Next Steps

The life of a new Christian is both exciting and daunting. It is filled with opportunities and challenges. Should I attend church? What if I have doubts? Who can I talk to? How often should I read my Bible and pray? What if people don’t understand what is happening in my life?
This simple page seeks to offer guidance to help new believers navigate their first steps in the Christian life, but the insights offered here are also helpful to established Christians as reminders of what the Christian life is about.
What Now? 
1. Find a solid church
It’s important that you begin to gather with other Christians regularly. You’ll want to find a solid Christian church that you can attend regularly, as well as a stable small group where you can meet with other Christians. You can find out about our small groups here. Growing in your faith is important, but you can’t do it alone.
Being in a solid church is also a way for you to connect with and participate in community and global outreach.
If you have been attending Livingway Church for a while; then Discover Livingway is for you! To learn more about our membership process click here. It can help you learn more about Livingway and get connected.
In Discover Livingway, led by Pastor Ted, you’ll learn more about Livingway Church: How did the church begin? Where are we going? Who are we trying to reach? What are our beliefs, values, purpose, strategy, and vision? What kinds of ministries does the church have? What’s expected of a member? How does a person become a member? You can request more information here.
We also provide a 10 week course called Living the Way that is made available every quarter. That teaches the core essentials of faith and the habits of a healthy Christ follower.
2. Learn how to pray and read your Bible
You’ll also want to make sure you take time to pray and read the Bible regularly. Once you find a good church, a pastor will offer guidance as to how you can go about maturing in your faith.
3. Follow through with Baptism
If you have not been baptized we challenge you to take the plunge and go public with your faith through baptism. As a wedding ring is a symbol of marriage, so is baptism a symbol of your faith. For more about baptism at Livingway, click here.
4. Share what Christ has done in you with others
As a Christian we have the great honor of telling others of the hope and healing of Jesus. For ways you can share what God has done in you at Livingway click here.
We think Livingway is a great place to be rooted and belong. If Livingway is a good fit for you, we are excited to grow with you as we walk the journey of Christ together.
Where did you come from and where are you going?
If you are new to Christianity, there’s a good chance you’re an adult or young adult. This means you obviously came from somewhere in reference to your ideas, background, beliefs, and habits. Maybe you have come to Christ after involvement in another religion or philosophy. Or perhaps you were raised in a Christian home, drifted away from beliefs you were brought up with and have now committed your life to Christ.
Of course, there’s no way for us to anticipate every aspect of your background and what brought you to Christ. But it’s important for you to keep in mind where you have come from because your past may influence your present life in Christ.
As a new Christian you may find yourself somewhat confused as to what your next steps should be. While there is a general route to follow, such as gathering regularly with fellow Christians, there is no exact plan spelled out in the Bible regarding your next steps. God does have a plan for you and your life, but it is something you will discover as you grow as a Christian and mature in your relationship with Christ.
Emotion: Too Much or Not Enough?
One area where you may be confused is in reference to emotions in relation to Christianity. Maybe when you became a Christian you went through a very emotional experience. But as your life settles down you might wonder where the emotional experience has gone. Or perhaps you are experiencing the opposite – your commitment to Christ may not have been emotional at all, or at least not very much so.
Don’t worry. Christians come to Christ in all sorts of ways. Some are highly emotional experiences, others are not. C.S. Lewis, for instance, one of the great Christian thinkers of the 20th century, described his conversion more like someone who had been asleep realizing he is awake, but not in any extraordinary emotional sense.
In fact, as a Christian you will have your ups and downs. It’s important that you do not base the reality of your relationship with Christ or what He has done for you on your feelings. Your feelings will fluctuate from day to day, but the foundation of your beliefs should not. If you have a solid foundation in Christ and Christianity, that foundation rooted in a real relationship with Christ is what will support your Christian life.
Always Learning
Some people are “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7, NIV). Being a Christian is in many respects a lifelong education, but unlike some who are always learning but unable to acknowledge the truth, you have a foundation in truth (Christ). There will be much to learn throughout your Christian life, just be careful not to try and absorb too much information at once.
One area you will want to learn more about has to do with the Bible. You may have heard many myths about the Bible and maybe you’re not all that familiar with it. This article can only provide you with brief information about the Bible and what it teaches, but if you want to learn more you can try a few helpful resources.
First, the book From God to Us by Norman Geisler and William Nix (Moody Publishers) will provide you with some helpful general information about the Bible. Second, the book The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F.F. Bruce (InterVarsity Press) offers a short and helpful summary of the evidence for the reliability of the New Testament, where the story of Jesus and the early Church is recorded. Third, Basic Christianity by John Stott (InterVarsity Press) provides a brief overview of essential Christian beliefs.
Understanding The Holy Bible
The Holy Bible is actually a collection of many books written by several authors inspired by God over a period spanning some 1,500 years or so. The Old Testament contains books written before the time of Christ, while the New Testament contains documents about the life of Christ and the early Church. The Gospels include Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These four books contain accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Christ. John is a good place for a new Christian to become introduced to Christ and His message.
Next you will find the book of Acts, which records many exciting and challenging events in the life of the early Christians and the early Church. It introduces a key individual known as Paul, who went on to become one of the most important Christians in the early church.
Following Acts you will encounter a number of epistles, or letters, from various individuals writing to other Christians. These are highly practical letters, emphasizing the Christian life. James is a good epistle to read for practical insights into the Christian life.
The last book in the New Testament is Revelation, a work of apocalyptic literature that contains many images and predictions (prophecies). Although it tends to get a lot of attention in popular books and discussions, Revelation is generally not the best place for a new Christian to begin reading. This is not because it is not useful or helpful, but because approaching it and being able to make helpful sense out of it requires a fairly broad background in Bible history and other passages that it references. Revelation also provides wonderful imagery of a future time when Christ will return and evil will ultimately be overcome.
Doubts and Challenges
Most likely you will have a number of questions about Christianity. Don’t be discouraged if you do, but do your best to get your questions answered. There are a number of resources available addressing questions about the Bible, other religions, other philosophies or worldviews. The field of defending Christianity is called apologetics, so you might want to learn more in that area, especially if you have many questions.
Christianity is not a belief system that discourages questions or the life of the mind. All truth is God’s truth, as has been said, and if Christianity is true as we believe it to be, then any reasonable question should have reasonable answers.
In fact, 1 Peter 3:15 calls every Christian to, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” As a new Christian you can’t be expected to have answers to everything about Christianity, but you can begin to learn more about the faith so you know why you believe what you believe.
If you are a member of Livingway Church you are invited to contact any of our leadership team to help you navigate through some of your questions. Some of the links in our resources tab at the top of our website are also helpful. You can contact us here.