Turning Decisions into Additions and Additions into Disciplers
(New Convert Care)
By Jim Hall
Where have all the spiritual babies gone? An alarming and disturbing trend is occurring in the Assemblies of God. When more than 75 percent of all decisions made for Christ in Assemblies of God churches are lost through the back door, something is desperately wrong and begs the question, “Why do so few decisions for Christ result in additions to the church?”
In an attempt to answer this question, we must first consider the apostle Paul’s example to the Thessalonian believers: We were “gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children” (1 Thessalonians 2:7, NASB, emphasis mine).1 Paul knew these newborn babes in Christ would live and grow through loving relationships, or they would die if left alone. Paul’s association with them continued so he could exhort, encourage, and implore “each one … as a father would his own children” (1 Thessalonians 2:11, NASB). The result was their spiritual survival and their transformation into powerful witnesses. Like a proud father, Paul noted that “in every place your faith toward God has gone forth” (1 Thessalonians 1:8, NASB).
New believer discipling is indispensable if we as pastors are to curb the alarming spiritual death rate among them. Does your church have a well-developed discipling ministry that will ensure the survival rate of your new converts and help them become growing, thriving members of the church?
This article addresses practical steps to establish an effective new-convert discipling ministry in a church of any size that will turn decisions into additions and additions into disciplers. These dynamics are timeless and effective.
To read the rest of this article and obtain a downloadable PDF of the winter 2008 issue of Enrichment journal, click here.