How to Follow Up New Christians

So you just hosted an outreach, and several students indicated decisions to follow Jesus. Or maybe a new student came to your weekly meeting and placed their faith in Christ. Praise the Lord! Now what?

What is the best next step for someone who has just begun a relationship with Christ? Gospel-centered “follow-up” is the answer!

What is Follow-up?

Imagine bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital. Would you set her in her crib and say, “Okay sweetie, milk is in the fridge, the bathroom is over there, and here’s the remote control if you want to watch some TV”? No way! So why would we do the same to a brand-new Christian? They are like a newborn in their faith.

It is a tremendous responsibility and privilege to help cultivate the faith of a newborn believer. Follow-up helps a new Christian better understand their new identity in Christ, grow in their relationship with God, and learn how to share their faith with others. It helps them to understand and put into practice some important basics of the Christian faith.

Think about how vulnerable that newborn baby is. The same can be true of “baby” Christians, so it is important to begin follow-up ASAP! Satan may attempt to distract or discourage this new believer, or they may have serious questions or doubts about their new faith.

Do your best to text or call the student within 24-48 hours after they have received Christ, and invite them to meet to talk about how they can grow in their new faith. The Holy Spirit is moving in this new believer’s life, and you will want to join Him in that work!

How to start

Here are three first steps to get started with follow-up.

1. Pray

Begin by praying for them (Colossians 1:9-12). As God is the one who ultimately causes the new believer to grow, it is important that we pray for them. We should also pray for ourselves that we would be Spirit-filled and full of grace and truth as we meet with the new believer.


2. Remember that God is in charge

Only God can produce growth, and He does that in many ways. The Bible talks about four ways people may respond to God’s Word in Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23. Check it out!

In the book of Acts, Paul spent time with new believers in various cities, teaching and encouraging them (Acts 17-20). As a result, they eventually influenced their entire region! We can help guide and encourage believers to grow, but the bottom line is that God is the one in charge. What a relief! In 1 Corinthians 3:5-7, the Bible says,

“What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”

3. Suggest a time and place to meet

It could be a fast food restaurant, coffee shop near the campus, the school courtyard… wherever! Suggesting a clear time and place can help simplify the communication process and help in arranging your first follow-up meeting. Explain that you would like to share some things that will help them grow in their new relationship with Christ.

Encourage the new believer to invite friends to join the meeting. Meeting in a group with other new Christians can foster openness and create a natural discipleship group for later. If possible, invite other new Christians who have recently accepted Christ to participate in follow-up as a group, especially if they already know each other.

Occasionally, something may come up that prevents you from meeting at the scheduled time. If this happens, do not lose heart! Just reschedule your appointment within 48 hours. Whatever you do, don’t leave that “baby” unattended!

It is a tremendous responsibility and privilege to help cultivate the faith of a newborn believer.

The first follow-up meeting

What do you talk about at your first follow-up meeting? The purpose of your first meeting is to build your relationship, establish trust, help these new Christians understand the assurance of their salvation, and help them begin to grasp God’s love for them.

Personalize your time

When you get together to talk, personalize your time by asking good questions. In other words, don’t talk much about yourself! Talk about things the students are interested in and things you may have in common, and be sure to listen! (See Turning the Conversation to Christ)

Explain spiritual growth

Use your time together to explain spiritual growth. Show the students that there is much to learn, and offer the opportunity to get together weekly, at least for the next four weeks. Asking for a short-term commitment may not seem as overwhelming to a new Christian as an open-ended “let’s meet.” After the first four weeks, you can challenge them to continue to meet for further growth together.

Ask questions to gain understanding

If you are meeting with someone whom you’re not sure is a Christian, ask questions that will help you better understand where they are at spiritually, and be prepared to share the gospel if the student is open to listening! For example, you could ask, “If you were to die tonight and God asked you, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ how would you answer?” If the person is not 100% sure they are going to heaven, take the time to share the gospel with them to clarify. You can walk a student through Knowing God Personally online, use the God Tools App, or even use a paper copy!

Teach a basic concept

Every young Christian will need to continue to learn from the Scriptures. We have to start at the beginning and build. We often like to say, “Grace plus truth over time equals growth.” Don’t try to teach everything all at once! Follow-up is a process, and growth takes time.

You can find some great follow-up material at We have a four-week follow-up series there that will help get your student grounded and growing.

Important Truths for new Christians

Here are some of the most important truths a new Christian needs to know:

  • The person and work of Christ (John 20:31)
  • Assurance of salvation (Hebrews 13:5)
  • How to continually experience God’s love and forgiveness (1 John 1:9)
  • The ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 14:25-26, Ephesians 5:18)
  • Healthy practices for Christian growth (prayer, Bible reading, community, evangelism)
  • A Christian’s new identity in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

If you need some resources to help cover these topics, go to or check out the Thrive Studies App! There is even a four-lesson Thrive Studies series on how to follow up a new believer called The Discipling Others Series. Going through this yourself will help you follow up others with confidence. Check it out!

Taking care of a newborn is a lot of work! But by God’s grace, your newborn friends will soon be walking, talking, and feeding themselves spiritually. They will be on their way to becoming mature disciples of Christ!

Next Step

Initiate with a new believer you know and invite them into an intentional follow-up process to explain key principles and practices of the Christian faith. Need an easy to follow plan? Using the Thrive Start Series can provide help.

Thrive Start Series
This article is part of the Evangelism Collection. Read the rest of these articles to get an even better understanding of how to share your faith with students.


Cru Promo Videos

It was once said that “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, if that’s true, a video is worth a million. As we talk about Cru with students, administration, donors, volunteers, parents, and others, having a video can sometimes help them get the feel of what we do.

Below you’ll find a few videos that do just that. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, check our YouTube channels at Cru High School and Gotothecampus. If we’ve got it, it’ll be there.

Cru Promo Video – 3 Minute Version

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Cru Promo Video – 1 Minute Version

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Cru Promo Video – 1 Minute Version (vertical)

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