Your Next Steps as a New Believer
There are three things to focus on as a new believer. 1. Prayer. 2. Reading Your Bible. 3. Finding the Right Community. Learn what it means to pray and do it all the time. Read your bible daily whether you like it or not. And surround yourself with people who will grow you in your faith.
If you are reading this, chances are you have recently become new to the faith, have accepted Jesus into your heart, or maybe even are looking to better understand what new believers can do to grow their faith with the right guidance.
Whichever it may be or something else, I believe this is something so important that I think many miss and will just jump right into the groove of things with services, bible studies, etc and miss learning some key aspects to the faith. It doesn’t mean the rest isn’t important, it’s just that as a believer myself, I wish there were things I was educated on sooner rather than learning later on that I wish to help guide you with today. So with that said let’s get into it!
Where To Go From Here?
I will list out some steps below that are immediate things you can start doing to water the seeds that have been planted in your faith as a new believer. A CRUCIAL verse that talks about the importance of this is found in Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23.
“And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (1-9 ESV)
“"Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."”
Matthew 13:18-23 ESV
It can be soooo exciting as a new believer and we can jump right into the line where everyone else in the church seems to be, but without proper care and nurturing, just like the seeds, your faith won’t grow or it’ll whither as the enemy tries to pull you away. So, going along with this analogy, let’s get intimate and talk about your soil…
Our soil could be best understood as our worldview and knowledge in Truth. Obviously we don’t want to overwhelm you with every single piece of doctrine there is, it’s a life-long process. But as we start, this is a great way to set yourself up for success and not confusion. So from here, understanding this concept and importance, let’s dive into what we should do as new believers.
Imagine you just got married to the person of your dreams, and then didn’t text them at all. Never called, forget about FaceTime. Maybe on occasion, you sent them an email. I bet that relationship is thriving isn’t it? Communication is THE most important thing of any relationship and the same goes for us with Jesus. If we simply only read about him, he remains a historical figure and in my opinion, leaves the relationship two-dimensional.
- How to Pray
- We can for sure let prayer get to our heads and we overthink what communicating with God looks like. Put plainly, it’s just talking to God. Find a quiet place away from everyone, clear your distractions, and just spend some time talking with Him. It might seem weird that He isn’t verbally responding to you but trust that he hears and sees you and wants to hear all that’s on your heart. Be raw and authentic before Him, He knows it all already, but He wants you to invite Him into the situations of your life and your heart. Jesus does list out a format of how we should pray that will also give guidance to prayer. But remember, this is a format, not a script.
(Luke 11:1-4) says “'And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” Jesus is basically listing out a structure to how we should pray.
1st: That God’s name be honored – the focus on his everlasting glory (“Father, hallowed be your name”).
2nd: That God’s kingdom come – the focus on his eternal will (“your kingdom come”)
3rd: That God’s provision is given – the focus on our present (“Give us each day our daily bread.”)
4th: That God’s forgiveness is granted, we are constantly sinners and need to ask for forgiveness from the sins we commit everday – the focus on our past (Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.);
5th: That God’s deliverance will be provided – the focus on our future.
P. R. A. Y
Another great analogy I like to use. It expands into Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield. Similar to the format above but just made simpler. Use these tools to help guide your thoughts but nonetheless embrace the connection and just be true to yourself and your heart towards God and make those things known to Him.
2. Read Yo Bible
Pretty straight forward, but it can be SO intimidating jumping into 1 of 66 books that you don’t have a clue with how to read. Learning how to read the Bible takes time, and that’s okay. There are so many helpful tools and studies out there to assist you in this journey, but just make sure to steer aware from those who share false teaching (another article to share on who are people to be cautious of learning from).
Where to Start?
Of all places you could start, begin with The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Jesus is the climax of the Biblical narrative and even though it seems strange to skip the other stuff to hit the climax, but He is the center of it all. Learn first everything you can about who Jesus is (really takes a lifetime but you know what we mean), and then gradually shift into other books. You can also choose to read a book from the Gospels as well as another book too if you desire so. But we recommend you start with hearing the full story of Jesus and all he did on Earth and then from there, the letters will make more sense, the Old Testament will show a bigger picture, and the Holy Spirit can guide you in understanding all that God desires to teach you.
The Bible App
This is a great resource to use as you navigate life on a day to day basis. There are literally thousands of reading plans you can be a part of and even do with other people that are awesome and so helpful. I’m currently finishing up on reading the Bible in a year and the plan is by The Bible Project and it’s been so awesome learning new insight from them about each book and how Jesus can be found throughout it all!
Here’s a few links to some good devotionals to start:
Journey 1 Start: Exploring Mark and Colossians
How to Start Reading the Bible: Learn How to Build Habits to Last Forever
Start Here: The First Steps with Jesus
3. Get in the Right Community
One of the fastest ways to lose that fire and excitement about your new relationship with Jesus is to only surround yourself with non-believers or the same community you’ve always been around. Community is CRUCIAL to staying connected and being discipled as a new believer. Without it, we go back to what we know. The best ways to find that community is be involved with a church. If you don’t already have one, reach out to a friend who does have one. The most important thing about getting plugged into a church is getting involved beyond a Sunday service. Figure out what other events and groups they have that you can be a part of as well as finding a way to serve. Too often we are taught that the Church is just for us and what we can get from it, rather than how we can serve the Church. Remember that what we consume and where we put our time is where our heart will be. If you let the things of this world take over (Netflix, video games, YouTube, secular music, wordly friends, and the like) your schedule and mind, you will set yourself up for a challenging relationship with God. Get connected, be consistent, and find a community that will help you grow closer to God.
A great way to connect with God and stay connected to Him, is through worship. There are TONS of genres within Christian music that you can listen to that you like best. The music of the world most often talks about things like sex, drugs, money, success, cheating on your spouse/significant other, homosexuality, lust, or even just swear words and things that bring people down or get angry. Don’t let that music consume your mind and heart. Rather than listening to music that can interfere with our faith or podcasts/youtube videos that constantly push us away, aim to consume the things that are beneficial and helpful to your relationship. I will attach some playlists below that we have made ourselves as well as public options. We also would like to invite you to listen to our podcast VESSELS where we talk all things faith. NO matter what, just be aware of what you are listening to and what it does to your faith.
L I F E - calm but powerful playlist by ya boy Remy
Epic Praise - the best of worship music out right now, playlist by Spotify
PRAISIN - more upbeat songs that always boost the mood, playlist by again ya boy Remy
Dummy - christian rap that slaps, playlist by Christian Beatty
Worship Today - playlist by Apple Music
Today’s Christians - Upbeat Christian music guaranteed to boost your mood, playlist by Apple Music
Christian Rap Essentials - The best of Christian Rap, playlist by Apple Music
As a new believer, don’t let the hype die out, life with Jesus is made to have so much life every day! But only with the right guidance on how to experience that can we maintain it. Take these tips and focus on those three things: Prayer, Reading, and Community. Use them to aid you in this process and get PUMPED because this journey with Christ is about to be the best thing that will ever happen to you in your life. God bless.