You can direct a stranger who wants to take the next step as a believer by baptizing, equipping, discipling, connecting, & following up. Let me explain.
But First, A Brief Commentary
Almost unbelievably whenever I did my initial research for this question I found zero articles to help and a quick google search now reveals that this question is still not easily answered by the first two pages of google’s search results.
I think there are two explanations for why I can’t find the answer to this question online: 1) I’m not very good at googling or 2) the question isn’t asked enough. I think both are possible and both are indictments. 1 is an indictment on me, but 2 in an indictment on the Christian. Are we sharing our faith with people? Friends or Strangers? Are you?
Back To The Question
Just because we can’t find any articles on the interwebs to satisfy our query doesn’t mean we can’t find answers. We have been given the Word of God, reason, & prayer. Through these tools I have come up with 5 steps to direct a stranger whom has accepted Jesus and wants to take the next step.
The Next 5 Steps
1 – Get Baptized
No, you do not need to be baptized in order to be saved. However, it is very clear in the New Testament that it is an important first step for new believers. We especially see this in Acts where time after time individuals accept Jesus as LORD and then are Baptized (Acts 8:13, 16, 36-40; 9:18; 10:41-48; 16:14-15, 31-34; 18:8). Does this mean you need to dump your new friend in water? Maybe… You should at least be discussing the importance of Baptism with them. In fact, it may be a good topic for step 3.
2 – Equip Your New Convert With A Bible
If you are sharing the Gospel and live in America you likely have Bibles at home just sitting there collecting dust. Just grab one of those and give it to your new friend. Remember, the best bible is one that they will read, so try to set them up for success; please don’t give any new believer your ancient Old King James Version Bible. It might discourage them with it’s archaic language. God is a personal God and he wants communicate clearly with His children. If you don’t have a free Bible your local church might have one or you can get one shipped to your house from Bibles For America. You can also get a free digital copy almost instantly on your phone from YouVersion with Apple or Droid devices.
3 – Disciple By Meeting Together Regularly
Congratulations, although you may have been strangers before you are now, at least briefly, close friends. I believe you have been put in this person’s life at this exact moment for a reason. Maybe you have an ability to speak to this person’s heart. Maybe there is a natural kinship. I don’t know, but please don’t leave your new convert all alone because you might be the only Christian he/she knows. Instead, offer to disciple (teach/instruct) your new friend on the Bible. Each situation is very different so I will not to give you detailed instructions, but I encourage you to have clear parameters. Try filling in the blanks of this statement: We are going to meet every for _____ weeks/months/years to discuss or any other pertinent topics.
4 – Find A Church
This one is easy. Invite them to your church or help them find a church close to where they live. They may even have a church in mind already or have a friend who is already part of a biblical church. Part of being an obedient Christian is belonging to a fellowship of believers (Hebrews 10:25), so help your new friend find a bible teaching church.
5 – Follow Up
I don’t just mean after the original conversation, but continually throughout the discipleship process. Send texts or emails between visits. Don’t hound them to death, but also don’t forsake them when they are not in your sight. Christianity promises tough times and they will really appreciate the love you show them by pursuing them even when life gets messy.
I hope you found this answer helpful. Below you can find my list of sources, answers to more tough questions, and my outline for this post.
~ Daniel F. Grey
Answering The Tough Ones
You may also be interested in my other articles
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?
- Get baptized – this is really consistent in acts. People get saved then they get baptized. Acts 8:13, 16, 36-40; 9:18; 10:41-48; 16:14,15, 31-34; 18:8
- Make sure they have access to God’s word. Through app or physical bible
- Set up regular meeting time. (This could be weekly to monthly, but something consistent and with clear parameters. For example: we are going to meet every Tuesday morning for a year to go over _____ and any questions you might have)
- Find a church (your church, maybe one of theirs friends is a Christian already and they have a church they could go to, or they could find a church close to home.)
- Check in (reaching out more than just your meeting time shows you care)