Middle Age Training
“In these days I bear a very heavy burden concerning the perfecting of the saints. This burden cannot be discharged until I see that all the saints are able to do the same kind of work as was done by the early apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds and teachers” – W. Lee
The Need for Perfecting Training of the Saints
“God desires all men to be saved and come to the full knowledge of the truth”, (1 Tim. 2:4). It is for this purpose that throughout the generations, there is a fervent need for God’s people to be constituted with the truth and to be equipped in carrying out God’s eternal purpose for His divine expression. As the Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, “But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth”, (1 Tim. 3:15). These words reverberate in our ears even in the present days.
To a point of desperation, Bro. Lee once said that: “In these days I bear a very heavy burden concerning the perfecting of the saints. This burden cannot be discharged until I see that all the saints are able to do the same kind of work as was done by the early apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds and teachers” (Life-Study of Ephesians, p. 352). Such burden to perfect the saints and recover the organic function in the Body is prevailing in the many writings of Watchmen Nee and Witness Lee. This burden of the ministry is upon us now.
Since 1986, by the leading of the ministry of the age, full-time trainings were established in many countries worldwide. These are focused in preparing the young generation for the proper church life. However, among the middle-aged ones, there remains a large need and deep longing to be trained in the priestly services to care for the house of God and to keep the present testimony.
Praise the Lord that, by His sovereign arrangement, Middle Age Training (MAT) is now held in many countries like USA, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, etc. for the perfecting of the saints, specially the serving ones. These are held under the auspices of the Full-time Training centers and follow closely the FTT curriculum. The entire course is typically a full-time training that takes about a year. This kind of program is most suitable for young retirees and job-dropping full-timers.
In the Philippines, however, people hardly retire from employment until their old age. So, there is a need to establish a training program fitted to such an environment. It is in this light that the curriculum of the MAT-Philippines was developed specifically to suit the restricted time of the working saints who yet have the heart and burden to be perfected in the aspects of life, truth, character, gospel, service and ministry. Now, the saints can participate in the MAT in four cumulative modules of two weeks each.
Training Curriculum of MAT- Philippines
The training curriculum of the MAT-Philippines is essentially patterned after that of the FTTMA (Fulltime Training in Malabon) with emphases on the pursuit of the high peak truth, the practice of God-man living, practical services in the church and the exercise of the God-ordained way for the building up of the Body of Christ. The entire course is stratified into four modules. Each module includes two weeks live-in-training and practical application of the God-ordained way. The full course can be completed within about four years.
Every MAT term of two weeks features specific topical modules that are thoroughly discussed, and even exhibited whenever possible. The saints will find it profitable to attend the training even at one term-at-a-time. However, to fully benefit from the MAT program, the trainees are encouraged to complete all the four modules of the MAT course.
The daily routines of the training require the trainees to work in groups throughout the day. This develops their function and service in coordination. Submitting to one another is imperative for the saints to be built up in harmony.
In the practice of the God-ordained way, the trainees learn the practical ways of contacting people to share the gospel and carry out the shepherding of the new ones in their homes. Prophesying for the building is a crucial function polished in the training.
Finally, to care for their daily living, the trainees are exhorted to pursue a normal Christian life of daily revival by contacting the Lord and His word, functioning organically in the spirit, and serving in one accord with all fellow believers.
The Need for Thorough Consecration
The main purpose of the MAT is to prepare the vessels for the Lord’s testimony in the present age, for the furtherance of the gospel and for the building up of the Body of Christ. For this, the inner man needs to be enriched and the outer man needs to be subdued; “He must increase, and… (we) must decrease”. Therefore, a thorough consecration is called for from among the middle age saints – from those who truly care for the Lord’s interest. May the Lord bless this generation with vessels ready to be broken; those who are willing to be poured forth as precious ointment upon the Master’s feet. Truly, Christ alone deserves all the glory and honor in the church. To Him, we give our all.
Upcoming Training Schedules, Venues and Registration
The MAT is now being offered at various times of the year and in 2 locations, Baguio City in Luzon and Cebu City in the Visayas. Module 1 of the MAT curriculum will be offered in Baguio this coming May 16, 2016. Registration for this training is currently ongoing.
If you wish to know more concerning the application process, you may find a general outline here.