Prayer is Step One

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Imagine this: You’re sitting in a chair at your local café across from someone you’ve had the opportunity to witness to. You each have a coffee in hand and your Bibles turned to Romans 10:9. You ask if they would like to receive Jesus, and they look up at you, think about it for a bit, and finally say yes. You get so excited and lead them in the salvation prayer.

There isn’t much that is better than the opportunity of leading someone else to Christ. Knowing you’ve been used by God in such a powerful way is almost unfathomable. But let me ask you this – how many times does our relationship with that person end there? Do we shake their hand and send them on their way? If that’s the case, we’re starting off strong but finishing wrong.  We’re not continuing the task that Jesus assigned to us. We need to be intentional about discipleship – Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19).

If we want to make disciples, we need to invest in them. If we simply lead another in the salvation prayer but don’t partner with them or follow up with them, then the likelihood of that person fizzling out in their walk with the Lord, statistically, is high. They don’t understand about the Christian walk yet. They don’t understand that being a disciple means to “deny themselves, taking up their cross, and following Jesus” (Matt. 16:24).

My pastor once shared a statistic, I don’t know what the exact numbers were, but he was basically saying that of those who became a Christian in the past year, most were not regular church-goers because they were not properly discipled. I read an article that said:

•    80% of those who attend church believe their responsibility is to share their faith, but 61% haven’t shared their faith with an unbeliever in the past 6 months.
•    In a survey taken, the surveyors asked how many times believers have invited an unchurched person to a church activity or service. Nearly half (48%) of churchgoers responded zero, 33% responded with “one or two times” and only 19% said they’ve done so three or more times in the past 6 months.

Friends, we need to remember that making disciples isn’t simply an option. It’s a command. By not taking an active role in discipleship, not only are you missing an opportunity to help others grow in their relationship with Christ, you’re also missing a blessing. When we decide to follow Christ, we are deciding to obey His commands… and one of the biggest is sharing our faith and discipling others.

Recent articles I’ve read state that people are uncomfortable or afraid to share their faith and continuously train others in the way of the Lord. But, quoting what my dear brother once said, what if we were so consumed by God that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought? Don’t be bound by fear! If God is for you, who cares who is against you?

Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She had served on Summer Staff since 2011, and this past summer had the unique opportunity of co-directing Children’s Ministry with one of her best friends. She is very excited to continue to build relationships with the guests and be very involved in the ministry.

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