1. Choosing a Good Church
Finding a good church to attend is vital for balanced Christian growth. A GOOD church may not be easy to find. Look for a church that:
** Teaches that the Bible is the Word of God and is the final authority in spiritual matters. (The church doesn´t place other writings equal to nor in higher esteem than God´s Word.)
** Teaches that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is the only way to heaven (Acts 4:12), that he shed his blood to atone for our sin; that he died, was buried and rose again. (Only Christianity claims to have a risen Saviour.)
"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." Psalm 122:1
2. Participate in Church Activities
After you have found a good, Bible-believing church, you should join it and participate in its activities. A good church will have classes for different age groups. You will be strengthened by worshipping and fellowshipping with other believers. Special services will help strengthen you even more. So get in church, get involved, and enjoy some great new friendships!
Hebrews 10:25, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day (of the return of Christ) approaching."
3. Find and Use Your Talent
Everyone has at least one particular talent, or "gift." Mine is encouragement. I try to encourage others through writing, sending cards and notes, asking how people are doing in a sincere attitude, finding something cheerful about an otherwise gloomy situation, etc. Your talent could be one of a number of gifts. Some have the gift of teaching, some preaching (but a novice isn´t ready for these yet!). If you don´t know what your talent for the Lord is, just continue to pray, read God´s word, be faithful in church, and be patient until until God shows you what he wants you to do for him.
1 Cor. 12:4, 12,"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit…For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ."
Although baptism is not essential to salvation itself, it is very important. It is the first thing God asks you to do to show your willingness to follow Him. It is a "picture" of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. You publicly identify yourself with Christ and your new life in Him by being baptized. If you are not willing to do the first thing He asks, you will likely be defeated in other areas of your Christian life.
Acts 2:41, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized..."
5. What Should I Do First?
If you recently accepted Christ as your personal Saviour, you may be wondering, "What should I do now?" The first thing you need to do is make sure of your salvation. (Read How to receive salvation) Then, as a new Christian, you should tell somebody. Start with someone that won´t belittle the decision you have made. After that, tell a minister or pastor, and one or more Christians you respect.
"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Romans 10:11
6. Daily Bible Reading
The Bible is where you get the wisdom and strength to live for Jesus in a world full of grief, pain and sin. If you are a new "baby Christian," you need the "milk of the word." It is necessary "food" for the soul. In the Old Testament, God spoke to people through dreams, prophets, etc. Today, we have his Word. This is the main way God speaks to us and where we get instructions on how to live the Christian life. Read it every day to find out what God wants you to know for that particular day. (You can download Bibles and study tools from e-sword)
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." 1 Peter 2:2
7. John--A Good Place to Start
A good place for a new Christian to start reading the Bible is the book of St. John in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the book of Proverbs is an excellent choice. It has 31 chapters, one for each day of the month. You will gain wisdom way above your peers by reading a chapter a day in Proverbs for at least a year!
"...they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11
8. Personalize Your Study
As you grow spiritually you will want a regular plan of Bible study. I like to read one chapter in Proverbs daily, one in the New Testament, and one or two others in the Old Testament. I also like to read in the book of Psalms to provide overall balance. The Bible is a "living" book and will speak to you! (Also see "Your Daily Quiet Time" for more tips on Bible study, prayer, etc.)
"The word of God is quick (alive), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword...and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb. 4:12
9. Pray Regularly
Just as we hear from God through his Word, he hears from and communes with us through prayer. We need to pray regularly and have planned times of prayer. What we don´t plan, we generally neglect. When you awake, when you read God´s word, at mealtimes, and at bedtime are all good times to pray. (You can find more helpful hints on prayer under the category "Learning to Pray.")
"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." Psalm 55:17
10. Pray Without Ceasing
As Christians, we should stay in an "attitude" of prayer. It need not be long prayer with "thee´s" and "thou´s," but we should have a readiness in our hearts to talk with our Heavenly Father at all times. A lot of my own prayer is in one- or two-sentence thoughts at a time. In general, just talk to God as you would your best friend, for he is, and he is always there to listen!
1 Thes. 5:17, "Pray without ceasing."