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          • 수정교회 번역팀  2023.02.26  05:51


          • Let’s start doing Hug Ceremonies

            There is a culture unique to the house church ministry that helps in the process of bringing non-believers to receive Jesus as their Lord and become disciples. These include things like the Receiving Jesus meetings, hug ceremonies, multiplication of house churches, life studies, etc.

            A hug ceremony is a celebration after a non-believing house church member comes to receive Jesus, is baptised, and then completes Living Life and Life of Assurance bible studies. When they complete these, they celebrate this achievement at the Sunday Worship service by receiving flowers and a hug from their house church members.

            The ultimate purpose of the church is to save the lost and make disciples and this is commanded to us by Jesus saying ‘Go…baptizing them…teaching them to obey everything’ in Matthew 28:19-20. The hug ceremony acknowledges that the non-believer has been guided to the church (Go), accepted Jesus (Receiving Jesus meeting), been taught to obey (Living life and Life of Assurance bible studies), and has started to take the first steps as a disciple. Hug ceremonies also encourage pastors, house church shepherds and shepherds’ wives, and other house church members.

            So, having someone as a candidate for a hug ceremony is a precious thing. This is because it is the first step in walking as a disciple of the Lord after believing in Jesus and being baptised. However, at some point in time, even though there were potential recipients of a hug ceremony, they were not held and this precious event was missed.

            Shepherds and shepherds’ wives make commitments ‘to guide one person to a hug ceremony per year’. Just in case you have a candidate for a hug ceremony, I will introduce the sequence of a hug ceremony so you can prepare for the hug ceremony.

            1) Completion of Life of Assurance bible study certification: The bible study facilitator will receive the certificate from the pastor and present the completion certificate to the candidate.

            2) Testimony: The candidate will provide a testimony about the completion of the Life of Assurance bible study and about the process of preparing for the hug ceremony (duration of testimony: less than 5 minutes).

            3) Hug Ceremony: The shepherd, shepherd’s wife and house church members will each come out and give a flower and a hug to the candidate. A member of the opposite sex, other than the candidate’s own partner, should shake hands with the candidate or pat their shoulder. Then, they will line up at the front in order of how they came out.

            4) Introduction: The candidate will introduce the shepherd, shepherd’s wife and each of the house church members. The introduction should begin like this, ‘Today, I will introduce the house church members who I am grateful for helping me to become a child of God and start my life walking as a disciple of Jesus.

            I hope that God’s command to us to ‘save the lost, and make disciples’ will be actively revived and there will be more Receiving Jesus meetings, baptisms, hug ceremonies, and multiplication of house churches.
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