Discipleship is the New Evangelism: Commissioning 2024

Mar 4, 2024 | by Brad Rowland

Commissioning 2024 is rapidly approaching, with Salvationists from across the USA Southern Territory set to gather at the Atlanta Temple Corps from May 31 – June 2. It promises to be an exciting and invigorating time of worship, praise, and fellowship, with the theme of “Walking Like Jesus” at the forefront.

The theme verse for the weekend is 1 Peter 2:21, which says, “This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step by step” (MSG version).

The Defenders of Justice session of cadets will be commissioned during the weekend on Sunday, June 2. Discipleship is also at the center of the weekend, both in preparation and during the assembly itself, as it is the Territorial Priority focus of 2024 alongside Prayer, Leadership Development, and Holiness.

With the Territorial Priorities in focus, Commissioner Kelly Igleheart poses a question on what evangelism looks like in this modern age and culture. In response, Major Matt Satterlee, territorial youth secretary, notes that “Discipleship is the new evangelism,” and that discipleship can be described as a three-legged stool with focuses on The Word, Time, and Relationship History.

“Today’s culture is skeptical and wary of a group of religious people all gathered together out in public,” said Major Satterlee. “Open-air meetings and door-to-door evangelism can make people nervous at times. However, when people see an authentic, pure relationship with Jesus, they are attracted to that. They want that. I would say that relationship-building discipleship is the new way we evangelize. Growing deeper by growing smaller.”

During the weekend, worship will be enhanced by the Southern Staff Band, Southern Staff Songsters, Territorial Arts Ministries (TAM), and transMission. Commissioners Kelly and Donna Igleheart, territorial leaders, will speak and provide leadership, with Captain Ashish Pawar, corps officer of the Atlanta International Corps, also in line to bring the Word on Saturday.

On Friday morning, Stephen Mansfield will serve as the keynote speaker for the Commencement service. Mansfield is a New York Times best-selling author and noted speaker who leads a training and speaking firm while serving as a Senior Fellow of Public Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University and as an Ambassador for the Center of Christian Statesmanship.

Friday’s evening session will be followed by a celebration party focused on the Territorial Priorities, and Saturday will feature an immersive “Walk with Jesus” prayer experience along with a Family Feast. Childcare will be provided for ages six months through four years, with an exciting Youth Conference for ages five through 12 years old.

Registration for Commissioning 2024 is open now at usscommissioning.org. As anticipation continues to build in the coming weeks, look for more information and announcements in the Southern Spirit and at southernspiritonline.org.

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