Jesus did not merely commission us to take the Gospel and make converts; he commissioned us to go and make disciples. The prayer of salvation is the first step in our life-long discipleship journey. God seeks those who are willing to grow in their faith and knowledge of Him. So, as we lead others to faith in Jesus, it is important to do all that we can to not leave them stranded.
Think back to your first steps as a believer. What questions did you struggle with? Did someone walk beside you? Or did you learn in a group from a teacher? For many of us, our faith grew because someone invested time to teach us. We have the same opportunity to invest that time into someone else.
When possible, one-on-one discipleship usually works best. Offer to meet with them once a week to share prayer requests and study the Bible. Share more about your testimony and launch into deeper discussions about questions they might have. Not only will we grow stronger in our faith, but we develop deep, lasting friendships in the process.
Jesus gave us the ultimate example of mentorship. After teaching to the crowds, He often pulled His disciples aside to answer their questions privately and share deeper spiritual truths so they could grow in their faith. Jesus invested time in His disciples to equip them for ministry, so that they could, likewise, invest time in others.
But Jesus didn’t stop there. He also modeled to His disciples how to share their faith with others. Witnessing is a vital part of our spiritual growth – just as vital as worship, prayer, reading the Bible, and fellowship with other believers. Our faith grows as we step out in faith and watch God at work in the lives of other people around us.
Mentoring new believers (or even not-so-new believers) in sharing their faith is part of ongoing discipleship. Take someone with you the next time you plan to talk to someone about your faith. Allow them to watch and observe how you break the ice and transition into a deeper spiritual conversation. Take time to answer their questions afterward and share your experience in sharing the Gospel. If you don’t know how, ask someone from your church to mentor you!
Discipleship is a life-long process, but so is the process of making disciples. As we continue to grow spiritually, we can help others grow in their faith by investing in their lives through mentorship. Who will you invest time in this year?
Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D. is the President/CEO of Evangelism Explosion International, headquartered in Arden, N.C. EE has been a leader in equipping Christians to share their faith for more than 55 years. For more free tips and resources, visit evangelismexplosion.org.