Taking Care of New Converts
I’ve grown up in this truth! I love the Kingdom, ministry, our heritage, and I love souls. “New Converts” is nothing new to my Apostolic vocabulary. Throughout my years serving the Lord, I have seen many people come into the church. Some have left, but a lot have stayed. Some have been people that I have witnessed to and brought to church myself, but it wasn’t until recently that the Lord really started dealing with me about, “how much am I really doing to reach and keep new converts?”
Sis. Karen Rhinehart recently contacted me about a precious saint that was reached through the “Princess Within” conference, and her words have haunted me. “Here am I, send me.” Sure, I’ve prayed that about the direction God has for my life and ministry, but have I truly meant it about souls, specifically? I’m pretty sure we can all relate. We get caught up in our lives, our families, our ministries, and our duties at church, sometimes forgetting what it’s really all about—souls!
Philippians 2:4 says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” It isn’t always comfortable or convenient to love others enough to put aside our own interests and plans. It’s easy to say, “Well, either they want it or they don’t!” and walk away feeling like we’ve done enough. But have we? Have I?
As Christians, we are to be Christ-like. Christ’s ministry was to heal, mend, save, and love unconditionally. Outreach was the heartbeat of Jesus’ ministry. Shouldn’t it be ours, also?
So with the words “Here am I, send me” ringing in my ears, I began to answer this call to reach further, reach more, and reach even when it’s a little uncomfortable. Having just experienced a miraculous healing from a 20-month, undiagnosed, debilitating medical condition, I was having feelings of inadequacy. But, I began saying to the Lord “Here am I, send me.” And He is, in a way I never imagined!
Here’s a little about what I’m learning (if you’ve already learned this, then I’m sorry I’m a little behind).
If you don’t want the Lord to send you, then don’t pray, “Here am I, send me:”
New converts don’t always act the way we want them to—but who does? When they fall, we love, support and guide them back to the right path. After all, the scriptures do liken them to babies (1 Corinthians 3, 1 Peter 2). So we “mother” them, as we should.
It is important to stay in constant contact with them, whether by phone, text, email, visits, or just meeting up for coffee. We must talk to them several times a week. It is important to keep a relationship with our new converts. Not just on a spiritual level, but developing a friendship with them will help them to trust and believe us when we tell them about the Word of God and all of the blessings that come with serving Him.
Bible studies are vital. They are hungry to know more about the Word and truth. If we don’t feed them, they will not survive. It’s a time investment on our part, but worth it!
Connections with other members in the church are so important. It is said that if a new member doesn’t develop seven close friendships within six months, they won’t stay! Wow, that’s an eye-opener!
I’ve had to be willing to step out of my comfort zone and allow God to use me the way He wants. If there’s one thing I’ve always known, it’s that wherever God wants to use me, He will not throw me out there on my own. He will always provide the tools and resources needed to complete the job He has called me to. Ministering to and connecting with new converts is no different.
So, knowing that, will you pray, “Here am I, send me?”
Andrea Propst writes on behalf’ of the ALJC Women’s Esprit Department. She and her husband Darrell make their home in Columbus, Ohio, where they attend Calvary Apostolic Church.
The above article, “Taking Care of New Converts” was written by Andrea Propst. The article was excerpted from Apostolic Witness Magazine. January 2014.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.