CONGRATULATIONS! You have been given a gift – the gift of a fresh start! Your recent decision to follow Jesus will be the most important and life-giving decision you will ever make. At New Life, we are all about helping people become fully alive, and we believe that’s not possible without taking that first step towards Jesus. The Bible tells us, “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That means that wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, it’s in the past. Your new life starts NOW! Now, we want to be realistic. The road ahead will not be filled with only sunshine, and laughter, and cute little puppies. No, a life of following Jesus won’t always be easy; in fact, it will require some sacrifice, some pruning, and even some setbacks. However, we know that a life in pursuit of Jesus and his Kingdom is one that isn’t wasted. It is a life full to the brim of his goodness, his mercy, and his abundance. And we know, all the best things in life are worth a bit of struggle…and Jesus…he is the best thing!
You may be asking, now what? We are so glad you’ve asked that! Deciding to follow Jesus is just the first step. God has so many more amazing things in store for you, so here are a few ways we think will help you get started on this life-long journey of becoming FULLY alive in Jesus.
You’ve just made the greatest decision of your life! Don’t hide it under a rock, tell someone about it. Hopefully you have a friend or family member who is also on the journey of following Jesus, they can be a great source of wisdom, encouragement, and accountability for you.
Baptism is an outward symbol of the inward decision you’ve made. It not only signifies that you are a new creation, it is the public display of you becoming a part of God’s family. During the time of Jesus and the early days of the church, baptism was such an important step of faith because it proclaimed that person was a part of the Kingdom of God and was a member of the movement of Christ. The reality is, you have a large church family now that is cheering you on in your faith and baptism is the way for us to do that for you publicly. Baptism is also a powerful symbol and reminder for you in your own journey. When the bumps in the road occur and the inevitable seeds of self-doubt arise, you can point back to your baptism as a reminder that you are indeed a new creation, that your past has been forgiven, and you are on a new path that’s bound for the abundant life!
Crash Course is our four session course to help you become more fully alive in Jesus! Throughout Crash Course, you’ll learn bit about New Life as a church and well as gain a deeper understanding of how you are LOVED by Jesus, you’re being SHAPED by Jesus, and you’re becoming equipped to DO WHAT JESUS DID!
Like we said, the road ahead is not always going to be easy. The only way to stay upright is to grow some deep, strong roots that can withstand the inevitable winds and storms that will come. This will be life-long process and there are an infinite number of ways that you can grow in your faith. The point is just to start somewhere.
• Rest in God’s Presence (prayer, journaling. etc.)
• One-another one-another (learn to live in community with others and gather with the people of God)
• Open your hands (learn to live generously with you time, your talents, and your resources)
• Train in God’s Story (become familiar with scripture and allow it to transform you from the inside out)
• Simplify your life (break some bad habits and learn to live with less noise)
The truth of the matter is that following Jesus SHOULD transform your life. However, this transformation looks different for everyone. Some people experience an immediate, radical change where addictions are broken, relationships restored, and the entire trajectory of their lives have shifted. In reality, more often than not, this transformation process is more gradual with taking baby steps along the way. The truth of the matter is, while we can play our part by forming habits that grow roots, the Holy Spirit is the one who does the transforming. He’s not going to leave you high and dry; he is faithful to finish the work he has started in you. (Philippians 1:6)