You may have heard the saying, “How something starts is often how it continues.” This means that, as a rule, people, situations, etc. tend to stay on a similar path to how they begin.
Think for a moment about the path a student takes in your ministry from salvation to discipleship. If he/she jumps into a small group or Sunday school, are they in over their head? Do they know enough of the basics to not get overwhelmed or feel insecure? Do you have an intermediary step to orient them into the student ministry?
Here’s a few areas to consider for the student that accepts Christ at your church through your ministry . . .
Who is the first person a student encounters after salvation? Who engages him/her? What is that interaction like? Is it the best start for a discipling relationship? Don’t ever forget what’s it’s like to be an insecure, wide-eyed new believer.
What is the first thing a student is guided through, or reads after salvation, or is given? Is it Biblical? Is it simple? Is it practical? Is it student-friendly? Putting a strong tool in a new believer’s hands and immediately teaching them to feed themselves spiritually is a positive first step.
Where does a student plug in after a decision? As mentioned above, offering a beginner discipleship path for a few weeks, whether that’s one-on-one or in a group, can make the difference in sealing their faith or slipping through a crack.
How something starts is often how it continues—and often too, how well it finishes. Are students in your ministry set up to succeed or fail in their new faith journey? It doesn’t really matter if it’s been faulty in the past, or for how long, all that matters now is where it’s going next. Where you take them next.
God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that his Spirit will make you become strong followers and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in his love. I pray that you and all of God’s people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep. I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is. —Ephesians 3:16-19 CEV