Discipleship and spiritual formation curriculum for new believers, new Christians

JesusWalk® Beginning the Journey
Discipleship Training and Spiritual Formation for New Christians

A mentor and a new Christian learning to walk with Christ.Many people come to Christ, but don't get the early teaching and mentoring they need to grow well as Christians. The number of new believers at any one time in most churches is too small to warrant a class -- and there's often no other model readily available.

JesusWalk - Beginning the Journey is a discipleship training and spiritual formation program for new believers. The course provides a balance of Christian doctrines, core values, and spiritual disciplines designed to produce strong Christians who continue to grow as committed disciples of Jesus.

See the video interview
with Dr. Wilson about the book on The Harvest Show.

The 12-part series is coordinated with free online lessons and videos available below or can be used with an optional book and optional DVD set.

Each lesson concludes with a memory verse, questions and discussion points, and an outline of the lesson. These provide the structure for a weekly meeting between a mentor and the new Christian or for use in a class or small group.

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Why don't you view the 2 min. video overview to the series right now. Later, watch videos to train mentors and introduce the series to pastors. While you're watching it, be sure to bookmark this page.

Curriculum Outline

Hiking boots for the journey of discipleship and spiritual formationA healthy Christian results from a careful balance. Thus this series doesn't stress only basic Christian beliefs. Rather we seek to train new believers in a balance of:

  • Christian doctrine,
  • Christian core values, and
  • Christian lifestyle and spiritual disciplines.


  1. Rescue - Grace and Forgiveness YouTube
  2. Disciple - Following Jesus Daily YouTube
  3. Temptations - Getting Victory over Sin YouTube
  4. Fellowship - Connecting to a Community of Christians YouTube
  5. Love - The Core of Christianity YouTube
  6. Gospel - Understanding Christ's Story YouTube
  7. Holy Spirit - The Power of God's Presence YouTube
  8. Witness - Sharing Your Faith YouTube
  9. Worship - Communing with God YouTube
  10. Generosity and Service - Love in Action YouTube
  11. Bible - Guidebook for Living YouTube
  12. Lord - Obedient Servants of the King YouTube

If you're actually planning to undertake this course, please register here. (No charge)

Written Lessons Plus Video

Churches will find this study especially useful. Pastors can assign older believers as mentors and either put the printed book in their hands or point them to the Internet to view the online video lessons free of charge and print out the free participant guide. Pastor, here's an introduction designed to explain the series to you.

Here's what a typical hour and a quarter session with a mentor might look like:

15 min.   Catching Up with each other
15 min.   Lesson (video, audio, or written)
30 min.   Questions and Discussion Points
5 min.   Scripture Memory and Review
10 min.   Sharing and Prayer for each other
75 min   Total

This carefully designed spiritual formation curriculum for new believers intended to be studied with a mentor -- not alone.

Believers and Mentors

The word "mentor" probably implies more than I intend. I don't mean a highly trained, sophisticated, completely mature person. They're often considerably older than many new believers and too far removed in time from their lives "before Christ" to remember what it was like. 

Rather, I see this mentor as a Christian friend who is growing well in Christ and a bit farther along the path than the new believer. He or she could be the person who led the new convert to Christ, a person the new believer latches onto, or someone assigned by a pastor to work with a new believer. A lesson is available to prepare and train a mentor for this assignment.

Discipleship and Spiritual Formation

Two women discussing discipleship and mentoringThe lessons and discussion questions provide the structure for learning. Being a mentor won't take special knowledge beyond what a growing Christian already has learned. However, the mentor will want to check in with a pastor or lay leader from time to time as questions arise.

The point is that the new believer learns in community, alongside a friend who can be a coach in basic Christian living, as well as a personal bridge to other Christian friends and to a local congregation. The Christian faith is caught, as well as taught. JesusWalk: Beginning the Journey is designed to be walked together, two-by-two, never alone.

How Does It Compare to Growing in Christ (NavPress)?

Many churches have used Growing in Christ (NavPress) to disciple new Christians. It's great material; I've used it many times with new believers. But it is workbook-based. JesusWalk - Beginning the Journey uses video based lessons that provide more thorough explanations, with questions for discussion with a mentor. And it can be used free! It doesn't require the believer to look up answers in a Bible and fill in the blanks -- helpful, but daunting for people without strong language skills, thus lowering the likelihood of completion. Ultimately, both are great tools to grow a healthy crop of new believers.

What people are saying about the book version

"We have used the JesusWalk series extensively in training new converts in the basics of the faith. The series is absolutely spot-on doctrinally, being Bible based. The series is very easy to follow, without being patronising. Just clear, concise and easy to understand. Highly recommended for the new believer to become grounded in the faith." -- Paul Toschi, Greenlane Presbyterian Church, New Zealand (Amazon reviewer)

"Great book for a new members' class. If you desire to get your new members off to a good start in the Christian faith, then this is the perfect book for young people and adults." -- Hoyle Edwards (Amazon reviewer)

"Although I've been a Christian all my life, after reading this book I realized I had a lot to learn.... Kept me interested to the very end and it was very easy to understand. If you're new to Christianity or just want to start at the basics, this book is definitely ... for you." -- Amazon customer

"Thoughtful and spiritual, Beginning the Journey is a powerful read for Christians, very highly recommended.." -- Midwest Book Review (Amazon reviewer)

"Easy to read, perfect for someone new to the faith, and an excellent tool for churches, small groups, or leaders wanting to build a solid foundation for Christ followers.." -- Veritas (Amazon reviewer)

  JesusWalk - Beginning the Journey book cover
Printed books, e-books, and a DVD set are available

Books and DVDs

The vast majority of users will access the lessons and videos free of charge on the Internet. However, printed books and DVDs are available to churches that need them. Pastors and church leaders can learn more about how to use this series in their ministries.

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Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Author, JesusWalk
Bible Study Series

Dr. Ralph Wilson is the director of Joyful Heart Renewal Ministries. He is the author of two dozen online Bible studies taken by tens of thousands internationally. More about Dr. Wilson....

Copyright © 2022, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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