When I joined staff with Cru in 1990, they placed me at Auburn University. As soon as I arrived on campus I went straight into the Sigma Chi house and started a ministry with that chapter. Being a Sig myself, it was really easy and natural. One of the first things I did was meet with the pledge trainer and schedule a time to speak to the pledge class. When I spoke to the pledges I passed out comment cards and immediately started calling them and setting up appointments.
I like to use the “Knowing God Personally” booklet written by Dr. Bill Bright, who founded Cru, and saw several guys trust Christ within the first week of following up the pledges! I thought I was on the edge of being part of God doing a wonderful revival until I noticed the guys were quick to pray with me but slow to show up for the follow-up appointments. It wasn’t long till I began figuring out that these guys were intimidated by me because I was only a few years older than them. I think I could have gotten them to pray to receive rocks if I had wanted to! Although I would not stop sharing the Gosple with pledges, I began to almost talk them out of trusting in Christ to make sure they were ready. I saw less decisions that way but I believe they were more serious decisions.
So what did I do with a guy once he made a decision to trust Christ? In other words, how did I follow up a new convert?
When ever I had a guy pray with me to trust Christ, I realized that although he “indicated a decision” to follow Christ, that did not mean that he was truly regenerated. I would not know for sure until I had seen him grow and begin make Christ Lord of his life. There are several things I ask him to consider doing.
- Find a church that teaches the Bible and start attending regularly to find fellowship with other Christians. Ill encourage them to go with me and I’ll take them to my church.
- If they are in college, I encourage them to get involved in a local campus ministry and go to the Bible study that hopefully is meeting at their fraternity chapter.
- Consider buying a Bible. I even suggest buying a study Bible. Of course I point out that the writing on the top is God’s inspired Word and the writing at the bottom is the words of men who are very wise and can give clarity to God’s Word. I personally encourage them to buy a NASB or ESV -but that’s just my preference. I let them borrow my Bible till they own one and I encourage them to start reading through the book of John and ask if we could meet on a regular bases to discuss what they are learning.
- I also encourage them to buy a note book and take notes of what they are learning. I tell them that if they read something they will remember some of it but if they write it down then they will remember more. And if they share it will someone else then they will remember a majority of what they read.
- I love the foundation studies that Cru has put together and I have used them for 30+ years. They are a great resource to help them understand the basics like assurance of salvation; the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and how to pray.
You can order sets of the 4 foundation studies at: http://crustore.org/foundations.html