Keep the Flame Hot: Linking Evangelism and Discipleship

Remember using a burner for the science lab in school? 

We learned from our teacher how to trim the fuel and oxygen mix to produce a blue flame because that was the hottest flame we could get.  This allowed us to properly heat whatever liquid or solid that we were working within the lab. Evangelizing our community reminds me of my time in a science lab and working to keep the flame hot on my burner. How do we keep the flame hot for evangelism? Do we foster a culture in our church of people who desire to reach lost people and understand it is their calling as a follower of Jesus Christ?

Serving all my life as a Baptist, I have been involved in several great evangelistic churches. These were cultures where evangelism was passionately preached about. These were churches that were intentional with significant events, ministries, and strategies to reach people. Inevitably still, the desire, urgency, and consistency in reaching people always seemed to grow cold. The number of intentional people sharing their faith was still minimal compared to the number of active members. 

Churches and denominations have emphasized reaching and evangelism for too long but have unintentionally divorced it from disciple making.

We have so emphasized evangelism and making converts that we have unintentionally failed to actually make disciples who, in turn, go and make more disciples. Our mission personally as believers and corporately as the church is the Great Commission. It does not say, “Go and make converts.” It says, “Go and make disciples.”  

It begins with changing your churches’ culture to bring balance to evangelism and disciple making. The Watershed Principle is the core strategy for our Discipleship team, demonstrating intentional streams that connect individuals to Christ. This principle helps pastors and churches create a process for developing a healthy and prosperous ministry that produces life change and leads to a church populated with “world-impacting disciple-makers.” You can check out this valuable resource on the Discipleship page.

Churches should work to establish a culture of intentional evangelism and foundational discipleship.

That balance will make disciples who own the truth that evangelism is never an option for the growing disciple. It’s a way of life! Here are a few questions to think about as you consider how to keep the flame hot for evangelism:

  • Is evangelism viewed only as something that is done by the pastor and deacons at your church?
  • Is evangelism viewed more as a program at your church or a way of life for your people?
  • What is the primary way that evangelism is accomplished at your church? Through events or through individuals?

For more information, please contact the Discipleship team of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and schedule a consultation. You can also join the conversation on Facebook!

Additionally, our Church Strengthening Department is hard at work, and we want to help you be successful. Please take a moment to fill out our online church strengthening assessment. This tool is designed to help you identify your church areas where there is the most growth potential. Visit the Homepage of or click here.

Published February 1, 2021