| Question For The SI Community|
I am wanting to put together a New Belivers class at my church. This is something that is not common in the churches in my area. The only one I was ever exposed to taught false doctrine to the new believers and the pastor had to shut it down--they caused a bunch of problems in that church. So I have no prior experience in this area to go on.
My questions are: What should I focus on in this class. How should I structure it. What importance should I give to certain doctrines--by this I mean, which ones should I teach first; which should I stress the most...etc.
Thank you for your input.
| 2004/11/11 9:36||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Question For The SI Community|
I have been putting together some lessons for a new believers class myself.
I believe a good pattern to follow is the order of the doctrines that are layed out in the Westminster Catechism or the Heidelberg Catechism.
Also, I believe there is a real need to impress upon new believers a deep sense of their purpose as far as it relates to glorifying God. In this day and age new believers need to understand what Paris Reidhead said, it's not about what you can get out of God but it's about what He can get out of your life.
| 2004/11/11 9:54||Profile|
That's good advice Ron. It's important to remember that God is God and we are His bondservants. As far as where to start, there's seems to a lack of discipleship from days gone by or perhaps that's just me.
I used to enjoy the materials put together by the Navigators but for some reason I don't receive much from their materials any more. There's an excellent Penecostal Pastor B.H. Clendennen and he has created some materials you find might helpful. I'm praying I'll have the time to go through these materials http://www.schoolofchristinternational.com/index.html (He also has a few sermons on SI and some on his website as well.)
Programs and materials are vastly overrated though. The primary focus should be on each person's individual relationship with God. Encouraging them to soak in the Word is a good thing as well and spend time seeking Him alone in their prayer closet is something critical as well.
In a practical sense, it's important to know What does it mean to obey God? In other words what does look like in my day to day life? How do we continually submit to God? How do I walk in repentance? How do I walk out my life as a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Just a few questions to whet your appetite. Rather than focusing so much on a curriculum I would focus on my own walk with Jesus and let them learn through how you live your life. Our walk with Jesus is always greater than our talk.
| 2004/11/11 10:10||Profile|
| Re: Question For The SI Community|
Okay, I just asked one of our pastors what we use when teaching our New Believer's class. I just snagged two different... lesson plans. Here's what they look like, just to give you a general idea:
[i]4 week study[/i]
[i]week 1[/i] - [b]Beginning with God[/b]
1. Confidence in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. Understanding truths about your relationship with Jesus Christ.
a) Christ forgave all of my sins.
b) Christ made me a child of God.
c) Christ came into my life and He will never leave me.
d) Christ gave me new life.
e) Christ gave me eternal life.
3. Dealing with doubts in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
4. Growing in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
a) Make these truths a part of your life:
I. I am forgiven (Colossians 1:13,14; 2:13).
II. I am a child of God (John 1:12, Romans 8:15, 1 John 3:1).
III. I am indwelt by Christ (Revelation 3:20, Galatians 2:20).
IV. I have new life (2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:4,5).
V. I have eternal life (1 John 5:11-13, John 5:24; 10:27-29).
b) Spend time with your Heavenly Father, each day:
I. Praising Him for who He is.
II. Thanking Him for what He has done and is doing in your life.
III. Listening to Him by reading His Word, the Bible.
IV. Talking with Him in prayer.
c) Share your testimony with someone this week.
[i]week 2[/i] - [b]Fellowship With God[/b]
1. Your Relationship with God:
a) Began when you received Christ (John 1:12).
b) Is everlasting (1 Peter 1:3,4).
c) Is maintained by God (John 10:27-29).
d) Never changes (Hebrews 13:5).
2. Your Fellowship with God:
a) Began when you received Christ (Colossians 2:6).
b) Can be hindered (Psalm 32:3-5).
c) Is maintained in part by you (1 John 1:9).
d) Changes when you sin (Psalm 66:18).
A. What can hinder fellowship with God?
B. What is the basis for fellowship with God?
C. How do you experience continuing fellowship with God?
D. How do you grow in your fellowship with God?
[i]week 3[/i] - [b]Power To Live For God[/b]
1. Your power source - The Holy Spirit
a) Who is the Holy Spirit?
I. He is God (1 Corinthians 2:11,12).
b) Why did He come?
I. To dwell in you (Romans 8:9).
II. To convict the world of sin and justice (John 16:8).
III. To lead you into the truth (John 16:13).
IV. To glorify Christ (John 16:14).
c) What role does the Holy Spirit play in your relationship with God?
I. read Romans 8:14-16.
d) What fruit (character qualities) does He desire to produce in your life?
I. read Galatians 5:22,23.
c) What does the Holy Spirit equip you to do?
I. read Acts 1:8.
2. Your choice - His power is yours?
[i]read 1 Corinthians 2:14-16[/i]
a) Natural Person (Self-Directed):
I. Self is in control.
II. Christ does not live in the unbeliever.
b) Spiritual Person (Christ-Directed):
I. Christ has been placed in control.
II. Self is yielding to Christ's direction.
[i]read 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; 14:20[/i]
a) Self-Centered Person
I. Christ lives in the believer.
II. Self is not yielding to Christ's direction. Self is in control.
3. You can be empowered by the Holy Spirit
a) If you confess all known sin (Psalm 66:18).
b) If you yield every area of your life to Christ (Romans 6:12,13).
c) If you trust the Holy Spirit to fill you (Ephesians 5:18, 1 John 5:14,15).
4. You can be continually empowered by the Holy Spirit (spiritual breathing)
a) Exhale - Confess your sin (1 John 1:9; Hebrews 10:1-25).
I. Agree with God that you have sinned. (Acknowledge specific sins)
II. Thank God that He has already provided complete forgiveness.
III. Change your wrong thinking (repentance) that leads to wrong attitudes and actions.
b) Inhale - Claim by faith the fullness of the Spirit in your life (Ephesians 5:18).
I. Submit to God by surrendering the control of your life to Him (Psalm 139:23, 24).
II. Trust that He now directs and empowers you (Romans 6:12-14).
[i]week 4[/i] - [b]Growing as a Child of God[/b]
1. What does it mean to grow as a child of God?
[i]read John 17:3, Matthew 22:36-40, John 14:21[/i]
2. How can you grow as a child of God?
a) Hear from God through reading the Bible.
b) Talk to God through prayer.
c) Fellowship with Christians.
d) Witness to non-Christians.
3. What can you expect as you grow as a child of God?
[i]read 2 Peter 1:5-9[/i]
4. What can you do now?
a) Set aside time and a place for a daily quiet time with the Lord.
b) Become involved in a local church.
c) Share Christ with someone.
[b]A New Creation - 2 Corinthians 5:17[/b]
New Believers Fellowship
Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa
[i]14 week study[/i]
week 1 - [b]Repentance & Faith[/b]
week 2 - [b]Sin, Salvation & Forgiveness[/b]
week 3 - [b]The Word of God, Part I[/b]
week 4 - [b]The Word of God, Part II[/b]
week 5 - [b]God the Father[/b]
week 6 - [b]Jesus the Son[/b]
week 7 - [b]Assurance[/b]
week 8 - [b]Prayer[/b]
week 9 - [b]Satan & Spiritual Warfare[/b]
week 10 - [b]Putting Christ First[/b]
week 11 - [b]Fellowship[/b]
week 12 - [b]The Holy Spirit[/b]
week 13 - [b]The Spirit-Filled Life, Part I[/b]
week 14 - [b]The Spirit-Filled Life, Part II [/b]
| 2004/11/11 12:52||Profile|
This is so excellent to read! I have not seen a more more through outline of the first 4 weeks of a believers life than going through a Bible Study like this!!
a Jesus freak
| 2004/11/11 16:44||Profile|
| Re: Question For The SI Community|
May I ask some questions?What would you like the class to achieve in the life of the new believers?How many weeks are you going to be holding the new believers class? What classes are offered as a follow up after these are completed? And lastly , what is the overall objective or vision of the local pastor for that local fellowship?
| 2004/11/11 17:46||Profile|
Wow, Yodi, that is a good one!
For those who are just learning about God or the bible, I recommend "Firm Foundations: From Creation to Christ" by New Tribes Missions. There's corresponding children's and adult lessons. In 50 lessons, it lays down a basic understanding of God and man, then works progressively thru the bible so that acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord is completely understood. New Tribes missionaries discovered (the hard way) that some tribes did not understand Jesus' sacrifice, altho on the surface they seemed to. This led to a total re-haul of teaching methods, and "Firm Foundations" is the result.
[url=http://www.ntmbooks.com/]New Tribes Books[/url]
| 2004/11/11 17:59||Profile|
[i]What would you like the class to achieve in the life of the new believers?[/i]
I would like to firmly establish them in their faith.
Spiritually:I want them to grow in a strong and close relationship with God.
Intellectually: I want them to know what they believe, that they can be sure in what they believe and know it enough to share with others.
[i]How many weeks are you going to be holding the new believers class? What classes are offered as a follow up after these are completed?[/i]
You're getting WAY ahead of me bro. I'm still in the initial stages of an idea:-).
[i]And lastly , what is the overall objective or vision of the local pastor for that local fellowship?[/i]
I'm not really sure why you want to know this. What is your purpose in asking this in relation to me wanting to start a new believer's class?
| 2004/11/11 22:21||Profile|
This is awesome. I'll be looking over this really close. Thanks so much!
| 2004/11/11 22:23||Profile|
First -- They need to know the basics of our common faith. The subject of Grace is very important in the begining --Might I suggest Chuck Swindols book the Grace Awakening. They can have all the basics---water baptism--discipleship training based on the teachings of Christ ect.... but if they don't fully understand Grace they'll burnout and fall by the way side as life --the devil and trials takes hold of them. Secondly---Amos says can 2 walk together except they agree. Every local fellowship to some degree will be a reflection of the local leadership and thier vision for the church---i.e.-purpose for the church.Example---you'll see mission minded churches --- out reach churches(local), teaching churches---ect...It's a very rare church that's truely balanced in its approach toward ministry as a whole.Thats important because the new converts will need to have this new life in Christ focused in righteousness and learn beside older members in real experience, somewhat like mentorship---which is really discipleship. If this isn't accomplished much of the time you'll see church splits because they'll have all this exhuberance and no where to channel it constructively.Many a churches I speak in that have had improperly handled babes in Christ and it resulted in either a church split or great offense of some sort another.Best to lay a good foundation and a solid vision from the get go, mixed with solid doctrine and especially---ESPECIALLY---A good understanding of GRACE, what is ,who's it for, whats it do, ect....God Bless, Bro. Daryl
| 2004/11/11 23:20||Profile|