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?” stammers a kid in the front row of the Sunday school class.
“That’s ‘apostle,’ stupid,” Austin corrects. “As in ‘the apostle Paul.’ An apostle is an official representative sent by God to preach the gospel and often to teach churches in more than one location.”
The kid in the front row squirms. Austin shakes his head at the raw dumbness of the rest of the class. They’re spiritually clueless, he figures, and after thirteen years as a Sunday school regular, he’s too cool for Sunday school.
Of the non-Christian kids you might lead to Christ, fewer and fewer will come from a religious background or understand any Bible basics. Learning the nitty-gritty of the faith from a kind, patient teacher is one of their greatest needs. Believe it or not, you can be a teacher to friends you bring to Christ.
One of the best ways to teach others is to meet with new Christians, with three goals for being together-study, fellowship, and prayer. Invite your new Christian friends to join a small group with other young Christians. Or ask your youth pastor how you can meet and teach them one-on-one at least once a week. Whatever you do, don’t miss these four key pieces of a weekly get-together:
- Share. Talk about what’s going on in your lives. Focus on what you see God doing and how you are growing in him.
- Study. Put a significant part of your time into Bible study. You can pick a prepared study that will help your friends with their basic growth as Christians. You can also teach them how to study the Bible on their own.
- Ask and answer. Your friends might have loads of questions. Give them plenty of time, and don’t feel you have to be able to answer everything. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know; let’s figure it out together,” or “I don’t know, but I’ll do some studying so we can talk about it next time.”
- Pray. When you pray together each week, it’s a chance to show firsthand how to pray. Teach that prayer is simply talking to God about your thoughts, feelings, and needs.
New Christians desperately need Christian friends. Instead of bashing them for not knowing much about God, be there for them.
REFLECT: Do you feel inadequate to teach people the basics of the faith?
PRAY: Say thanks that the Holy Spirit is present in you to empower you and touch others through you.