Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation - if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:1-3 (NRSV)
Shirley G. Brosius, from Pennsylvania, watched a pair of robins build a nest, over a period of time, hatch their eggs, and feed their young. What a busy pair! Once the babies arrived, the parents hopped around the lawn, gathering worms to drop into the hungry beaks. Without constant nurturing, those little fluff balls would not have survived.
As Christians, we can take a few lessons from those birds about nurturing new believers. Just as the birds provided a safe nest, congregations provide a safe place for new believers to ask questions and express doubts. Through worship, sermons, and Bible studies, we feed new believers what they need to understand and practice their faith. through one-on-one conversations and friendships, mature Christians are role models who show new believers how to live out their faith. and just as the parent robins worked together as a team, so members of a congregation show teamwork as they exercise their spiritual gifts - giving, teaching, encouraging.
New believers need the church, and the church needs new believers to carry on its mission. What a privilege and joy to hold new believers close to our hearts, to feed them God's word, and to protect them until they're ready to fly on their own. Someday, they - in turn - will nurture other new believers.
Prayer: Dear Lord, open our eyes, and hearts, to the needs of those new in the faith, in Jesus' name, amen.