I have some church or Bible background

 


You may have a little un-learning to do.  You may have been taught some things that are just plain unscriptural.  For instance, some people believe that the distinction between professional Christians (the 'clergy') and the rest of the believers (the 'laity') is a Biblical construct.  It isn't.  Most denominations have their pet doctrines which they will aggressively insist are Biblical.  You need to search the scriptures and see which beliefs you may have absorbed are really true.

If you are in a church, you should probably stay there unless you start feeling that your involvement is counter-productive to your growth.

Be baptized.  Jesus was clear on discipleship in Matthew chapter 28.  The formula He gave was 1)"...baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit..." and then 2) "...teach them to observe everything I have commanded you."  There's still lots of squabbling about who should baptize, who should be baptized, and how baptism should be performed.  You may have already been baptized, and are wondering if you should be baptized again.  I can't answer that; only you can.  In some churches, baptism is seen as a REQUIREMENT.  In the Bible, it is seen as a PRIVILEGE.  Do your own study, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you, come to your own settled conclusion, and then proceed accordingly.

If you have not been involved in a disciplined Bible study, now is the time to start.  Find a readable translation, carry a notebook, and read your Bible every day. 

Look for others who are "on fire" for Jesus.  Often you will find them in para-church organizations.  They may be volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers, homeless outreaches and the like.  Sometimes, asking people (even casual acquaintances) "who do you know that is really excited about Christianity?" may generate a few leads.  Almost anyone you find who is in love with Jesus can probably help you grow.  When you meet people who seem to be working to "earn favor" with God, or if they are more committed to their denomination than they are to Jesus, you should probably keep looking.

It's a good idea to keep a journal.  When you come up against some crisis or hardship that becomes a prayer request, write down the details and how you feel about it.  When God answers and the problem is resolved (one way or another), write that down also.  Over time, you will develop a record in your own handwriting of how God has been faithful, how He has helped you grow, and perhaps how He has chastened you when necessary.

Your journal should also contain the insights the Holy Spirit gives you as you study.  When you come upon a passage that you don't understand, write down why you don't understand, being as specific as possible about the confusion or obscurity.  Then claim the promise in John 16:13.  You have a promise from Jesus that His Spirit would guide you into ALL truth.  When illumination comes and you finally "get it" you should record your answer.  This is more evidence of God's faithfulness to you personally ... and in your own handwriting.

Finally, go and do likewise.  The command to disciples is to make disciples.  You have authority from Jesus Himself to go anywhere in the world.

Exit below will take you to New Christian? So What's Next? by Dr. David Stone.