Many of us become sick to our stomach when we hear of a child that has been abandoned or neglected. Our hearts break for the child and hate the cruel parent that neglected them. We know that anyone with common sense knows that a baby needs to be cared for and nurtured. Babies have to be fed, they have to get their diaper changed, and they need love and attention. They need to know that they are wanted.
We all agree that we can't stand people who neglect to take care of their child. A baby cannot fend for itself. It needs someone to care and look out for them. I wonder sometimes how God feels when we neglect to take care of the babies that He has entrusted us with. I'm not talking about literal babies. This blog is not about parenting. I'm talking about newborn Christians. Countless churches get people to "pray a prayer." After they're done praying, the person who has led them to the Lord kindly says, "Welcome to the family." None of that is bad. The problem is what comes after that, "........." nothing. Many churches say to newborn Christians, "You're on your own now."
Several churches have begun to handle this better. They have begun classes for new coverts or discipleship programs that allow newborn Christians to fellowship with other believers and learn how to follow Christ. When we read the Great Commission in Matthew 28, we see that Jesus calls us to "make disciples," not prayer commitments. Anybody can lead a person to pray a practiced prayer, but we need need to be more diligent about making sure each newborn Christian has what they need to grow in Christ. When you start your first day on a new job, does someone leave you on your own and let you try to figure out what to do, or do they put you through training sessions or team you up with someone to show you what you need to do? They usually put you through a training video session or something. Then they may also team you up with somebody who can show you how to do your job. No good business hopes that you can figure it out on your own. They show you the way. And we need to be doing the same for new Christians. We need to SHOW them how to follow Christ.
So what are you doing to make disciples? The Great Commissions isn't just for pastors and other ministry leaders; it's a call to all followers of Jesus Christ to bring others to follow Him as well. What can we do as a church to be better at making disciples?