One of the most difficult times in the life of a follower of Jesus is after they first turn to Him and put their trust in Him as King. This is especially true for some of our friends who come from different cultures and backgrounds. It is difficult to integrate into some of our churches in Sydney, because of the terminology we use, and our own cultural blind spots aren’t always explained. For example, the idea of ‘doing quiet times’, ‘saying grace’ and even discussing the Bible as equals in a home during the week are foreign concepts. Many of my friends from Hindu backgrounds don’t have a frame of reference for reading and discussing the Bible. Many of my friends also see it as audacious to think they can read and interpret the Bible without a guru or teacher telling them what God wants them to know. The truth is that we have many publications that explain the message of the gospel in different languages and packaged in different ways. What a friend of mine who taught an easy English class at Auburn Anglican told me, was that there was not much written in easy English that would be helpful for new Christians. It is for this reason that I decided to write this short book: Walking with Jesus.
This book is written in easy English, with short sentences and a lot of repetition. Most of the chapters are fleshed-out versions of sermons and explanations on these topics I gave while serving at Auburn, in order to communicate in an easy English format. It is the type of book that our brothers and sisters with low-intermediate level English might be able to read with the help of a dictionary, or in groups with a mentor who is a native English speaker. It is also the type of book that could be read to those who do not read in English. It does not use many illustrations but quotes a lot of Bible references and then attempts to explain the basis for why these fundamental things we take for granted in church are so important as followers of Jesus. At the beginning of each chapter is a quarter-page explanation of why I added that chapter into the book and how it relates to following Jesus. At the end of each chapter are three summary questions to help readers to recap what has been explained and provoke discussion with friends and leaders in the churches they attend.
The idea behind the six chapters of this book is to dig into some of the fundamentals of walking with Jesus as a new follower of Jesus. The topics covered are by no means exhaustive, and strategic decisions were made about chapters regarding evangelism and stewardship of money, for example. The six chapters are:
- How do we keep following Jesus?
- Meet together with other Jesus people
- Always pray!
- Keep hearing the Bible (this is intentionally hearing to include those friends who do not read in English but can understand things read / told to them)
- Love people
My prayer for this book is that it is helpful for new Christians from any background and culture who are coming to grips with the reality of Jesus as King. I wanted to write a book that churches could give to new Christians, to initiate conversation on what it means to live as a Christian. And most importantly, I wanted to write a book dripping with Scripture in order to encourage new Christians to keep turning to God’s Word for direction, guidance and wisdom for how to live and persevere until the Lord Jesus returns.
Walking with Jesus can be purchased at http://www.arkhousepress.com/walking-with-jesus/