Posted by: Toni Sprandel | March 4, 2013

Let’s get started…..

This is a post I had done early in March.  As Easter was just this past Sunday and many prayed to receive Christ as their LORD and Saviour, I wanted to repost this.  I believe that sometimes we have no clue what to do next with the new believer.  Some churches do a new believers class and that is awesome.  But many, sadly, don’t.  I do not have all the answers, Jesus does.  So what I like to do is point them to the answer, Jesus.  So here are my thoughts from a couple of weeks ago that might give you some basic ideas to help that new believer become connected to Christ.  The book of Colossians is called the Book of Connections.  And that is exactly what we want to do with the new believer, get them connected.

This past Sunday, a dear sweet young lady I had the privilege to know during my days as a youth group sponsor, recommitted her life to Christ!  Amen, Halleluia and Praise the LORD!  I know the LORD God Almighty is happier than I am!  She shared this info on facebook and after sharing about her commitment, she said “now to get discipled”.  Those are some awesome words to hear.  She is looking forward to learning and growing in her reestablished relationship to the LORD.

Discipleship seems to be a largely “assumed to happen” thing these days.  But discipleship needs to be intentional and consistent.  Discipleship is a coming alongside someone and helping them learn the Way, just like Jesus did with his disciples.  The new believer needs a place to start and then a path to follow.  Evangelism Explosion teaches that once someone has made a commitment to follow Christ, discipleship begins immediately.  The first thing they teach is to have the new believer start reading the book of John.  During this time, you meet with the new believer; you can read the Word together, answer questions, study and pray together.    Any type of encouragement you can give them will be greatly appreciated.  The new believer needs to know what to do and how to do it.  They also need to understand that it is ok to have questions.  Assure them there are no dumb questions and if you don’t have the answers, tell them so.  But also tell them you will ask someone else who would know.  We don’t have all the answers, only the LORD does, so it’s ok to say, I don’t know.

The things that I found were helpful getting started were a good Bible, good music and a prayer partner.  For me, these were the most helpful things to get me started and keep me on the path of following Christ.  Starting out it is very important to have a Bible that you can read and understand.  There are many different versions available in the Christian bookstores.  Some include, King James Version (KJV), New King James Version (NKJV), New International Version (NIV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New Living Translation (NLT).  My only comment is, get a version you can and will read.  The next thing that accelerated my walk with the LORD was buying a study Bible.  A study Bible goes into detail in the footnotes explaining what the verses mean.  These Bibles are invaluable in learning more about the passage.  The study Bible I found to be the best for me was the Life Application Study Bible.  This Bible does just exactly what its name says.  This Bible not only explains the passage but then goes the extra step and show you ways to apply this scripture to your life.  To me, that is exactly why I read the Bible, to get to know my Heavenly Father better and to walk in the steps of Jesus.  If I don’t understand what I am reading, or I don’t know how to apply it to my life, what help is that to me?  Mostly, I would get frustrated and give up, quit.

In regards to music, all I can say is, the words matter.  Music itself, whether secular or Christian has the same notes.  Whether it is rock, hip-hop, rap, country or alternative, the only difference is the words.  I personally couldn’t listen to secular music after committing my life completely to Christ.  The words were all that Christ is not.  They did not glorify the LORD or build me up in spirit.  So I found myself at the Christian book store in the music section.  I liked being able to find music according to the style I liked, but the words being sung weren’t assaulting my brain.  Instead I found the words to be ones of love, grace, mercy, compassion, kindness and selfless giving.  These words did glorify the LORD, they did build me up and drew me closer to the LORD.  If you can’t afford to buy music, find a Christian radio station and lock it in.  My preference at this time is listening to Praise and Worship cd’s.  I feel like I am worshipping the LORD wherever I am and whatever I am doing.

Having a prayer partner is imperative.  Living this Christian life is not easy.  Remember, Jesus told His disciples, “they have persecuted me, they will persecute you because of me”.  A prayer partner can be the one who led you to the LORD or someone else that you are close with.  This person is your accountability person.  They will encourage and exhort you on in your relationship with Christ, but also hold you accountable.  They should be asking questions of you to find out how you are doing.  Praying together regularly helps both of you.  When I first started the wonderful lady who led me to the LORD was my prayer partner.  She would call to see if I had questions, she asked what I was reading, what was I listening to?  All of these were to find out how I was doing, not to condemn me.  If getting together is impossible, a phone call works.  As long as you are meeting and praying for each other, it is all good.

Christianity is not about a list of do’s and don’ts, it is about following Christ.  But as Christ sacrificed His life for us, we too may need to make sacrifices because of our personal relationship with Him.  What I found out as I drew nearer to Him, some of the things I had done previously, weren’t really things that brought glory and honor to Him.  Self examination was difficult, but I was making choices that weren’t glorifying to Him and that needed to change.   I too needed to make some sacrifices.  Not because anyone told me I had to, but because I wanted to.

Discipleship is not telling you what you can and can’t do, it is just being a friend who shares the same love of Jesus.  It is about being there for someone, whenever they need you.  Jesus shared his love, his heart and his life with the disciples, he was their friend.  Let’s be Jesus to those who need us, and let’s get started!

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