Ephesians 4:11-13 reveals God’s “open secret” for elevating the Church in Her authority and testimony.  It openly states that the functions of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastors and teachers will build a church that attains to the fullness of Christ – of authority and testimony beyond what we can conjure.  But in that bold declaration also embeds a call to grace, forgiveness, and mercy — to maintain teamwork amidst the natural tensions that can arise from these functions’ differing priorities and temperaments.  In other words, the authority and testimony of the “fullness of Christ” demands that we embrace grace, forgiveness, and mercy.

Too often, we see tensions flare between apostolic dreamers always driving expansion projects and pastors/teachers who may see greater priority with ministering to people’s needs.  How about pitting a motivator evangelist who sees opportunity in every opportunity against the discerning and cautious voice of a prophetic analyst?  The orderly and disciplined teacher can easily take offense at a visionary apostle’s scattered ideas, or a charismatic evangelist’s “hand-waving” sales pitch.  Even Paul and Barnabas, two of the church’s greatest contributors, had to separate in sharp disagreement from a clash of apostolic/prophetic versus pastoral personalities.  God seems to have designed into these functions a condition favorable for spawning “offenses”.  But why?

Overcoming the offenses from these “natural tensions” may be Jesus’ way to qualify us as stewards of His powerful authority and testimony.  For this reason, MTC 2016 will seek the Holy Spirit’s heart on raising up standard bearers of His fruit.  The fruit of the Spirit – an outflow of grace, forgiveness, and mercy – “immunes” us to the negative aspects of offenses.  This “immunity” also frees us from the impossible task of trying to eliminate offenses around us, and break us from the non-ending cycle of demanding “fairness” and restitution from each other.  That is powerful!

Standard bearers for the fruit of the Spirit play a crucial role in building the body – to help the functions of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastors and teachers build “immunity” to offenses that arise from their natural tensions.  The heart of MTC’s mandate is to raise up these standard bearers who bear the fruit in grace, forgiveness, and mercy – and ultimately see the church “attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. “

May the standard bearers of our generation rise to life with that prophetic breath of Ezekiel 37.






耶穌可能要藉著戰勝這些“自然張力”所引起的冒犯來操练我們,成為擁有祂大能權柄和見證的管家。因此,MTC 2016將尋求聖靈的心意,來興起結出聖靈果子的楷模。聖靈的果子——恩典、饒恕和憐憫的流露——可以讓我們對冒犯所帶來的負面影響產生“免疫力”。這種“免疫力”不但會將我們從只求息事寧人這個不可能的任務中釋放出來,並且讓我們從“以眼還眼、以牙還牙”如此永無止境的循環裏掙脫出來。那是大有能力的!

結出聖靈果子的楷模在教會肢體的建立上扮演至關重要的角色——他們幫助使徒、先知、傳福音的、牧師和教師等功能,建立起對抗冒犯的“免疫力”。 MTC大任的核心乃是要來興起這些在恩典、饒恕和憐憫中結出果子的楷模——並最終看到教會“得以長大成人,滿有基督長成的身量。”