HeartCry Missionary Society partners with 9Marks to support missionaries to attend training at the 9Marks Extended Weekenders for international pastors held at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Daniel is a pastor from a protected country in Asia that HeartCry labors with and below are the points that impacted him while attending the Extended Weekender in May.
Dear HeartCry and Donors,
Words are really insufficient to express my heartfelt thanks to be able to have a chance of attending the intensive here CHBC.
- The first thing I learn by participating the worship service at CHBC is their seriousness in the worship service. They pray together for Sunday worship service, they choose together the songs which will match the preaching of the preachers. This I have decided to practice.
- I like their corporate scripture reading, which we have started.
- One thing, which we need to start, is prayer of confession with Scriptural assurance of pardon during worship service.
- Overall I am very much encouraged to see their emphasis on the authority of God’s word in their worship service.
- I also feel the brotherly love within God’s family tangibly at CHBC and pray we feel this in my home country.
- I also would like to say a million of thanks to be able to read the books which were required on church discipline, which is exegetically accurate, practically relevant, and filled with real-life case studies of how churches should deal with a wide variety of situations. By reading the book I also come to know a tale of the two gospels:- the first gospel points to a Christian’s reconciliation with Christ and the second points to a Christian’s reconciliation with Christ and Christ’s people. It is true that if my understanding of the gospel stops with the first gospel, I will not have much use for the topic of church discipline. Only when I embrace the second one, I will emphasize church discipline because church discipline is an implication of the second gospel.
- To be honest my understanding about church discipline centered on the idea of correcting sin. But now, Praise God, that my misunderstanding is dispelled by reading the five purposes of church discipline which are based on I Corinthians chapter 5:- 1. Discipline aims to expose sin 2. It aims to warn 3. It aims to save 4. It aims to protect 5. It aims to present a good witness for Jesus.
- This wording helps me understand deeper about the need of church membership and discipline, “A Christian must choose a church. Having chosen Christ, a Christian has no choice but to choose a church.”
- Very sad to say that many so-called evangelists are in my home country. They call themselves free evangelists. They don’t belong to any church since they want to be accepted by all people.
- One fact that touched me very much concerning the work of representation is as follows: “Christians are to be little Christs, representing Jesus on earth.” The concept of representation depends on the idea that Jesus is Savior and Lord; it depends on the fact that Christians are given a new status and a new work. Discipline is the right response when Christians fail to represent Jesus and show no desire for doing so.” It is true that church discipline is all about the reputation of Jesus on earth.
- Jonathan Leeman reminded us that membership is not a choice but a demand. The need of church membership is clearly explained here saying once you choose Christ; you must choose His people too. It’s a package deal. Choose the Father and the Son and you have to choose the whole family-which you do through a local church.
- It is very enlightening to read that Christians don’t join churches; they submit to them.
- I also agree that when it comes to a Christian’s discipleship and church discipline, the local church is the Christian’s highest authority on earth.
- I am very much encouraged when the author compares church membership in terms of a passport and a declaration of citizenship in Christ’s kingdom. I want to quote Jonathan Leeman in relation to church membership, “It is a declaration of citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom. It is a passport. It is announcement made in the pressroom of Christ’s kingdom. It is the declaration that you are an official, licensed, card-carrying bona fide Jesus representative” (Church Discipline by Jonathan Leeman (p 64).