Use Tools for Mentoring for New Believers' First Steps
Weave through the following modules and sections of TFM in the order that the Holy Spirit seems to be leading. This way, you can address both the topics that you know the new believers need right away, and their present questions and concerns. You can use TFM one-on-one or in a small group or class. Meet with them frequently. Make sure some more mature believers do things together with them several times a week. Make it easy for the new believers to fill their leisure time with new friends doing new, healthy, fun activities. The transition from the culture of the "world" to the culture of God's Kingdom can be tricky; they're in unfamiliar territory and need some friends to show them the way.
- Salvation: Early in your times together, work through the "Make the Message Clear" (ask for verbal responses, not written) and "Deciding to Follow Jesus" sections of the "Evangelism" module. These studies will help them to understand what salvation means and why it's available to people, and to form a preliminary understanding of who they are in Christ. This also can help you see if they have actually confessed their faith in Jesus and decided to be His followers.
- Their testimony: From the "Evangelism" module, use the "Your Story, God's Story" section. If they have questions such as Why is there suffering? or Will everyone be saved? the "Answering Sincere Questions" section may be helpful. Go with them to tell their testimony to Christians first and then to some of their yet-to-believe friends. The latter, done early in their walk with Jesus, helps keep them from slipping back.
- Water baptism: Use the whole "Water Baptism" module. Schedule a time for them to be baptized. Encourage them to invite their friends and family. Plan a simple reception afterwards so you can meet their relational network, and intentionally look for people with whom you can begin building friendships. They too may be open to knowing more about Jesus.
- Prayer: From the "Prayer" module, use the sections "What is Prayer," "Prayer Releases God's Power," "Why Pray?" and "How to Pray." Pray together for the people in their lives who do not know Jesus yet.
- The Bible: From "The Bible" module, use the "Interacting with the Bible" section. I recommend meeting with them two or three times a week at first to do your regular time with God together. I know that's a big commitment, but it's crucial that they receive support in learning to personally connect with God. They are most vulnerable as new-born baby Christians.
- Repenting: From the "Repentance and Making a Moral Inventory" module, use the sections "Repentance: God's Invitation to Freedom," "God Forgives You When You Ask," and "Guidelines for Making Restitution." At some point, encourage them to complete the moral inventory in this module.
- Forgiving others: Use the whole "Forgiving" module. It's short.
- Overcoming sinful habits: From the "Overcoming Sin" module, use the sections "Jesus Saves You from Sin Three Ways," "Steps to Overcoming Sin and Changing," "Steps on the Journey of Change," "What to Count as Success," and "Temptation."
- The Holy Spirit: From the "Baptism with the Holy Spirit" module, use the sections "The Trinity" and "Experience All Three Persons of God" (a short explanation of the Trinity), "The Promise of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit," "The Promise Fulfilled," and "The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is for You."
Use Tools for Mentoring...
To establish spiritual growth goals
To accommodate individual needs
To make Bible answers accessible
To reproduce disciple-makers
In a variety of settings
For new believers' first steps
Next Steps: Where to Start
Next Steps Worksheet (86kb PDF)