Christians often think of themselves falling into one of two categories – disciple or layman, although such view is non-biblical. Disciples are dedicated followers of Christ and they idealistically follow Jesus’ command to the letter. They are not afraid to put themselves in jeopardy. They are zealous. Yet at the same time, they have this uneasy feeling of inadequacy. Luke 14:25-27 states:

      “Now large crowds were going along with Him, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.  Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

       On the other hand, laymen are willing followers. Unlike their counterpart, they lack the zeal. They like to take a back-seat role and tend to be practical. Thinking they are eternally saved, they don’t mind tithing and doing some ministry work, but deep inside, they have this nagging feeling of shame if they were to meet Jesus tonight.

       In fact, these two categories do not exist. They are only self-perceptions as one tries to establish himself in comparison with others. Both disciples and laymen are all followers of Christ, which is the precise meaning of a Christian. They just try to work out their salvation with different approaches. One lays heavily on ideology, and the other on practicality. Ideology without practicality is just hot air, and practicality without ideology is stale air. Both are needed, but all Christians are called to be disciples of Christ.

       On the Chinese Ministry side, the Blessing Group ministry can provide the framework on which to work out the practicality of Christian ideologies to love one another, make disciples and train disciples.

       不知道什麼時候開始,一種有關基督徒等級的想法普遍地流行着;就是門徒和平信徒之別。門徒是那些認真的,願意向主委身,積極回應耶穌呼召的:

       路加福音 14:25-27    25 有極多的人和耶穌同行。祂轉過來對他們說:26「人到我這裡來,若不愛我勝過愛自己的父母、妻子、兒女、弟兄、姐妹,和自己的性命,就不能作我的門徒。27凡不背著自己十字架跟從我的,也不能作我的門徒。」

       他們往往被視爲信仰狂熱者,對自己有相當高的理想要求;但私底下,卻知道自己不夠實際。

       信徒(又稱平信徒)則是那些願意跟隨的人,但自問沒有門徒的熱忱,也達不到耶穌對門徒要求的理想。他們只好求其次:能得救、有事奉、又奉獻就夠了;但骨子裏,卻對主愧疚。

       其實,兩者都是耶穌基督的追隨者,只是在活出信仰的路上,各有不同的偏重;一方重理想,另一方重實際。雙方都需要對方的彌補;有理想,沒實際,是空談;講實際,沒理想,就流於庸俗。所以,我們不要再為自己分什麼門徒、信徒,我們都在尋求一條出路,能誠實、有效地追隨主耶穌。無論是信徒、基督徒...或是什麼稱呼,其實都是屬於主的人,主的門徒。

       我相信幸福小組是個可取的策略。它的架構能提供我們一條出路,使門徒彼此相愛、傳福音和培育門徒,都在同一平臺上發展。