Helping New Christians Get a Good Start
Bible Reading: 1 Peter 5:2-9
Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. 1 Peter 5:2
“The aposo-what?” a kid in the front row stammers.
“That’s ‘apostle,’ stupid,” Austin corrects from the back of the Sunday school class. “As in ‘the apostle Paul.’ An apostle is an official representative sent by God to preach the gospel and to teach churches, often in more than one location.”
The kid in the front row and several other Sunday school newcomers swivel around to look at Austin, who settles back in his chair and shakes his head at how dumb the rest of the class is. They are spiritually clueless, he figures, and after years and years as a Sunday school regular, he’s too cool for Sunday school.
More and more kids who come to Christ have little understanding of what the Bible is about. Learning the nitty-gritty of the faith from a kind, patient teacher—not someone like Austin—is one of their greatest needs. Believe it or not, God has a part for each of us to play in helping the new Christians in our life.
Maybe you want to be a teacher. You can pair up with an adult to start a small group for new Christians that meets once a week to learn and grow. Maybe you want to be an inviter who spreads the word and gets students to the study. Or maybe you see yourself as a day-to-day partner who aims just to be there for the new Christians in your world.
Whatever approach you take, here are four things you can do to help your friends who are new Christians grow—and grow yourself in the process:
Open up to each other. Talk about what’s going on in your lives. Share what you see God doing and how you are growing.
Study the Bible together. Read verses that will help your friends get a handle on their faith. Show them how to read the Bible on their own, along with a devotional book like this one. Or share the things that God makes jump out of the Bible at you.
Answer questions together. Your friends might have loads of questions. Let them ask! If you don’t know an answer, find out.
Pray together. This gives a chance to show firsthand how to pray and what to pray about. Make prayer a simple conversation with God about your thoughts, feelings, and needs.
More than anything, you need to be a Christian friend. Some new Christians have lost their old friends. So be there for them!
TALK: How can you help kids who are new to the faith?
PRAY: God, thanks for giving us the Holy Spirit, who shows us how to help people who have just met you.
ACT: As a family, look for easy-to-read Bibles and fun devotional books that can help people who have just met him.