The Church, Missions & Technology

How Returning Missionaries Can Help With Church Revitalization: Evangelism

As we continue our series of how returning missionaries can assist church revitalization we are going to look at how missionaries have a strong focus on evangelism.

Many dying churches today have not experienced a baptism celebration in several years. We have to ask a couple questions when this happens. Are people no longer receptive to the gospel message? Have the people in the community changed the way they communicate and congregate? We also need to ask how church members are sharing the gospel. Taking a look at these questions can help the church going through revitalization reshape the way they share the gospel.


There are communities where the gospel message is no longer well received. People for whatever reason are leaving the church and not returning, unlike past generations. For some it is culture change in America and for others its younger generations disgust with un-authentic relationships. A recent study showed us that 40 percent of the greater Knoxville area is done with church. This means that they once upon a time went to church but now do not attend a church. In these communities missionaries can assist churches by developing new ways to share the gospel based on the changing culture in the community.

Another question we ask deals with how we communicate the gospel message. Former missionaries monitor the new ways people communicate with friends and family. The digital forms of communication have forever changed the way we interact with each other. After investigating how the church and members of the church are communicating we have to see if it matches with current forms of communications in order to make sure that people in the community are able to see and hear our messages of gospel proclamation.

The last question we need to ask church members deals with how they are sharing the gospel. One of the most effective forms of gospel proclamation is what we call mouth to ear evangelism. So from one speaking mouth to one listening ear. However, it is super important that we make sure that our members are sharing the gospel in a way that can be clearly understood by the members of the community. Even small town cultures in the South’s Bible Belt are changing. This is another great place for missionaries to assist because they have done this before. Some missionaries had to listen and study a new culture in order to find ways to bridge the gospel.

As a bonus question, we have to ask if our members are sharing the gospel at all. We assume that as followers of Jesus they regularly sharing the gospel with unbelievers but we have found that among dying churches, Christians are not sharing the gospel with anyone outside the church building and only inside the church building among children. We must find out why these members are not sharing the gospel. If it is fear, we need to address it and hold them accountable to sharing. If it is because they do not know a lost person we need to help them expand their sphere of influence. If it is out of not knowing what to say then we need to train them how to share the gospel and disciples new believers.

For those Replanting and Revitalizing churches, it is so important that to have a strong focus on Evangelism in the community and I believe returning missionaries can help us succeed as we look out into the community to make disciples that make disciples.