We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Care of Converts

There are certain telltale signs of the neglect of new converts in evangelical churches.  One of the most obvious is the large number of people that confess Christ but will not give allegiance to any church.  They float on the sea of religious activity with no sense of direction.  They hasten from sacred concert to sacred concert, from Bible conference to Bible conference, from seminar to seminar, from movement to movement, preoccupied with hero image leadership.  These unattached Christians are easy prey to certain types of spectacular leadership.  They are tasters of sermons more often than they are doers of the Word.  If everything does not contribute to their self-centered view of the church, they move on to hear the latest religious star in the vain hope that they have at last found the answer.  Well-discipled believers would not fall into that kind of hopeless syndrome.
Another sign that indicates a need for discipleship is the many believers that do not grow up: they remain babes in Christ and require constant care.  They are problem-centered, wanting a church ministry that provides spiritual props.  The pastoral staff counsels many Christians who, in the light of Scripture, should now be equipped to counsel others [but are unable to do so].
Keith M. Bailey, Care of Converts: Leadership Training Manual for Discipleship, p.13 (1979)


Committed Christian said...

That's a very big problem I agree! I have been a Christian for about ten years and only in the last three have I had any good instruction. And my current churches seems to be the first that takes care to disciple people. It is an unfortunate thing!

Michael Burdick said...

Perhaps we should be disciplining people into salvation instead of whipping them into an emotional frenzy which incites them to pray the "magic prayer of salvation" after which (should such a program exist) we then start disciplining them?

From what I've seen in scripture we are to first make "disciples" which requires much teaching rather than making "converts" which only requires a slam dunk in the baptismal tank.

Of course, this leaves us with the question of "who got saved which way?" I'm not sure I'd be willing to judge the salvation of anyone no matter what path God used to get them there. Maybe all those "conferences and concerts" which seem so shallow to us are a good dose of milk to babes---I seem to remember drinking from that bottle myself.

ali said...

I too like MB drank from the bottle of shallowness. Thinking I was saved - running here and there, following every wind of doctrine - UNTIL the day I was indeed born again. After that time, my life changed and I am indeed a new creation in HIM - old things have passed away and all things have become new.

Like our LORD said, we must be born again.!!.