D6 is enlightening for me in at least three areas:
1. Church ministry is family ministry. I used to think that family ministry is just part of church ministry and never thought that the whole church is a family ministry.
2. Methodist churches (SCAC) are not only in dire need of inter-generational worship, but also inter-generational discipleship and ministry. We have been segregating the family members for too long. It is time to join family members together in worship, discipleship and ministry.
3. Grand-parenting plays a crucial role in making disciples of the whole family and therefore the whole church. Grandparents need to be trained as well to play such a role.
Rev Dr Tie King Tai
Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC)
We thank God for Trinity Methodist Church, PJ for availing her facilities to host the first D6 Conference in Malaysia. We were challenged to strengthen partnership between church and home for Generational Discipleship. The journey to build stronger homes needs to be across denominations, cultures and language, and social background if we want to see a stronger church in Malaysia. D6 Malaysia seeks to work towards availing resources and speakers in the main 4 languages in Malaysia. We thank God for FGA KL for availing their facilities to host D6 2019 (August 1-3) where Tim Kimmel of grace-based parenting will be our keynote speaker.
Dr. Herbert Tan
Chairman of Family Ministries Malaysia
Organizing Chairman for D6 Malaysia
On August 3rd-4th, 2018, I attended the D6 Conference Malaysia, held at Trinity Methodist Church, PJ. The D6 conference is based on Deuteronomy 6 which advocates the importance of discipleship at home. Therefore, the D6 conference focuses on how the church can effectively synergy with parents, even grandparents, for restoration of family discipleship.
It was a privilege to learn from the founder of D6, Dr. Ron Hunter and many other wise and experienced speakers. We were taught that discipleship is a way of life, whereby we live out our faith every single day, be it parents or grandparents. It is not just something we exhibit only on Sundays for a couple of hours! We also gained knowledge on parenting, mentoring, modelling, praying and fighting for our families and church ministries.
It was an amazing two days, filled with so much insight on the importance of restoring family discipleship whereby we nurture children to be rooted in the Word of God and will be the salt and the light of the world!
I strongly encourage parents, grandparents, pastors and church leaders to sign up for this conference next year which will be held at Full Gospel Assembly, Kuchai Lama, for it is vital to understand the changes we need to make “together” as the body of Christ to be able to disciple our children effectively for His glory.
As Dr Henry Cloud said, “People will never change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”
Deborah Vasanthi Selvaraj
Tamil Annual Conference
The first ever D6 2018 Malaysia Conference with the theme ‘Generational Discipleship’ was held in the spanking new building of Living Stream, Trinity Methodist Church, Peta-ling Jaya, on 3rd to 4th August. The Conference drew 485 local and overseas participants. Methodists made up two-thirds of the attendees, and TRAC was the biggest supporter with 221 key leaders of both clergy and laity.
There were seven presenters (three via pre-recorded video), and Dr. Ron Hunter Jr. was the keynote speaker. Ron is the Executive Director and CEO of Randall House, the publisher of D6 Curriculum, and the author of the book The DNA of D6 – building blocks of generational discipleship.
The presenters spoke on various aspects of family ministries: from theology to applications, from leadership to change management. The common objective is to build strong and healthy churches through connecting churches with homes.
In his four plenary sessions, Ron Hunter elaborated eloquently on The One Eared Micky Mouse (family ministry is the umbrella ministry for all other ministries), Sand Castles, Snorkel, & Scuba (effective parenting and the art of conversations), Eight Steps to Leading Change (process, faithfulness, relationship), and Fighting For Your Family (reinstate discipleship in every generation in church).
If Ron’s and other speakers’ sessions served as the appetizers to tease our appetite to know more about family ministry, then we should turn to the book The DNA of D6 – building blocks of generational discipleship for the main meals. Among the many endorsements for the book, Ron Davis of Southeastern FWB College, summarized it nicely:
‘.........The DNA of D6 provides the necessary leadership principles that will produce the habits needed for healthier believers and corporate church bodies. The practical nature of this book provides the church leader with concepts that can be adapted to any local church ministry..........It is a foundational catalyst for change, and it begins with you!’
My church, Wesley Methodist Church Seremban, sent 20 people (among them a Pastor-in-Charge, leaders, parents, grandparents, youth leaders, ministry workers) to this D6 Conference. Each of us now is reading the book The DNA of D6 to prepare us for some deep dive discussions in our upcoming year-end planning and strategies going forward in the next three to five years. Some of us are preparing highlights from the Conference to share with ministries and congregation members of Wesley Seremban. There will be no dull moments in the weeks and months to come, for sure.
Full Gospel Assembly was so energized by the Conference that they have undertaken to organize next year’s D6 Malaysia Conference from 1st to 3rd August 2019. Watch out for the announcements and the early bird rates to equip your church leaders in working towards fruitful discipling, healthy churches, and Christ-centred families.
Dr. Yee Chow Boi
TRAC District Lay Leader (Southern District)
“PULAI” among the Ibans
Praise the Lord Almighty! It was a memorable and enlightening experience for a group of 18 members of SIAC who attended the D6 Conference on 3rd and 4th August, 2018 at Trinity Methodist in Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur. The D6 Conference had provided participants with greater insights into the role of the family ministry movement, which is in-tentional in empowering parents, homes, marriages, leaders, and churches to live out the story of Deuteronomy 6.
Among the many relevant issues shared and discussed with regards to family ministry, there is this peculiar family tradition that relates to our indigenous brothers and sisters in Sarawak, especially among the Ibans. This practice refers to the concept of “pulai” or “balik kampung” - literally meaning “returning home”, especially during festive seasons such as Gawai Festivals or important occasions or events like weddings, funerals and even birthdays. This family bonding practice of “pulai” or returning home to their longhouses or villages in Sarawak during festive seasons is quite a phenomenon among the Ibans. It is taken very seriously to the extent of risking their employment or at the expense of having their paycut.
Such is the extent of this concept of “family belonging” among these natives and indeed this tradition of returning home should not be discarded. To this writer, it was opportune that D6 had shed greater awareness among us on the value of family through the act of returning home or “PULAI”.
“PULAI” di kalangan orang Iban
Puji Tuhan yang Maha Esa. Peluang menyertai Persidangan D6 pada 3 dan 4 Ogos, 2018 di Gereja Methodist Trinity di Petaling Jaya, Kuching adalah merupakan pengalaman yang tidak dapat dilupakan oleh seramai 18 orang peserta daripada SIAC. Persidangan D6 telah memberikan ruang kepada peserta untuk melihat lebih mendalam lagi peranan “pergerakan pelayanan keluarga” yang dengan jelas bertujuan untuk memperkasakan peranan ibubapa, rumahtangga, perkahwinan, ketua-ketua dan gereja berdasarkan kisah di dalam Deuteronomy 6.
Salah satu daripada isu berkaitan peranan pelayanan keluarga yang dikongsikan dan dibincangkan dan yang menarik perhatian penulis adalah yang berkaitan dengan konsep “pulai” atau tradisi “balik kampung” di kalangan kaum Iban. Istilah “pulai” merujuk kepada amalan balik ke pangkuan keluarga di rumah panjang atau kampung semasa Perayaan Gawai atau hari upacara lain seperti perkahwinan, kematian atau sambutan harijadi. Amalan “pulai” ini boleh dikatakan sesuatu fenomena di kalangan kaum Iban kerana mereka sanggup menanggung risiko kehilangan pekerjaan atau dipotong gaji demi amalan “pulai” ini.
Begitulah signifikannya konsep kekeluargaan yang dizahirkan melalui amalan “pulai” ini dan sewajarnya amalan ini tidak harus dilupakan atau diabaikan. Bagi penulis, D6 telah memberikan kesedaran kepada kita betapa pentingnya nilai kekeluargaan melalui amalan balik kampung atau “pulai”.
By Ps Lee Lam Damat / Jeffrey Ngalambai
Conference Lay Leader,
Sarawak Iban Annual Conference (SIAC)
Building a strong family is something close to my heart. I can’t exactly recall when this was sowed but I guess over the years - sharing from other parents and preachers about family ministry helped shape my understanding. Hence, when I heard about D6 Conference, it didn’t take long for me to register for it.
3rd and 4th August 2018, marked the first D6 conference to be held in Malaysia with an estimated 283 participants! It was truly such a great joy that more and more are seeing the importance of building strong families, especially to disciple the young. One may wonder what ‘D6’ is. Well, ‘D6 was a curriculum developed based on the principles taught in Deu-teronomy 6, where the emphasis is placed on both the home and church. This passage shows parents how to allow their love for God and His Word to overflow into the lives of their children and let their relationship with Christ be caught and taught.’
During the conference, we were given a fraction “1/168” where the numerator indicates the number of hour a child received spiritual influence and the denominator indicates the total number of hours in a week. So based on that fraction, a child only receives an average of about an hour of spiritual influence per week. If God is to be the centre of the child’s life, an hour per week is surely insufficient! That’s when parents can be involved to raise the numerator by providing opportunities for coaching or instruction or biblical teaching at home. Other than playing or chit chatting with them, parents can use daily interaction times with their children whether it is in the car, or home, or over meals, or even during bedtime snuggles as opportunities to intentionally share about their faith, impart biblical values or biblical teaching.
As for our church, we realise that to build strong families we must – start from the home. Somewhere in 2016 we initiated ‘Family Altar’, where parents and children gathered together as a family to worship, learn God’s Word and pray. This opens an opportunity for parents to share their faith and values to their children. The challenge for most parents is to teach God’s Word. As such, most parents prefer to let Sunday school teachers or youth leaders do the biblical teaching because they don’t know how or feel they are not equipped enough to do so.
To overcome such lack of scriptural understanding, the church recommended devotional materials which could be used to teach during Family Altar. The church also encourage parents to attend bible study groups or care groups where the Word of God are taught. And to further help deepen our understanding on certain bible passages or lessons – do some reading, clarify with the pastor or mentor, or even attend a seminar.
These are opportunities for parents to equip themselves so that they can disciple their children. As we learn God’s Word and model our lives according to His Word, we get to help our own children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to adopt a pattern of learning God’s Word and model their lives according to His Word; just as they see it in us.
The journey to disciple our children can be challenging at times but connecting to a support group consisting of other parents creates a platform where parents can encourage one another, pray together, exchange ideas on how to connect with children and impart biblical teaching to children and so forth.
To disciple our children is an on-going process, there is just no expiry date.
Ms Deborah Chow
Permai Chinese Methodist Church (CAC)
We first heard about D6 from Datin Judy Chin at the last Annual Conference in Sibu. After sharing with the leaders, a group of 25 leaders and members from both Grace Methodist Church and the Agape Grace Methodist Reaching Centre registered.
The group consisted of parents and grandparents, pastors, lay leaders, seminarian and a college student.
For all of us, it was the first time we heard about discipleship at home partnering with the church. Personally, I love the logo of this conference; two jigsaw pieces being fitted together.
Dr Ron Hunter’s plenaries were very well presented with catchy titles and impactful content. His session on communication and types of parenting would be useful to me in mi-nistering to the parents in my church. But it was his workshop on Godly parents and prodigals that touched me as I empathized with parents with their prodigals.
Many of our team members were also very touched and these are some of the thoughts.
Robert Ting (LCEC, AGMPC, father of teenagers): D6 showed me the importance of Family Discipleship. I learnt that discipleship should start at home.
Keith Chin (LCEC, GMC, father of teenagers): D6 showed me that however imperfect we are, we need to have a constant walk close to God. Personal devotion and living out His words daily is crucial.
What is important, despite the less than perfect world, is to nurture the next generation, as parents or grandparents and start from the home and church.
Michelle Chee (Sunday school superintendent GMC, mother of college kids): I always thought that families are just part of the church, through D6 I finally understand that the church is a family ministry.
Vivien Lim (Sunday school teacher AGMPC, mother of adult children): Before D6, my girls and I talked about what and how the future might be like for them and how they would carry out their parenting roles. Ezra and Elizabeth are determined to “change the landscape for their next generation.” D6 is part of our prayer answered.
All the while, I believed that raising children in the way of the Lord were the sole responsibilities of the parents. D6 convicted me otherwise. Grandparents have a part to play in training up the children’s children too.
Wong Leh Kiong (Sunday school teacher GMC, grandmum of X): D6 showed me the importance of living out my own faith every single day of my life and learn to be Christ- like. Reaching and teaching and influencing the next next generation must be intentional.
I learnt the importance of the grandmother’s role and how I can entrust the next generation into God’s hand. I also discovered how I can influence, teach and pray for the next next generation and people around me.
Pastor Linberg Wong (Pastor in Charge, AGMPC): D6 showed me the importance of family discipleship in each family in partnership with the church.
I learnt to lead as the head of the family to begin with intentional discipleship.
Ngu Hieng King (LCEC, AGMPC, father of teenager): D6 showed me the importance of running family ministry in order to retain our younger generations in our churches.
I learnt that we should not segregate our youth ministry from the main service but to include them as part it.
Rev. Lenita Tiong
Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC)
The D6 movement which began in U.S.A about 12 years ago came to Singapore 3 years ago and then to Malaysia for the first time this year, 2018. A movement is defined as a group of people working together to advance their ideas. In the case of D6, it is to help churches realise that their role is to equip parents to disciple their children at home and to regard family ministry as a whole church ministry. The Council of Laity supports the implementation of D6 values in churches and homes so as to arrest the existing problem of lack of family discipleship at home contributing to the decline in children, youth and young adult attendance in Methodist churches. We must wake up to realise discipleship begins at home. We
thank God for the strong attendance of 327 Methodists at the first D6 Malaysia Conference 2018 at Trinity Methodist Church, P.J. May this not be the first and only strong Methodist appearance but the beginning of an awakening desire to learn and implement family discipleship methods and values with the church and home partnering one another in at-tending future D6 Conferences. Dates to note for 2019 Conferences for family discipleship are GC Laity Convention, 19-21 July 2019, themed “Family after God’s Own Heart” at Port Dickson Methodist Centre and second D6 Malaysia Conference 1-3 August 2019, at Full Gospel Assembly, Kuchai Lama, K.L.
Datin Judy Chin
TRAC Conference Lay Leader
Chairman – GC Council of Laity