Should new believers be discipled? Absolutely! That is not the question. The title question assumes that new disciples need and benefit from investment by disciplers. The question is about “who.”
What would be the result of assigning new believers to be discipled only by professional clergy? What happens if we assigned them to be discipled only by the best educated or trained? Would that work?
Only is the problem word in those sentences. How can we obey Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), if we limit discipling to a few? The simple answer is that we cannot. So who should be discipling new believers?
Consider these answers to the question of who:
- the person who led the new believer to Christ (building on that relationship is natural);
- Christian family members (who have an opportunity to affirm and correct beliefs and behaviors while walking through life with the new believer);
- Christian friends (who care about what is really important);
- the small group (Sunday School class) that provides ongoing care while they study and apply God’s Word together;
- the pastor/staff who preach and shepherd (who check on new believers but also check with their disciplers); and
- believers with a passion for discipling new believers (who invest in individuals for a set period of time).
Which “who” are you? If you did not find yourself in the list, you may need to be the target of the list. Or if you are not on the list, you simply need to be a disciple who shares Jesus with others. Then you write your name on the list. Who should disciple new believers? Every believer should disciple others AND be discipled by someone. Make disciples!