Taiwan Church News
September 13~19, 2010
Editorial: Spiritual formation for Christians
Translated by Lydia Ma
The first clause in PCT Church Law states that PCT regulations are inspired by the Bible, the Nicene Creed, the Westminster Confession, and the PCT statement of faith.
It would be an understatement to say that spending time reading the Bible every day is vital for all Christians. In fact, helping Christians stay rooted in Scripture and teaching them how to be in tune with God is the responsibility of every pastor and elder. Jesus modeled for us a life filled with intimate times spent with God and learning and doing God’s will.
The PCT has provided many resources to help its members in their spiritual formation, including building various retreat centers that welcome Christians to come and recharge. We urge churches to encourage their members to use these resources to help them connect with God and experience God’s wonder, reality, and promises in their lives.
All confessions of faith adhered by PCT are not meant to be merely recited, but also believed and lived out. We urge pastors to help their flock live out their faith and prioritize the “quality” of their flock over the “quantity” of their flock, because genuine life transformation is infectious and it’ll draw the nations to come to Jesus.
Jesus is calling for a people’s movement that’s spiritual, transformational, and led by the Holy Spirit. Just as the shepherd leads the flock beside still waters and speaks to comfort them, let’s be still and wait for the Holy Spirit’s anointing and joy.
So, faith is constantly renewed and made alive through action, spiritual formation, and stories of lives changed. Our seminaries are somewhat weak when it comes to teaching seminarians how to experience these aspects of their faith. We have much to learn from Calvin, Knox, Andrew Murray, Mackay, and Barclay.
Let’s learn and reflect on how Jesus set the stage before his miracle with 5 loaves of bread and 2 pieces of fish. He instructed his disciples to have the crowd sit down and prepare themselves to see, listen, and be filled. This kind of purposeful spiritual formation is echoed by Calvin in his Institutes. We pray that PCT churches will follow their example in training the laity.