Articles

Articles

The Problem with New Christians

You might read that title and think, “Adam you have lost your mind.” But hear me out. New Christians pose a problem to God’s people.

They bring baggage. New Christians are just now ­starting their process of change. Often, their sins are still tempting. Their guilt is still fresh. They are just starting to create newer, godlier habits. So they might still have liquor in their cabinets. They might still reek of smoke. They might dress provocatively because this is what they’ve always done. And they are learning. But we need to help them with their baggage.

They expect and demand much. Because of these difficult and dramatic changes required of them to stop living like the world and start living like a citizen of God’s kingdom, they need a lot of help. And let me stress A LOT. They need constant oversight. They need continual communication. They need people to take them under their wings and guide them through many difficult decisions. The only people they have to do that is other Christians. This requires much from us.

They require love. In this process of change, they are going to want to know that they are loved. They have ­decided, as a part of becoming a Christian, to even change many of their relationships. As Scripture says, “evil companions corrupt good morals” (1 ­Corinthians 15.33). It is easier for the recovering alcoholic to change his life if he doesn’t have friends always inviting him to bars and parties. This leaves the new Christian with two options: change them to be a better influence or ­eliminate the bad influence. This means they will be trying to teach many of the people who were in their life previous to being baptized. If those people reject God, these new Christians will often feel the need to reject those people.  When this happens, we need to help fill in those gaps with new friendships and fellowship so they do not feel so alone.

They require time. If we are going to develop friendships with these new Christians, this means we must spend time with them. This is more than a Sunday morning “how ya’ doing” we give one another so often. This is more than a hand shake and a smile. For new Christians, they need people they can call in moments of weakness. They need people who will call them and shower them with affirmation and encouragements. They need their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to treat them like family. And family means love and time.

They have a lot of learn. One of the hardest hurdles to overcome is the teaching process. It’s easy (relatively) to display love to others, but to sit down and walk them through the Bible and help them have a thorough knowledge of the truth takes an enormous amount of time. This is where we all step in. We must be willing to share our wisdom, knowledge, and trivia with these new Christians. They want to teach others, but they must learn first. Let’s help them with this.

As you can see, new Christians in our congregation pose a problem. But it is a problem worth having. It is a ­challenge we can meet. Let’s all do our part.