The push in previous years has always been, as far as with me, reaching out for souls. I would see so many of the Lord’s people involved in everything but soul-winning. I wanted to help jump-start every church I could to get their people out sharing their faith. I know it’s the job of the Holy Spirit, but I also know He calls us to fulfill His Word. He expects us to be obedient to it.
There is tremendous joy that goes with it. I don’t know a greater joy than to see people come to Christ and get excited about what they now have.
Even with all the reports I’ve heard of people coming to Christ, I’ve still heard that the church in America is shrinking. It doesn’t make sense to me other than the fact that many people make commitments to the Lord and are seldom discipled.
It’s so common in some churches to see 100 people walk up and say a sinner’s prayer. And sometimes I tend to believe many of them have no idea what they are getting into. They are caught up in the emotion of the service. I do believe, though, that many are sincere about their commitment to Christ but just need someone to work with them.
Out of those 100 people one month later, while we are still rejoicing for the souls, you look around and most of them are nowhere to be seen. I feel the most obvious conclusion is that they were not properly followed up or discipled so they would remain in the body. Or, they were never informed as to what they must do next.
The most important time in a Christian’s life is right after that initial prayer is said.
The devil will go to any extreme to keep that person from getting grounded in God’s Kingdom. He will place doubts upon his mind, send people to persecute him as soon as the word gets out that he is saved, or keep his friends constantly distracting him. That newly born-again Child of God needs a brother and sister to help him grow strong. He needs nurturing and nourishment. It’s so easy to chalk up another soul on our Bible belt and feel so good about ourselves.
Let this year be a year of planting the seed and caring for the young. The Scriptures teach us to make disciples of all nations, not converts.
All this takes time and effort on our part, but it’s well worth it. You will be so blessed to see the fruit of your labor growing strong next to you on Sunday morning. It will make you feel like a spiritual father. You will be concerned when they are not there, or when they are hurt or confused. You will also step in and offer the help they need. You will end up with more help on your team when the rest of the church sees those you have won to Christ and that they are growing strong.
If you need help in discipling others, contact myself or others around the county who would be of help to you. Many others have good materials you would be able to use. Call me if you need help. The point is focusing on working with them until Christ is formed in them.
George Elias of Poway directs Powerful Witness Ministries in Poway. He can be contacted at (619) 679-7706.