Why discipling new believers is so vital

March 31, 2021

Discipleship is the process of a believer’s transformation to Christlikeness that takes place intentionally and relationally in the context of gospel community.

Based on Jesus’ call to His disciples in Matthew 4:19, a disciple is someone who is following Christ, is being changed by Christ, and is committed to the mission of Christ. The life of a disciple is a life of surrender, transformation and mission.

However, discipleship for new believers comes with a unique challenge. New believers come to Christ with years of worldly beliefs, thoughts and habits. They also come to Christ with access to a host of lost family and friends.

The discipleship challenge with new believers includes the need to get the world out of the new believer and to get the new believer into the world. New believers need gospel community where they can learn to pray, grow in the word and share their new found faith in Christ.

There is no cookie-cutter approach to discipleship. But the ingredients to the batter are remarkably similar.

New believers need gospel community where they can learn to pray, grow in the word and share their new found faith in Christ.

Here are a few examples from other North Carolina Baptists who are taking up the unique challenge of discipling new believers.

Building relationships
Discipleship is about relationship where people help each other mature in Christlikeness through life-on-life interaction. Buies Creek First Baptist Church challenges members to be part of discipling triads, where believers equip each other to live on mission for God. Veritas Church in Fayetteville creates community groups where believers can relate regularly with each other and invite lost neighbors to join in.

Praying for the lost
Prayer arms new believers in their struggle against sin and gives them boldness to share the gospel with family, friends and neighbors. Bless Every Home is a free online tool that helps believers pray for opportunities to care for and share the gospel with their neighbors. Renovation Church in Hampstead uses this tool. Neill’s Creek Baptist Church in Angier has started prayer walking neighborhoods as a vital part of their discipleship.

Sharing the gospel
The gospel empowers transformation. When new believers share the gospel, they press its transforming power deeper into their own hearts and wider into the world. The Vine Fellowship in Clinton disciples believers to share the gospel, using the Bible’s grand story of creation, fall, redemption and restoration. South Erwin Baptist Church disciples believers to use the 3 Circles presentation.

Obeying Christ’s commands
Obedience to Christ drives transformation. Transformation takes place as new believers surrender to the commands of Christ. Cool Springs Baptist Church in Sanford has started using the 7 Commands of Christ study to help believers grow in Christlikeness and open up discussion with unbelievers. Likewise, Cartledge Creek Baptist Church near Rockingham takes a similar approach, using the G3 model that explores the Imperative Life of a Christ Follower.

As new disciples mature in Christlikeness, they grow into a life of surrender, transformation and mission.

Pray for an opportunity to take up the unique challenge of discipling a new believer. They have a great capacity to grow deep in the faith and spread wide their gospel influence in the world.

by Michael Boarts  /  Strategic Focus Team  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Board affirms Unzicker as EDT nominee

Todd Unzicker, chief of staff at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, has been nominated by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) board of directors to become the next executive director-treasurer of the state convention. The board voted to approve Unzicker’s...

4 kinds of pastors whose churches need revitalizing

Revitalization is one of those things pastors Google when no one else is looking. As I travel across the state, I meet pastors who minister in a variety of contexts — rural, urban, small, large, plants and even replants. Some of these pastors know their church is in need of...

5 ways pastors should respond to setbacks in ministry

Things don’t always turn out the way we desire. Oftentimes, we find ourselves asking questions about why something happened, or why we didn’t see it coming. We wonder why God allowed it or have difficulty seeing how God’s plan is being accomplished through it. Phrases such as...

How families can adopt a family discipleship plan

Many parents have made 2021 the year of discipleship for their family. They have taken the challenge and implemented the “Family Discipleship Plan” in their homes. Moms and dads have made this a priority because they know they have been given the wonderful privilege of being the...

Why leading your child to Christ is a process, not just a prayer

I remember praying a prayer at age 5. As a Cubby in the Awana program at our church, I was slightly intimidated by the leader who took me into the darkened chapel and asked me if I wanted to go to heaven to be with Jesus. I didn’t know what that meant. I may have asked a few...

3 steps to being missional in your community

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with heightened racial and political tensions, have sparked massive conflicts throughout our state and nation in the last year and a half. However, in the midst of the chaos, families have a unique opportunity to be missional in their homes and...

God’s presence provides comfort in times of transition

“It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions!” These words by the late William Bridges, who was a leading authority on organizational leadership, have been ringing in my mind throughout the last year. When our country went into lockdown due to the pandemic, it was an...

Students: An untapped resource for serving in your church

I’ve heard it said that students are the church of tomorrow, but I really struggle with that — I believe students are the church of today and the future church leaders of tomorrow. Students need adults who love Jesus, love them and take the time to disciple them. They need...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!