Two Books for New Christians
A couple of days ago, I blogged about evaluating the state of your small group during the summer months. One important type of small group is the class for new church members or new believers. For obvious reasons, such a group doesn’t continue with the same people year after year. Your hope is to see people move on to other studies and other ministries.
Energion Publications offers two books that are especially well suited for new members classes. The first is our most basic discipleship book, Disciples: Jesus With Us.
This book was the result of a conversation I had with Rev. Riley Richardson, its author. He mentioned the need for an extremely basic book to hand to new Christians dealing with the basics of discipleship. I told him that if he would write it, I would publish it. He said he’d write it if I’d help. That’s why I’m co-author. But all the material in here reflects Pastor Riley’s leadership and heart for evangelism and discipleship.
One effective use of this little book is as a several week study for a small group. Get the new members and believers in your church together and work through this book one chapter per week. The information is clear and quite concise. You won’t need an expert leader–just the willingness and determination to get started!
Topics covered include prayer, getting involved in a congregation, and even stewardship.
As a follow-up to Disciples, try I Want to Pray!. It leads from the brief overview of prayer contained in the previous book, and builds up the basics of prayer. How does one get started in talking with God? How does one listen?
I call this a “ground clearing” book. One of the main things that keeps people from praying is the idea that they have to get it “right,” that somehow if they don’t pray in quite the right way, they will annoy God or God won’t listen.
There are Biblical guidelines on how to pray, and this booklet uses one of these, the Lord’s Prayer, as a key example, and references many other scriptural prayers. But the main focus is on making individual believers comfortable with talking to God and listening for his voice.
Again, I’m co-author of this book, but it is primarily the ideas of Rev. Perry Dalton with whom I worked for a number of years in prayer ministry. Rev. Dalton is known for moving past talking about prayer and on to praying as quickly as possible. This booklet might help you grow an introductory group into a regular prayer group to pray for one another and the community.