Understanding the Differences between Church Adoption, Church Fostering, and Church Revitalization

Episode #598
December 17, 2019
Rainer on Leadership Podcast Logo

What is the difference between church adoption, church fostering, and church revitalization? Thom and Sam have a helpful and interesting discussion on new trends taking place in North American congregations.


  1. Church adoption: a church comes into the family.
  2. Church fostering: a church is brought into the family for the short term.
  3. Church revitalization: a church regains health internally.

Other highlights:

  • The term of adoption has been helpful and provided context for the new relationship.
  • Church fostering may lead to church adoption, but the goal should be to help and provide leadership for a season.
  • There is no loss in church fostering. It is simply called ministry.
  • The unintended by-product of church fostering, adoption, and revitalization is the creation of a strong leadership pipeline.

Resources mentioned in today’s podcast:

Episode Sponsors

Vanderbloemen has been serving churches for nine years, but did you know that Vanderbloemen also serves Christian schools, nonprofits, and Christian businesses? So if you’re listening, and you know a Christian school, nonprofit, or values-based business that is hiring, contact our friends at Vanderbloemen for your staffing needs.

For more information, visit Vanderbloemen.com.

The mission at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission. The school offers more than 40 different degree programs, including the new Master of Arts in Church Revitalization in partnership with Church Answers and the Revitalization Network. This 37-hour degree is designed to help students move established churches from flatlining to flourishing.

Learn about this program and more by visiting sebts.edu. Where are you going? Southeastern will help you get there.


If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here on Church Answers.