Last year in August, churches in Malaysia held the first D6 conference. At the conference, I was stunned like never before. When I came back, I wrote and filmed the President’s Desk message “Do not lose the next generation”, which emphasized worship as a family, discipleship as a family, and ministry as a family. It received many positive responses from pastors and brothers and sisters. There was even such a saying by someone: “Starting next Sunday, all adults and children will worship together. We will also remove the cry room, because President Tie said to remove it.” Wow! Such a positive action once again left me stunned! I never imagined that my words would cause such positive action. But actually, I should not say that it was my words, but that it was God’s words that brought positive reaction and obedience from pastors and brothers and sisters. What a joy it is!
Church and family
This year in August, the second D6 conference was held. More people from our annual conference went. Besides the D6 conference, in July the D6 message was also the theme at the Laity Convention, allowing everyone to understand the heart of God towards family and church (D6 is the message on family from Deuteronomy 6, and in the New Testament, the greatest commandment according to Jesus is also from Deuteronomy 6).
God’s heart is that the ministry of the church is the ministry of the family, the ministry of the family is the ministry of the church. Family and church are like the two pedals of a bicycle, both indispensable. Today, many churches only have one pedal, and that pedal is called the church. The other pedal, called the family, is missing. You can imagine how hard it is to ride a bicycle using one pedal! Why not use both pedals?
Many pastors and brothers and sisters have received visions from God, received God’s Word, and many are asking anxiously: “What is the future of our church? Now that we understand God’s heart, why do we not take action?” Maybe some even say: “Let’s do something! Let’s just start over from scratch and start a new reformation!”
What to do?
Brothers and sisters, I am even more anxious than you are. But no matter how anxious we are, we must still ask, “What is God’s heart? What does he want us to do?”
The first action that God wants us to take is the resolution to die for Jesus. In these one or two weeks, God spoke through a pastor from overseas, asking me, “Are you willing to die for Jesus? I see that the greatest issue in your church is that your coworkers and church members are not willing to die for Jesus.” Indeed, he pinpointed the issue in our church.
I wanted to argue and say, “Yes of course! I have already given myself to full time ministry, of course I am willing to die for Jesus. I go around preaching so many messages, asking people to give themselves up for God to use! Why would I not be willing to die for Jesus?”
But as I was arguing silently in my heart, I knew deep inside that actually I did not really want to die for Jesus. I would rather live a long life, then peacefully go to the Lord.
When I understood God’s heart, I took an immediate action: Confessing to God (and confessing to you all) in repentance. In the past, I was afraid to die for Jesus. Now by the grace of God, I am willing to die for Jesus and the gospel! The Lord Jesus calls us to be his disciples, which is a call for us to die!
He said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35)
The Lord Jesus also said, “24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12)
The daily resolution to die Brothers and sisters, in the past I saw these verses using only head knowledge to try to understand and teach. I thought that “death” here was not really death, and “losing life” was not really losing it. But today I understand and experience these verses through the spirit. Now I see that the “death” Jesus taught was real death, physical death! And “losing life” was really losing physical life! I understand, so I have decided to repent, and I must continue to surrender daily, determined to die for Jesus and the gospel. What about you? Another surprising discovery is that when I am willing to die for Christ in the flesh, nothing else matters, not even my reputation before my dear Methodist brothers and sisters, and my fellow pastors as I confess Jesus’ conviction in my life. As the Apostle Paul said, I consider all things as garbage, in order to gain Christ.
Dear fellow pastors, dear church leaders, as leaders of the church, first you need to believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior. Once you have believed in Jesus, then you start to be Christ’s disciple, and make the resolution to die for Him. If we do not resolve to die for Jesus Christ, we are not worthy of being his disciples, and we cannot influence other brothers and sisters in becoming Christ’s disciples. I call upon you to confess together with me in repentance, to resolve to become disciples of Jesus Christ, true disciples, disciples willing to die for God! Are you willing?
What is the future of D6? It starts with you and me. You and I need to change our lives. You and I need to make the resolution to die for Jesus Christ and the gospel.
In this article D6 means the message from Deuteronomy chapter 6, not necessarily the direction provided by some D6 conferences because D6 conferences in different places may have different emphases but the Word of God remains the same forever.
By Rev Dr Tie King Tai, SCAC President