I am not a very good golfer. I would like to be better, but it is not easy for me. I do not have a natural swing, I do not understand the strategy, and I do not even understand the terminology sometimes. But I enjoy the game. I play with great enthusiasm. I consider myself a golfer. My son, on the other hand, is a good golfer. He hits the ball well, and he scores well. He wants to hit the ball right at the hole. I want to be near the green.

We got to play together recently for my birthday. To make things fun and competitive, he gave me two strokes. Not two strokes per nine holes, but two strokes on each hole. My goal each hole was to hit my second shot well enough that I would be near his first drive. His round consisted of hit the ball, drive around till we found Dad’s ball, watch Dad hit it a few times, then play his next shot. I can only imagine how frustrating that would be. Except that we had a great time. He was patient, never made me feel inferior, complimented my occasional good shot, and gave me really good advice when I asked.

By the second nine, I was playing better. Just being with someone who was good helped my game. His encouragement helped. I knew he wanted me to play well. And, of course, he loves me. We are family.

That is how church works. New Christians do have a lot to learn. They are not as experienced in the Christian life as others. But they are family. They are loved. They are not inferior spiritually. Their new Christian family wants them to grow spiritually. New Christians can ask for help and advice, knowing they will receive it from people who want to help.

And we all enjoy the journey together. We become community. So if you have wondered about how it would be to live life as a new Christian, let me assure you there are people who will help you figure it out. If you want to visit more about this, write me at steve@hopeforlife.org or join the blog discussion at www.hopeforlife.org.

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