This expression is not common to other languages. It refers to the process of helping newborn babes in Christ (I Thess 2: 7-12, I Peter 2:2, I Corinthians 3:1). It may also be needed with those who after their profession of faith in Christ did not receive this help. Doctors who help infants after birth are called pediatricians (baby doctors). Follow-up is "spiritual pediatrics."
New babies, physical or spiritual, have several common needs; both need simple initial foods, like milk. Paul said to new believers, "I have fed you with milk" (I Cor. 3:2). It is normal for a newborn baby to desire (long) for the "pure milk of the word" (I Peter 2:2). This refers to a desire to take in the Scriptures.
This is given through simple, daily study of small portions of Scripture, like I John or John's Gospel, later Mark's Gospel and I Peter. This occurs in what is called "Quiet Time," being alone with God and the Bible, hopefully undistracted, preferably rising early in the morning. It may only be possible initially to devote as little as 15 minutes at a time, hopefully 30. The new believers should have it explained why it is vital, like daily food. It will probably be necessary to "show them how."
Do it with them,
show them how to seek a personal application from something they read (hearing and responding to God).
Move them to the ability to feed themselves (as very young children) not be "spoon fed" indefinitely.
Help them learn how to apply the scriptures personally (II Tim 3:16). Ask these questions:
Promise to claim?
Example to follow?
Command to obey?
Sin to forsake or a warning?
Counsel to take?
Character Trait to be noted?
Areas of Application
Personal Life (purification, guidance, encouragement).
Relationship to others (helping them, speaking God's word to them, being an example).
Thoughts about God (His true likeness, His ways differing from our ways, drawing near by faith).
Major Goals in Helping Believers
1. Consistent walk in the Lord.
2. Regular, fruitful devotional times.
3. Knowing how to live an overcoming life of victory.
4. Developing Christ-like character.
5. Developing the habit of sharing your testimony as a way of life.
What Are Your Qualifications to Follow Up Others?
1. A steady walk with Jesus.
2. Victory in your own devotional life.
3. Willing to invest time in others.
4. Ability to be firm in your care and to deal with problems when necessary.
5. Not easily discouraged.
6. Be faithful to God and this person.
7. Keep confidences.
8. Coordinate your work with others in responsibility (they are not your property because they are your responsibility).
When Dealing With Those Praying to Receive Christ
1. Make sure their understanding of the Gospel is clear (Ephesians 1:13); that they have truly repented of their sins (Acts 2:38); that they have surrendered control of their life to the Lord (Luke 6:46).
2. Are they confessing to others that Jesus is their Lord (Romans 10:9-10)?
3. Each day, are they praying and reading the Bible (Psalms 119:10, 15-16)?
4. Do they know that they are saved (I John 5:13)? Are they trusting only in His shed blood on the cross to cleanse their sins (Heb. 9:14, 22)?
5. Is there clear evidence of a changed life (II Corinthians 5:17)? Have they turned away from evil practices to live righteously (I John 3:4-10)?
6. Are the prepared to confess Christ in the waters of baptism as a believer (Acts 2:41; Mark 16:16)?
In Dealing With Those Who Pray to Receive Christ
1. If truly born again, remember they are like newborn babies and need much care (I Peter 2:2).
2. Meet with them every week for at least one hour.
3. Help them break away from any sinful practices (Isaiah 1:16, 55:7).
4. Pray for them, encourage them, and support them in dealing with problems such as opposition and fear (Joshua 1:9).
5. Remind them that the Lord will help them "by His indwelling Spirit, by His spiritual life planted in them (Rom. 8:9-11), by the food of His Word taken in regularly (I Peter 2:2)" so they can grow.