We want to rejoice with you on your recent decision to follow Jesus and help you begin this exciting journey. There are several principles found in scripture that are essential to starting a relationship with Jesus. This brochure will cover three of these basic steps to get you started. This is not meant to be exhaustive literature on this topic but a step in the right direction. To go deeper, make sure to join a community (see join a community).
Here you’ll be able to learn about connecting with God through reading the bible, talking with God through prayer and experiencing God in a community setting.
Reading the Bible
In the book of John, Jesus says, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.” (John 8:31) This could also be said: “If you spend time in my teaching and take it to heart, you will truly be following me.” Through the authorship of men, God reveals himelf, his heart and his teaching to us today in the Bible. We have an incredible privilege to be able to read and know God’s word (scripture). This is the clearest way to knowing God.
Each book in the Bible has a different message. If you are brand new to reading the Bible, a good place to start is the Gospel of John. John’s gospel is written to people who are just beginning to discover who Jesus is. Additionally, Genesis, the Psalms and Acts are great reads for beginners.
God’s word is living and active and speaks to us today (2 Timothy 3:16)! Try to read it as God’s words for you, today. Believe that God is speaking to you personally through His word.
Time in Prayer
To pray is to simply talk with God. As Christians, we have the unique privilige to come to God with our praise, concerns and requests. The book of Hebrews tells the story of how Jesus made a way for us to draw close to God and speak to him at all times. This is a special honor Christians have.
Prayer can be daunting at first, but with a little guidance it can become just as natural as talking with a close friend. The ACTS illustration is a great model to help people become fluent in prayer. Feel free to use this model until you feel comfortable to deviate.
A: Adoration - Start by spending time praising God for who he is (i.e. savior, redeemer, perfect, almightly, etc)
C: Confession - Continue by admitting your sins and asking for forgiveness (be sure to accept his forgiveness)
T: Thanksgiving - Next, meditate on all the blessings He has given you and express your thankfulness for them
S: Supplication - Finish by presenting your requests to God, knowing he cares about them and wants to address your needs
Prayer is designed by God to be deeply intimate. Pray from your heart!
Joining a Community
God, in himself, is community. God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are made in God’s image and that also applies to the idea of community. Man is not meant to journey through life alone but with other Christians to walk with him. This is the idea of fellowship.
A biblical community is a group of Christians who gather to participate in worship and mission. The Underground is not a church but a collection of microchurches (or communities) who assemble together. One type of microchurch is called a home church. Typically, a home church will meet together once a week, eat dinner, study the bible and pray together. Joining a home church is a powerful way to connect with other Christians and experience God through community.
For a list of home churches visit tampaunderground.com/home-based-churches. Furthermore, we welcome you to email us to schedule a meeting to learn more.