Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung –was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2016.
He has been a Methodist pastor for 33 years.
‘Discipleship’ may seem to be a well-worn topic, but it is the most important and fundamental condition for the continued growth, vigour and vitality of the church. The church disregards discipleship at its own peril.
The gradual demise of churches in the West is testament to this. We are reminded and cautioned whenever we visit the august buildings that were once filled with worshippers, which now see dwindling numbers and a majority of seniors. Today, many of these churches give scant regard to the authority of the Bible, and they neither teach the Word of God nor encourage believers to preach the Gospel. All these arise from neglecting the importance of discipleship.
When did the church consign to oblivion the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ? Did He not state clearly in Matthew 28:19-20 to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”? Churches today yearn for disciples who are spiritually mature, but are not prepared to pay the price to nurture and develop them.
Let us be aware of some snares and pitfalls that have crept into the church:
We live in turbulent and constantly changing times. The many issues the church needs to deal with today are unprecedented. We face challenges that can no longer be handled using traditional approaches alone. Our faith is buffeted on several fronts by various forces including those of pluralism, atheism, extremism and post-modernism. To stand firm, the church must return to the Bible. As believers, if we are to continue witnessing for Christ in these challenging times, we have to study God’s Word diligently and become true disciples of Jesus Christ.
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