A Note from the Author, Art Barkley
We believe there are some foundational principles that all believers, especially newer believers, need to understand and internalize. Often Biblical “knowledge” is presented to new Christians rather than personalized instruction of Biblical “principles” to apply in their lives to help them mature more rapidly.
New believers need to be quickly introduced to a life of walking in dependence on the Lord. (A manual for a car or computer may have the exact specifications and a great description, but to learn to drive a vehicle properly or operate a computer, most people would greatly benefit from individual mentoring.)
We believe God is pleased by the attitude of a disciple (an apprentice learner), who is concerned about allowing God to use them and minimally interested in defending their personal viewpoints. All our beliefs should be open for Him to alter. Please prayerfully consider the validity of the concepts presented here, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Our passion to help believers grow to spiritual maturity, spiritual fruitfulness, and spiritual reproduction in Christ is knit together with our desire to be true to Scripture. We believe that God has provided provision for every believer to grow from infancy to maturity in Christ so as to become a spiritual reproducer (disciple-maker).
We believe that one of the main reasons there is a lack of spiritual vitality in the Christian community is the failure to clearly explain essential Biblical concepts and goals to new converts initially so they learn them early in their walk. If such principles are presented early on, new believers will be saved from much unneeded frustration as they seek to understand God’s purpose for their lives.
For most converts the first few months are critical. New believers will tend to adopt the outlook and value system of those they associate with during the formative part of their Christian walk. This is the time to take advantage of the initial hunger to learn and grow that characterizes the normal new believer.
Too often new believers are simply placed in the mainstream (Sunday) services and small groups and expected to somehow assimilate Biblical understanding. It is therefore not a surprise to see that many new believers come to the conclusion that Sunday services are the most important spiritual experience of the week, rather than developing a spiritual walk with God that is a 24/7 experience.
Caution: Please do not give these lessons to someone without adequate explanation. We usually tend to assume that others understand more than they actually do. If the disciple grasps and applies the concepts presented in this workbook, the energy and hours you have invested in them will be well worth it.