Here’s what to do with new believers right after they come to faith, preferably within the first two days:
- Baptize as quickly and as publicly as you can. Have the new believer bring as many friends and family members as is possible to the baptism. Extend the offer to follow Christ to others at the baptism, and offer to baptize any others who respond on the spot.
- Have the baptized share their testimony to the group. They can practice a few times beforehand to feel more comfortable. Some will resist, but this is good for them to speak, so don’t let them off the hook easily.
- Start discipling new believers right away. Get them started reading scripture, confessing their inner struggles, and identifying and praying for others they know who need Jesus.
- Encourage them to invite their friends or family to an evangelistic Bible study in their home. This network of relationships could turn into a new church.
- In most occasions, let the new believers pray first, rather than you taking the lead. If there is a strong captivating problem in their life, have them pray for deliverance. Then ask how the power of the gospel might be able to crack the bondage. Sometimes having them share the gospel with the people who have been most damaging in their life leads to an unusual freedom and power.
Note: This blog entry is part of a series based on Beyond Church Planting (coauthored with Neil Cole) that explores the process of evangelism and coming to faith.