« Why Do I Read the Blogs I Read? | Blog Tip 6 - The Rhythm Method »

What do we do with New Christians?

28 October, 2003 4:43 PM

Should we extract New Christians from their 'secular' networks, or resource them to live there missionaly?

Recently I've found myself in a number of conversations with new Christians.

Its so exciting to spend time with people who have just made a decision to journey with Jesus and who are discovering God in new ways. They have so much energy, so much passion and the biggest and most fantastic ideas about sharing Jesus with those around them. It is inspiring to hang with them.

Having had these conversations I'm left asking the question 'What do we do with new Christians?'

In some senses they are 'babies' in their faith, they don't know much, sometimes they come with 'rough edges' and behavior that disturbs those of us who have lived our lives almost exclusively in church circles.

One of the typical responses that I've seen from churches is to extract the new Christian out of their current life and place them in a new and improved one. This is done for their protection and to build them up in faith. They are told to 'clean up their act' behaviorally, to stop hanging around with their current friends (who have a bad influence on them) and to spend copious amounts of time at church services, in bible study groups, in new believers classes, baptism classes and socializing...sorry 'in fellowship'... with their new family.

I know numerous people who within weeks of becoming Christians went through this process, even to the extent of being told to change jobs, end long term relationships and move into new suburbs to be closer to their new life at Church.

Whilst I agree there are times when extraction might be good (ie in cases of addiction or abuse) I wonder if it is really a wise - or biblical - approach.

Neil Cole recently said 'What you do with a new Christian in the first 24 hours is crucial - the first 24 hours is like an imprint upon their lives that will greatly impact how they live for years to come.' He went on to say that if you treat them like 'babies', they will usually continue to live as babies.

His approach was very different. It included immediate baptism (no classes or preparation period), immediate immersion in Scripture (they get them into small groups that read 30 chapters a week) and immediate evangelism and praying for friends. They are not babied but rather their energy and passion is harnessed and the momentum is allowed to continue. New Christians are not extracted from their network, rather the aim is to start a new church within it. The new Christian instantly becomes a missionary in the world they live. As a result they often see whole families, groups of friends and networks won for Christ very quickly.

This approach makes a lot of sense to me. What do you think?

Comments

Page:

I've seen so many new folk join a church, and then no-one knows what to do with them! So they're almost always left to figure it out themselves, after the initial proddings to "get in line". Many, many - too many - just drift away again. In some cases the enthusiasm they bring is not appreciated and is doused as quickly as possible so they look like everyone else (un-enthusiastic after too many years of being "in the way", literally!). I have a dear friend and her husband who endured this - they have now gone to find a seeker-type congregation where they are appreciated and nurtured. This is a Very Big question and could do with some Very Serious thought! I really like Neil Cole's perspective - it makes loads of sense.

Michelle » 28 October, 2003 11:09 PM

i agree with Neil Cole. sometimes, when you "force" something on other people (i.e. extraction), they have a tendency to back away. it should be a gradual approach.

thats what happened to me. and almost 2 years later, im still here, with God.

jax » 28 October, 2003 11:41 PM

I guess being their friend is out of the question?

saint » 28 October, 2003 11:46 PM

Interesting...

chs » 29 October, 2003 12:02 AM

I think I know where you're coming from Darren. I was about to say that I love being around new Christians, but sometimes it can be quite difficult or distressing too, especially where there are issues of addiction or mental illness.

But for 'normals' it's usually an unmixed pleasure. They have an excitment at discovering new things all the time, and being surprised at God's grace. I've also tended to view new Christians as an opportunity to reach a whole new group of people, before they get used to the idea of X being a Christian. Once nonnies are familiar with the changes they see then the impact is lessened.

The church that I'm currently part of is lead by a guy who has really grasped the grace of God. His take on new people in the church is to let them hear God for themselves (although as you suggest, in some circumstances they may need a bit more guidence). This means, for instance, that co-habitees get welcomed without the askance looks that could happen. Of course if they wish to become members then we want to be sure that we all have common goals, and they are expected to demonstrate a desire to live holy lives. This may mean that they have to re-arrange their lives somewhat, but it's their job to 'work out their salvation' with whatever support we can give them.

Toni » 29 October, 2003 12:16 AM

New Christians are an absolute delight, I love mentoring and training, and I love discipleship (this is my calling, this is what God has gifted me in.) The key is that this needs to happen, Ive seen new Christians who just jump in and "do" with even the purest motive, Ive seen those same baby Christians fall away, or fall... and the Church is a little to blame at least, we dont get alongside very well. Esp in Australia.. while at college, we did a little survey of our class, out of 10 students, NONE of us had been discipled. Not a one. Definately a lack.
But discipleship was never meant to be taking out of life.. we were never told to quit living in the world.. its always still there. But rather to be equipped to deal with the world. Thats what I see discipleship as at least.
Ok ok.. off my soap box:)
Blessings. Jaki

Jaki » 29 October, 2003 1:56 AM

I have a friend who became a Christian in February because traumatic circumstances in his life pushed him in the direction of Christ. His joy at his newfound faith was muted because of what was happening, but his life has definitely changed. Nobody really pushed him to change his lifestyle - gradually, that came by itself as he began to focus on God's will for his life. Now he's heavily involved in his church's Bible studies and mission jaunts to Mexico to minister to the poor there. It's a joy to watch him grow spiritually - and he got there with no help from a formal "new believer's class."

Rhesa » 29 October, 2003 4:29 AM

Hi, I've only just come across this website and your timing for this topic is impeccable!
I guess you could say i'm a reborn Christian, after years of straying and trying to find other answers I came back to God and it is a beautiful thing.
The problem I have now is trying to find a Church I can relate to. Its so depressing going to my parent's church where people read the Lords Prayer from the overhead like they are reading the ingredients off a box of cereal. Even though I can read the Bible and pray on my own I really feel the need to talk to others that are passionate about God and who can inspire me to keep with the faith.
As for the actual topic in question, I agree with the Neil Cole approach. If we want to spread the word then new Christians should be mentored to deal with the world they live in, in a new light so they can touch those around them. Thats how I see it anyway.

Tanya » 29 October, 2003 10:33 AM

I disagree with you again Darren. If you don't remove people from their fallen life they will never come to know Jesus fully.

I recently converted a young guy who was living with a girl at the time. We removed him from that relationship completely. She came home one day and he was gone and they have not seen each other since because if he had remained there he would have fallen sexually.

What is wrong with people moving closer to their church? Why wouldn't they change jobs if the job was leading them into selfishness.

when person becomes a Christian they are part of the body of Christ and not the world. It makes sense for them to immerse themself in the church and remove themself from the world completely.

Seth » 29 October, 2003 1:08 PM

I've thought lots about this stuff over the last couple of years - and so disagree with removing people from their contexts when they become Christians ... I so want to help them be God's people in those contexts. I found Neil's comments really helpful when I heard them ...
The thing that has fascinated me is watching new Christians want to throw themselves in in order to belong - even when you are trying to say "that's not what you have to do" ... "it's not about doing all these things" ... haven't really known how to deal with that.

Barb » 29 October, 2003 1:51 PM

When I became a Christian a few short years ago, the church at the time was simply there for me. They provided the "food" that nourished my soul. They made themselves available and all the while were very encouraging. If a person, a new Christian, is seeking God and following the Holy Spirit's guidance, like myself, they will leave behind their old way of life. They will want to. Within 9 months of salvation, I quit my job, left my home and surrounded myself with God's people. Now I can barely remember my life before Christ.

I think it is a case by case situation however, because some new Christians may need a lot more guidance than I did. I plugged myself in, but I know that some people aren't as "self-sufficient" and won't go out of their way to surround themselves with other believers.

I do have a concern that many churches "drop the ball" when it comes to feeding the hunger of that new Christian, properly guiding them without being too pushy, and pointing them to God, God Himself, and not "Christian" things.

I fear that if you do immediate baptism, and the rush rush rush into scripture, prayer groups and the like, that quite possibly a person may miss the significance of the step they've taken. That the "energy" they feel may actually be a result of the "attention" they are getting at that moment. Many have confessed in this post and subsequent comments that they "like being around new Christians", could we somehow enjoy that "high" rubbing off on us that we "encourage" a person into the faith for selfish reasons? ACK! As if theirs was a "conversion of coercion".

I worry sometimes that some people believe they have been "saved" and aren't.

Susan L. Prince » 29 October, 2003 5:06 PM

Seth's comments are worrisome. Not only does he lay claims on conversion (traditionally the Holy Spirit's province), but he runs counter the clear normative experience of the believer in Scripture of being in the world yet not of the world. Scripture all over assumes that the people of God will be involved in the world, not hiding their light from the sight of men but burning brightly in places where the lost may be found and the blind given sight. The epistles assume that believers will be in the world. Christ himself sends his sheep into the world even as he was sent into the world. The normative extraction of believers from the world stands in stark contrast to the actual purpose of the church on earth.

The Dane » 30 October, 2003 4:42 PM

I believe The Dane is on the mark in this matter. Blooming where one is planted is God's plan. When Jesus called His disciples he simply said "Follow ME!" Jesus is not here physically or I'm sure that most would do as the disciples did, they would leave the life they had been living to follow Him.

On the day of Pentecost, when Peter spoke and three thousand souls were saved, Jesus added them to His Church. So far as we know, all three thousand of those people went back to where they had been living.

So far as being concerned about a new convert falling back into their old ways, even after spending 3 years under the direct discipleship of Christ Himself...consider what happened with Judas. One is either saved and born-again or they are not. Jesus said to the adulterous woman whom He saved from the judgment of the world..."Go and sin no more."

Hear these words from Matthew chapter seven:
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

It may be hard to accept but there are many in The Church who are in danger of hearing those same words on that day.

I don't believe Jesus would use the word "never" if any of those he was speaking to had ever known Him as their savior.

Extracting new believers from the life they knew in order to do what has been described by some is what most Cults do.

No man can take "one of His" out of His hand.

Clarence » 31 October, 2003 7:32 AM

Blooming where one is planted is God's plan. When Jesus called His disciples he simply said "Follow ME!" Jesus is not here physically or I'm sure that most would do as the disciples did, they would leave the life they had been living to follow Him.

This doesn't follow. "Blooming where one is planted" is pretty much precisely the opposite of physically leaving "the life they had been living to follow Him."

When Matthew was converted, he had a reception for Christ as his house and invited all of his fellow tax collectors. (This is one of the 4 cases where Jesus was criticized for "dining with sinners"). So I guess there is a bit of a proof-text for maintaining those relationships. However, after that, he physically did in fact walk away and followed Christ.

When Paul was converted, he separated himself from the world. When people were converted in the gospels and Acts, it included things like burning books, selling stuff, getting thrown out of social groups (like the synagogue) and so on.

I don't think separating a new Christian from the world, particularly for a time of training, is without Biblical support.

Robert Williams » 1 November, 2003 8:40 AM

I share the opinions of Barb, The Dane and Clarence. As some have stated, we are called to be a people for God, for the sake of the world. As a new Christian, if I had completely removed myself from my existing context, I would not have been able to reach family, friends and co-workers who didn't know Jesus. I think that the church needs to turn outward instead of inward. Isn't that the point of God coming to earth as a man?

It can also be very jarring for a new Christian to have to encounter so many extreme changes at once. As a former atheist who became a Christian 2 1/2 years ago, I can tell you that it was hard enough to take my lifelong belief system and throw it out the window. I think if I had been in a church environment that now told me that everything else about myself was wrong and had to change, taken away all of my other points of context, I would have had a psychotic break.

I think we should love people where they are at. Provide them with simple ways to serve - my husband and I hosted a home group. All we had to do was open our doors and we then got to spend time with some incredible Christians. And we should let the Holy Spirit lead and not try to "fix" new Christians ourselves.

Karen Haluza » 3 November, 2003 1:21 AM

I think we need to leave new Christians in their local established environment... We need to teach them the importance of discipleship and following hard after God. If we keep them involved within their local community, they most likely will have great opportunities to share their faith with those that they already have influence with. Also, I think this teaches a �missional� attitude from the start. I do think Neil Cole is wise with the quick immersion in scripture and an accountability group. The more involved new believers become in the church the more likely that they will �stick� around. I�m not for sure about the immediate water baptism. I think that maybe they should take some time and soak in the responsibility of being a disciple of Christ and daily taking up the cross.

Chris » 4 November, 2003 10:36 AM

I am extremely grateful that when I made that commitment to live for the Lord, there was a man by my side and a church that was ready to help me figure out how to do that.

I didn't want my old life. I wanted something new. I needed something new. I had been on a path of destruction and I wanted to walk that path of life. A group of men were there, ready to help me find that path.

They didn't cram anything down my throat. They did suggest I join a small group. They did ask me daily how I was doing, what I was reading, what God had shown me recently. They did ask me daily how they could pray for me. They did stop to pray for me at that moment.

It was often awkward. I wasn't used to someone holding me accountable. I didn't like the feeling of guilt when I couldn't answer when asked what I had been reading. I didn't like not knowing what to do when it was my turn to pray.

But I'm so thankful those men were there and did hold me accountable and didn't let me wander alone in the dark.

kevin » 6 November, 2003 8:13 AM

I am a fairly recently re-born Christian. I am fortunate that I'm involved in a church and a ministry where I am surrounded by strong and faithful servants for Christ, and especially a handful of women who have walked with the Lord longer than my lifetime.

In time, I have slowly let go of most of my worldly ways (I still cling to a few bad habits, but I am only human). No one in my spritual groups has told me to stop what I was doing. They just act as examples of His people and remind me to give it up to God and he will take it from me.

I think they just keep me in their prayers and encourage me to read the word, pray regularly and use my talents to serve God. For the past six months, it has been working.

During this time, I have slowly backed away from old friends (since bad company corrupts good character). I have to admit, the transition is lonely at times. But, it really brightens my day when my church friends call or e-mail during the week.

As far as taking new Christians out of their surroundings? That isn't for us to say. That's for God to say. And He will lead THEM to move if that is His will. Just continue to be good examples, because the quickest way to lose a new convert is to fail to be a vessel of Gods love or to be a hypocrite.

Rebecca » 9 November, 2003 1:06 PM

I think Cole is on to something! Having pastored two small churches with extremely limited Discipleship efforts, and even less focus on evangelism. Both of these churches were small, struggling to stay alive congregations, both had leaders that some might consider "mature" Christians after listening to them, and discussing their knowledge of Scripture. (The average age of both churches was significantly OVER 50, so that changes things too)
However, with my secular work (I am bivocational), I have noticed that young Christians (new Christians mostly) do not get involved in the ministries of their church... mainly because they "have to be discipled first." I notice though, that after about 3 months of "discipleship," they've done one of two things: 1. They have slipped into what I call the "church rut" (they go to church when its convenient, or expected, and give a little bit of money, and if they feel guilty, a little bit of effort, without having changed very much else of their lives), or 2. They decide if they are going to grow in their relationship with Christ and put any effort forth for the benefit of the Kingdom, then, they start doing it all on their own... with or without any "coaching." Both could be dangerous when you think about it. The first will result in a permanent infantitis. The second will (possibly) result in a rogue follower with little context of scripture or community as it applies to faithful living, able to fall into any sort of apostate teaching.
Cole is right... immerse them into the faith, just as we do into the water... and then bring them up, and grow them into responsible followers of Christ. Else, you have a dying congregation of elderly members who don't play well with others, OR have a focus on Kingdom building!

BrotherPhil » 16 November, 2003 4:04 PM

Really interesting Stuff here Guys and Gals.

I'm 29 years old, born again 9 years ago. Let me tell you, I've been through the ringer in this one. Tragic life, drug dealer; addict; abandonded; etc.

Yet, I've toughed it out.

I came to know Christ outside of Church structure, no one shared the gospel with me, it was a supernatural encounter. When I did start going to church, which was about a few months after my conversion, I had read in the bible that I needed to be part of the fellowship, the leaders basically began to tell me that I needed to change my life. I was tossed back and forth, given self-control accountability sheets. You name it. I'm surprised I'm here today.

So like, I've now been part of several church leadership teams and I see the same issues arising everywhere. What to do with the New Christian. I agree with many of the comments here. Though I think it is very subjective to what the Holy Spirit is doing in the individuals life.

As facilitators, elders, pastors, leaders, or just concerned friends, I think we need to be able to watch and see the contextualized discipleship process that each individual is involved in with the Lord himself. Allowing each person to make mistakes, find love, grace and power to overcome is their perogative. Yet ever watching, waiting and willing to speak truth in the moment that truth is needed.

I believe that only truth changes people, and that we are only given the power to speak truth, nothing else.

As I am learning this art I am now seeing remarkable fruit in discipleship. I am even discipling people via internet now. They willfully send me emails regarding their lives, that I might hold them accountable and speak what is needed in time. Yet, there will allway be those we struggle for, those we ache for, those we cry over. And maybe we will also rejoice with them too.

Great Site! And I'll be watching!

CaseyD » 25 November, 2003 5:04 AM

I am a wife - of someone that has become born again. Have you any idea what you guys are doing to familys?.
Leave behind those that do not follow in Christ - Wives, kids as well.
I can only say that since this has happened my life has become a living hell.
He rejects our current friends and family, and stopped going to family things and being with me - to go to everything he was told to go to act church.
There is another side to what you are doing.
What you are doing is a control issue.
How dare you break up family's - it's what the man himself is all about preserving.
Thansk for my new life!

Wendy » 11 February, 2004 8:52 AM

maybe we could either burn the old christians or the new ones! like 'they' did to pagan followers!

I'd light the match.

emma M » 25 March, 2004 1:45 PM

Hi Darren,

Am a very recent "new christian"/"born again" christian...I've always been a believer but studying English Literature (a very lot of them rather dark and depressing) took me away from the Word. the last blow to my faith was a relationship in my final year...I knew I was sinning but was powerless...just couldn't stop....i guess, you could say i was under bondage....when it fell apart, i got back to Jesus....and so far, the going has been good. But I really don't know how wise extraction is....I was asked not to drink/smoke/hang out with people who did that stuff....I don't know about that...cos my weakness isn't alcoholism at all...and I see nothing wrong with catching up a few of my classmates over beer. I don't dare raise this question in my church, but are we "born again" christians rather fanatic?

ann abraham » 16 April, 2004 6:14 PM

Thank you for this interesting suite
Jake

Jake van der Koogh » 18 April, 2004 10:07 PM

Mate, have I come into this discussion late.

Neil Cole's comments are very thought prevoking. On that basis alone they are interesting. As for those who want to know what to do with new Christians, I say "Just do it!".

Cameron » 12 May, 2004 4:12 PM

I think to find the solution to this question we must first discover the answer to this one:

"What do we do with the OLD christians"

The point I am making is this. In our current state of ungodly seizure upon the Western world, the growth of the church is quite stagnant in most areas. This means that the ratio of current christians to new christians is quite large. When someone gets born-again there should be heaps of established christians to build relationships with and disciple them. Yet we have so many backsliders?

However when we study revivals in the past - Let's look at the scriptural example of the Day of Pentecost for instance - Peter preached and thousands were saved. Over a short period of time in the beginning chapters of Acts, the believers grew in number daily. This started with 11 apostles amongst 120 believers. In this instance the number of new christians would have greatly outweighed the established believers, yet the growth, fellowship, breaking of bread and consequent discipleship was phenomenal.

What did they have that we don't?

They had new wineskins, and the Lord Jesus Christ just kept topping them up!

To look after the new christians us "old" christians must stay new. Doing that means doing just what the disciples in the bible did. Pray and fast, pray and fast, and then... maybe pray some more - till the power of the Holy Ghost is on us so strong that we feel compelled to not only spread the gospel, but also fervently love our neighbours. Get that, and we will see miracles just like the apostles did, regular and forthcoming. This will result in awe being upon people, fearing God, breaking pizzas together in fellowship continually and a growing church. Discipleship flows from this precedent.

Clint Vize » 12 May, 2004 8:04 PM

hey, do we ever hear the rest of the story from Tris? i wanna know what happened to the girl, who came home one day and found her partner gone... imagine she found out a christian .. (i cant think of any other word than took here, ) took her boyfriend away to be a Christian, imagine how angry she would be at Christianity, and probably God too. far out ok sometimes we gotta cut some bonds with the world but do we have to use a chainsaw?>

Evan » 2 June, 2004 8:51 PM

to answer Evans' question. i understand your sensitivtiy toward non-believers who don't understand or agree with certain practices within Christianity. and i know they may seem harsh, but there are times when a "chainsaw" is needed. especially if the new convert was living with someone -who (not sure in the case you mentioned) doesnot agree or even want to be converted themselves- i see no other way.
the other partner -not understanding the ways of Christianity might begin to sow seeds of doubt and there's the whole issue of being emotionally attached. i've been there at let me tell you if i needed someone to help me sever a relationship to keep me from hell, i'd welcome it all over again.
people let me remind you-- sin, hell the devil is real and you just cannot give sin a milimeter and say stay there -it doesn't happen. that's it's nature.

anae » 5 June, 2004 3:53 AM

Jesus said to disciple new Christians. The word 'disciple' means to 'hold the hand of' , which suggests that new christians are our most precious concern. It requires patience,love and a good understanding of The Great Commission, Mat 28:18 - 20. Today's new Christians, are tomorrow's Pastors,Evangelists,Teachers etc. Let us take this responsibility with awesome respect and care

Annelle Carter » 30 June, 2004 2:06 PM

OOOPS!
I'M new at this so I pressed toooo many times. Sorry folks. But would really like to hear from people who are interested in missions, as we are preparing to move to Africa in order to start up 'sattelite' churches in rural areas, and homes for children who have been orphaned by AIDS.

Yu can contact either Clint or myself on or , we would love some input and suggestions.

Annelle Carter » 30 June, 2004 2:13 PM

Gotta throw in my 2 cents here too.
I am not surprised by the comment of Wendy - and she is absolutely right. I share her opinion that "christians" who tear other "newly converted" out of their family, relations or environment have serious control issues. This sounds more like the actions of a cult than of what Jesus meant to be his living church. I am so sorry that things like that happen in the name of Christ - I am appalled and I am so sorry for what Wendy (and so many others in her situation) have/had to go through.

When I look into the book of Acts I read that familys were saved, I read that individuals where touched by God and as a result the whole house was saved. I reed in the gospels that Jesus touched individuals and sent them back into their life with what they experienced. Why did that change? Do we christians really think we can dictate our personal view on how to live our life onto other people? I think we are so very far away from biblical grounds if we think that is true.

My personal experience is that I cannot convert people, I cannot make them born again, this is something God does when he touches individual lifes and I may be a tool in his hand. So there we got somebody was touched by God and He granted me the privilege to be his tool - but houw on earth could I ever think that I need to change this person's life and imprint a set of rules and regulations onto him, even going so far as to making him change his life radically? I think this is manipulation and not God's work. Rather, the person who was touched by God will get my support, my help, my advice (if he wants), fellowship, contacts with other like-minded people, love, prayer, practical help - but guidance comes from the Spirit and HE alone will make this person and his entire family change into what HE wants. This person may be a spiritual baby but I have seen over and over again that God talks to spiritual babies in such a clear and overwhelming way, right into their hearts and situation. And the result is healing, joy, life for the whole family. This is what I think should be our testimony.

I completely agree that church must be in the homes and families, not individuals torn out and kicked into churches. Everything else is doomed - as we can see by the stagnation of church growth in our oh so civilized western world. Time to touch base again. Time to support God's work and what he does through his Spirit and abandon our own petty little strive for power and position.

Great site Darren, keep up the good work :)


Alex » 12 August, 2004 8:44 PM

I do agree with Neil Cole that new Christians have "fire" in them and if that's not harnessed the enemy will find a way to zap it up real quick! I mean in our church new Christians are not only treated as 'babies' but are treated with so much care that any followup is preceeded by a number of 'what ifs'. we're a predominantly catholic nation and most have a "closed" door on anything other than catholicism. example: you might say we can confess to one another your sins --- and people would react: "No way! we go to the priest for that. they're the only ones who can tell you we're forgiven." and they feel terrible! like even if they know that Jesus us tugging at their heart to chnage their ways, they feel like they're betraying their families, parents, culture etc etc. And nobosy's telling them what the Word really means so their fire quickly sizzles and dies. pphhhhht!

Benette » 1 September, 2004 6:16 PM

dont baptize before the person fully has his faith in christ as otherwise the whole idea of going to church and other things will be seen by him as traditions rather than progressing his faith. as always encourage the person, give him your account of the life of christ if you can or tell him read the gospels. If the person is deep into science and questions creation of the universe give him books like "Show Me GOD" by Fred Heeren for he then can truly understand the fine-tuning of the universe for its existance and truly feel debted with his life to this supernatural creator, GOD. This may be just one case though.

xanny » 17 September, 2004 5:53 AM

I have to agree with Darren. I am a baby in Christ and though I realize that I cannot go out to the bar with my sister and drink, I still love her with all my heart and to "extract" me from her would only make the Christian life look harsh, restrictive and very undesirable. I want her to see my happiness and how I positively change day to day. If you are living in sin with a mate, then I would suggest living apart from each other while still continuing the relationship and discuss with the unsaved mate how the relationship will be affected. Should you marry, date, etc., etc. The unsaved mate could eventually be won over to Christ. But in all things, follow the will of God. This life is only a moment in time and if a Man that walked this earth can be put to death on the Cross for our sins so that we may have eternal life, then the least I can do is give Him my life. Besides, you can't stop, drop and roll in hell.

Patty Andrew » 18 September, 2004 1:09 AM

Once a person become a new creation in Jesus Christ, old things pass away and all things become new as the apostle Paul says. When the saved person let his light shine for Jesus, they don't have to worry about extraction their old friends will leave them like rats leaving a sinking ship. Returning to their old enviroment they will be like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. But new Christians are like baby's and need a lot of love and attention and guidance.
God Bless.
Dan

Dan » 10 October, 2004 1:13 PM

Sai Baba is god
sai is the father of Jesus

» 29 October, 2004 6:18 PM

sai baba is god

» 29 October, 2004 6:19 PM

I think it is important that the more mature Christian remembers their own journey. It isn't man's job to point out to a new Christian what is in their heart it is Gods! In Deuteronomy 8: 2-3 it says "Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD"

Our job is to love, support, guide, train and encourage them. God will bring a revelation to them about where they should work and who they should hang with. Befriend them, make yourself available to give Godly counsel but I don't think we should ever be so foolish as to tell them what to do. He that see a speck in someone else eyes has a great big plank in his own!

Gail » 15 November, 2004 4:32 PM

I appreciate the thoughts posted in here, and you have a right to your opinion and your way of expression, but frankly, I (and many many of my peers) are SICK AND TIRED of being patronised as "baby Christians". The number of years one has been a Christian says *very* little about someone's faith, and it is degrading and humiliating to have one's very valid views and opinions dismissed, with a pat on the head, as the ramblings of a "baby Christian". I don't know if you are aware of how manipulative the evangelical approach is, and how objectifying to people... enough that it has driven people like me out of the church after a few years (mind you, not out of their faith, but it came close to that).
What to do with baby Christians? Trust in the Holy Spirit for a change and let him do his job, for crying out loud! You don't convert people, and it's not your responsibility to keep them in their faith. God alone does that. Just be a haven for people to air their views and express their personal faith without belittling - consciously or not - anything that doesn't sound like memorised doctrine.

God be with you.

Patty

Patty » 7 December, 2004 11:51 PM

I don't think any "one way" will suit all new Christians any more than any single method suits old Christians. I think individual discipleship is the key - to meet the person where they are to know both their strengths and their needs.

When I became a new Christian I was very lucky - I was discipled in a small group and became good friends with the leaders (and still am). Unfortunately, because we were "friends" there was not a lot of accountability. This allowed me to continue in relationships with non-Christian friends which I am now glad I still have, but at the same time allowed me to make more mistakes than I might have otherwise. (On the other hand, would I have listened? Probably not...)

About taking new Christians out of their contexts, unless there is a specific reason I think this is a very *bad* thing. Partly because of the effect on the relationships (as decribed by Wendy above - I can so relate to that), partly because of evangelism opportunities, but mostly because of what this does to the person themselves. It creates an "us and them" mentality which I think is very damaging, and leads directly to some of the brutal evangelism done by well-meaning but very raw new Christians (myself included). In my first months as a Christian I damaged some relationships beyond recovery by doing what I thought was the right thing - treating friends and family as "evangelism opportunities" instead of as friends and family!

Coming back to relationships - unless they are pathological, I think to sever relationships is more damaging than to leave them in place and let the Holy Spirit redeem them. As someone married to a non-Christian I have thought a lot about this, and the last thing I want is to create another "Wendy" who is bitter and angry towards the church because it treated the Christian as a person (to be welcomed) and the non-Christian spouse as a *problem* (to be gotten rid of).

Oh dear - do I sound over-sensitive on this point? Probably...

Elizabby

elizabby » 16 December, 2004 8:27 PM

Any Comments or discussion on this topic? " Ministry"

What is ministry? What are the basic need for the ministry? what are the skills and qualifications that a person need to be a minister?

please engage with me!!!

Blessings...

sandi

sandi » 9 March, 2005 12:16 AM

Email this entry to a friend:

Friend's email:


Your email:


Message (optional):