If God allowed your ministry to see fifteen…twenty-five…or fifty souls saved in a short amount of time, is your Church ready to ground them in the essentials and basics of the Christian faith? Would you be prepared to discuss what their salvation decision means, the importance of baptism, church membership, eternal security, prayer, the importance of the Bible, and a host of other essential truths with a large number of new converts? When I sat down with my staff over a year ago and asked that question, I realized we were not ready and prepared to respond to such a task in an effective way. As a Pastor, I love to personally meet with new believers and go over their salvation decision, baptism, and church membership. But how can the pastor or staff handle a large number of people if God brought that fruit? This past week we had a revival service with twenty-five souls saved (each one had someone individually talk with them); I know that all twenty-five need to be talked to about baptism and seeing them grounded in the essentials of the faith. So how are we to accomplish this great task?
Though we had a new believer’s class, my struggle has always been if someone gets saved, they would have to wait ten weeks till it started over again to start with lesson one. My burden was that if someone gets saved this week, they need to be in class Sunday going over lesson one! Though all churches will need to do what they believe is right in their own church, I believe God has allowed us to implement a very effective way of not only discipling new believers, but growing a large base of teachers.
The first step was to clearly develop the curriculum. We put together fifteen lessons on what we saw as essential foundational truths new believers need to understand. Then we established that each week lesson one had to be taught…as well as lesson two…three…four…etc. That meant we needed to increase our teachers in the new believer’s class (which we call our “Foundations Class”). This may seem daunting to a pastor, but realize you do not need a teacher who needs to have the ability to run a class of 15-25, rather you can simply pull in mature believers who have a burden for the lost and a heart to disciple new believers. They can sit at a table and teach anywhere from one to perhaps ten people at a table. Plus they don’t need to create their own teaching material weekly, they just need to know and teach that lesson. So you are able to develop leaders as well as new believers. The results of this have been incredible to say the least! It has done for our new believer’s class what AWANA has done for our kids Wednesday night ministry. Where we use to have about four people teaching a handful of kids on Wednesday’s years ago, we now have forty-five workers with a bunch of kids. We have literally turned our foundation class into an “incubator room” for new believers. We have a large room (approx. 3000sqft) where we have put up fifteen tables spread around the room with clear signage. It is filled with excitement of teachers who synergistically have a passion for souls, and new believers excited about growing. The class started with a handful and now averages over fifty each week.
This week twenty-five souls were saved! Praise God! Now instead of trying to figure out how to sit down and go over their salvation, baptism, etc.; they have a place to plug right into this Sunday! Table one is waiting on them. Also we have all of our foundation teachers work our altars so that when they lead them to Christ in our prayer rooms, they invite them directly into class with them that week.
If you have any questions on the details of this class or the curriculum we have put together, feel free to call the Church Office (937-372-9188).