sisters who have graduated or left. Therefore, it is necessary to establish coworkers in all aspects of discipleship, including the knowledge of the Bible, teachings of the truth, the cultivation of spiritual life, teachings about daily Christian life, the enhancement of spiritual maturity, and equipment of ministry. This kind of comprehensive training cannot be completed by one or two disciple training camps. Every child of God, no matter how long he believes in the Lord, should seize the opportunity to be equipped all his life with humility and hunger and thirst for righteousness. Please encourage brothers and sisters to attend. Please also pray for the speakers Rev. Taneng Chuang, Sister Grace Lee, and CWC coworkers. May the Lord make greater use of them to build up more people. Please register and prepare your hearts as soon as possible and invite more people to attend the training.
August and September Summer Short Term Mission Teams
The new semester is an opportunity that God gives us to share the gospel. May the Lord let all churches and campuses to grasp this opportunity to quickly share the gospel. May the Lord bless the evangelistic ministry of short-term mission teams, so that brothers and sisters in various regions will experience that the gospel is the power of God to save all who believe. We pray that the short-term mission teams will help local coworkers to boldly share the gospel and bring forth revivals everywhere. The short-term mission teams, sent by about 10 churches, will visit campuses in the Midwest in two periods, respectively on August 17th to 26th and September 7th to 16th. Please remember in prayers the preparation and equipping ministry of every short- term mission team. May the Lord also prepare the hearts of brothers and sisters in Midwest to share the gospel as soon as the semester begins, so that more lost souls will believe Christ and be equipped quickly and be built up to be disciples and coworkers as early as possible. If your campus needs a short- term mission team to serve with you to share the gospel in the new semester, please contact us as soon as possible. We will try our best to arrange. Please also pray for this short term mission trip! May God make more use of the short-term mission trip this year to win more souls and make known the power of the gospel, so that the fellowships and churches in all areas of the Midwest can share the gospel boldly after seeing the power of God and make the campus ministry more revived.
Expansion of maintenance coworker’s house
Thanks to the Lord! In April the American coworker Scott Jerome moved to CWC to serve as a maintenance worker. He is a very good and diligent coworker. During the training camps his entire family helped the children program too. His family of eight crowded the maintenance coworkers house, which has just three bed rooms. Therefore, we decided to temporarily postpone our current dining room construction project and start to build an additional room for maintenance coworker house, so that the life of our coworkers can be easier, and they can serve more effectively. We hope to complete the foundation of that room before October. In mid-October, several retired American couples will volunteer for three weeks to help build this addition. May the Lord use them! Please pray for the progress of the project, and for the required fund of $20,000.
- Please pray for the August Bible Camp. May the Lord open the appetite of brothers and sisters to read the scriptures and be equipped to know the Word of God and become coworkers in the future to lead Bible studies and share God’s Word. Please also pray for Pastor and Mrs. David Su. Pray for brothers and sisters to have wisdom from God to study and complete assigned reports in the coming weeks.
- Please pray that the August Disciple and Coworker Training Camp will build up campus fellowships and church coworkers for the next semester. May the Lord prepare people to learn and be equipped to become influential coworkers in the new semester and to serve in the house of God all their lives.
- Please pray for speakers of all the camps and pray for the Holy Spirit to pour over them mightily so that the Word of God will uproot and tear down and also build and plant in hearts of people.
- Please pray for the summer short term mission teams. May the Lord equip the short term mission team members to win souls on various campuses and kindle the fervency of coworkers to share the gospel. Please pray for beautiful collaboration of local churches and short term mission teams and a more abundant harvest!
- Please pray for the expansion of the dining hall and maintenance coworker’s house and for Pastor Shull and his grandson to work safely. Please pray the Lord to provide good weather so that the project can proceed smoothly.
- Please pray for Pastor Ko to serve in Columbia, MO with full of the power of the Holy Spirit and to bring out the revival of the Columbia Chinese Church and local campuses in the Midwest. Please also pray for Mrs. Ko as she will undergo chemotherapy in coming months. May the Lord alleviate the pain of treatment so that she can recover as soon as possible.
- Please pray for Sister Cindy Chiang’s busy office works on weekdays and campus ministry on weekends. May the Lord help her walk with strength and sharing with effectiveness.
- Please pray for the family of maintenance coworker Scott. May the Lord give him the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to carry on the maintenance work. Please also pray for his family and children!
- Please pray for the necessary funding of CWC. May the Lord show His abundance. May God also raise up more brothers and sisters who have a heart for student ministry to join us!
May the Lord bless you!
In the Lord
Pastor Billy Ko