On Easter Sunday, Cross Creek Community Church Trucksville, Pennsylvania, saw 22 people put their faith in Christ — decisions that were made alongside preceding prayer and intentionally developed “next steps.”
“We really encouraged people from the church to be praying and asking God to work on people’s hearts that they were inviting to come to Easter Sunday,” noted Cross Creek Senior Pastor Josh Coldren. “So I think it started before they even got there, just God working on their hearts.”
Prepped with prayer and flooded with decisions for Christ, Cross Creek members then followed up by providing those who said “yes” to Jesus with important things to do next.
“We were very intentional about people’s next step,” Coldren said. “I led people in a salvation prayer. I said, ‘I want you to raise your hand and one of our leaders is going to come around and put a Bible in your hands.’ So every single individual that raised their hand, we put a Bible in their hands.”
In every Bible was a booklet, Welcome to the Family, a resource provided by the North American Mission Board. The booklet explains the foundations of faith in Christ and encourages new believers with the Word of God.
Coldren urged those who received the materials to contact him or the church office with any questions. He then introduced baptism as their next step as believers.
The following Sunday, April 16, after several follow-up calls and confirming that those who raised their hands understood the decision they had made, Cross Creek baptized three of them.
Coldren also provided a “next steps class.”
“The goal from that class is, obviously, walk through the key foundations of our faith, but then encourage people [that when] this class is over, your next step is for you to get into a small group,” Coldren explained.
From the moment someone makes a profession of faith to walking alongside them as a new disciple, Cross Creek has cultivated a community where next steps are crucial, no matter their stage of spiritual growth.
“You see so many people who fall through the cracks,” Coldren noted. “They come to know Christ and they accept Jesus and then all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘Okay, what? This God changed my life, but why don’t I feel any different some days?’
“That’s where the discipleship component has to be essential and key, otherwise they get to this place and they give up because they don’t completely understand what it means to be a believer and to live that Christian life.”
While Cross Creek has a few key next steps in place, Coldren said they are by no means “set in stone.”
“I think for me it’s just been years of ministry and looking and going, ‘We have to help people to take that next step,’” Coldren said. “Sometimes [pastors] can be vague in what it means to [do so], to put your faith and your trust in Jesus. So, one, it’s being clear in that and then also being clear with the next step.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Macala Mays and originally published by the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey.