There has been much in the news and on the internet regarding Apple dropping Google Maps and making their own maps for the new IOS 6. To summarize countless blogs and news sources, Apple’s new Maps app was not ready to be released. Users began to use the Apple Maps app and experienced one big problem…They got lost! Waypoints were as much as a mile or more off where they should have been. Those folks lost their way.
Navigation for us is important to say the least. We use them daily to get where we need to be or find out where things are as we travel. Parents today don’t have to deal with the age old question from their kids. The question that drove us mad, challenged our sanity, and basically we got tired of hearing, “how much longer?” Even when my son was small I taught him from the car seat to look over my left shoulder and read the numbers that told him, “how much longer?” He in turn would tell his older sister and she would interpret the numbers to time and explain, “it was going to be a long time.” The bottom line…we want to know where things are and how long will it take to arrive.
When people join our church it is no different. We welcome people and care for them. Finally they join the church that wonderful Sunday morning, they walk forward and it begins. At that point we, as the church, need to navigate for them, show them the map to what our church does and what part they can play in this event. We need to assist them in their journey to certain spiritual waypoints along the way.
Altar counselors need to find out why they have come forward. Baptism, prayer, transfer of letter, confirmation of salvation, full time ministry, missions are all possible reasons people might come forward to share with the pastor or counselor. These moments are important to the person and each church must have a plan. Too many times our churches don’t have a plan of how to incorporate that person into the body of the church. This individual might need additional counseling to fully understand their need, but it is clear that our part must be to develop them to a fully devoted believer of Christ.
Questions your church must answer:
- How does this person find a Small Group or Sunday School Class?
- How does our church assist in developing the faith of this person?
- How does this person connect with other believers?
- How do they find their spiritual gifts?
- How do they learn to share faith with others?
- How do they find out how or where to serve?
All of these questions need to be answered sooner rather than later. These questions and more should be on a “map” to be shared with a new person so they may know where the waypoints are and how to get there? They need a map to help them understand the process your church has developed for their Discipleship journey.