Besides the ongoing weekly Bible Study Small Groups, Good Shepherd’s Chinese Christian Church currently offers the following spiritual formation programs:
Baptism/Faith Class 浸禮/信心班
The goal of the class is to help seekers of the Gospel of Jesus to have a basic and systematic understanding on “belief” (Mark 16: 16, Romans 10: 9). There will be about nine 90-minute sessions to study related Bible teachings on: sin, repentance, saving faith, the lordship of Jesus, spiritual dying with Jesus, the choice of conscience, the transforming grace of Jesus, the goodness of God, and the perspective of new life in Christ. The class format is more of an interactive approach to explore the teachings of Jesus on these subjects. Pastoral care is always an important component throughout the training. Generally, seekers of the Gospel are encouraged to make their personal vows to Christ Jesus and receive baptism, if they choose to, only after completion of the class. This weekly class is found to also greatly help long time Christians who want to refresh their vows and faith with Christ Jesus.
Christian Living Training 信徒生活訓練
The training is meant to help professed Christians to live out practically their new life in Jesus according to the Bible. The training is about twelve training monthly cycles. Each monthly cycle is comprised of three weekly training components: Word formation, Spiritual Direction, and Biblical Counselling. The spiritual formation of these three weekly training components fosters learners to live a holistic Christian living (Luke 10: 27). Word formation of Bible teachings aims to shape Christians to love God with Bible values and beliefs. Spiritual Direction cultivates their prayer life and connectedness with Jesus. Lastly, Biblical Counselling coaches trainees to apply in actions their daily living and decisions what they see through the eyes of Jesus. The weekly Word Formation class will learn essential Christian disciplines on: life goal and direction; overcoming the self; servanthood; tongue control; fear of God in everyday; prayer life; feeding with the Word; time management; material possession and tithing; forgiving life; bringing others into the presence of God; dating, marriage and sexual temptation; as well as fellowship and relationship with one another. Weekly sessions for Spiritual Direction and Biblical Counselling are usually concurrent with the subject of the Word Formation in the same cycle.
Exegetical Training 釋經訓練
The training helps Christians to interpret rightly the Word of God. It is a non Greek/Hebrew approach that helps students read the Bible for all its worth. The training serves those Christians who inspire to study the Bible seriously for their faith as well as to be involved in Word ministry; in particular, leading small group Bible study (2 Timothy 3: 16). The exegetical principles that will be learned through this training include: contextual analysis; internal structural analysis; interpretive observations and questions, word and syntax studies, praying with the passages, principlization, application, presentation, and other various interpretative steps for different genres. Participants who join this training are always assumed to have completed their Christian Living Training. They shall maintain their monthly Spiritual Direction throughout a training period of 6-8 months in order to keep up a holistic formation as to love Jesus with all their mind and heart.
Spirituality Training 靈修訓練
The primary purpose of the training is to foster Christians to grow in their vine-branch inner relationship with Jesus Christ (John 15: 5). Primary formation disciplines of the training include: lectio divina, center prayer, contemplation, prayer of blessing, prayer of worship, examen, prayer of distress, fasting, self knowledge and temperament, spiritual journaling, and so forth. Through the training period of about eight months, learners commit to pray and practice learned spiritual disciplines as their daily lifestyle. As an important training component, attendance of the group silent retreats in retreat centres throughout the training is a must. Retreatants learn and practice spiritual disciplines of the training in a guided group setting. All participants are supposed to have gone through their Christian Living Training before advancing further into this training. They will pay their own expenses incurred in group retreats at the retreat centres.
Serving In Hiddenness Training 隱密處服事訓練
The goal of this advanced training is to build up an effective lay-“servant” of the church who enjoys practicing Christian spiritual disciplines as a lifestyle so that one can keep one’s service “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), and continues to imitate Lord Jesus as the bond servant of all (Philippians 2:7). The training counteracts fallacies such as spiritual burn-out, self exaltation, work-oriented faith, and so forth while serving zealously for the kingdom of Jesus. Other than about seven training sessions on the Word of God, there will be one 8-day silent retreat at the close of training. Stress will be on reflection over one’s life transformation in the Discipline of Servanthood.
Serving in “hiddenness” is for Christians who have finished the Christian Living training or equivalent, have some experiences in weekend silent retreats and in some basic Christian spiritual disciplines (Spirituality Training or equivalent), who are serving actively and joyfully in church, and desire to serve more. Applicants to this advanced training usually have a proven faithful service record in church.