I was so excited… I usually am about this time of year…the days are warmer and that means we can work outside, play outside, just be outside! So I went to the local big box store and bought seeds and plants for my soon to be bountiful garden. I brought it all home and threw it in the ground. The new seeds did great but within one week my tomato plants were hit by frost. They didn’t make it.
This reminds me about the parable that Jesus told of the sower. In this story seed was sown on 4 different types of soil (Matthew 13). Some made it some did not make it. Some of the plants in my garden are going to make it and some have died already. Jesus was making a point with this illustration of how some come to faith and fall away and some come and follow and grow and continue on the journey even through the bumps and the bruises of life.
Did you know that many people who become a Christian fall away in the first 3 months? Just like my tomato plants… the first frost comes and they are not prepared. Did you know I could have given my plants the chance to survive if I had covered them properly? If I had watched for the signs of a coming frost and taken action to help them make it through those early nights of being in this new garden space they would have made it. Pastor Grant Edwards, founder of First Steps ministries, asked the question, “Do you know exactly what to do to maximize the chances that a new believer will reach maturity in Christ?”
Well,… how about it? Do you know exactly what to do?
Most Christian (and many pastors) would say “No”.
We have an opportunity to learn a proven method that has worked well for 2000 years! It’s called discipleship. Discipleship is intentional on the early days of this new faith. Discipleship is one-on-one relationship. Discipleship is focused on the basics of the faith. Discipleship helps new and young Christians overcome temptations that they have not been used to resisting.
Orange Friends Church is committed to seeing people come to know Christ. But “conversion” is not enough! Making disciples is what we desire! (Matthew 28:18-20)
Because of this passion for discipleship we are training disciplers in a six week class starting Sunday, June 6th in the Courtyard room at 9:30am. We will be learning a specific and effective discipling process called “First Steps” (http://www.disciplinganother.com/). It is based on a 10 week one-on-one discipling curriculum. Don’t worry… we will give you all the training. You do not have to be a Bible Scholar or Theologian! You just have to love Jesus, love people and have a willing heart to help others move along towards maturity in Christ.
So, will you join me? Will you come along side those who need our help to make it through the first few days in a new garden? The door is open… walk through it!
If you have any questions or want more info… e-mail me. firstname.lastname@example.org