At the end of last semester, we witnessed six students giving their lives to Christ and making a decision to follow Jesus. This alone is worth a 2000-word blog post. It is the most transformational decision anyone could ever make, and reflecting on each of these students brings immense joy. It's inspiring to see how God has already transformed their lives and will continue to do so.
However, when someone makes this decision, they often ask the question, "So what’s next?" It's a crucial question and getting the answer right is incredibly important because it helps them grow in their faith and become more like Christ. Often times I think the church excels at inviting people to give their lives to Christ or helping them maintain an already existing faith. However, there are times when we, as a church, struggle to develop people in their newfound faith.
Many times, after someone decides to follow Jesus, our advice to them is to pray, read their Bible, and continue coming to church. While these are great actions and pillars of growing in faith, if not explained to new Christians in a way that makes sense, these tools can become mere religious statements rather than profound ways to be in a meaningful relationship with the God of the Universe.
In the discipleship process, we have an obligation to help new Christians understand the foundations of faith and invite them into a deeper relationship with Christ, His church, and their place in it.
This is why I am excited about our pathway - the development track that gives us a framework to integrate people into our church community. To me, it lays out all the necessary steps to invite someone with no faith background or religious convictions into a community that allows the Holy Spirit to radically change their life.
The great thing about our pathway is that it is not simply geared towards unbelievers or new believers; it is meant for everyone in our church. It invites every person in our community to take a step forward in their walk with Christ. For some, this step forward involves our foundation classes to spend time grappling with the foundational questions of faith. For others, it means joining a small group or serving on a Sunday as they become more entwined with the fabric of our community.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect is that the pathway is set up to send all of us on a mission to serve the poor and to share the good news of Jesus with other people. By utilizing the B.L.E.S.S principles, we get an opportunity to use that model to share our faith with people in our lives. Not in a pushy or uncomfortable way but in a relational manner. When we do that, we invite more people to join our community and take their first step on our pathway and on their journey with Christ.
I invite you to read more about our pathway, to pray, and then ask yourself how you can take that next step, whatever it might be.