Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

孩子說:「我要建立一個校園團契!」

父親的分享

倘若有一天,你的孩子走來問你:「爸爸,我想在學校成立一個校園團契,應該如何開始?」你會怎麼回答他呢?若然你不知道怎樣回應,或許你應該請牧師幫幫忙解答疑難。可是當時孩子緊蹙雙眉,懷著渴望的心情,期盼你立即給他一點忠告,那應如何是好呢?

我想起一句經文:「有人問你們心中盼望的緣由,就要常作準備,以溫柔、敬畏的心回答各人。」(彼前3:15)經文原意是當信徒為義受苦,不要怕人的威嚇,放膽回答。不過經文中「常作準備」是一個很好的提醒,因為你不單要回應未信主的人的質問,也要回應家人在信仰的疑惑。作為父親,我溫柔地反問孩子:「為甚麼你想要成立校園團契呢?」

孩子娓娓道來:「我在教會團契中成長,與小組的朋友建立美好的友誼;然而學校卻沒有遇上這種真誠關懷,我就讀的高中沒有團契。我一直為建立校園團契禱告,直至最近遇上另一個有同樣想法的同學,所以希望能願望實踐。」

我心裡默默為孩子感恩,求神賜我智慧回應他的需求:「孩子,我為你們感恩,深信上帝已經聽到你們的禱告,並把一同呼求的兒女招聚一起為祂行奇事。你們首先要定時同心禱告,尋求上帝的引領,也要為這個校園團契定下方針與目標;然後向校務處查詢,申請成立校園團契的細則。這時也應該咨詢牧者意見,讓你們有多一點屬靈指引。」

孩子已經是高中生,不需要父母太多叮嚀,每當他遇上疑惑時,我會給他一點鼓勵、一些導引和很多禱告支持。每天接送他上學,是我們兩父子傾心吐意的時間,有時我會提問他們籌備校園團契的情況,他會告訴我遇上的困難和體會,接著我就為他禱告。人的籌算算不得甚麼,惟有定意跟隨上帝的旨意,才能按時結果子。我和孩子一同禱告,為上帝放在他們心裡的旨意感恩,求神給他們的校園建立一個屬靈燈臺,榮耀上帝的名。他們也許要等候和面對很多困難,還會遇上不同的難阻,但是必須同心仰望上帝的作為。

數月下來,我見證兩個少年人同心構思團契要旨、策劃查經聚會程序、拜訪牧者、約見副校長申請成立團契,逐步向著目標進發。當中有真的遇上不少困難,也有來自學校教師的忠告,提點他們要懂得包容不同取向的人。他們更得牧者的提示,要注意三件事情:
一.不要單單招聚認識的基督徒朋友參與校園團契,要讓未信的學生來一起查考《聖經》。
二.要留心找尋接班人,現在就為這個未出現的領袖禱告。
三.要建立彼此信靠的合作關係,讓建立校園團契成為榮耀上主的事。

這三點智慧之言,給他們明確的方向,讓他們在等候中不致迷茫。雖然校園團契還未正式成立,我卻不住為這兩個少年人感恩,為他們勇於回應上帝的召命喜樂。

事實上,父母無法估計孩子上了高中後的轉變。我看見有些高中生漫無目的地過活,也遇過很有志向的青年,不顧一切為喜愛的學位打拼。最令我欣賞是那些對生活充滿熱誠、對靈命有所追求的少年,他們的內心有一股熾熱的火燄,不斷在燃燒,這種熱忱能燃亮別人的生命。作為父親,我常常為孩子禱告,祈求上帝賜予他們發光發熱的生命,願他們有額外的智慧面對未來的挑戰。

Sharing from son: Conan Chan

Ever since I was little, I had always enjoyed fellowship with all my friends at church. By the time I entered high school, I was even more eager to join a school fellowship. Unfortunately, my school didn”t have a fellowship and so I made it my personal mission to start a fellowship at my school. Due to the lack of my determination and the growing amount of homework in my first two years of high school, the idea of a fellowship actually began conceiving during my grade eleventh year. Personally, I think that it wasn”t a bad idea to start in Grade 11 because I was able to maintain my overall grades, become more familiar with the school environment and people, and I also met my future fellowship”s partner, Sam.

I met Sam during one of my ARTs field trips. I was in the visual art department and Sam was in the music department. Sam happened to sit beside me during the bus ride and by the time we arrived at our destination, I got to know that Sam was a dedicated Christian and served faithfully at his church just like me. I was really excited to meet another Christian who held similar values as me and we continued to keep in contact after the trip. During the start of second semester, Sam asked me if I wanted to join him in starting a fellowship with a bunch of his friends. His invitation reminded me of my vision to start a fellowship at the beginning of Grade 11 and I immediately accepted it.

In the process of creating this fellowship, I signed up for a course called “Running a Christian Fellowship in High School” at Teens Conference. At the end of the course, the teacher invited us to visit another event called “AFC (Ambassadors For Christ ) Connect”. Through this event, it led us to “connect” and worship with other school fellowships in the YRDSB district. A month before my exams began, I went to visit Sam”s church and spent some time with his fellowship. It was truly a new experience for me because it was my first time attending other church. That night, we studied Hebrews 1 and Nathan, the pastor, talked about how Jesus could not have just been a prophet and whether the Word of God is the actual truth. The point of this bible study was learning how to wrestle with our faith and developing our own purposes for believing in Christ. Overall the night was not heavily based on the bible study, but mostly involved a lot of interactive activities. We talked to Nathan about our school fellowship and he recommend some helpful advice from the time he started his fellowship at his secondary school. Nathan didn”t teach us where to start or give us any tips to lure people into our fellowship. He recommended us to not choose leaders based on how they appear or how they label themselves as Christians. Nathan said that we should choose leaders based on their ability to teach the Gospel clearly and their ability to be available to others. He also shared with us about how difficult it would be when we begin the fellowship, so that is why we must be accountable for each other first. Ultimately, despite the size of the fellowship or our own ability to handle the size, we should be prepared that people would drop out for whatever circumstances and we can’t always do something about that. However, they would know where we stand in our faith and might come to us again whenever they are troubled with their faith or just curious about Christianity.

Throughout this entire journey of building my school fellowship, I can really see how God has worked in it. Since my first idea of creating a school fellowship, to finding my partner, to finding my sponsor teacher, and in submitting the new club proposal form at the office. Even when there were times when things aren”t going in the way I want it to be, I felt that God had been with us in every step and encouraging us through the people we had met and the events we had attended. This also helped me grow spiritually as a leader and strengthened my faith in the Lord. Ever since I was little, I had always enjoyed fellowship with all my friends at church. Now that I am older, I want others to have this experience too.

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