Carol joined the church a month ago. She’d been attending worship for several weeks and liked what she heard and what she experienced. She’d even made a new friend or two. Joining the church seemed like a good thing to do.

But that was last month. Carol still liked worship, but she was a bit confused. Although she had gone to church as a young girl, she didn’t really remember much about it. Her parents took her faithfully for a year or so, but every week she sat in the sanctuary and the sermons were way over her head, so she didn’t learn all those Bible stories that everyone else in the church seemed to know. And though the sermons were inspiring, she wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do with what she was hearing.

She’d joined the church, but to be honest, Carol didn’t know what to do next.

This isn’t an uncommon problem in the church today. Once upon a time, “everyone” was raised in the church. They automatically went through the Christian education process from cradle roll through Sunday school and into small groups.

But we can’t presume guests and new members have any clue about “what’s next.” They don’t know it intuitively and too few churches spell it out.

What does your discipleship path look like? Beginning with a first-time visitor, what steps do you expect them to take and what are you providing to ensure they take them?

If you can’t define it, why would you expect anyone else to know?

And if you’ve defined it, how are you expecting your visitors and members to find out what their next step is?

We’d love to hear about your church’s discipleship pathway. Share what you’re doing in the Comments section below.