Building Young Christians
Not only does a young Christian need a friend and a servant, he also needs a teacher, someone who will build him up in the basics of the Christian life. You can teach others what you have learned, and you can also learn together.
The Apostle Paul took new believers very seriously. He knew that young Christians were greatly affected by those who loved them or refused to love them, those who would get involved with them or refused to get involved.
In Colossians 1:28, Paul shares the purpose he had in his ministry to young Christians:
"So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ."
Colossians 1:28 (NLT)
What do you think it means to present someone complete or perfect in Christ?
What Do You Mean "Complete"?
When Paul uses the word perfect or complete, he didnt necessarily expect people to be perfect, but to be growing towards a strong faith and maturity in Christ. In Colossians 1:28, he is talking about maturity. The significance of Pauls usage of these words is that he had a goal in mind, something he was aiming for. He knew that Christians could grow and mature, so he wasnt satisfied with just a hit and miss ministry. He wanted something very specific to take place with these young Christians. In the same way we need a goal in our ministry, something we are trusting God to do in the lives of those we are serving. What do you think would be some characteristics of a growing Christian?
A Teacher and His Tools
You are probably asking yourself, "How can I possibly know enough to teach all of these things?" To help you it is good to use follow-up and Bible studies from your church or campus ministry. Find a book designed to help a young Christian in his spiritual growth. Each week you can discuss a new chapter and that way be assured that your friend is being taught the truth of Gods Word. Check out 1x1x56k magazine, pages 52-58, for some great resources.
Lets Get Started
So now its time to get started. If you have someone you have led to Christ, or if it is your responsibility to help a young believer in his spiritual growth, follow these guidelines.
1. When someone has become a Christian, get together with him as soon as possible, preferably within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Dont allow new Christians to not feel cared for.
2. When you get together, personalize your time. Ask questions that focus the attention on him, not on you.
3. You should be willing to meet with this person on a regular basis to help him as a Christian. You are growing also and you could grow together. Would he like to meet with you?
4. Show him the material you are going to study and give him a copy. Explain that you would like to meet with him as long as he would like.
5. Get together for your study time at least once a week. If something happens and you cant get together at the scheduled time, reschedule. Dont leave a young Christian unattended.
6. Follow-up is not just studying. Do things togetherrecreation, church, etc.
An Environment for Growth
As we have discovered before, the power to accomplish the ministry that God has given us comes from His Spirit. Our responsibility is to be hard, smart workers, and Gods Spirit will use us in the lives of people (Psalm 127:1; 1 Corinthians 3:5-9).