4 Essentials for Follow-Up with New Believers

New believer

There are some wonderful blessings coming from the graceful way you share the gospel!  Many people are trusting Christ as their Savior!

Because you have new believers in Christ in your center all the time, SMSC is planning a special session in the Evangelism: Avenues of Grace track at the Care Net Conference in September.  In this session, we will be presenting ideas from women’s ministry directors in churches, leaders of parachurch ministries, EvanTell, and SMSC pregnancy centers.  We are focused on workable solutions to a very significant question:

How should new believers in Christ receive the discipleship needed for them to go on in maturity with the Lord?

We will present our research in talking with women’s ministry directors from around the country on how their churches respond with new believer discipleship.  We’ll present parachurch concepts that really work – Christian discipleship combined with community support for needy women.  And we’ll discuss together in our highly interactive session what many of you are doing.  Come and bring your ideas and questions.

If you want to make a contribution to our session, please either email us at smsc@evantell.org, or comment!  We’ll contact you!

Here are some ideas from a blog post published on the EvanTell blog site not long ago.  

When Paul left Thessalonica, he did not abandon the new believers but sent Timothy to establish and encourage them in the faith (1 Thess. 3:2). Once people trust Christ, don’t leave them alone! New believers who begin the Christian life are at a critical point. Leaving the old life behind isn’t easy. Though the Holy Spirit provides the power to live victoriously, old patterns, old habits, and old temptations are still there. New believers need mature believers to walk alongside them while they take their first steps on the road to maturity.

Here are four principles for assisting new believers in their initial growth. They take a very real commitment, but the results are eternal.

1.      A commitment to grace—Approach new believers with a gracious attitude born out of understanding where they are and what they need.

a.      New believers need parental attention. Paul considered the new believers as his own, not just God’s children. That attitude  helped him to extend abundant grace.

b.      New believers need a relationship more than materials. Excellent resources exist for new believers, but the most effective resource continues to be a friend. They need someone to help them with many of the simple, basic first steps.

c.       New believers need flexibility. All children grow at different rates. Paul conveyed in 1 Thessalonians 2:11 that he “exhorted, and comforted, and charged” them in the process of spiritual growth. Different personalities, circumstances, and needs require us to be flexible in our approach to discipleship.

2.      A commitment to time and hard work—Walking alongside new believers in their first steps of spiritual growth takes time and hard work. As a bare minimum, new believers need discipleship a minimum of once a week for eight weeks. The first eight weeks are sometimes when new converts face their greatest adjustments, strongest temptations, and biggest doubts. To have a brother or sister in Christ meeting with them makes a marked difference.

3.      A commitment to maturity—The goal should not be merely to get them to church but for new believers to become like Jesus Christ, mature in their attitudes and actions; to serve Christ; and to help others know Him and grow in Him (see Col. 1:28–29).

4.      A commitment to care—The care and concern Paul had for new believers revealed itself in how he shared his very life with them.

When you follow-up with new believers, they are less concerned with how much you know and more concerned with how much you care.

Adapted from the Evangelism Study Bible®  

Ukraine: Refugee Update

Ukraine – Kharkov Pregnancy Assistance Center

6/8/2015 Possible escalation in Ukraine – latest news from the war zone in Ukraine from The Telegraph.  Remember, all donations received by EvanTell for Ukraine are sent directly to the SMSC pregnancy centers.  No money is retained by EvanTell.

Kharkov Pregnancy ASMSC donate button tealssistance Center Reports that a relationship with a local church to teach the Alpha course has deepened relationships with refugees.  Pregnant women and women with children under two years old are especially in need.  They are receiving diapers, food, hygiene items, baby necessities, and additional items needed by nursing mothers and small children.

Another church recently cooperated with the Kharkov center to host a concert called, “Heaven Sent,” where families were encouraged and received packages of materials that refugees need when they have to run for their lives.  This concert had special value for the people who attended.  Here’s a report from Lena Batina, center director, showing the effect of the program for one mother.:

According to statistics, 1/3 of displaced persons are children. What do they dream about? They dream about peace throughout the land, about happy families that have both a mother and a father, about a cozy home, where they can hear their mother’s song.  At the concert “Heaven Sent” the home-like atmosphere of warmth and acceptance, not only touched the hearts of the children, but also the older generation of mothers and grandmothers.

The post-Soviet countries brought forth a generation of mothers who never sang. This was not because the mothers did not love their children, but because they had to work to produce the communist state. Women were forced to place their children in daycare from the age of 3 months, and let the State educate them. It is amazing how the Lord knew in advance how this meeting would touch hearts that have been hardened and inconsolable. Through lullabies, the Lord has healed the people, in some cases opening floods of tears.

Tanya shared how her heart was touched: “These lullabies reminded me of the distant past. As she was cradling the baby, I felt that in her motherly arms she carried the whole life of her child.” Another woman was a grandmother, who cares for her young grandchildren. Her heart was touched by the gift given to her by these people she had never met.

Previous Ukraine Posts

Hukraines-war-zone-government-claims-new-advances-1-638elp SMSC Centers Serve Ukrainian Refugees Fleeing the War Zone

As the war in Ukraine intensifies, SMSC centers are responding by caring for hundreds of pregnant women, nursing women, and mothers with young children.  These families are fleeing the Donetsk area with almost nothing.  Many make their way to Kharkov, a city only about 4 hours northwest of the fighting.  UPDATE:  We made our first donation to the center on 3/23/15, and pray you will help us to complete another donation of $1,000 or more in a week.  Please do help!  100% of all funds donated go DIRECTLY to the center for immediate use with the refugees – no funds are retained by SMSC.

Ukraine_KharkovOur center partner has been serving refugee families with pregnant moms or infants and toddlers.  At first they saw 30-40 a month, then 30-40 families a week, and now 15 – 30 families a day!  Most refugees are passing through, heading for other locations – but they are hungry, frightened, and they believe the rest of the world has forgotten about them.  But God has not forgotten them.

Lena B We have been asked by Lena Batina, the founder and executive director of the center located in Kharkov to help them help the refugees God is sending to them by raising funds for packages of basic necessities to give the families.   100% OF ALL FUNDS DONATED GO DIRECTLY TO THE UKRAINE!  

 See the List HERE 

SMSC donate button teal

Please help meet emergency needs and supply our SMSC-trained center as they deliver mercy, grace, and the gospel.  
Help us help your sisters and brothers in Ukraine provide bread to eat, and the Bread of Life, for desperate refugees.   Read more here….

Photos below are from a concert Monday, 9 March, 2015, Kharkov, Ukraine.  to encourage refugees with music, share the gospel, and provide package of necessities.  Sponsored by Kharkov Pregnancy Assistance center and local church.  The church will follow up with families, and the pregnancy center will enroll those staying in the area for a parenting class.

Mothers hear Gospel messageSinging Lullaby Songs

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Above left, Sharing the gospel with families
Above right, Trio of ladies singing lullaby songs
Left, packages of necessities distributed to refugee families after concert