In every area of life, we must be taught if we are to live life well. Why is it, then, that Christ-followers are so quick to neglect teaching new believers (and mature ones, too!) what it means to follow Jesus?
Evangelism without discipleship results in Gospel inoculation rather than Kingdom participation.
In other words, telling people about Jesus isn't where things end. We have to guide and teach new and less-mature believers to become more like Jesus. If we don't, then all we do is make them think they've got it all together, thus inoculating them to the Good News of Jesus and possibly leading them to a place of "been there, done that, didn't work." Instead, we want to lead them to a place where they are active in the Kingdom of God here on earth, in the Church, in ministry, in worship, in sharing their faith, and in teaching others!
Text to read: Acts 11:24-26 NLT
Barnabas understood the importance of not just converting people, but also teaching them!
You may think that new believers will just figure out what they need to know, but historian Daniel Boorstin thought otherwise: "Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know."
Jesus commands his followers to make disciples and teach them. He doesn't tell us to make converts and move along.
If you're wondering where to start, know that:
Your example is your best tool for teaching.
For instance: if you tell them that church is important, but they only see you going when it's convenient for you and your schedule, they'll quickly learn that church is not actually important. Your example matters, so be sure to live as Christ has called you to live, and invite them to live life alongside you!
Your church is here to help you.
You're not in this alone. If things get overwhelming, or you need help answering questions or knowing what to teach next, we're here for you.
Barnabas knew when he needed help, and he went off and got Saul to come and teach with him.
Sometimes you need to know when to find help.
Commit not just to share your faith but also to make disciples.
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