New converts are the lifeblood of the local congregation. If you do not have them, you are either dying or dead. They bring energy, excitement, and evangelistic opportunities to the body. Each convert provides dozens if not hundreds of new contacts to the church. Since contacts are the foundation for any healthy evangelism strategy, it is extremely important to focus on them. New members have family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, teammates, and a host of other connections in the local community. Most new Christians are excited about their newfound faith, and they are ready and willing to teach the lost; however, they lack understanding on how to go about it. If not coupled with knowledge, their unharnessed zeal can do lasting damage and close doors. Here are a few important things to keep in mind as you work with babes in Christ.
- Immediately enroll them in a New Converts’ Class taught each Sunday morning, preferable by an elder. Using the book Growing in Christ by Bobby Bates is recommended.
- Ensure mentors are assigned and weekly opportunities for edification and fellowship are pursued. We recommend using Bobby Bates, The Acts Workbook.
- Train them how to evangelize. They have a unique opportunity to reach those close to them and must be taught how to do it.
- Make sure they get the contact bookmark and begin making a list of potential studies.
- Make use of the great free videos at www.wvbs.org. Send them weekly links for edification.
- Get them involved in congregational activities as soon as possible. They need to become part of the body (ears, hands, feet, etc.).
- Be patient and start where they are. New converts will not worship, serve, dress, talk, and live like a seasoned Christian, so do not expect it! Teach and be patient (2 Timothy 4:2).
- Remember: show them, don’t tell them. The same strategy that helped them become a Christian will help them grow as a Christian.
- Never—NEVER—discourage them.
We are often asked why new converts are so evangelistic. The reply is, “They have not been told evangelism does not work!” New converts are an incredible resource and vital part of a growing church. Every eldership should have a plan in place to ensure they are properly fed so their faith can grow, and they can withstand the evil one. When they come in the front door, we must lock the back door.
Relationships formed from these new converts are some of the most fulfilling in the world. The Christian family is unmatched anywhere. It constantly grows and brings greater and greater joy. Jesus said, “There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).
Warner Robins church of Christ, Georgia: We welcome the Warner Robins church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. This congregation is strong with great vision. The eldership was engaged, and the preacher focused on developing an evangelistic culture. Daniel Stearsman reports, “God is working. There is definitely a buzz in the air. The elders and preachers met this morning at 7:45 to discuss implementation of visitation teams. So we are making plans now for that to absorb our Sunday night for the Savior. We plan to kick that off next Sunday with four visitation teams. Our evangelism table is started and will get spruced up with a new cover Connie is working on. The sermon seemed well received this morning and part 2 is lined up for next week. We rejoice that we had a restoration tonight. Sending love from the Warner Robins family and the Stearsmans!”
Oak Hill church of Christ, Covington, GA: We welcome the Oak Hill church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. This congregation was very impressive. They have grown by almost 100% since COVID began. They have had ten baptisms already this year using some HTHSOE tools. The preacher and elders were completely onboard and are already forming their congregational plan to implement the HTHSOE model.
Cordova church of Christ, Tennessee: Bruce Hatcher (preacher) reports, “That’s great news! Wow 400!!! I love you, Brother, for your effort. Cordova is down but not out. We had a baptism this past week, an eleven-year-old who was adamant that he was ready to live or die for Jesus. I have a study from our door knocking set up for Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.”
University church of Christ, Montgomery, Alabama: Austin Faris (elder) reports,
- Last week the ladies wrote Thank You cards to the 44 visitors that attended our Trunk-or-Treat. Each family received three cards, and the children in the families also received a card.
- Yesterday at our congregational Fellowship Meal we had five new visiting families that attended services and stayed for the meal. Cards are being sent to these visitors. Our members will be visiting these families.
- We have appointed a leader to head up our New Movers’ Ministry. This ministry is preparing Welcome to Our Neighbor gift baskets. Our members will visit these families to welcome them to our area.
- We are working to identify leaders in all areas of our Evangelism Ministries.
- Andrew Kingsley, our campus minister, delivered an outstanding sermon yesterday on Back to the Bible, Booklet 1. The congregation was busy filling out their booklets and listening to Andrew. We are looking forward to next Sunday as Andrew continues.
- Many in our congregation have volunteered to work in different areas of the Evangelism Ministry. We are still having to recruit individuals to help us keep up. The excitement of our members continues to grow daily.”
Lafayette church of Christ, Georgia: David Paden reports, “The young man on the right is LaTavious McClinic, one of the faithful members at Lafayette. A few months ago, his girlfriend Haley Potter began attending worship services with us. My wife Kelly and I befriended Haley and had her and LaTavious over for dinner one night. We invited them to come back again and began to study Back to the Bible with Haley. This past Monday, we completed the final study, but Haley would not obey the gospel. I was heartbroken when she left, but my tears were turned to joy this morning when Haley came to services. Following Bible class, she came straight to me requesting to be baptized. We happily stopped everything and baptized her before worship this morning. Please pray for Haley as she begins her new life in Christ.”
Coldwater church of Christ, Kentucky: Luke Puckett (preacher) reports, “We just finished covering book 1 and will cover books 2 and 3 this month. One of our deacons is finishing book 3 with his parents this week. We have two more studies set up as well. I am visiting with two members of the community this week. We have sent them several cards over the past few weeks. My goal is the build a relationship and develop that into a Bible study.”
Caddo Mills church of Christ, Texas: Jason Sparks (preacher) reports “We prepared 25 compassion cards for mailing this week. Interest and excitement continue to develop as we start to see people respond well to the cards we send out. Our small church has big hopes for the future!”
Willow Avenue church of Christ: Jonathan Medley (deacon) reports, “We had our first Trunk or Treat tonight that we have opened to the public. The youth group knocked doors last week around the church building to invite kids and families. We had several visitors come. Though most were not interested in talking, we spoke with one lady who was there with her two kids. They had just moved to town from North Carolina. They had been invited by the youth group, and they were looking for somewhere to go to church. We got her contact info and will start reaching out to her. We also have ideas to help make the Trunk or Treat more evangelistic next year!
“One of our elders and his wife have been studying with a man named Scott McDonald. They have completed their second study with him, and he visited worship this morning. He is recently divorced and has no contact with his family. He has loved getting prospect notes from the congregation, and several of us got to meet him today. We have two more studies that are in the works right now, and two others we think are about ready to be open to a study. Things are progressing, and we are seeing results! May souls be saved.”
Beattie Road church of Christ, New Albany, Georgia: Charles Harris (preacher) reports, “Several Bible studies are taking place. Follow-up visits to those who have been on our card list have been going well. More New Movers’ baskets are being delivered. Three souls have placed membership and desire to get involved with the work. Another strong faithful family has moved into the area and will be joining in the work shortly.”
Peninsula church of Christ, Hampton, Virginia: Ben Phillips reports, “We are continuing to work the card ministry, turning part of our attention to members we have not seen in a while. I will soon be studying the third book of BTTB with the neighbor of one of our members. We have been raising funds to implement House-to-House and the New Movers program. We are training members, doing the work, and spending time in prayer!”
Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “We spent this last week preparing for our meeting with Hiram Kemp. His theme is “Reaching the Lost for the Lord.” We visited 55 different prospects to give them personal invitations. We had no studies last week because one was out of town, and one had a grandmother pass away. Two of our prospects have been at the last eight assemblies, including Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and tonight’s gospel meeting.”
Deerfoot church of Christ, Birmingham, Alabama: Richard Harp (preacher) reports, “Angel Cookley, Valeria Turner, Brandy Williams, Terreko Thomas, Sabrina Capero, Phyllis McVeigh, Pamela Smith, Charlene Grays, Jessica Hill, and Catrina Faircloth are the names of the ten women who obeyed the gospel last week. Robin and Chuck Spitzley are our own Priscilla and Aquila as they studied Back to the Bible with these women. God be praised! Also, we rejoice with Joe Hanson who obeyed the gospel on Thursday night. He studied with one of our dear sisters, Kathleen Keith. Her father Bob concluded the study and baptized him on Thursday. The pictures above are all I have at this point. Our foyer and information setup is almost finished, and I will get pictures of it soon.”
Siwell Roach church of Christ, Mississippi: Gary Hampton (preacher) reports, “We had a trunk or treat event. It generated contacts with hundreds of people within our community. We are following up on a good number of those who have said they want to know more about the church.”
Eisenhower church of Christ, Odessa, Texas: Allen Weakland (preacher/elder) reports, “A number of our members worked very hard to provide a safe place to celebrate the Fall Festival for the local kids located around the church building. Not only did we see a great turn out by members of Eisenhower— the general attendance was amazing! We provided a number of vehicles for the Trunk & Treat as well as fresh cooked hotdogs. The attendance was so large, we ran out of hotdogs and candy and had to go out and purchase more. I forgot to mention that a number of our members handed out Bible verses with the goodies they had, and some handed out little booklets about Jesus. This effort was a hit and no doubt planted seeds that we hope God will give the increase.”
Beloit church of Christ, Kansas: Dustin Doughtery (preacher) reports, “A few weeks ago, Truman had come to Sunday morning services with his mother. I have known this young man for probably close to ten years. Truman is also one of my martial arts students. After my Sunday afternoon taekwondo classes were over, I asked Truman if he would like to know more about the church, and he said he would. I gave him a copy of Muscle and a Shovel to read. I keep a couple copies on hand at my gym as you never know when you will need one. He read it over the next few weeks, and last night, after the other students had left, he started discussing the book. After about an hour of discussion and study, he decided that he wanted to be baptized for the forgiveness of his sins as outlined in Scripture. So we headed to the church building and at approximately midnight on Oct 29, I was privileged to immerse him in the same way and for the same reasons that the first Century Christians were baptized, as we read about in Acts, and now he is a Christian. To God be the glory!”
Lake Placid church of Christ, Florida: Don Smith (preacher) reports, “We have had three baptisms in October using BTTB!! Things are going great, though there is a lot of work to do, of course. Perhaps we can still have our virtual meeting with you according to schedules. Thanks for all you are doing! God’s blessings on you and yours!”
Buhl church of Christ, Idaho: Peyton Hoskins (preacher) reports, “Colby and Hannah are both from the Twin Falls Idaho area and set to marry in December. They have been attending the services of the Buhl church of Christ for a while and expressed interest in learning more about the Bible. I went through Back to the Bible with them and by the third one they were ready to put on Christ in baptism.”
Forestburg church of Christ, Texas: Mark Lindsey (preacher) reports, “The congregation remains busy. We have distributed baskets for our New Movers over the last couple of months. We continue to have visitors. One of our members has completed the second study with Laurie and hopes to complete study three in the next week. We handed out candy tonight for the community trick or treat event.”
Jacksonville church of Christ, Alabama: Keith Ritchie (preacher) reports, “Savannah finished the first BTTB with Chloe last night. Blake and Gina took a family of five out to eat who visited Sunday morning. The Thomas family. They came to Robert’s Saturday night. He worked on my car last week, so I worked on him. I talked to him for a good while and invited him o worship. Blake talked to him on the phone for a long time.