New Converts: The Basics

Lock the Back Door! 

“Hey Bob, did you know the church of Christ believes they are the only ones going to heaven?”

If the new convert has not been asked this question prior to conversion, it will be asked shortly thereafter. It is doubtful the new convert will raise his hand in an adult class for an answer. It will probably be asked in a new converts class or when mentors are working with these new members. We want these babes in Christ to ask questions. They deserve biblical answers. If questions like this go unanswered for too long, doubts will begin to rise, and their fragile faith will falter. Soon our new sons and daughters in the gospel will walk out the back door as quickly as they walked in the front.

Peter said, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). You do not feed a baby a steak. No matter the cut or quality of that steak, an infant just cannot digest it. New converts are babes in Christ, and they need constant and special attention. The following suggestions are provided to begin the discussion on how to receive and develop new Christians.

  • Select a coordinator to oversee your new converts ministry.
  • If possible, this coordinator should be an elder who is able to devote time and attention to this ministry.
  • New Convert classes and mentoring should begin immediately (see additional curriculum for details).
  • Select a dedicated classroom where you can meet, teach, and provide a warm environment for them.
  • Invest time and resources in each new convert. They are the lifeblood of the church.
  • Do not wait! If you have one new convert, you have enough to get started.
  • Encourage new converts to begin thinking about their family and friends they want to bring to Christ.
  • Discourage new converts from trying to teach them without proper training and help.
  • Invite new converts out to dinner or into your home.
  • Sit with new converts during services and make them feel like family.
  • Introduce new converts to other members, and make sure they are warmly greeted and loved.

Satan targeted the Son of God right after His baptism (Matthew 4), so you can be sure he will go after a new convert. When members walk in the front door, lock the back door! Why spend hours and hours investing resource after resource to teach and baptize, just to let them walk away? Develop a new convert strategy. Sadly, most congregations lose far too many new members. I am often asked how many converts we teach stay faithful. Honestly, a much higher percentage than those who grew up in the church. The reason is that we have a focused strategy to keep the saved, saved. We never disengage from new converts. We simply move them along, helping them mature in their salvation.