What would be the result of parents who celebrated the birth of a child and then went about their own pursuits, neglecting the child?
- The child would suffer from neglect and die.
- The parents would be guilty of child neglect and abuse.
- Observers would be condemning.
In the words of Nathan to King David, “You are the man!” This story is being repeatedly played out in churches today.
- New Christians (babes in Christ) are suffering from neglect, dropping out, and withering in influence, service, and growth. The majority drop out within six months. A coal removed from the fire soon burns out.
- The church who neglects this babe in Christ is guilty of judgment for the neglect and abuse. There is triple punishment. (1) The babe is not brought to maturity to make a contribution to the church and Kingdom work. (2) The church does not grow from investing in the babe. We always grow ourselves through discipling others. (3) There are consequences at the final judgment.
- The world is condemning of the church. Disciples are not being made who are like Jesus. They do not care like Jesus. They are not living lives that point toward Jesus. The world sees how we treat each other and the world, and they are appropriately condemning.
There is hope! But it is not a quick fix. It is not a magic pill. It is investment of life-on-life. It is doing life together with new believers. It is helping converts become disciples who become disciple-makers.
This won’t happen overnight. Oaks don’t grow overnight either. But when we invest in one who in turns invests in another, the law of doubling quickly impacts a class, church, community, and the world!
What can you do to make sure you and the church are not guilty of child neglect and abuse? What steps are needed to ensure new Christians remain connected and growing? Pray. Gather a leadership team. Implement a plan. Make disciples who thrive!