Congratulations! If you have recently decided to follow Jesus, you have made the most important decision of your life. That is fantastic.
Do remember though that that makes you a brand new, baby Christian. Babies are vulnerable and need great care. Try not to be over-confident about your ability to live this new life. There is a lot of learning to do.
Some basic but important tips…
1. Find some people who will mentor you.
One of the best things about being a Christian is that you are now part of a huge world-wide family. That means that there are many people who will befriend you and care for you. That family is the church and there are local expressions of the church almost everywhere.
You possibly already have some Christian friends. Who helped you know Jesus? Ask them if they will now mentor you. (Many Christians call this mentoring “discipling”.) You will possibly go with them to their church.
If not, do find a church pretty quickly. Don’t try to survive on your own. No baby could do that.
Churches vary widely. Some will be much better prepared to help a new Christian than others are. If they don’t seem to know what to do with you to help you grow, perhaps find another church that does.
A good church should be able to provide at least some of the following:
- an individual, or couple, who will care for you and nurture your faith
- a small group that you can belong to that will do the same
- a “new Christians” class and/or study material for new Christians
- worship services that you can attend
2. Start reading the Bible
There are many translations of the Bible. They all say the same thing but some are much easier to understand than others. Find one you can understand.
Try to develop a habit of reading it every day. The Bible is the primary way in which God speaks to us and it is full of information you will need.
It can be hard to know which bit to read. There are Bible reading plans available. Your mentor should be able to help you.
God is your Father. He cares about you and you can talk to Him at any time and about anything. You don’t have to use any particular type of language. Just talk to Him.
Again, try to make a regular habit of this. While you can talk to God throughout the day it is valuable too to set aside some regular time in the day to pray.
It is important too to pray before you ready our Bible. The Bible is a book of spiritual truths that we need God’s help to understand. Ask that He will give you understanding, then read.
4. Be prepared for trouble!
The spiritual world is real and Satan does not like the fact that you have chosen to follow Jesus. He will try to make you change your mind. His first method might be to make you doubt what you have done or that the change in your life is real. If you anticipate that then you will spot it when it happens and you can resist those thoughts
You might get discouraged or receive less-than-positive comments from other people – maybe even the people who mean the most to you. Again, recognise what is happening, keep loving the people but refuse to be discouraged.
At times like this it is doubly important that you are mixing with Christian friends and mentors and reading your Bible and praying.
God will be faithful. Just keep trusting Him.
5. Tell others
You have just been forgiven and become one of God’s children. That is awesome news. We are sure that you want your friends and family to have this same opportunity.
- Make a list of the people you know well
- Start praying for them and for opportunities to speak to them.
- Love them and serve them. Let them see the new you.
- Tell them your own story of what Jesus has done for you.
- Encourage them to make the same decision.
Be alert to the possibility that they might not be ready for this. Don’t be disheartened. Keep on loving them and speaking when you feel God wants you to. God also wants to see them saved so He will work with you on this.
6. Be Baptised
Baptism is your way to publicly declare your faith in Jesus but it is also a “sacrament” through which God will act in your life. It is important. It was commanded by Jesus and it will be a very significant moment in your life. Talk to your church about it.
Unfortunately, several aspects of baptism are controversial. Some churches tend to focus on focus on how baptism is administered and how much water is used when the biblical emphasis is on what baptism means. Talk to the Christians you trust. Together, study what the Bible says. And seek God’s guidance for you.
For more information, see our Baptism page.
7. Start Learning
Of course, if you have found a mentor and have started reading the Bible, you will also have started learning.We hope that you are excited about what you are learning.
It is important to get some fundamental things right and there are many resources for new Christians. You might like to check out a Christian bookshop or search the web.
There is extra help on our “First Lessons” page.
10 Things Every New Believer Should Know – Brian Mavis