Friday, September 12, 2008

Evangelism Verses Discipleship

Which is most important – evangelism or discipleship? It seems to me that people have a tendency to elevate the importance of one over the other. In reality, both are inseparable. You cannot be faithful to the Great Commission and not do both.

FACT: Discipleship always BEGINS WITH evangelism. If you don’t reach lost people, then who do you disciple? The same people over and over again? To what point?


Some churches have a tendency to focus primarily on growing believers… to the point of neglecting evangelism. Is church supposed to be like that? A place where we turn our backs on the lost and then our churches turn into some kind of holy huddle where outsiders are not welcome? You know, me, my four, and no more. That's smells like spiritual elitism.

The other extreme is that some churches focus solely on outreach and evangelism, without any type follow up (such as Bible classes, personal mentoring, accountability groups, small groups, etc) to produce lasting commitment. Churches like this are ineffective in leading people into a deeper walk with Christ.

Instead of choosing one over the other, we at Pace Community Church FOCUS ON BOTH simultaneously. Evangelism and discipleship work hand-in-hand with each other. We have been that way since day-one. That’s why we have such a strong, healthy, and growing church.

Healthy New Testament churches will always have in their pews:
  • Not-yet believers
  • New believers
  • Growing believers
  • Mature believers
As we have done our best at fulfilling the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandment, we have seen both seekers and believers in our midst for more than ten years. IT IS the RESPONSIBILITY of the church to PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES to BOTH groups of people so they can follow Christ.

Evangelism and discipleship are not mutually exclusive. They are inseparable.