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)