My youngest son, Haddon, is just shy of 6 months, but is already mobile. He started crawling just a few weeks ago, but he’s gotten super-quick. And now, he’s begun the process of pulling up on things. It doesn’t have to be fancy – the edge of the couch, my leg, anything strong enough and still enough for him to pull up on – earns the right to hold his weight.
Every time my son takes a developmental step – rolling over, sitting up, pushing up, crawling, pulling up, and eventually standing up, and walking – my wife and I cheer for him. The kids cheer for him. We celebrate every development and encourage further steps. We never scold him for falling or failing, that would be insane. He’s developing. And as long as he’s making forward progress, that’s what we’re supposed to do.
You’d never see a parent screaming at their toddler for falling down while learning to walk.
But for some reason, Christians will argue and complain about the mess that new-believers create in the church. New-believers mean that the pastor may have to teach on a passage of Scripture or a topic that you’ve heard before. New-believers mean that a story that you learned about on a flannel-graph might be life-changing and new to them. New-believers mean that their lifestyles, theology, and spiritual disciplines may not hold a candle to your own.
But new-believers mean that your church is seeing lives changed by the Gospel. New-believers mean that your church is seeing eternities changed by the Gospel. marriages changed by the Gospel. families, communities, cities changed by the Gospel.
Stop screaming at them as they learn to walk. Be useful and take them under their arms and help them take steps, encouraging them along the way.