OLIVIA WRITES: A girl I know from my online school program recently emailed me and a few other girls saying that she wanted to be a Christian, and asking some questions. I’ve tried to accurately lay out the gospel for her to make sure she understands, but I’m not sure what to do now. She has so many questions, and though I know I can answer them, I feel like just answering questions isn’t enough. Do you have any advice or know of any books that might help either her as a young Christian, or me in trying to help her?
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As for advice for answering questions I have no clue, but a I do have a list of some books that may prove useful to your friend. 1: The Holiness Of God by R. C. Sproul 2: How To Know God Exists by Ray Comfort. 3: One Perfect Life (The complete story of the Lord Jesus ) by John Macarthur. 4: Can I Know God’s Will By Sproul. Why Believe The Bible by Macarthur. I know of lots of books that may help but it might be helpful to me to know what kind of questions your friend is asking to know what kind of books I should be recommending. Let’s see would some videos help too? I’ll name one just in case: How Shall We Then Live by Francis Schaeffer. As for advice I recommend you talking to your pastor or youth pastor or perhaps your parents if you can, who knows what kind of advice they can recommend that we might not even think of. I don’t know if any of this helps but I sure hope it does and I’ll be praying for your friend.
I was going to suggest Ray Comfort. He’s great! 😀
As a super new Chrsitian, it’s not one specific topic of questions but really a bunch of different topics. I think what I was thinking might be helpful is something just really explaining the main fundamentals of what we believe. My biggest fear is just that there will be something important that she didn’t ask or I didn’t think to tell her.
One thing you could do is a Bible study, I know Bible study over IM or however you talk to your friend might sound hard but I did a Bible study with a friend over Skype and it worked out really well. You could start with the book of John I’ve seen that constantly recommended for new believers.
You’ve shared the gospel with her, so I would reccomend that you reccomend she find herself a Bible and study it. Encourage her to go deeper in her relationship With God. Am I understanding the question right?
I would totally recommend that you suggest that she finds someone close by who can mentor her. A pastor or even just a Christian down the street. She’s going to need the one on one. Although you can continue to help her, she really needs someone close by who can help as well.
This is also what I have been thinking, but I have no idea whether there is a person like that available to her.
Well, yes. Answering her questions isn’t enough, but remember that her salvation isn’t your job. Be faithful to share the gospel, and point her to the Bible, after that trust God. This will probably be a long-term thing, do be ready for the long haul of discipleship.
I would have her in the Word as much as possible, but if you do end up giving her another book “What Is the Gospel?” By Greg Gilbert is very clear on who Jesus is, how the gospel works, why we need it, and how that effects everything for those who’ve been changed by it. (Plus it’s easy to read).
If you know where she lives, look up near by churches and see if you can get her hooked up with a good one. If you do this, read they’re statement of faith (etc.).
Encourage her to try and find a good Bible believing Church in her area… if she doesn’t know where to start looking, find out the area she lives and ask your own pastor or some leaders in your Church if they know of any good Churches in her area (or if you would like, my dad was an assistant Pastor at our old Church and has a lot of connections in certain areas of the Country, if you would like you could just respond and ask for my email or let me know what city/area she lives in and I can ask my dad if he knows of anyone or can ask around).
The challenge to trying to witness to someone through e-mail is that you can’t really tell what their response is. Encourage her to ask the Pastor/Pastor’s wife or youth pastor/youth pastor’s wife at the Church any questions she may still have about Salvation, Baptism, her relationship with God, etc.
As far as books go: done by Cary Schmidt is a great book for New Believers, it’s also free on Kindle, so a great deal there.
Real Christianity (also by Cary Schmidt) looks like it would be a good book for her to read as well.
Different By Design (also by Cary Schmidt) also looks good for her.
I think that’s all! Hope this is helpful!
Ok, so let me just explain a little more. She goes to a church with her grandmother, so she has a bible and a church. How good that church is and whether they have a youth group or not, I really don’t know. I understand what you mean about email, because it is sort of hard to communicate things how you mean to in real life. I have a lot of experience with email relationships, since besides you guys, my three best friends are people that I only know through email and school. I get that this isn’t the ideal situation, but hey, if the one other girl who has also been talking to her and I can be of help at all, then by all means I’m going to keep talking talking to her, answering questions, and even just becoming friends. Like I said to Brooke, I would recommend that she find someone close by who can be her mentor, but I don’t know whether that’s an option available to her, or even if she would want to do that.
Well, if she can and would like to and you’re able to, you could try to arrange for a facetime/skype call so you can at least talk to her “face to face” so to speak if she’s uncomfortable talking to her Church leaders about this. Then at least you can answer her questions and get responses that will help you know better what her needs are. Also, I know not everyone on here would agree with me on this, but I would recommend she get and use a KJV Bible if she doesn’t already have one, because the KJV is the most reliable and understandable version of the Bible we have in the English language (despite the “old English” words). Also, on a lot of electronic versions, at least, it’s free, unlike the newer copyrighted versions.
I agree with Grace Reece having a good Bible believing church is an important step as is buying a good easy to understand Bible if she doesn’t have one. And maybe finding a good mentor would also be helpful, like a pastors wife or a youth leaders wife. Tell her welcome to the family! And we hope to see her here on the forums 🙂
Yeah, I plan to invite her to some of my favorite blogs soon. I realized though… If I invite her here, she’s gonna see all this and I have no idea what she would think…. Hehe, maybe I should have been a little more anonymous?
That would be interesting for sure! But I think your fine you were just trying to get some good advice:)
Do you think you could tell her about my blog I put together? Here’s the web link
Hmm… That link didn’t work 😛
Sorry about that 🙁 Here’s a new link hope this one works:)
I don’t have much to add to what everyone else said but if you give her a book ” What is the gospel? ” by Greg Gilbert would be a good option. It lays out the gospel itself, why we need it, and how that effects those who’ve been changed by it. And it’s all really clear and easy to read. Hope this helps!
I’m no expert:), but I would be sure to make certain she understands the full cost of being a christian. If it is sugarcoated, she will expect that getting saved will immediately fix all her problems, and, as I’m sure we all can relate:), it won’t. I think it is so great that you are sharing with her!
I posted this over on LYWB, but just to make sure you see it, here it is:
I just googled “books for new Christians”, and I found a recommendation for Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Sproul. I have never read it, but I have listened to his radio program and I know from many people that he is very solid. The person who recommended the book said that the language is plain and easy to understand, as well.
Here is the blog post I found it on. They all seem like they are high quality recommendations, though the only one I have read is Just Do Something. I plan to try and read some of them, though I didn’t know about them until just now! 🙂
Well I don’t know what questions she has, but we should always try to keep it a simple as possible. The kingdom of heaven is simple enough for children to understand. I think we tend to make it more complicated than it is.