Follow-up means helping someone who has made a profession of faith in Christ to get started. It is very important in firmly establishing a new believer in the faith.
What: Spiritual encouragement and practical counsel by a more mature believer of the same sex following a profession of faith in Christ; involves a series of simple Bible lessons for beginners but also includes prayer, counsel, and other needed help; usually takes an hour one day of the week, supplemented by telephone contact.
Why: Good follow-up conserves the fruit of an evangelistic contact by helpful assistance to the newly regenerated person. It may also reveal a premature or false profession which needs to be converted into a true relationship with Christ.
How: The responsible follow-up helper needs to be a friend and encourager, not just someone who checks up on answers. The lessons are merely tools to use. Quality work by the helper is the most important factor. It will help you to bear in mind the following suggestions:
1. Be interested in them as a person, not a work project.
2. Strengthen your relationship so the professed convert can trust you.
3. Pray aloud with them, showing them how to pray.
4. Show them by example your own confidence in God’s Word as trustworthy and vital to growth.
Plan ahead for your meetings, to use the time to best advantage.
6. Be sure you have reviewed the lesson to be studied.
7. Make clear that faithfulness in completing these lessons and meeting with you as scheduled is an indication of their serious attitude toward the Lord.
8. Verify their commitment to break free from such things as drugs, alcohol, immoral relationships and destructive influences. They can and must be allowed to grow in areas such as patience, self-discipline and personality defects.
9. Restitution and forgiveness are a part of new life in Christ. Briefly discuss any areas that may need attention: Do stolen things have to be returned or confessed? Do old wrongs and bitter feelings need to be forgiven? Can relationships be restored?
10. Major issues in family life probably will require discussions. Be careful not to burden them with too much advice. Let the Holy Spirit prompt them to needed change.
The outcome of follow-up will depend more on the convert’s desire toward God than on yours. Keep this responsibility where it belongs. Do your best but do not assume the burden of their success or failure.