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Thread: Don't drop the baby...

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Don't drop the baby...

    I've heard it said that you wouldn't drop a newborn baby, so we shouldn't drop new Christians either.

    What are some practical ways that we can help encourage new Christians to keep growing once they've made the decision and not, well, drop them?
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Discipleship. Accountability. Followup.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Discipleship. Accountability. Followup.
    I was hoping you in particular would weigh in here

    To you, what does "discipleship" mean here, practically speaking?
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    I was hoping you in particular would weigh in here

    To you, what does "discipleship" mean here, practically speaking?
    Anything that makes us less "me" and more "He". (pardon the obvious unintended sexist flavor)

    Sunday Mornings is more about worship and "family", with expository preaching.

    On Wednesday nights, we handle all kinds of practical application of the scriptures in various areas of daily living.
    Accountability is a big part of it.
    Scripture memory is encouraged.
    We teach financial responsibility.
    We do a "roll call" of the "babies" who need looked after, and assign mentors.

    I actually enjoy our Wednesday nights more than Sunday Mornings.

    On Sunday mornings, you have a number of people who are there because they're "supposed to be", or to keep peace with a spouse, or because they see it as a duty...

    On Wednesday nights, you have the committed - people who want to be there, who made an extra effort to get home from work, even though they may be tired or whatever.
    They seem to want to learn, to grow, to be challenged.

    We probably have 2/3 of the people on Wednesday nights as we do on Sunday Mornings. In Many churches, that's less than 10%. I think it's because we keep the emphasis on discipleship, learning, growing, improving...

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  5. Amen KingsGambit, Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    1) Don't expect them to do all the work. Too often we expect the new Christian to just fall into the church life routine and that's it. We don't reach out and try to meet them where they are or actively involve them in what we are doing.

    2) Make new friends. This seems self evident but many, many churches fall down in this regard. Say hi - and not just the first time you see them. Invite them to lunch or whatever - you know, get to know them!

    3) Have materials on hand - and have a well enough versed congregation that they don't have to track down the pastor for simple questions.

    4) Small groups.

    5) Business plan - don't try to figure out how to handle the newbies when they show up - have a plan in place for how to begin the discipleship process.

    6) Remember, your plan is just a tool to follow Him - scrap it if it doesn't work and don't get so attached to the plan that you can't adjust it to the needs of the follower.

  7. Amen Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    I like the idea of the small group model. I've never really experienced it myself, though I remember my parents being involved with them as a kid. I'd like a structure where you can attend on, say, a Wednesday night and having somewhere specific to go, rather than wait and hope somebody invites you into their group (I actually attended a church for a few months once and never even learned anybody's name). I'm not worried about myself but I'm worried about the newer believer who is going to slip through the cracks.
    Last edited by KingsGambit; 02-18-2018 at 04:28 AM.
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

  9. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    I like the idea of the small group model. I've never really experienced it myself, though I remember my parents being involved with them as a kid. I'd like a structure where you can attend on, say, a Wednesday night and having somewhere specific to go, rather than wait and hope somebody invites you into their group (I actually attended a church for a few months once and never even learned anybody's name). I'm not worried about myself but I'm worried about the newer believer who is going to slip through the cracks.
    The common response I get from visitors to our Church is "it just felt like home". I use that to remind them, after they join, that "YOUR job is to make visitors think 'it feels just like home'''. That actually works pretty well, because some of my friendliest 'greeters' are new people who "felt like home" and want to share that.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  11. Amen Jedidiah, Teallaura, One Bad Pig amen'd this post.
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    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    I have mixed feelings about this discussion. Certainly I believe the church should make an effort to provide support and education. When I look at my own walk I do not see a lot of impact from the churches I have belonged too.

    I should start by explaining that I had no one personally (directly at any rate) lead me to Christ. I listened to Dr. J. Vernon McGee on the radio and raged at him. He made me so angry. I listened because I had nothing else to hear as I lived out in the Alaskan bush. There was an old man, a retired painter, who came to Alaska to do missionary work with the Indians. He became my friend, and I was always surprised that he did not despise me because I would not agree with him. A year or so after I followed a job into Anchorage, all the garbage I heard from him and other radio programs on the local Christian station came back to me. Suddenly, like a two by four to the head, the truth of all the stuff I had heard fell into place for me. The Holy Spirit is the only thing that could have made me take that 180 degree change. I was never an atheist like our pet haters. I was more one along the lines of carpedm9587. I was just too intelligent to fall for that religious junk. But the Spirit changed my mind for me.

    My first church was a quite liberal Lutheran Church. They offered Bible studies which my wife (who was also saved at about the same time) and I took advantage of. The OT class was very educational, but when we moved onto the NT things began to smell a bit off to me This led us ultimately to a small Bible believing church. There were no steps to meet the needs of new believers, but the Bible took this new believer and his wife in hand.

    I eventually ended up at a Southern Baptist church which was, as I saw it, the best of a bad lot. Even though I had been a believer for a few years you can see my attitude was a little less than might be desired. I grew there, becoming a Sunday school teacher, later a deacon and finally an elder. I led a home study group for many years.

    Thus while I do see the church as having a responsibility, it is truly the work of the Holy Spirit that brings growth. From the beginning I always felt at home among believers.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  13. Amen Sparko amen'd this post.
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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    Thus while I do see the church as having a responsibility, it is truly the work of the Holy Spirit that brings growth. From the beginning I always felt at home among believers.
    Personally, I envy you. I have a hard time fitting in anywhere.
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

  15. Amen The Remonstrant amen'd this post.
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    tWebber The Remonstrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Personally, I envy you. I have a hard time fitting in anywhere.
    The more introverted one is, the more difficult a sense of belonging and security are to develop.
    [I]f what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. The one who has the Son has the life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 Jn 2.24; 5.12, LEB)

    <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>


    Farewell. (Sat., 24 Mar. 2018)

  17. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.

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