A few weeks ago, after hearing of Elevation Church seeing 581 people repent and surrender their lives to Christ and NewSpring Church seeing 516 themselves, I was ecstatic. Therefore I was telling all sorts of people! But then I told two specific friends about this (while we were walking in walmart) and it brought up a very interesting conversation.
“What do they do about follow up with those people?”
Great question, right?
I was not really sure. I always believed follow up was obvious and very important so I somewhat left the issue there.
But after walking around walmart a little more, I thought about how Jesus did follow up and one specific story kept coming back to me.
Mark 5 details an account of Jesus going to the region of the Gerasenes. Once there he is met by a demon possessed man whom he promptly rids of an evil spirit. After healing him, all of the people that lived their freaked out and begged him to leave. So Jesus began to get back in the boat and leave… but the man he just changed begged to come with him (what I would call desire to be followed up with…)… so here is how it plays out:
“Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” (Mark 5:19-20)
Hmmm. Where is the follow up?
I don’t really see it.
The guy seems to really want to learn from Jesus and grow… but Jesus says no. Jesus seems to think that he doesn’t need a seven step process to reading his Bible correctly, a starting point class for new believers, or four different mentors. Jesus just sends him out. Immediately. With no training. No follow up. Just go.
So from that I conclude that follow up is not a necessity. Trust that what Christ started, He will finish (Philippians 1:6). I mean think about it… if we can trust the Holy Spirit to begin the process, why cant we trust him to finish it? I don’t think the Holy Spirit is a quitter…
Know this: You do not have to agree with my conclusion. My friends didn’t fully agree with it. Plus this is only one story.
BUT, it is very interesting to think about.
Maybe we focus too much on programming and thinking about what we can do to bring about a finished work… when we would be better served preaching the Gospel and praying. Maybe we should stop following other people’s programs and steps to become a better Christ follower and just follow Jesus… the one we are supposed to follow anyway.
And for those who wondered, as I did, what those churches do for follow up… Perry Noble, Lead Pastor of NewSpring Church actually posted this on his blog about it a few days later:
“For those wondering what we “did with those people” who received Christ yesterday…well…we simply believe that the same Holy Spirit who drew them to Himself in the first place is able to continue to do that same supernatural work in and around them. So…what do we “do” for them? WE DO CHURCH…and pray that as they continue to attend and hear HIS Word that they will continue to take their next steps of obedience as He leads them!”
What are your thoughts??? Agree? Disagree? Do you have some Biblical insight?