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New Believer Follow Up

Objective: Effective evangelism strategies conserve the fruit of evangelism.


Preserving the Fruit of Evangelism

In 1987, my father, brother, nephew, and I booked a fly-in fishing trip to Gouin Reservoir in Quebec. It was the best fishing we’ve ever experienced. We caught numerous northern pike and walleye in a loon-serenaded wilderness setting.

At that time, the walleye possession limit was ten per person. We packed our forty walleyes (about eighty pounds) in two coolers. We had a lot of fish, but not much ice!

To make a long story stinking short, all the fish spoiled. When we opened the coolers at home, an unpleasant odor assaulted us. All our work was in vain.

The Need for Follow up

Because I like to eat fish, I pay attention to conserving the catch. It doesn’t happen by accident. Fish die and decompose relatively quickly. When I anticipate catching fish I want to keep, I take a cooler containing two gallon-sized ice blocks.

When I catch a fish I want to keep, I put it on ice immediately. I fillet the fish as soon as I get home. I place the fillets in a freezer bag filled with water so no air contacts the fillets.

The fillets are frozen in ice. This procedure prevents freezer burn. I have eaten fish fillets frozen for over two years that didn’t lose their quality noticeably. Conserving the catch doesn’t happen by accident.

Where Did the Converts Go?

Conserving the evangelistic catch doesn’t happen by accident. Sharing your faith and leading one person to Christ is expensive. In financial terms alone, without considering time and energy.

The churches at my conference in 2006 spent about 20 million dollars. They reported 678 conversions. The cost per conversion was approximately $29,500.00!

How many converts regularly attended our churches twelve months after conversion? Only God knows, but the tendency is for most of them to slip away. 


A church of the Nazarene pastor in Anaheim, California, Craig Rench, estimated convert loss. In American evangelical churches, he thinks only 2 to 16 percent of new converts are still in the church one year after conversion.

If that’s even close to correct, that’s a frightening statistic. Our goal isn’t decisions for Christ but fully devoted followers of Christ. Conserving the catch doesn’t happen by accident. Let's consider how we can cut our losses. 

Five Follow-up Principles for New Believers   

1. Immediately Follow-up New Believers

Satan has his follow-up program. Like a lion, he preys on the young in the faith because they’re easy targets.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT).

He visits every recent convert. He never forgets. He’s never too busy.

He doesn’t procrastinate, either. He always arrives within 24 hours. You can count on it. He comes with his bad news agenda.

He turns the focus from God’s love, forgiveness, promises, grace, and faithfulness to the new believer’s sinfulness, unworthiness, and weakness. “The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away” (Mark 4:15 NLT).

He aims to remove the word and make new believers doubt their salvation. He whispers, “Do you think God forgave you for your actions?

Hardly! You’ll never be able to live like a Christian. Don’t bother trying.”


He encourages isolation from other believers if he can’t shake up their assurance of salvation. “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian! You don’t need more demands on your time. You’re already too busy!”  


He knows those who never connect with a church won’t do any severe damage to the kingdom of darkness. They won’t be a positive influence in God's kingdom. They’ll be as useless as a big toe that isn’t connected to the body.

Since Satan has his follow-up program, we need one too. We must do a follow-up within 24 hours. Then we won’t give the devil much time to steal away the word already sown and to build his case.

When we meet, we can answer questions. We review the assurance of salvation. We emphasize trusting God’s character and word, not feelings, regarding salvation.

We should set up another time to meet within the next week to discuss the basics of maturing in Christ. If someone else becomes a mentor to the new believer, we should take that person with us on our first follow-up visit and introduce them. Males mentor males, and females, other females.


2. Pray for New Believers     

We must pray for new believers. A lot is at stake. “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments” (2 Corinthians 10:4 NLT).

Satan doesn’t fear our abilities, gifts, discipline, or organization. When our strength is pitted against his, it’s like a midget basketball team playing the NBA champions! We don’t have a chance.

However, when we pray, he trembles because he knows we’re accessing God’s power and infinite resources. Prayer moves God’s hand, and that’s what he fears.

Prayer is most consistent when it is organized. Most effective when it’s corporate. An effective organization transforms good intentions. It turns them into effective prayers for others.

Indeed, those who lead others to Christ should pray for them. If the evangelizer or the evangelized is part of our small group, we pray for that new convert. Prayer groups that meet regularly in the church could pray for new converts, but someone must be responsible for updating them on who they are.

Group prayer increases prayer power. “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20 NLT). 

Specifically, pray for:

  • God’s protection from Satan’s attacks

  • Humility

  • Surrender to God’s leadership

  • Discipline to spend daily time with God

  • New friends in the church assimilation process

  • The fruit of the Holy Spirit

  • Fruitful witness

  • Personal growth

  • Obedience

  • A renewed mind

  • Joy

  • Answered prayer

  • Lasting fruit

  • Thinking about and seeking the things above

  • Considering themselves dead to the old way of living

  • Putting on the whole armor of God

  • Growing trust in God and His word

  • Wisdom

  • Knowledge of God

  • The hope of God’s calling

  • The surpassing greatness of God’s power

  • Knowledge of God’s will

  • Steadfastness

  • Patience

  • A thankful heart

  • Commitment to understanding and living the truth.

3. Mentor New Believers

A new believer needs a spiritual mother or father for at least eight months (males with males, females with females, roughly matching them age-wise, if possible). These spiritual parents should meet with their mentoring partners weekly. Use 31 Steps Toward Spiritual Maturity or some other resource to help them mature in their faith. 

Mentoring Goals for New Believers


  1. Has assurance of salvation.

  2. Understands the ABC of Christian Growth.

  3. Has completed 31 Steps Toward Maturity (one weekly lesson) or His Power for His Weakness found at Discipleship Books Free Download

  4. Daily prays and reads the Bible (beginning with Matthew) and keeps a devotional journal that includes the date, Scripture read, life applications, any questions to ask the mentor, and any insights from prayer time. 

  5. Regularly attends and participates in a small group in the church.

  6. Regularly attends and participates in the worship service.

  7. Can name at least six friends in the church.

  8. Has written a three- to five-minute personal testimony, memorized the basic ideas, and shared them with the mentor, another Christian, and at least two people who aren’t believers yet.

  9. Has taken the Spiritual Health Assessment.

  10. Has been baptized after conversion.

  11. Participates in the ordinances of the church.

  12. Understands the ABC of Evangelism, which helps you follow up with new believers.


Estimated length of the mentoring relationship—eight months


4. Involve New Believers in a Small Group

Small groups are the relational glue that holds new believers in the church. The best small group is a new believer’s class where everyone is at the same stage of spiritual development.

If there aren't enough new believers to conduct such a class, enfold them into a group that’s newly forming. If no new group is available, place them in an existing group that will nurture them. Developing friendships with others in the church is a crucial goal of small group involvement. The more friends that new believers have in the church, the less likely they will walk out the back door, never to return.

5. Find Suitable Ministries for New Believers  


Most people want their lives to make a difference. New believers can make a mark immediately through evangelism. They usually have many relationships with people who aren’t yet believers and overflowing zeal to share how others can find life in Jesus Christ.


A lack of spiritual maturity limits the number of relevant ministries for new believers. Suppose ministries are divided into ministries of the word and ministries of service, except evangelism, at least for the first year. New believers will fit best in service ministries while discovering and developing their spiritual gifts.

Following up with new believers is part of your church assimilation strategy. 

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