In every profession, its future depends on the effort of its stakeholders to reproduce themselves. A carpenter must have apprentices for the profession to continue. Hairdressers must train younger hairdressers. The future of any art is in its ability to produce younger practitioners.
So is the Christian faith.
Jesus spent three years and a half to raise a few crop of people that would do exactly what he was doing. Jesus had great meetings. He held large audiences.
One time he had 5,000 families in one seating. Another time the crowd was so large that some friends had to remove the roof of His house to let down a paralyzed man on a stretcher!
Yet, the focus of His ministry was to produce 12 disciples who could do exactly what He was doing. At His return, 120 followers saw him off, yet His joy was in the 11 who He knew where disciples. And with them, He will change the world. His focus was not on the tens and hundreds of thousands that constantly attended his meetings but the 12.
In the beginning God made most living things to reproduce after its own kind.
From History
From the 16th to the 18th century, Europe was the power house of Christianity and missions. I always read with passion and amazement how going to the mission fields in China, India and Africa was the most honourable ambition of every young man and woman, then.
However, today, the very faith that was the skeleton and flesh of every wonderful advancement and prosperity is strange to Europe and considered a threat by some!
Gothic cathedrals and imposing structures of Christian worship have now been reduced to Museums and showrooms and in Turkey, mosques.
How sad!
All these unfortunate disastrous situations are the best examples of what happens when focus on discipleship is replaced. Too often than not, when a church grows, an unconscious satisfaction sets in, apathy and indifference is the end.
Then gradually the light deems and the truth is lost. Maintenance activities, busy schedules, multitude of programmes gets everyone occupied. A portfolio evangelism and prayer group is set up.
Then growth by birthday and by chance becomes the default mode. Reasoning and logics produces excuses for the absence of discipleship. Nice programmes, polished music, societal applause make us feel accomplished. Surely, God should be happy with us.
Moreover, across the street is a struggling church that is nowhere half our progress. Politicians and intellectuals pick our church as a reference point. We balance our budget, change the choir robes, reconstruct the altar to be as prestigious as our pedigree.
We no longer talk about spiritual growth. We assume that prosperity and material acquisition of our church is God’s silent approval. Hence, material growth must be same as spiritual growth.
The New Believer
The believer is almost equitable to a new born child. Paul and Peter said this:
2Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
And Peter said,
1Peter 2:1 “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
The new believer in Christ is:
a. He is born through love, the love of God.
b. He is born innocent and ignorant and total dependent on his parent who brought him to Christ.
c. He is received with job, just as people in the family gather to celeberate the coming of a new born, the Bible says there is great rejoicing in heaven when one soul is saved.
d. A new born has all the potentials in the world to rise to any place in Christ given all that he needs for proper effective development.
e. The new born is the only proof of numerical growth in the kingdom. No new babies, no growth.
What does a new believer need to grow?
a. The first thing a baby needs is food. The only guarantee for growth and continuity is the availability and accessibility of pure and rich spiritual food.
b. A new baby needs a family. A place of care, compassion and affection. He needs people around who know they are obligated to the baby, to feed, care for and nurture the new born. A place of protection, defence and grooming.
c. A new born in the kingdom needs provision. He is too young to provide for himself.
d. A new born needs time to grow.
Therefore, patience is a necessity. He will stumble and fall again, but with patience and encouragement he will rise and make progress.
He doesn’t need judgment, he needs a helping hand. He needs correction in love.
e. A new born in Christ needs a powerful example in front of him. When older believers live according to Scripture they become a bigger living testimony of the teaching of the Word of God. More than anything, new believers need this.
God bless you!
David Pam McQuel

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