In the first year of a child’s life, if you are an otherwise healthy person, you will go to the doctor more times than you have gone to the doctor in YEARS.
“Well-child” checks are every month until the six month mark. Then they are every three months until the child is a year old, and then just once a year after their first birthday.
That doesn’t count, however, the “not-so-well-child” checks that come much more often, and these visits aren’t free. As the baby’s immune system strengthens and gets used to the world of germs, these visits come with mysterious rashes, crazy symptoms, and first-time parent worry.
My son was born in July 2018 and got his first sickness in October, and then again in November, in between the times that he would have visited the doctor for a well-child check-up of course. We also visited the ER one of those times, which was a whole other experience.
All of this time in waiting rooms and driving to and from the doctor gave me time to think (before I have to leave the office today for a doctor appointment for my son, go figure).
If we place such importance on visiting the doctor and immunizations and well-child check-ups in the first year of a child’s life, why don’t we emphasize the same importance when someone becomes a new believer?
Like a newborn baby, this person who has just made a profession of faith in Christ will need extra nurturing. Like a newborn baby, they are not born-again as a self-sufficient Christian who just knows what to do next.
Like a newborn baby has a parent that dotes over them and cares for them with devotion, newborn Christians need active discipleship relationships to help them grow into the healthy, well-rounded believer that they have potential to become.
Too often, we as the Church see baptisms and conversions to faith at camp, or family events at the church, and fail to follow up with the person who just made an extremely important life decisions.
This person needs one person to come alongside them and help build their faith in God, answering questions for them along the way and, like a baby who is learning to walk, this person will be there to catch them with they fall, and support them as they get back on their feet in their efforts to pursue Christ.
Think back to someone who made a profession of faith in Christ you may have invited to church, or someone you went to camp with, or if you helped volunteer at a church event. Now, think about the level of involvement you’ve had in their life since they made that decision.
Have you been there for them as a friend, a disciple, someone they can look to for godly nourishment and growth? If you haven’t, there is still time. Reconnect with them and begin to build relationships that last and relationships in which you both benefit from your discipleship relationship.
Jesus didn’t just pick 12 disciples and say, “Okay now go tell others about me!” No, He spent time with them, He answered their questions, dealt with their unbelief and loved them and corrected them through their mistakes. Be that person for someone in your life.