By Tim Downs
The statistics teach us that if a new baby would be left alone with no care for more than three days it will die. We leave our converts alone for approximately one week with only a letter from the pastor in most cases. We must do every thing we can to touch these converts with a personal visit at minimum of two times in three days.
I will list my suggestions and teachings on Discipleship. I pray these instructions will help you in your efforts to retain converts.
We teach that as soon as someone is born again there needs to be saints standing by ready to adopt the new babies! Now when we speak of adoption we are not talking about financially taking care of them, we do not believe we need to pay their bills or give them money. We do believe that adoption will include constant contact, via home visits and phone contact.
It is very important that the new converts are personally contacted by the adoptive parents within 24 hours. We suggest bringing cookies or some small gift….possibly a Home Interiors Candle. Also they will want to make 3 contacts in the first three days.
We suggest setting a time for a Home Bible study when on your personal visitation. We suggest waiting until you have taken time to talk for a while and connect before asking for the Home Bible Study appointment. We also highly suggest not calling to get the Bible study, we believe it is essential to ask for the Bible study in person.
We suggest that by the fourth day the first Home Bible study will have taken place in the new convert’s home. The adoptive parent does not necessarily have to know how to teach the normal Bible study, ie…Exploring God’s Word, Search for Truth etc… Usually there is a hindrance in getting people to teach Bible studies due to the fact they are scared because they do not know how. We suggest even going to the home talking about one or two scriptures, just pick a couple out and talk about them for about 10-15 minutes. Always try and stay away from strong doctrinal scriptures.
The adoptive parent will want to stop by one of the pizza places and pick up a large pizza and a 6 pack of soft drinks. This will be a blessing to the converts. Any other type of food will work….we do suggest that you ask the converts what they like first. For instance you can ask them when they set the date of the study this question. “When we come for the Bible study we will be bringing something to eat. Would you prefer pizza or any other type of food?
Once in the study always listen to what these new converts have to say. Ask questions about them, get to know them and try and listen more than talking. The real teaching and preaching will come in the church services, our goal should be just fellowship and love. This is the glue that keeps these converts coming back!
New Converts Church Dinner
We also suggest having a church dinner for new converts or guest. For instance if you have a large event and have a number of new guest you will want to take the registration cards and gather information to hold a church dinner for them.
We suggest that the saints of the church wear Sunday Night style clothing… set up tables with white table clothes, candles, real plates and silverware. Make it as professional as possible. The idea is to make it seem like a nice 5 star restaurant setting. Serve the food and then the saints will sit down and connect with each of the guest.
We suggest personally delivering the RSVP cards inviting them to the dinner. This will prove affective for one of the home visits.
This is a great way to stay connected with new converts or first time guest.
New Convert Transformation & Growth
I believe there should be 3 different types of new convert teaching classes in all of our churches. Our churches are currently are trying to bring attention to the importance of discipleship and new believers type of learning. However I believe the next level of keeping and retaining these new converts will include the information below. Please feel free to add to or suggest information to build these programs.
1.) New Convert Discipleship
These classes should be built around the basic principles of Christian living and basic doctrines. Also as much doctrine and information on salvation as possible. Our biggest focus will be on
c. Bible Study
d. Simple Holiness & Separation
e. Faithfulness to Church
f. Giving and Tithing
2.) Life Classes
These classes will train new converts the principles of community living and growing in everyday life skills. Reaching the poor is very important, teaching them to become better citizens is essential! We are missing this in most of our churches across the board. If we bring in people from the poverty neighborhoods and lifestyle we need to train and teach them to become better citizens in their communities. Overall we will be basically training them to have a better and healthier lifestyle.
a. Training for Job Resumes
b. Simple principles of savings and checking accounts
c. College and Career Principles
d. Manners and Health Care and Diet
f. Parenting Skills
3.) Outreach & Soul Winning
One of the most interesting things I have found missing in our fellowship is the fact that across the board I find hardly any churches teaching people to go back out into the fields and find and convert others once they have this truth. We must have classes teaching principles of soul winning and evangelism. We must train these new converts to go back out into the field of harvest pulling others from the lake of fire!
a. Soul Winning Concepts
b. Teaching on the necessity of reaching souls
c. Teaching on principles of setting up bus routes and daily witnessing
d. Teaching on affective Bible study teaching
I believe if we can have all three of these classes being taught through a 3 month period of time along with getting each convert involved in home Bible study groups we will retain a much higher amount of souls. We teach that the type of home Bible study that is being taught to the new convert is not as important as the fellowship that is grown through the time spent while in these Bible studies. We believe the fellowship and increased involvement of church activities is the glue that makes our new converts stick!
This article ‘Discipleship’ written by Tim Downs is excerpted from his website Gowinsouls.com.