I just gave my life to Jesus.
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Baptism Signup

The Bible says that all professing Christians should be baptized (Matthew 28:18-20). Whether you've been following Jesus for a long time and never got baptized or are a new Christian, we would be honored to baptize you!


We are so excited that you've chosen to follow Jesus! Click any of the links below to learn about some practical next steps you can take as you continue this journey of following Him.

It's time to celebrate!

Congratulations! You have made a fabulous decision. In fact, you have made the most important decision you will ever make. You have chosen to follow Jesus! We are excited about it, and all of heaven is throwing a party right now!

Why all the excitement, you ask? Making a decision to follow Christ means you chose to open your life to the influence of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is the best choice you could ever make! Living life under His influence is what you were designed to do. It is why you were created. Your heart longs for that relationship. That is why this choice feels so good on the inside of you.

We are not sure what you know or have heard about God. But we want you to know a couple of fundamental things:  God loves you, He created you for relationship with Him, He has wanted you to know Him since before you were born and He has an incredible plan for your life. Contrary to what some say about God, He is not mad at you and He holds nothing against you. He is on your side! He is for you! He has your back!

And God has designed a life specifically for you. It’s full of passion and satisfaction and abundance. Life lived by God’s design is not boring or stagnant or pessimistic or defeated. It is adventurous, life-giving, strengthening, optimistic and influential. It is the most satisfying life you could ever imagine.

No matter where you are or what you have in life today, God has more in store for you! God has a plan for you that is more than who you are and what you are right now. God created your life to matter. What you have done and where you have been so far is not an issue with God. Where you are going and who you can be, through relationship with Jesus Christ, is what He is focused on.

If that seems a little hard to wrap your head around right now, that is OK. We just want you to get a glimpse of the bigger picture that God has for you.

This is a fresh start at life! You probably have a lot of questions about what just happened and what it means for you. We get that! We have compiled this guidebook to answer some of those questions and help you understand what you can do now to develop this relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

We don’t know what brought you to the point of deciding to follow Christ. Perhaps life has not turned out the way you imagined it would. Maybe you got to this place because of poor choices you have made or because others have made choices that have devastated you. Maybe you got here because you grew up going to church, but you lost interest along the way…and now want to re-connect with God. Maybe all of this God stuff is totally new to you…and you wonder if it is real and where it will lead. Maybe you have lived a “good life”; morally, relationally, financially or physically everything has gone well, but there is an emptiness inside that nothing can fill. Maybe you question why you are alive. Maybe circumstances outside your control have presented you with a seemingly impossible situation.

No matter where you have been and what brought you here, today is a new day. Today is a fresh start with fresh life, fresh hope and a fresh vision. God has rebooted your life because you chose to follow Christ.

You are not going to understand all of this today or even in the next few weeks. But gradually, day-by-day, God will unfold what He has planned for you. You will see it start to dawn like the morning sun. It will grower brighter and clearer. This book will help you get started living out the plan God has for you. Consider it a quick start manual for your new, life-giving relationship with God.

Before we go any further, let’s put a stake in the ground. This is an important time in your life and you don’t want to forget when you made the decision to become a Christ-follower. In the space below, write in your name, the date, the time and where you were when you made the choice to follow Jesus. Maybe it was such a dramatic event that you think you may never forget. Maybe it was a quiet moment with no feelings at the time. What you felt isn’t the real issue. The fact that you made the decision to follow Jesus does matter and it is important to remember when you made that decision.

Take a moment to jot down where you were and when you made the decision to follow Christ.

The Next Step

Deciding to follow Christ is the biggest decision you will ever make. We encourage you to tell someone about it. Tell someone who will support you and encourage you in your decision. Maybe a friend, a relative, a co-worker or a neighbor told you about Jesus. Maybe you know someone who has been praying for you or mentoring you. Tell them. If you don’t know anyone personally, tell one of our pastors or team members. They will celebrate with you (and they won’t embarrass you)!

One of the most important things you can do right away is get familiar with your Bible. Reading the Bible on a daily basis is incredibly important in following Christ. The Bible is God speaking to you. It is life-giving! Through it, you will grow to know who God is, His character, and His story that involves you! In a few chapters, we will explain why reading the Bible is so important for all of us. But right now, we want to share a few verses with you. Read them out loud, if possible, then write down what you think each verse is saying to you.

“Immense in mercy and with an incredible love, (God) embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on His own, with no help from us! Then He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it.” Ephesians 2:4-8 (MSG)

(“God says), ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.’” Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

"Jesus says, ‘I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved Me. Make yourselves at home in my love.’” John 15:9 (MSG)

Take a moment to write out a prayer to God. Make it as short or as long as you want. Don’t worry about how it sounds. You can thank Him, or ask Him something, or tell Him what you are feeling (either good or bad).  Just write down the words that come to you. (Don’t worry! You are the only one who will see this and God already knows what you are thinking… so it will not surprise Him!)

You're in the family now.

You are always on God's mind because He loves you.

“Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure He took in planning this!)” Ephesians 1:4-5 (MSG)

God loves you. In fact, He is CRAZY in love with you. He loved you so much the Bible says that He wanted to adopt you into His family. Because of your decision to follow Jesus, your adoption is final and you are now His son or daughter. His love for you never changes. It is absolutely impossible for Him to stop loving you.

As you learn to experience His love, it will change you. And the change in you will always be for the better! You will find yourself living differently, making decisions differently and handling your relationships with people differently. You will find yourself loving others because you begin to realize how much you are loved. When you discover how much He loves you, it has a profound impact on your life.

Welcome to the family! Because you have chosen to follow Jesus, you have been adopted into God’s family. God is now your Heavenly Father. That may be a new concept to you, so let us explain just a bit how that happened and why it is important.

We were all born estranged from God. The Bible talks about something called sin. Maybe you have heard that word before; maybe you haven’t. Sin is the innate desire in all of us to call our own shots, make our own decisions and live life our own way, even if it hurts others. Sin causes us to reject God, His love, His plans, and go our own way. Sin is what caused us all to be estranged from God.

None of us has to be taught how to sin. Think about it: did anyone have to teach you how to be selfish, or self-centered, or to lie? It is just in us. When you look at the world around you, you see lots of evidence of sin. Everything hurtful, mean or destructive is the result of sin.

Maybe you have tried to be a better person or overcome self- destructive behaviors. And like the rest of us, you have failed time and time again. Sin—that innate desire to live independently of God—is an enemy we cannot beat on our own.

The Bible talks about sin and how it affects each of us. Look at this passage from the Bible:

“I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.” Romans 7:18-21 (MSG)

Does that sound familiar? Have you ever wanted todo right… and never were able to pull it off consistently? That is the power of sin at work in you and in all of us. Because of sin, God had a problem. He wanted us to experience His love, but our sin—our tendency to reject Him and go our own way—rejected Him and His love for us.

So what did He do? He came after us! He did not wait for us to turn to Him. He came after us because He loved us. He became human, yet still remained God, and came to earth because He loved us. Jesus revealed God in human form.

We needed Jesus. We were all stuck in sin. We all had the wrong impression of God. We all thought God was terribly mad at us and wanted nothing to do with us. Yet, Jesus revealed who God really is and how much He loves us.

“You yourselves are a case study of what He does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of Him, giving Him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving Himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in His presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.”Colossians 1:21-23 (MSG)

In deciding to turn from your own way of life to follow Jesus, you accept His love for you and He changes your life. You experience a re-boot, a re-start of incomparable proportions. God, through Jesus, changes our status with Him. Instead of being estranged, we are adopted. Instead of being lost, we are found. Instead of being guilty of sin, we are forgiven.

Take a moment and read the Scriptures below. Grab a notepad and write down what these scriptures say to you.

“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children ofGod.” John 1:12 (NIV)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17 (NIV)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.” 2Corinthians 5:17-19 (NIV)

Lots to learn…and a lifetime to do it! This amazing new relationship with God through Jesus Christ puts each of us on a new learning curve. You have never been a member of the family of God before. This new life in relationship with God through Jesus Christ is so amazing, it will take a lifetime to learn how to live it out. The good news is that God Himself is with you and will teach you how to follow Him.

The rest of this book helps you understand what you can do to grow day-by-day in this amazing, new relationship with God, your Heavenly Father.

We want you to know we are happy you are now part of the family of God, and we are here to help you continue to follow Jesus your whole life!

The Next Step

Based on the verses on the previous pages, write out a prayer to God. Again, just tell Him your thoughts and your feelings. There is no right or wrong in prayer. It is simply talking with God, and each time you talk with God, you get better and better at it.

What do I do now?

So, how do I do this Christ follower thing?

This is an exciting time in your life – you’ve decided to make Jesus your Lord and become a Christ-follower. But what does that mean exactly? What are you supposed to do to learn how to follow Him?

One of the most important things to understand about following Christ is that it’s a process. When you decided to put your faith in Jesus and become a Christ-follower, you began a new life spiritually. Just like a newborn baby grows and develops, we need to grow and develop as children of God. It is a day-by-day, step-by-step process that we all go through as we learn how to live as a child of God.

You might think developing a relationship with Jesus—with someone you cannot see—is a strange thought. But the reality is that it is very similar to developing a relationship with a person. (In fact, many spiritual truths have natural analogies that help us understand them. That is why Jesus taught His disciples using very practical examples from everyday life. We call those teachings in the Bible “parables”.)

If we wanted to develop a relationship with someone we just met, there are certain things we would start doing. The same things apply to developing an authentic, life-changing relationship with Jesus. Those things include:

Making time for Him:  If we don’t spend time with a person we want to get to know, we will never get to know them better.

Listening to Him:  We have to listen to the other person. As we do, we will come to understand who they are and what is important to them.

Talking with Him:  We have to share with them about what matters to us…and what is going on in our lives.

Responding to Him (or obeying Him):  If we don’t acknowledge and respond to their needs, the relationship becomes very one-sided and eventually dies.

Making Time for Jesus

Great relationships happen because two people make time to get to know one another. Jesus is committed to spending time with you. He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). He is not distant – He is near and He desires to reveal Himself to you as you spend time with Him. (John 14:21)

There is no specific amount of time, or a specific time of day, that you have to spend with Jesus. But it is important to spend time with Him consistently and on a daily basis. Some people would rather spend time with Him in the morning, some find they are better off spending time with God in the evening and others prefer to take time at lunch or even on the bus or train as they commute. When and where is not important, but consistency is. Spending time with Jesus everyday is a key to developing your relationship with Him.

We encourage you to adjust your schedule so you can spend time with Jesus every day. It may seem like a big thing to ask because your schedule is so full, but it is the most important thing you can do. Challenge the thinking that you do not have time to spend with Jesus each day. It can be a struggle and lots of other things can demand your attention. But the wisest thing you can do is make spending time with Jesus every day a priority. Start with at least ten or fifteen minutes each day. Over time, you will most likely find that your desire to spend more time with Him each day will grow.

The Next Step

So, how will you know if you’re growing in your relationship with Jesus? Have you ever noticed that the more time you spend with someone, the more you find yourself doing or saying things that they do and say? Galatians 5:22-23 lists something called the Fruit of the Spirit – these are characteristics that will begin to grow in you as you choose to follow the Spirit of God instead of your old, sinful nature. These characteristics found in Galatians 5:22-23 are listed below:


Over the next few weeks and months, keep coming back to this list and ask Jesus to help you “grow these fruits” in your life. Rest assured – He will help you. He will show you how to live differently in very practical ways—all of which cause others to see a difference in you. You will start to sense a deep satisfaction growing in your heart.

Listening to Jesus

So you've set aside time to spend with Jesus. Now what do you do with that time? Very good question!

Start by reading your Bible. The Bible is a life-giving book. It reveals who God is, what He has done for you through Jesus and what He wants to do in and through you today. We believe the Bible is true, accurate and reliable. (Why we believe that is too large a topic for this booklet, but if you have questions about that, ask a pastor to direct you to some resources that can answer your questions). As you read the Bible (God’s Word), you begin to see how God thinks about things—almost everything about this life. Then, as you walk through life with Him, you will know what He wants you to do.

Some people think the Bible is too hard to read or understand, but it really isn’t. As soon as possible, you should find a version of the Bible that you enjoy reading because when you enjoy reading the Bible, you are more likely to continue reading it.  Contact one of our pastors for guidance if you’re struggling with selecting a version.

You might be wondering, aren’t all Bibles the same? Well, the Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek—all of our copies in English have been translated from those original languages — so a “version” of the Bible is a translation that has a particular style. Some versions, like the King James Version, sound very formal or ‘old-school,’ while other versions use a more modern style.

The New International Version is a popular version that uses clear language. We also suggest that you check out the Modern English Version or the English Standard Version. You can find all of these free online (bible.com), along with many other translations. Once you find a version that you enjoy, you can also buy a copy of it – technology is great, but sometimes (and for some people) reading from a printed book is an easier format on which to focus and learn.

What part of the Bible do you read?

Unlike most books, the Bible isn’t exactly intended to be read from front to back — it’s okay to read it that way, but it doesn’t exactly go in order. The Bible is actually a collection of 66 smaller books that were written by different people at different times. Some books of the Bible are like history books — telling us the stories of how God relates to His people. Other parts of the Bible are poetry, letters or songs. One thing they all have in common, however, is that each book helps us understand the truth about who God is and how He wants us to live.

As you start to read the Bible, pay special attention to anything that stands out to you. Think about what those verses mean and how you can apply them to your life right now. It’s a good idea to develop a system for this to help you remember what you’ve learned. One system that we encourage is called SOAP. We encourage everyone in church to use this system and read through the Bible systematically.

SOAP is an acronym that will help you read the Bible on a daily basis and help you apply it to your daily life. As a result, it helps you grow in your relationship with God. The letters in SOAP stand for Scripture (another name used to refer to the Bible), Observation, Application & Prayer.

Here’s how you can do your SOAP:

First, you will need something to write (or type) with. It could be a notebook, a journal or a computer – whatever you are comfortable with – but choose something in which you can write over a long period of time (at least a year). Keeping your SOAP notes all in one place will give you the opportunity to reflect on how much God teaches you over time.

Then use the acronym for SOAP to develop a meaningful time with Jesus:

“S” is for Scripture

SOAP is a devotional plan based on reading specific chapters of the Bible each day. You can start with the chapters recommended on page 18. If you miss a day, just pick up where you left off. The key is to simply keep reading each day. Since the books of the Bible aren’t in alphabetical order, you can use the table of contents in the front of your Bible to find the name of book you want to read from and go to that page.

Take your time reading the chapters. Don’t skim it like you are reading an article online, but take your time reading it. Ask God to speak to you through the words. (You can even read it out loud if that helps.) As you read, one or two verses in the chapter may capture your attention or seem to apply directly to a situation in your life. Using your journal, write that verse (or verses) down.


“O” is for Observation

Once you have written down the verse (or verses) that stood out to you, ask yourself what you think God was saying to you through those verses. What caught your attention? What question does it raise in your mind?

God may be asking you a question, telling you something He wants you to do, or giving you a message of encouragement. You may want to paraphrase and write this verse down in your own words in your journal.

“A” is for Application

Personalize what the verse is saying to you by writing down how it specifically applies to your life right now. Perhaps you need to change your attitude about a situation, apologize to someone, stop doing something that isn’t Christ-like or even do something to help someone else. You will be excited to find how quickly the Bible starts to give you specific direction for your life and how you can follow Jesus. Be as specific as possible in your application. Remember, this is between you and God; no one else has to read your journal or see what you write. This is a record of your relationship with God and what He is speaking to you.

“P” is for Prayer

Write out a prayer asking God to help you live out what He showed you in the verse. Pray the prayer out loud also. We are going to talk more about prayer in the next chapter. So if you are not sure how to pray, read on! Anything that God asks you to do, He will give you help to do it. You do not have to change on your own. God, through the power of His Holy Spirit living in you, will help you do what He asks you to do.

Don’t worry about getting this process “right” or“wrong.” As you consistently read and ask God questions, He will teach you. Remember, you are reading the Bible to know Jesus—in the same way you would listen to someone you want to get to know, which takes time. As you continue to read and apply His Word, you will get to know Him better and better.

What happens if you miss a day? Just read the next chapter the next day. Your devotional life is not all about “perfect attendance,” it’s about making it a priority, being as consistent as possible and applying what you learn to your life. So don’t let one missed appointment get you down! As you develop this discipline in your life, you’ll find that your desire for time with Jesus will increase and it will become a natural part of your life.

If you have any questions about what you read and what it means, don’t be afraid to ask someone! Find a pastor, your small group leader, a team member at the front of church after a service or someone you know who has been following Jesus for a while and talk with them about your questions. There are no wrong questions. Any leader at The Assembly will be more than willing to talk with you about your questions.

Even though the entire Bible is important, some parts will seem more practical to you than others as you first start reading. For that reason, we’ve included a list of some good chapters to start with. We have picked out 21 chapters we suggest every new follower of Christ should read. These 21 chapters give you an introduction to Jesus, His life, His teachings and His plan for your life. Make a plan to read one chapter each day for the next 21 days.

Day 1: John 1
Day 2: John 3
Day 3: Matthew 2
Day 4: Matthew 5
Day 5: Matthew 6
Day 6: Matthew 7
Day 7: John 14
Day 8: Matthew 24
Day 9: Mark 15
Day 10 Matthew 28
Day 11: Romans 8
Day 12: 2 Corinthians 5
Day 13: Galatians 5
Day 14: Ephesians 1
Day 15: Ephesians 5
Day 16: Ephesians 6
Day 17: James 1
Day 18: Colossians 1
Day 19: Hebrews 11
Day 20: Proverbs 1
Day 21: Psalm 91

The Next Step

Look up each of the verses on the list below (bible.com) in several different translations and see which one speaks to you most specifically. Write out what each one says about the Bible. As you do this, if you find one translation that works best for you, start your SOAP devotional by reading that translation.

Hebrews 4:12
John 14:21-24
Timothy 3:16-17
Isaiah 55:7-9

Talking with Jesus

You have probably prayed at some point in your lifetime. Perhaps when money was short, or a loved one faced a debilitating disease or was in an accident, or when life just wasn't working the way you had expected it. In moments of tragedy, pain, loss, or fear, many people find prayer is a natural thing to do–even before they chose to follow Jesus.

You were designed by God to pray. He placed that desire in your heart so He could have relationship with you. Prayer is simply talking with Him. If you want to develop your relationship with Jesus, you will want to engage in prayer throughout your day.

A human analogy works well to explain this point. A good father wants to talk to and have relationship with his children—he wants to know them and he wants them to know him! In fact, it brings Him great joy to listen to and talk with His children. God, your Heavenly Father, has that same kind of desire to know you and talk with you. He loves you and He loves to hear your voice.

Prayer is a conversation with God. You have a standing invitation to talk with your Heavenly Father. He is always with you and through the presence of the Holy Spirit, He lives inside of you. It doesn’t get any closer than that! (See John 14:12-31.) Prayer is sharing your desires, fears, hopes and dreams (for yourself and for others) and asking God to help and guide you and others through every aspect of life.

As you go about your day, you can ask God to lead and guide you, to show you His perspective and to share His wisdom so you make good choices. Prayer is also thanking Him for all of the good things that happen and for His Presence in the middle of the difficult moments in life. Finally, prayer is also an expression of your adoration and love for God. In the Bible this is called “worship”. It is the response of your heart when you know you are fully and completely loved and forgiven.

Jesus’ disciples noticed how important Jesus’ prayer life was. It was a priority for Him. He consistently went off by Himself to pray. (Look at these Scriptures that tell us about Jesus’ life of prayer:  Mark 6:46, Mark 12:32-38, Luke 5:16, Luke 21:31- 32, John 17.) The disciples were so drawn to Jesus’ prayer life that they asked Him to teach them to pray. Jesus answered their question by saying, “when you pray” not “if you pray” (Matthew 6:5-7 and Luke 11:1-2). He wants us to talk with Him and He expects us to talk to Him.

When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He gave us a model for our prayers. It is written out in the phrases below.

You may have heard this prayer before, but take a few minutes and write out what you think each phrase means. It will help you understand how God wants you to pray. If you get stuck, ask some other followers of Christ what they think a phrase means.

Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be Your Name
Your Kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us today our daily bread
And forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from the evil one

 When you pray, use the same kinds of words that you would with a friend you respect. Prayer is not a specific way of talking, like using “thee” and “thou” or other fancy words that you don’t regularly use. It is a normal conversation. It is the opportunity to invite God into every area of your life. Prayer is not designed to be a desperate cry to God to get you out of difficult situations. We should pray in those difficult times, but prayer is not just for difficult times.

Prayer is one of the ways your heart is molded to His will and purposes (Psalm 130:23-24). The more you continue to develop your relationship with Jesus through prayer, your will becomes more and more aligned with His will. You will find yourself living and acting more like Christ. The Bible calls that process transformation (Romans 12:1-2). That means you will change as you think more and more like Jesus.

You can pray anywhere and at any time. Make prayer a part of your whole day. But also try to find some consistent time each day to sit quietly and talk with God. Prayer is not about getting God to do what you want Him to do. Prayer is about understanding how God wants you to live your life, all day every day. It is seeking His wisdom about your family, your relationships, your finances, your health, your job, your neighbors and your…everything.

The Next Step

One great way to learn how to pray is to pray the prayers that are in the Bible. Look up the prayers in the following sections of the Bible. As you read them, make them a personal prayer. (Again, you can use bible.com to find a translation you like). Write out a few of these prayers, putting your name or the names of your loved ones into them. Then pray them for yourselves and your family or friends on a regular basis.

Ephesians 1:17-21
Philippians 1:4-6
Philippians 1:9-11

Here are some other Scriptures that you can pray too: Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians 2:3-5, Philippians 2:13-16, Colossians 1:9-14

Following Jesus

Many people think of worship only as the time during a church service where the music is playing and people are singing. Worship includes that, but is much more than that. Worship is anything we do that brings honor to God. As a follower of Christ, worshipping God becomes our way of life! We were created by God to be worshippers of Him, but we all choose what we worship. We worship what we are devoted to; what captures our attention, our heart, and our imagination most frequently. We worship what fuels our passions, dreams and desires.

God is very clear that He is the only person or thing worthy of worship and of being the first priority in our lives. He said, “You shall have no other gods before me”. (Exodus 20:3) Jesus reiterated that command when He said, “Seek first (God’s) kingdom and His righteousness…”. (Matthew 6:33) God’s kingdom is where His will is done. When we worship things other than God, being obedient to Him will be challenging to us. We become hesitant to obey and follow His will.

As you read your Bible each day and as you pray, you are going to learn to recognize when God speaks to your heart. God does not generally speak to us in a literal voice that we can hear. Instead, we will sense an inclination or an urge or an impression. Any time God speaks to our heart, we will face the question of whether or not we will obey. Simply put, it is always better to obey God than not obey God.

When you read your Bible each day, ask God to speak to you from the text. A verse may stand out to you. It may apply to something that has happened or it may apply to something that is going to happen.

As you pray, ask God for His wisdom for your life. God will put the idea in your heart to do something. (For example, it could be that He wants you to forgive someone, to apologize to someone, to start something new, to get involved in something at church, to share with someone in your world about your relationship with Jesus, to begin to give, etc.) It may be something big, specific or general, but He will speak to your heart. Then you have a choice: you can either obey (follow Jesus) or you choose to disobey (lead your own life, worship another “god”.)

This may seem blunt, but the bottom line is that being obedient to Him is the essence of following Christ. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commands”(John 14:15). It means we follow what He wants us to do in this life. (Just a side note here: This doesn’t mean you have to lie in bed and ask God whether you should get up and go to work or what clothes you should wear today! God gives us the wisdom to make those decisions without a special intervention from Him.)

The Bible speaks about putting off our old self—the sinful one that likes to rebel against God—and putting on the new self (Ephesians 4:22-24). That happens through our daily process of obedience.

None of us can be obedient in our own strength—through our own will power. We need God to help us. And He provides that help through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit came to dwell inside you when you decided to become a Christ-follower. He wants to empower you by filling you. We call that experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We encourage you to pursue being baptized in the Holy Spirit. We offer a class on rotation titled “Freedom,” and we encourage you to attend to discover more about the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

None of us is going to be perfect in our obedience. Each one of us will wrestle with being obedient to God and to His Word—that is part of being human. When we disobey, we ask God to forgive us and then we turn around and head in the direction He has asked us to go.

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:8–9 (NLT)

Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey Him (John14:15). Obedience expresses our love and worship to God. How we live our lives is evidence of whom or what we worship.

Obedience is an attitude of our heart that requires faith. Faith is the willingness to trust God. Faith is the element of our relationship with Jesus that causes us to yield ourselves to what the Bible says, to what we believe He is asking us to do, and how He wants us to live. Faith fuels our relationship with God.

Being a follower of Jesus will require faith. We serve a living God, Whom we cannot see or touch, but our faith says He is there with us, to empower us to do all that He asks us to do. There will be times when you sense that God asks you to do something that seems impossible, something you cannot do or make happen on your own, but you know in your heart God wants you to do it.

In those situations, faith is the substance of that choice to obey God when it doesn’t seem to add up or make sense to us, but is in line with God’s Word (Hebrews 11:1). Faith in God fills the gap between what is and what will be.

Like we’ve already pointed out, you aren’t going to be perfect. The important thing is to grow in your faith and become a little bit more like Jesus every day. Like any journey, the most important thing is to continue making progress. There will be ups and downs, good days and bad days. Following Jesus doesn’t mean you won’t face any problems or difficult circumstances, but it does mean that you have a new source of hope, peace and strength to face the challenges that do come your way. No matter what you go through, Jesus has promised that He will always be with you.

The Next Step

Read John 6:1-13. This is a story of faith and obedience. It is a miracle that the disciples who followed Jesus experienced. But it reveals how Jesus asked them to obey.

Each day for the next week, write down a few things that you believe Jesus asks you to do, what you did in response and what the outcome was.

Connecting with Others

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the word church is written with a capital “C” instead of a lowercase “c?” When you made the decision to follow Christ, you became a part of the Church (The capital “C” version). The Church refers to all the people around the world who have made the commitment to follow Christ. By choosing to follow Christ, you became a part of His Church.

 When the word church uses a small “c” it means local groups of Christ-followers who meet together (often in buildings that are also called churches or in small groups that meet in homes). The local church is probably what you think of when you hear the word church. It’s important to get connected in a local church. We hope you get connected at The Assembly, but wherever you are, get connected in a church that’s about Jesus.

Why is connecting to a church so important? Because following Christ was never intended to be something you try to do alone. God designed us to live life in community—in meaningful relationships with other Christ-followers. Not only that, but by joining together we can accomplish more as The Assembly than we ever could do as individuals. Some disciplines, like reading the Bible, are things you will do by yourself, but it’s important that you spend time together with other Christ-followers.

So what does it mean, exactly, to become part of a church? Well, healthy church involvement will include opportunities to grow in your faith by attending church regularly, building relationships and serving. Let’s look at each of those a little bit closer.

Attend Church Regularly

The Assembly has services each Sunday and Wednesday. (You can check out our service times here.) Usually our services will include singing songs that talk to, or about, God, giving tithes and offerings, and a teaching from the Bible. We may also have a short video that helps illustrate the point of the teaching for the day. Gathering with others in church fuels your faith and strengthens you. It inspires you to continue following Jesus. It also helps you learn about Jesus and how He wants to build a relationship with you that impacts every area of your life. Making church attendance a weekly habit will fuel your relationship with Jesus.

Building Relationships

The church is not just a place where Christians go to worship God. It’s a group of people who love and care for each other. The Bible says “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend,” (Proverbs 27:17). As we build relationships and learn to honestly share what’s going on in our lives with other Christ-followers whom we know and trust, we will learn from each other, support each other in prayer, and encourage each other to become better Christ-followers in our daily lives.

The best way to build these types of relationships is to join a small group. These are small groups of people who meet regularly outside of our weekend church services. A small group meeting might include Bible study and prayer or it may be centered on a particular activity or a shared hobby. Whatever activities a small group includes, the purpose is to develop relationships that will ‘sharpen’ us as we follow Christ. Small groups are great ways to build friendships with others that we all so desperately need when we face difficult times.

The Assembly offers small groups year-round on a semester basis. You can find a small group that meets near your house, is learning about a topic you’re interested in or is centered around a hobby you have. (You can find a complete list of our current groups here!)


It’s impossible to follow Christ’s example without being willing to serve others. In fact, Jesus Himself said that whoever wants to be great by God’s standards must become a servant. (Mark 9:35) We want you to join a team at The Assembly right away. These teams include all the people who help create the life-giving atmosphere you experienced when you walked through our doors. You sense what it means to live life on mission with God. It is one of the first steps of obedience you can take in following Jesus. You also build new friendships and you begin to feel like The Assembly is your home – you belong here.

At The Assembly, you could work with children or youth, be a greeter or usher, serve in the café, join the creative team or serve in many other ways. There is always a place for you to serve. Sign up for Next Move (here), visit the Welcome Center or talk to one of the Pastors and they will help you find your place!

Another important part of growing in following Christ is to join with other Christ-followers to serve people in need outside our church. The Bible says that we should help take care of those around us who are in need. One of the ways we can help others find Jesus is to love them the way Jesus showed us love. We can do this by meeting the practical needs of people less fortunate than us and by being involved in making the community where we live a better place and treating others as more important than ourselves.

The Next Steps

There is no magic formula on how to grow in your relationship with Jesus. We have covered some fundamental things you can in this guidebook. We encourage you to spend some time with Jesus each day in prayer and Bible reading, attend church each week, get involved in a small group and start serving.

There are several things you can do to help you grow in specific areas. They are listed below, each with a brief description. You can get involved in these things in any order that works for you.

Next Move

Next Move is a class explaining how The Assembly works as a church, what our history and vision are, and shows you how to discover the gifts God has given you. Next Move is a requirement of becoming a member here at The Assembly. (Interested in becoming a member? Click here for more information.)

Get Water Baptized

This is a powerful step in your relationship with Jesus. We encourage you to learn why water baptism is important by going to Next Move. Then we encourage you to get water baptized as affirmation of your decision to follow Jesus. (Click here to sign up for water baptism.)

Ask Questions

We know it can be challenging to start a new journey following Jesus, but our staff and leaders are here to help you. When you attend a service on a weekend, go to the Welcome Center and ask any question you have. If they do not know the answer, they will catch one of the pastors and connect them with you. We are here to help you, just let us know how we can!

We want you to Experience God, Explore Truth, and Expand Your Influence!

If there is anything we can do to help you grow, please contact our office or make an appointment to see a pastor by emailing us at admin@theassemblyms.com.