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  • Writer's pictureGlen Altermatt


Evangelism, discipleship, and church revitalization form a symbiotic triad which creates the core of Christian growth and the health of a church community. Each element is vital, yet none can truly flourish without the other two. When these components work in harmony, churches become more vibrant, communities grow stronger, and people forge a deeper connection with Christ.

Evangelism: The Spark of Faith

Evangelism is the starting point. It is the act of reaching out to non-believers and introducing them to the life-changing message of Christ, inviting them to join the community of faith. This is the phase where the seed of belief is sown, and people are drawn into the church family. This is cause for rejoicing! However, evangelism alone isn’t enough. Bringing people into the baptismal waters is just the beginning; nurturing their spiritual journey is critical.

Discipleship: Cultivating the Seed

Once someone is introduced to the faith, discipleship takes over. This is the process of deepening one’s relationship with God, understanding the scriptures, and practicing Christian teachings. Discipleship builds spiritual maturity, transforming new believers into committed workers for Christ who look to train those who come after them. It builds a solid foundation, ensuring that their faith is not superficial, but is rooted deeply in understanding and practice. Without discipleship, the newly evangelized might drift away as their connection to the Vine remains fragile.

Church Revitalization: Renewing the Community

Even with successful evangelism and discipleship, churches can face periods of stagnation or decline. This is where church revitalization comes into play. It involves renewing and rejuvenating the mission of the church, re-energizing its members, and possibly even redefining its role in the community. If a church is not seeing a steady flow of evangelism and new disciples, revitalization is most likely the answer. It ensures that the church remains a lively, relevant, and effective place for both worship and outreach.

The Interdependency of the Triad

Imagine a scenario where evangelism thrives, but there is little emphasis on discipleship. New members might flood in, but with no deep connection or understanding, they can easily lose their first love. And without church revitalization, even a strong community of disciples can become complacent, reducing the church’s relevance and vibrancy.

On the other hand, a church that emphasizes revitalization without evangelism will have a hard time growing its congregation. And a focus on discipleship without an influx of new believers or an effort to rejuvenate the church’s mission can lead to discouragement.

When churches prioritize and balance these three elements of a healthy, soul-winning congregation, they create a robust environment where faith blossoms, communities thrive, and individuals find a deeper, lasting connection with God.

“Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary. He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life.” The Desire of Ages, p. 195.

—Glen Altermatt, Evangelism Director

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