One of the most common questions I hear in christianity is this, "what do I do after i get saved?" People get saved, and then have no idea what to do. There are Churches and ministries all over the world that are leading people to Christ, which is great of course! YET... They take little to no time helping new believers understand what it takes to start developing their relationship with Christ! I have seen so many people over the years get saved , yet within a week, or month, or a few months are living exactly like they were before they were saved. This is absolutely awful. Jesus said to go into the World and MAKE DISCIPLES! Lets take a quick look at Matthew 28..
Matthew 28:19-20 (AMP)19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”
Okay, Let's break this down. You'll notice the first thing Jesus tells us here in Verse 19 in the Amplified Bible is this, "GO therefore and make disciples." We have to remember that when Jesus met His Disciples, they had absolutely NO idea how to live according to the Lord. They had learned from the Law, yet Jesus had so much more to teach them and some correction to the Law. Jesus had to spend time with each one of His disciples, teaching them how to live as Godly men! We also learn from this passage that the word GO is immediate in this passage. Jesus didn't say to wait for a while and then decide if we should teach and train new believers. He simply said GO! This is so important. If your local church or ministry doesn't have a specific program to teach those who are new believers how to start living as Christians, they are failing miserably. I know that sounds harsh, but the truth is harsh at times. Not everyone who gets saved has the inclination to pick up the Word of God and start studying it and applying it to their personal lives.
You'll also notice that Jesus said "teaching them to observe EVERYTHING that I have commanded you." This is also crucial to understand that it's our responsibility as the Body of Christ to teach and train every single new believer everything that we have learned from Christ. I truly believe with the proper discipleship training for new believers, there would be a lot less fluctuation in attendance in local churches. People are born with the natural desire to learn. We all have that desire. If we didn't we would have never learned to walk as a toddler. If you watch a baby when they are starting to walk, you'll see something truly remarkable. That baby will try and try and try to learn. Why? The answer is truly divine. God not only created us in His remarkable image, but He gave our minds the desire to grow and learn. Even from the youngest of age, we have a passion to learn. It's in our DNA, so to speak.
Another thing that so many churches lack is a dedicated Pastor of Discipleship. I know that sounds strange and even foreign to most of us. That's simply because that position in the church is practically unheard of. I would like to think that somewhere in the world this is a actual position! I know that I have a deep desire to have a dedicated Discipleship Pastor in our ministry. We have talked about re-opening a home church for our ministry. If we do that soon, I can assure you that I will be appointing a dedicated Pastor to lead that ministry. And since we are all still growing and learning every single day in our relationship with Christ, I can see people from new Christians to people who have been saved for years benefiting from having a Pastor in their Church that would sit down with them and help them grow and learn on a personal level!
Accountability is KEY!
This is vital! Discipleship can be defined as accountability and education of Gods Word! If your'e a new Christian reading this Blog, or someone who maybe got saved years ago, yet never learned much about how to develop your relationship with Christ, find accountability in your life! How you do this is to find someone who knows more about the Word of God than you do and pick their brain! This could be a friend, a spouse, or a minister that you trust. Trust is crucial in finding the right accountably partner in your Christian walk. If your not sure you can trust someone with their ability to hold you accountable to your growth, don't waste your time. Find someone who wants to be challenged as much as you do! This is perfect for husbands and wives or couples in general. Challenge each other with reading the Word of God! Then, after you spend time reading the Word, get together and pick each others brains! Study scripture together and learn as a team!
ALSO, PRAY TOGETHER! Having someone to pray with on a regular basis is incredibly important in your growth as a Christian! Last week we talked about how the WORD WORKS! It's so true! And there is some serious power when two people come together and come into agreement, according to the word of God! Let's look at Matthew 18:19 again this week..
Matthew 18:19 (KJV)
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
You'll notice Jesus said that if TWO of you shall agree. This is key! Jesus was certainly showing the disciples the power of agreement through accountability here! He goes as far as to say, ANYTHING they shall ask, it SHALL be done for them! What a amazing promise from our savior! Jesus was very serious about accountability. We should be as well. We learned many times in the Word of God that people at time, because of their accountability and work together, did amazing things. Paul and Silas are certainly a testament to that. James and John are also two notable men that worked together at times to make a difference for the Kingdom of God!
Too often I think that people have this misconception that a personal relationship with Christ means that we have to figure everything out on our own. This of course is the farthest thing from the truth! I can remember being in Bible College and meeting people who thought they were too good to discuss the Gospel with other students attending college. They would keep to themselves constantly, not participating in group studies or anything to do with corperate learning unless it was a requirement for their classes. This is spiritually unhealthy and spiritual stupidity. God gave us each other to learn from one another. Teach one another. And GROW together as the body of Christ! I have also observed that often in Churches, people who have been saved for a generous amount of time tend to congregate around only other believers who have been saved as long or longer with them. I think people do this inadvertently at times, yet it still happens. This is bad for the Body as a whole. We have enough separation in the world, we certainly don't need it within the Body of Christ.
This kind of behavior often leads to "clicks" in the church. Which can destroy a ministry or divide it to the point that the ministry never grows to its fullest potential. I have seen this first hand years ago and it was awful. Clicks, lead to people leaving the Church. People who don't fit in with the seasoned believers, often leave and end up in worst condition than before they got saved. This is a disgrace and shouldn't be tolerated in any ministry. NOW, lets take a look at 1st Corinthians Chapter 12 . I challenge you personally to study this entire chapter this week in your devotions. I guarantee it will bring knowledge and prospective to you! I will only cover some of it today.. Let's start with 1st Corinthians 12 Vs.12 ..
IT TAKES ALL OF US IN THE BODY OF CHRIST TO FUNCTION!
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
You'll notice that in Vs.12 , Paul tells us that the body is made up of many members. This is true not just for our physical bodies, but the Body of Christ. We are all unique people. every person who is a Christian, is a unique part of the body of Christ. We all have different abilities and gifts. Some people have the gift of joy! They can simply make others laugh and feel great! This is vital part of the body of Christ! YET, it's not any more vital than another part of the Body. Too often Pastors, Evangelist, Teachers, etc.. seem to be treated or considered more of a important part or role in the Body of Christ. This simply isn't true at all! It takes ALL of us to make the entire body work and function properly. That's why Paul goes on to use different parts of the physical body as examples. Let's just put it this way, feet wouldn't serve any purpose if they were not attached to legs. They would simply just be feet. I know that sounds strange, but its absolutely true. The same goes for the hands. If hands were not attached to arms, they would simply exist, yet without the arms to extend them , they could never pick up anything.
The same is true with the body of Christ. It takes each and every one of us in the Body of Christ to function! Imagine going to church next week and every single day care or nursery worker just decided to leave the church that morning. There wouldn't be anyone to minster to and take care of our precious babies! So many adults in the church would have to leave and go home because they wouldn't be able to attend service. This example proves that it takes ALL parts of the body, or church, to function correctly. Nursery workers are a prime example. So many people overlook them. SO many people don't see their value! Nursery Workers are absolutely crucial in the Church! They not only watch your kids while you sit in service and receive the Word of God. They minister to your babies! They pray over them and help them learn about our Lord and Savior through many facets of teaching. They most certainly are vital and necessary! Same goes for greeters! If your church doesn't have a amazing greeting ministry, this can seriously hurt your ministry! People need to feel welcomed when they walk in to your church! Especially those who are visiting. They may not even have a relationship with Christ yet. The last thing they need is to meet a cranky greeter who is rude when they walk in the doors. The point is, every single person, every single part, has it's dedicated, necessary place in the Church and Body of Christ.
NOW.. lets take a look at Vs. 25-26
25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Paul is telling us here that there should be no division or schism in the body. ALL of us have to have the SAME care and respect for one another! This is why it is so important that NEW Christians should feel one in the same as any other believers in the Church. Verse 26 really says it all.. WHEN ONE MEMBER SUFFERS, ALL THE MEMBERS SUFFER! This is why discipleship is MORE than crucial! If your a new believer and your not being discipled, your spiritual growth is being cut off. Your development is suffering. When you suffer, EVERYONE else in the Church or Body of Christ will suffer! This is why so many churches stay around the same attendance numbers for years and never seem to grow at all. To every new member that comes to the church, 2-3 members leave because they were not being taught how to grow in their relationship with Christ. I hope if your a new Christian reading this, you realize how important it is to make sure your in a church that will help you grow and learn as a new believer! If your not being challenged and offered discipleship, it might be time for you to find a new church home where you not only grow, but feel loved and respected just as much as anyone else in that body.
Again, I challenge you to study 1st Corinthians chapter 12 this week. Meditate on it! Verse by verse, line by line. Let the Word of God saturate your brain this week! Blessings! Until next week.
Reverend Ian Potter
Reverend Ian Potter is a Spirit Filled Evangelist who preaches the Raw , Uncompromised , Gospel of Jesus Christ.