Thursday: The Need for Corporate Unity
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Image © Erik Stenbakken from GoodSalt.com

It has been well said that a Christianity that does not begin with the individual does not begin, but a Christianity that ends with the individual ends. This statement underscores the importance of every new believer being incorporated into the body of believers. As with witnessing and evangelism, it is also true that incorporation cannot be left to certain individuals in the fellowship. Incorporation is the responsibility of the entire church.

Read Colossians 1:28-29. What specific goal did Paul place before his new converts? 

The Christian’s maturity, growing into the fullness of Christ (Eph. 3:19), is the proper goal of the local congregation. Working for the maturity of new converts is just as important as working to get them to accept Christ and to join His church. In fact, the church’s work of incorporation will help ensure that their evangelistic efforts will not become a waste of time. Usually, before any witnessing and evangelism project gets under way, there is a time of preparing the church. This is a time when we focus on transportation, child care, greeters, prayer teams, and visitation teams. The apostle Paul would have us focus on incorporation as another important part of church preparation. Consider the following question:

Which is more important to ask, and why: How can new believers get involved in church life and its programs? How can the church enter the lives of new believers and help them mature? Are both these concepts related and, if so, how so?  

Often we see the work of follow-up and incorporation as the work of the one who has led the person to Jesus Christ. We only have to realize how impossible it would have been for the apostle Paul to nurture all who believed through his ministry in order to see that this is not the biblical way. Follow-up is not just the work of one or two designated leaders, it is the work of the whole church.

Too often we lament the fact that new people come in the front door and leave by the back door soon after. This is a tragedy of eternal consequence.

Think about new members in your local church. How can you—not the pastor, the elder, but you—get involved in helping them become solidly grounded in the church community and its teachings?

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Thursday: The Need for Corporate Unity — 9 Comments

  1. Colossians 1:28- Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
    Based on this context, Paul warns us or every man in the Church should keep the first up to the last converts and present it perfect of course to Jesus. Present to Jesus meaning until He comes. However, nowadays it's very disappointing. Many are entering the Church but more than going out. I think it is niether the Church nor the Message have problems but an individual or corporation who carries it. And must be evaluated first.
    God bless everyone.

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  2. I agree we must be mindful that the enemy of our souls, has desired us who have given ourselves to the service of our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ. As Col. 1:28 states we should warn and teach every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

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  3. Can someone explain to me the difference or relation of the two questions,,,How can new believers get involved in church life and its programs? How can the church enter the lives of new believers and help them mature?

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    • My suggestion on how to involve new believers would be to have a family adopt one of them, call the person weekly, invite him/her to share Sabbath dinner with the family or to attend other special family gatherings. Get the new believers involved with hospital visits, tag along to home Bible studies, and allow them to share their talents or area of expertise with the church. We must cater to their physical needs if necessary, embrace them and make them feel valuable and at home.

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    • Well sitemba, although the church is the body of Christ, it is still made up of people. I think that a good way to differentiate/relate those questions is to consider the church on a social level. New believers need to feel welcome, and comfortable to be able to function, as a member of the body of Christ.

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  4. Good leaders have been good followers at some point in their life. Jesus led by example. He said he always did what His Father told him to do. What a relationship He had with His Father. You must be willing to come together in one accord in agreement willing to be led by the Holy Ghost, Holy Spirt, Jesus called Him the Comforter, the spirt of Truth (John 15:26).

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  5. New believers can get involved in church life and programs by first accepting that they have a duty to God, themselves and the church to participate in activities that are for the service of God. With this acceptance of duty they will be more open to participation.

    Established members of the church will therefore have an opportunity to reach out to new converts because of their openness to participate. Established members of the church can then inquire about the talents and abilities of the new converts, after which they can direct them to activities and groups that are best suited for their particular gifts. This interest and nurturing that is given to the new convert will help them to mature in Christ. I hope this clarifies the relation of the two questions Sitemba. God Bless, I am a new convert.

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    • No contrived program or plan will keep new believers in our churches or involved in our programs. Unless there is a genuine love for the persons coming to Christ and a real extension of that love and grace to these persons, folks they will not stay. Unconditional love, acceptance and inclusion will go farther than any program. Also, Read Acts Chapter 4. Take care of their needs as Jesus and the apostles did so they can focus on the business of heaven.

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  6. I agree with the point that says new believers should be brought in to the church.
    And I'm seconding an opinion that would say that must be done in home basis, for it is our homes that are close to our communities.
    Praise the Lord.

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