Easter is over. Now what? Ever wondered how many people dedicate their lives to God on Easter, only to return to their former ways 10 days later. That’s normal if the church misunderstands the importance of ongoing discipleship of new believers. When the conversion happens, we want to make sure that it is sincere and that this decision is fully understood so it can have a lasting impact. We suggest following these 10 essentials in discipling a new believer.
10 Guidelines For Discipling New Believers After Easter Is Done
Last Updated: February 2017
1. Assign a discipleship outreach partner or team
Most churches provide a new member card where new believers could provide their contact details. Use this information, and dependent on the age/gender of the person, assign an outreach partner to them. This person should not be a new believer, but someone that has a deep-rooted personal relationship with Jesus. Someone in whom the fruit of the Spirit is very evident. Someone who is Scripturally-grounded. Someone who is willing to walk a road with this new believer. This is step one in discipling a new believer.
2. Schedule accountability and regular fellowship
True transformation happens where information and application coincide. Now that the new believer has confessed with mouth and heart that Jesus is Lord, they need to start walking in the victory Christ bought for them. The quickest way to establish a clear growth path is to implement daily accountability. The new believer needs to make a daily habit of studying Scripture, praying and fellowshipping with other believers. You’ll want to make sure that, at least for the first 70-85 days, you collaborate and participate with the new believer, to bring about a mature understanding of Scripture, the church and the fellowship of believers.
3. Do not forsake the assembly of believers
A powerful anchor in the life of a new believer is to be surrounded by other mature believers. To have a new network of friends that share your deepest beliefs and conviction is life-changing. There needs to be a clear break with the old way of doing things and a new embracing of living a pure and holy life unto the Lord. It’s not a religion, but a relationship. Daily, the individual needs to be transformed by the renewal of their mind as stated in Romans 12:2, so that their mind can begin to be controlled by the Spirit, who will produce the fruit of life and peace therein.
4. Not By Might, Nor By Power, But By The Spirit Of The Lord
The sooner the new believer understands that this new life cannot be supported by human strength, but by the life-sustaining power of the Holy Spirit, the quicker they will begin to abide in Christ and experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. They need to be filled by the Spirit of God. At repentance, they are sealed for eternity. To begin this new life in God, they need to be filled by the Holy Spirit to produce, as God’s workmanship in Christ, the good works for which they were made. Now they can step into the destiny that God intended for them. To be filled by the Holy Spirit is to be consumed by the power of God, to do God’s will in a supernatural way. Make sure that they understand that this has nothing to do with spiritual manifestations. You can be filled with the Spirit in order to mow the lawn when you were too sick or weak to do so.
5. Secure Their Identity in Christ
Do not think Satan will go easy on a new believer. He will pull every stunt to influence, deter and depress the new believer and make them feel that this conversion was just an experience – a mere spiritual high. It’s not! Root them in their identity in Christ by having them daily recite Scripture that affirms their sonship in Christ. They should do this in the morning when they first wake up, and in the evening before they go to sleep. Great Scripture verses that do just this are, for example: John 1:12, Colossians 2:10, John 15:15, Ephesians 2:5, 1 Corinthians 6:17, Ephesians 1:4, Ephesians 1:3-8, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Colossians 3:1-4, Philippians 3:20, 1 John 5:18, John 15:16, 2 Corinthians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 10:5.
6. Take Captive Every Thought And Submit it to Christ
Make sure the new believer gets this one important fact right from the get-go. Satan is not God’s opponent. He is not Jesus’s foe. There is no equality in power, stature or nature of any kind between Satan and the Father, Son, and Spirit. He (Satan) is nothing! When you understand this, and you understand your new character in Christ Jesus, you will truly believe Romans 8:1 that states that there is no more condemnation for those who belong to Jesus Christ. There is no more fear of sin and death. It’s defeated. It’s finished. By His stripes, we are healed! When Satan then comes with his spiritual attacks, especially on the mind, conquer him by taking all those thoughts captive. Immediately, as they happen! Submit them in obedience to Christ as 2 Corinthians 10:5 instructs.
7. The Christian Life Is Not Sunshine and Roses
Make sure the new believer understands the cost of the Christian life as explained in John 16:33, Matthew 24:9, Matthew 10:17 and 2 Corinthians 11:23. The new life in faith is full of joy and full of power. Yet, here on this earth, we are promised persecution. It may be to the point of death or may not even involve death. Persecution is certain and could come through family, friends or coworkers. What Jesus did for the new believer is eternal and life-changing, but this is not their best life now. Their best life is yet to come! Any gospel that preaches differently contradicts Jesus, Himself.
8. Mentor Them On How To Give Their Testimony
Revelation 12:11 clearly declares that as believers, we overcome by the word of our testimony and the Blood of the Lamb. If the world cannot tell that you are a believer, then you are most likely not. A born-again believer does not keep their faith silent. They are never ashamed of the Gospel of grace. They look for every opportunity to declare the Gospel. Mentor the new believer how to give their testimony powerfully, concisely, and efficiently. Teach them how to do this with confidence.
9. Seek Me Oh Lord and Show Me Any Iniquity In Me
A life of victory is a life of repentance. 1 John 1:9 explains clearly that repentance is necessary as it is a literal agreement with God that sin is death. Repentance does not happen just on Sundays, it happens every minute, every second of every day. You constantly make sure that there is nothing in your heart or mind that can bring separation between you and God. There is nothing that the Accuser can use as an open door to lay claim to harassing you when you constantly confess sin as it arises. It’s a winning recipe! Discipling a new believer must include this core principle.
10. Put On The Armor of God
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood (people), it is against the principalities and powers of darkness that rule them. Teach the new believer to start and end their day in prayer and solitude with God. Show them the importance of practicing the presence of God in everything they do. Mentor them in putting on the armor of God as described in Ephesians 6. Have them do so every morning while declaring it out loud.
We can be so occupied with building a successful Easter service, that we are oblivious to the discipleship that needs to happen afterward. Discipling a new believer is essential. These same principles apply in missions. You cannot do an outreach trip to Mexico and then retreat, without leaving a lasting discipleship program in place that continues God’s work, after the event is done.
What other essentials can be implemented to solidify the growth of a new believer? Comment Below.