Your daughter or student just accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior! Praise God! As Ephesians 2:1-8 tells us, she’s gone from dead in her sins to alive in Christ. What’s next, though? While her salvation is wonderful and an answer to many prayers, our prayers and investment in her don’t stop now. This dear girl is a new creation in Christ, and her new life is just beginning. She now needs mature Christians to come alongside her in discipleship, teaching her how to know and obey God’s commands.
After someone gets saved, one of their first steps of obedience should be baptism. Baptism doesn’t save anyone, but it’s a public declaration of faith in Christ in front of their new brothers and sisters in Christ. Every church handles this differently, but help your new sister in Christ navigate this next step.
Following Christ is the very best decision she’ll ever make. We celebrate athletic accomplishments, academic accolades, birthdays, and more, so why not celebrate this new life in Christ? This is a huge deal and worthy of celebration! There’s many ways this could look—cake during small group, special dinner, going out for ice cream, etc. Whatever it may be, be sure the celebration points back to Christ. After all, it’s a celebration of His work in her life. Have other girls share their favorite verses with their new sister in Christ or have a time of prayer for this new believer.
Teach her to study the Bible.
A discipleship class I’m taking has convicted me about the great need to help new believers engage in God’s Word, not just a curriculum about God’s Word. Now, there’s nothing wrong with solid, biblical curriculums, but what we don’t want new believers (or any believer) to think is they need something else in order to engage with God’s Word. We want this new believer to understand the sufficiency and authority of God’s Word. She’s equipped with the Spirit to illuminate the Word to her. However, let’s not just hand her a Bible and say, “Good luck!” Let’s come alongside her, equipping her to study the Word for herself. There are many resources and methods (COIA, SWORD, HEAR, SOAP, etc.), but it’s best to equip her with what you’re already familiar with. This could be the beginning of a great discipleship relationship! Choose a book of the Bible to read together. Try to meet or talk once a week about what you’re both learning in God’s Word.
Plug her in.
It’s absolutely vital all believers are plugged into a local church. It’s possible this new believer is already plugged in, but if not, encourage her in this. She needs to be a part of a church, including a worship time where she’s surrounded by various generations. Being with older generations will be important for her discipleship. She also needs to be in some sort of small group with others her age. Being a teenager is hard, but being a Christian teenager is even more difficult. She needs adults to pour into her, but she also needs peers that can encourage her in her walk with Christ at school, athletics, etc.
Prepare her to share.
Now that she’s a believer, this sister in Christ is also charged with the Great Commission—going and making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). One way she can begin doing this is by sharing her personal testimony. Start by sharing your salvation story with her. Then, help her form her own. Her testimony should include her life before Christ, when Christ saved her, and how Christ has changed her life. This can be a great time of assurance for this new sister in Christ! Encourage her that her testimony is awesome, no matter the specifics, because Jesus saved her from her sins! Jesus should be the star of her story.
Have patience (and teach her the same).
We live in a “microwave” society. We love fast food and get frustrated when our apps don’t load the second we open them. However, sanctification is more of a “crock pot” speed. This new sister in Christ most likely won’t ditch her old ways overnight. She may struggle to consistently read the Word. She will have an elementary understanding of the Christian faith. Have patience with her. Remember how slow we are to grow in the Lord at times, too. Lovingly challenge her as needed. Rejoice at any small growth of fruit. Also, remind her to have patience with herself, pointing to how the Lord is patient with us.
What a wonderful opportunity to see someone come to new life in Christ! May we never take this for granted or neglect to rejoice at such a miracle. May the Lord use us to share the Gospel with the lost, and as he does the work of salvation, may he continue to use us in their discipleship.
Cassie Pattillo is a wife to Jack, and mama to Hunter (5), Isaac (3), and is in the process of adopting from India. Jack is a student pastor, so she loves serving alongside him and investing in teens’ lives. She is passionate about biblical literacy along with writing and teaching about Scripture. She is also a big fan of slow mornings with a cup of coffee, a good book on the beach, and Gamecock football. Connect with Cassie: Blog // Facebook // Instagram