Humility, not humiliation, is essential. Growing downward was a practice in preaching the gospel to himself that many in ministry, especially those in a revitalization setting, should strive for. It was the seed that blossomed patience. But not merely patience in isolation, it also led to perseverance in his ministry, something all pastors, but especially those revitalization must possess.
Paul instinctively recognized that an entropic principle was at work in the church from the very beginning. Church revitalization was an integral and prominent strategy in all three of his recorded missionary journeys. Without the constant work of reformation and revitalization, local churches will disintegrate into gospel lethargy and ineffectiveness. When this impulse for church revitalization is coupled with his constant agony for the wellbeing of the early churches evidenced in his epistles, Paul’s stature as a church revitalizer is profoundly evident.