3 Fundamentals When Discipling New Believers
Every youth pastor’s been here. It’s Monday morning, the youth retreat is over, it’s 10:30 am, and you’re still lying in bed. Most of the time, the “morning after” is reserved for recuperation. From sleep deprivation to a less-than-healthy meal regiment, retreats simply suck the life out of you. But as you’re reaching for your iPhone to scan Facebook and Instagram, reality sets in. The post-retreat call has come and your plate is miraculously and instantaneously overflowing…again. For the youth pastor, the retreat’s “end” is just the “beginning.”
Obviously, there are a variety of events and circumstances by which young people come to know Jesus. Whether through an organized event, traumatic crisis, or random chance (if there is such a thing), the experience with Jesus commonly called “getting saved” is only the beginning. The event when Jesus comes to live within us marks not the finish-line, but the beginning of the race. This race is not a sprint, it’s a marathon that will last the rest of our lives. Thus, authors and bloggers over the last decade have used terms like “journey” to describe the Christian life. Though salvation begins with a crisis, it continues as a journey.
Therefore to avoid watching new believers slowly slide back into destructive patterns and disappear from the body, we must embrace the question – So what’s next?
Here are three concepts in discipleship that the early Church embraced in growing-up new believers in Christ.
Community – Hebrews 10:25
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Going to church is not an option for the teenager, it is a life-line. Of all age groups, teenagers are the most community oriented. Though all ages feel the need to belong, the teenager is most vulnerable to peer pressure. From clothing trends to hair styles, teenagers grow and thrive in community. The Church is the community of the Kingdom. It is next to impossible to journey with Christ outside this community. [bctt tweet=”It’s no wonder the Church is called His body – you can’t get close to Jesus without it.” username=””]
The Bible – Luke 24:27
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
We live in a world of voices. Everyone is speaking into our lives. Hollywood. Social Media. Friends. Family. Even our own experiences seek to instruct us. Who is right? What is Truth? In Luke 24:27, Jesus was very clear. If you want to know Jesus, if you want to know the Truth, your search must begin and end with the Bible. Everyone has an opinion about the Bible, I choose to embrace Jesus’ opinion. [bctt tweet=”Without the Word of God, a new believer will end up believing in a Jesus…that is not the real Jesus.” username=””]
Mentors – Titus 2:4a, 6a
“Then they can train younger women…” “Similarly, encourage the younger men…”
Paul is very plain in his instruction to Titus – new believers, especially younger men and women, need mentoring from a godly older person of the same gender. Every young person needs guidance. Whether it’s with their first car or first home, there are things they don’t think of, life-lessons yet to be learned. The demonic worldview popular and proposed today would claim the opposite, but once again, the Bible carries a different message. Young men and young women need more than instruction, more than information, they need wisdom to overcome in this perilous world. …and wisdom does not come from Google. Wisdom comes through the older, the aged, the “been there and done that” believer. They are a gift to the younger generation. They are the avenues of wisdom to the young.