toolbox

4 Tools I Am Using To Disciple A New Believer

In case you missed it, my 52-year-old neighbor Ben came to faith on Sunday. I encourage you to read the story as I detail it in full.

But now I need to disciple him. He knows nothing of God and I am starting at complete scratch with him. I am primarily used to developing college students and 18-22 year olds think very differently and have a whole other set of problems and questions.

[Here is the tool I recommend for college students]

Because I am part of a neighborhood church plant, we don’t have corporate systems designed yet to disciple new believers. At least at this point we feel it is best to empower every believer to learn to disciple people through life on life and incarnational (being rooted & present) mission.

So after some prayer and consultation I landed on four really great resources that I think will work well.

START: The Bible For New Believers

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 3.39.38 PMHe knows nothing and doesn’t read much. Plus I am going out of town for three weeks next week. I needed something for him that was really clear, really simple and would walk him through basic questions and insights. START seems to be a great fit.

I want to get him reading scripture every day and talking with him about it. Obviously one of the most important things for a new believer is getting them to read and understand God’s word. He needs truth and needs his mind and soul filled with it.

Greg Laurie developed it and it has these features inside.

  • Grow entries, revealing key disciplines of the Christian life
  • Knowarticles, exposing the core beliefs of Christians
  • Live messages, focusing on various aspects of salvation
  • Learnnotes, providing mini-commentaries on key passages for spiritual growth
  • Topical Index to articles and Scriptures
  • Greg Laurie’s Secrets to Spiritual Success

START! The Bible for New Believers [buy now]

Starting Point

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 3.45.04 PMA new friend that I was playing golf with on Monday told me his church uses Andy Stanley’s “Starting Point” for new believers and it is a really approachable 10-session study on the story of God. I really love this workbook and my neighbor does too. We just talked through it today.

It also comes with CDs so you can listen to 7 talks from Andy. A couple of them “why we should trust the Bible?” and “Where is God when bad things happen?”

It is a workbook so he does a chapter and then we will discuss it.

Starting Point: A Small Group Conversation About the Story of God (Ten Sessions) [buy now]

Jesus Is______

JesusIs_1600x1200_1aThis book by Judah Smith is a great book to give to a new believer because it walks through character traits of Jesus and helps them understand who this God is. It is simple yet powerful. It is even forwarded by Bubba Watson, the two time Masters Golf Champion, so that is pretty cool for most guys.

As one of my partners in ministry read the story of Ben’s conversion he texted me and said, “give him Jesus Is____. It’s the best book I have seen for new believers.”

Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human (buy now)

Simple Scripture Study

I also reached out to Laura Hairston who is with Forge America because she does great work with developing people into God’s mission. I was curious what she does with new believers and she told me she just goes through the word with them (gospels) and asks these four questions every time they read a few chapters:

  • What does this say about people?
  • What does this say about God?
  • What does this say about us?
  • What action step can I take to live more like Jesus this week?

Next time I meet with Mark I am going to study a passage of scripture with him and do that.

So as you can see, I am giving him a bible, a workbook, and a book – Three different but complimentary things. Some of you may think that is a bit overwhelming but all I can say is that it is not – at least for our relationship and us. I couched it well and told him, “look, just do a little bit every day. Work through the workbook some, read a little of Judah’s book as you wish and read one chapter of the Bible. Then lets talk.”

He was excited today as we met. He told me “this is great. I can just close the door to my office and work through this stuff. I need to learn a lot.”

I encouraged him today out of 2 Corinthians 5:17 that he is a new creation and the old is gone and the new has come. We talked about the spiritual realities that God has ahold of him now. It has been an up and down week and we talked through that. My hope was to encourage him a ton and keep pushing him towards Jesus.

[you can read Ben’s conversion story here]

What resources do you like to use to develop new believers? Please leave a comment.

 

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2 comments

  1. Hey Beau, great post! Some of the tools I’ve been using recently include a discovery Bible story through the seven stories of hope that I learned from David Watson, and Neil Cole’s use of the “7SJ” or seven signs of John. I’ve begun to see a ton of fruit from both these tools. Because of this, I’ve begun doing discovery bible studies, in conjunction with chronological bible storing throughout the Gospels, highlighting different themes. Included in this method is an adaptation of Tim Chester;s “A Meal with Jesus” looking at several passages from Luke, as well as Chester and Timmis’ practial exegesis on 1 Peter. DBS’s are good for the book of Acts too, for instance, in showing the importance of baptism, communion, and power of the Holy Spirit. Essentially, all these tools focus on the believer learning to study and apply the Word to their own life through obedience based discipleship.

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