Launching New Believers for Transformational Futures

Thursday is for Discipleship

It’s A.D. 51 and a month or two months ago the Apostle Paul had planted the church in Thessalonica. Now he’s in Corinth and he pens 1 Thessalonians to encourage the saints there in their new faith in Christ. What this means is that when we look at 1 Thessalonians, we are looking at what Paul, master church planter and discipler of men wrote as new-believer follow-up.

Jesus Washing the Feet of One of His Disciples

Just that much suggests to me that an intensive, long-term study of 1 (and 2) Thessalonians would do wonders in changing our perspective on how to grow the saints in Christ. So, toward that end, here’s a couple of ideas to begin the process. In multiple readings answer the following questions:

  1. Make a list of all the things Paul refers to as having taught them in his three week church planting stop. How does your list compare to the typical new-believer followup in your church?
  2. How prominent is the second coming of Christ in the new believer follow-up of Paul?
  3. How important is affliction and suffering in Paul’s teaching? Do we teach new believers about suffering? Why not?
  4. How does Paul “raise the bar” of expectations on what it means to be a follower of Christ?

You’ll come up with your own questions but I believe that starting with something like these will give you a good feel for how to produce a discipleship process that is more productive in raising up the kind of disciples that the church needs in this age.


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