Do Christian leaders occasionally make the mistake of trying to bring people to a place of participation they are not ready for. People should be rooted in the church as well as rooted in the Word of God to be productive.
Specifically, when it comes to the responsibility of leading others.
Some of the things we can do that don’t turn out well with newcomers:
- Put too much “tension on the rope” with a new convert
- Have expectations that are not consistent with people’s level of commitment.
- To demand too much regarding:
- Tithe and offering
- The disciplines of the church
These tend to be counterproductive.
It would be like me encouraging Elsea Adara (our three-year-old granddaughter), by saying, “Hey Elsea, you can ride a bicycle! No need for training wheels. Your brother, Wyatt can ride. Come on girl. Let’s do this.” Ignoring that Wyatt is 12 years old.
Elsea is not ready for that. Her coordination, balance and strength have not matured. Eventually, in time, she can do all those things, and more. But to press the three-year-old toddler would be to discourage her. It might also give her a fear that would forever limit her ability to ride a bicycle.
Root Your Disciples
Converts need to be well-rooted, before they encouraged to bear “much fruit.” Why are roots important? Roots have several important functions.
· They anchor a plant in place. The roots resist the forces of wind and running water.
· Roots take in oxygen, water and nutrients from the soil. They move these essential resources into the plant for use in the stems, leaves and blooms.
Without strong roots, plants do not flourish. The same is true with converts. They must grow healthy roots to ever be fruitful.
Allow time for development. Invest in them. Let the convert get a good root system. When the new believer is well rooted, they are interconnected within the church. You will see them flourish.
Don't pressure them. Remember, not every flower, or plant flourished in the same amount of time.
At Calvary in Springfield, our first level of new instruction for converts is aptly named, “Take Root.” These lessons help our converts develop roots.
For more information about disciple-making, check out some of my other blogs on this topic. We also talk about how these resources or something like them should be used with newcomers to the church.
This blog was written from an original Ministry Monday video, watch it here. Subscribe to our channel for each new video on similar topics!