By Unknown Author
A question haunts many conscientious leaders. Although many people receive the Holy Spirit, many do not remain. Their new birth often proves to be more of a stillbirth. How can we reduce the number of stillbirths and lead newborn Christians into meaningful relationships with the Lord and the church?
Statistics reveal that unless a new convert is able to develop six or seven new relationships in the church within 9 months, he will probably leave the church. To compensate for this, we need to develop a caring community to nurture and integrate these people into the life of the church. Such a program will include:
1. A strong commitment from the leadership, not only to reap, but to keep the harvest;
2. A method for nurturing new converts; and
3. A way to help the new convert make friends in the church.
Here is a method that is working in several churches:
1. Start with a new convert’s follow- up class to be taught by the pastor. He may later turn it over to someone else with the ability to care for, teach, and nurture new converts.
2. Find one or two couples who are outreach oriented, motivated by love, and loyal to the pastor to work in the area of new convert follow-up.
3. Enroll new converts immediately in a new converts class, or assign them to a couple who will be nurturers.
4. Assimilate new converts into the mainstream of the church. They may feel comfortable in their new class and not want to leave, but it is important for them to become involved in the total life of the church.
Churches that develop an effective caring, nurturing ministry are retaining up to 60 percent of their new converts. You can keep those you reach by developing relationships and establishing spiritual foundations in new converts.