11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
I just wanted to define these titles in this verse so we can see why our churches are struggling. However, as I started typing this I realized maybe each one might need their own little devo so it doesn’t get super long.
Let me first start by saying that as we read through Scripture we see that every believer is called to be a minister of righteousness, evangelizing, building one another up, discipling, etc. and should have pieces of each of these present in their life HOWEVER these titles are to demonstrate people who full time do these things (paid or not). So let’s get into “evangelist.”
euaggelistés: an evangelist, a bringer of good news
Original Word: εὐαγγελιστής, οῦ, ὁ
Definition: an evangelist, a bringer of good news, a missionary, bearer of good tidings.
This would be people who primarily share the Gospel both locally or internationally. This is what we think of when we talk about missionaries. It’s people who base their life on sharing the Gospel and have a gift in connecting with people, demonstrating the power of the Gospel, and preaching it clearly. Again we should all have this somewhat in our lives but these are the people who are just super personable and passionate about the basics of the Gospel. They bring people into the Church family. They are the people who help grow the Church. They are not teachers or preachers who share christian living but focus on the Gospel. They are intentional with planning ways to get to know unbelievers, perhaps speak in public settings, etc. They are generally speaking the same messages that are just about the basics of the Gospel. They would point the saved people back to the Church where they would find a pastor to shepherd them, a teacher as a resource, etc.
It’s important to have people within the Church that are evangelizing and focus on this as their primary task daily. It cannot be the primary leader of the church (normally called the pastor) unless he is a part of a team of leaders and his gift is in this area. Why? Because you want someone within your church who actually invests in your personal life and shepherds you, as well as a someone who spends countless hours in Scripture etc. An evangelist would be studies and a good steward of of the Word but spends most of their time focused on how and where to share the Gospel. So our churches need this type of individual so that they are reaching the lost (again everyone should be doing it somewhat). We need these people because this is how we plan and create a great outreach area which is super intentional. Otherwise it is a PART of what the leader does instead of a primary focus of an individual. Churches are dwindling and missing out on reaching the lost because we have churches which only have a preacher or a teacher and lack an evangelist. A successful church family should have each of these positions. As we move through these titles you will see the continued necessity of each.
Spend 1-2 minutes thanking the Lord for those who are gifted in evangelism. Then spend 2-3 minutes praying for God to show you if you are gifted in one of these areas. Ask Him to give you confidence to admit it and trust Him to provide in it. Also spend some time praying for OUR church family to find an evangelist.
Do you have someone in your life you are building a relationship with so that you can speak the Gospel into their life? I have said a few times, all of us are called to share the Gospel. That doesn’t mean handing out tracts or just saying short sermons to people. Instead it looks like (in our decade) building a relationship with people, building trust, and then being able to speak the truth into their life.