How can a new believer from a background radically different than that taught by the Bible become a strong, mature Christian? By a process we call discipleship.
The followers of Jesus went through three years of discipleship with him before they were ready to begin their own ministries. Three years even though they were Jewish background, meaning they already had a good deal of knowledge about the one true God and the prophecies of Jesus Christ.
Imagine the challenges facing a new believer from a Muslim background who wants to live as a Christian! Everything is so different (II Corinthians 5:17). From the true character of God to his plan for salvation, from the lives of Bible characters to how we live the Christian life – all of these differ dramatically in Christianity from what they have learned in Islam. Add to that ingrained old life patterns and reflexes and you start to see the challenge.
New believers need to learn the importance of Bible study and devotions, prayer, fellowship with other believers, and living in the image of Christ. In “The Importance of Discipleship” Bob Siegel explains to new believers, for example Huda, that in addition to Bible study and prayer, living alongside mature believers is the best way for a new believer to progress in discipleship.